Interview With AJ Picard
Describe your product or service:
“We're a new Creator app that is helping creators monetize while live streaming. By streaming in Clava, creators make money per minute based off of each viewer in their Live.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Our goal as a company is to help Creators monetize off [of] the content they create.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“We're mainly bootstrapped, but we have raised a small family-friends round of 10,000.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Our team consists of three co-founders.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I've always wanted to launch my own product and scale it. My dad was an entrepreneur before he passed, and so was my mom and stepmom. I was around entrepreneurs my whole life, and it always inspired me to want to do the same thing.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“I wanted to start this idea because I was trying to become a full-time creator. I found it extremely difficult to monetize off [of] the content I was creating due to platform guidelines and lack of community. So, I started brainstorming ways I could allow creators to start earning right away. I decided to act on the idea because I saw a need for my solution. I started interviewing a bunch of creators, and they were all facing the same issues I was.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“The company was first called “Chad,” but unfortunately the name Chad became a meme. One of the developers at the time thought we should name the product Clava, which is Latin for “club.” It made sense because Creators would be hosting Lives containing their Club (community).”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“Our biggest challenge right now is capital. We need capital to increase our development speed and to market the product. For now, we're finding ways to hack around these issues. For example, we're reaching out to smaller creators to get them into Clava to show them the benefits of our product that we're then using for content on our social media platforms to recruit more creators.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Creators in the creator economy that create content through live streams. This can be magicians, musicians, chefs, trainers, etc.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Right now, we've been growing through word of mouth and partnerships. We signed a partnership with a smaller creator agency who has been funneling their creators to our platform, and in return, they get commission from each Live their creators host in Clava.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“We had a list of 500 magicians created for us through someone on Upwork, and then we email blasted them. We got some magicians i
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“KPI: How many Lives are we averaging a week? 25–35
KPI: The number of average viewers in a Live (1–5)
KPI: Average Live Earnings? $0.5–$4.80
KPI: Average Live Length? 30 minutes.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
“‘Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography.’”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“‘How I Built This.’”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“How hard it is to raise money and build a successful product.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“This is something I continue to struggle with — if it weren’t for my wife, I wouldn't have a work/life balance.”
How do you stay motivated?
“In my opinion, you have to be passionate about what you're doing. No one is going to believe in what you're doing, and you will get a lot of people telling you you're crazy. Passion gets you through all the noise.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Yes, I had to learn that there's only one of me and that I can't do everything.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“I would say that I've taught myself so many new skills.”
More on Clava
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with AJ Picard of Clava that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.