Clipisode was a ridiculously easy way for brands and stars to get videos from anyone, anywhere. It worked simply by sharing a link. No one had to download, install or join anything to send you a video reply. Clipisode even worked inside apps like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. You could go from idea to collecting videos in just a few minutes.
Clipisode began as an app for iPhone and Android that let you combine an unlimited number of video clips sent in by other people. But long videos with 20 replies from random fans weren’t very watchable, so we made a new app called Answers RN that was designed for doing quick AMAs where you shared out each fan video combined with your reply. Those apps got thousands of users, but they didn’t set the world on fire. Plus the brands and agencies that were paying us really needed a big web dashboard to manage hundreds of video replies, not an app. So in 2020, we released our brand manager.
When a Clipisode campaign worked, there was nothing like it. Our demos felt like a magic trick. Someone who had worked with mobile developers at both Snapchat and Apple dove across the conference table mid-demo, shook my hand and said, “I didn’t know phones could do what you just showed me!” Ogilvy’s head of digital said the project we did with them was the best performing UGC campaign he has seen in his career.
It was a wild ride, propelled by videos from stars and creators like Brad Paisley, Peyton Manning, Greg Cipes, Colleen Ballinger, Miranda Sings, Brian Posehn, Steve Burton, Bradford Anderson, Pete Wentz, Kira Kosarin, Kevin Frazier, Chris Melberger, Chris Pratt, the Property Brothers, Sylvia Brindis, Kevin Bachelder, Clare Mackintosh, Paul Secor, Sarah Moran, Aderson Oliveira, Mod Sun, Lil Nas X — and their fans.
But the business was slow to scale and stars could get comparable value just by pulling a fan on stage during an Instagram Live or by using TikTok to make stitches and duets. We were optimistic that we could eventually make Clipisode a success with brands and agencies, but we knew that it could take a few more years. At the end of 2021, we got an offer to join a larger company and work on something new. It would be a fresh start for our team, a win for our investors and an opportunity to work with a visionary founder, so we took it.
I want to thank everyone who worked with me to build Clipisode, starting with my cofounder Max. There hasn’t been a technical challenge that Max couldn’t solve. Max figured out how to get video replies just by sharing a link. Our whole platform was based on that little magic trick. He made our invitation links work smoothly inside other people’s apps, which is incredibly hard. His native iOS video rendering engine is powerful — and fast. Max is a talented problem solver and I’m thrilled that we get to continue to work together.
On the product side, I owe a lot to Andy Fraley, Cedric Gore, Ryan Sheffer, Masha Belyi, Nicholas Hance, Craig Dennis, Ben Tomhave, Marina Janeiko, Eric Dennis, Sam Braff and Randall Bennett.
On the business side, I’m grateful to Steve Friedman, Jill Bourque, Courtney Smith Kramer, Jason Chiang, Robert John Davis, Pam Russo, Jessica Levy, Karyn Spencer, Charlie Sells, Sue Kwon, Kay Cioffi, Jillian Kaplan, Sonny Mayugba, Scott Abel, Jim Louderback, Shane Snow, Martin Conaghan, Chris Petescia, Randi Siegel, Zack Parker, Bob Mohler, Mark Montgomery and Jeff Dwoskin for opening up doors and including us in unforgettable projects.
And everywhere else, Niki. Startups are an emotional roller coaster ride and not everyone can endure them. I lucked out.
Clipisode was one of the coolest products I’ve ever worked on and I already miss it.
If you have questions, want to share memories of Clipisode or you’re looking for an old video, let me know.