In the dynamic realm of digital advertising, Thumzup Media Corporation is making waves by democratizing the social media branding and marketing industry. We engaged in a conversation with Robert Steele, the visionary behind Thumzup, to delve into his journey, the challenges faced, and the innovative solutions that set his startup apart.
Can you share your background and the journey that led you to start Thumzup Media?
My tech journey began at 8 when I programmed my first computer. By 12, I founded my debut tech company crafting game controllers for the then-new Apple II computers. Post a Bachelor's in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, my co-founders and I pioneered one of the first PC-based GIS systems for Fairfax County. In 1999, envisioning a pocket-sized computer revolution, I birthed iBrite, a trailblazer in mobile software. My leadership journey includes presiding over two publicly traded companies. One, a business process outsourcing juggernaut, served Fortune 500 giants, processing over $1B annually for Ecolab and scanning 30 million pages for GMAC. The other, a copyright infringement sleuth, secured over $1B in civil judgments, shaping copyright law evolution.
What inspired you to venture into the digital advertising industry with Thumzup, and how does it address a gap in the market?
A: As an amateur musician witnessing friends in the gig economy, I sought to empower them in the vast $200B digital advertising realm. Recognizing the challenges small businesses face in navigating digital ads, Thumzup emerged as a user-friendly solution. Our unique approach bypasses celebrity endorsements, tapping into everyday individuals and professional influencers to authentically share brand love.
Thumzup is democratizing the social media branding industry. What unique solutions does it bring to the table?
A: Thumzup's flagship product, the Thumzup platform, seamlessly integrates a robust programmatic advertiser dashboard with a user-friendly app. This synergy empowers individuals to earn cash by sharing posts about advertisers on major social media platforms. Diverging from traditional influencer platforms, Thumzup activates the general public, fostering a diverse and authentic network of brand advocates.
Could you share a significant challenge you faced building Thumzup and how you overcame it?
Navigating the discomfort some advertisers felt with instant fame posed a significant hurdle. To maintain a balance, we introduced a hidden campaign feature. Now, Thumzup users require an invitation from advertisers before making posts, ensuring a tailored and controlled approach to visibility.
How have you fostered a company culture that encourages innovation, collaboration, and growth?
A: Our flat team structure stands as a testament to our commitment to fostering a culture that thrives on innovation, collaboration, and growth. Every team member is empowered to contribute to increased visibility for advertisers and a positive experience for creators. Q: What key milestones has Thumzup achieved, and what are your short-term and long-term goals? A: Since January, our user base has witnessed an astounding tenfold growth, with engagement increasing by 30x. Analyzing our cost metrics, our platform's cost per reach and cost per like are below other major social media platforms. Recently surpassing $1M in capital raised through our Reg A+ offering places Thumzup in the top ten percent of offerings in 2023. In the short term, we aim to expand user and advertiser numbers, while our long-term vision centers around establishing Thumzup as a household name in social media branding.
Q: How do you foresee AI shaping the future of your business, and what trends do you anticipate in the coming years? A: AI holds the key to scaling our business. Our platform integrates tools to review user posts, ensuring seamless alignment with brand values. As post quantities scale, AI tools will verify content relevance to advertisers, identify prime sales prospects, and offer recommendations to creators, thereby enhancing engagement. Anticipating a rise in AI-generated ad content, Thumzup aims to stand out by delivering scalable human-generated content as a distinctive differentiator. Q: Thumzup utilizes equity crowdfunding. Can you share your perspective on this and other alternative financing methods? A: Our vision is to democratize social media marketing and advertising, making a $200B market accessible to all. In fundraising, our Reg A+ offering provides an inclusive opportunity for everyone to benefit from early investment advantages, differentiating us from the exclusive nature of unicorn success stories.
Q: What advice would you give to founders, especially in raising capital and navigating the startup world?
A: Solve a real problem for a large market, find a reliable co-founder, commit to something captivating for the long haul, swiftly address challenges, prioritize execution over excessive planning, and stay customer-focused, delighting them with innovative solutions.
Q: How can people get in touch with you?
A: For inquiries or collaboration opportunities, contact me at email@example.com or dial 800-403-6150.
Follow Robert Steele on LinkedIn and Thumzup Media Corporation @thumz.up to stay updated on their revolutionary journey in digital advertising.