Matthew Barnett is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Vimily. He is responsible for overseeing the business as a whole and communicating with Vimily’s key stakeholders. Matthew brings over eight years of experience to this role, having worked in a diverse range of industries from photography and design to business management in both Australia and the United Kingdom. He co-founded Vimily in 2012 after recognising the opportunity for businesses to create meaningful and unique content to drive engagement with customers. Prior to Vimily, Matthew worked as a freelance contemporary artist and as an ID Consultant for Cookieapple, a creative photography agency in London.
I think business plays THE pivotal role in affecting social change. Governments have too much red tape to take immediate action, charities can also be limited with resources and individuals have scope but not always the funds.
Katrin Suess is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Vimily. Co-founding the company in 2012, she is responsible for the strategic direction and technological development of Vimily. Katrin has 10 years of experience working in technical production across a diverse range of industries including magazines, fashion, user interface design, management and web development in both Australia and Germany. Prior to Vimily, Katrin worked as a freelance web designer and founding ZEROmail in 2010, ephunk Ltd in 2007 and Desciens in 2005. Prior to this, she also worked as a User Interface Designer for a number of online sites including 99dresses, Foodlog.com.au and Noosbox.com, as well as venture technology firm Blue Chilli Technology.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Vimily allows you to curate personalised videos for the masses with a greater return on investment. We offer a customisable platform that allows video content to be easily created, managed and shared on social media by anyone. Vimily allows companies to increase their brand awareness, generate leads, capture opinions and engage with their customers.
Vimily came into being after Matt’s father had a heart attack and the family decided they wanted to get his life story down on video. Co-founder Katrin had family overseas that she wanted to stay close with also, and the app was developed to make this a reality.The shift to using the platform as a video marketing tool came after Barnett suggested a PR firm he was working with use Vimily to create a few videos for their company.
Please explain your business model.
Vimily offers free, unlimited videos, however we embed the Vimily brand into every video. Businesses pay to brand their videos and for the display pages. SME’s can purchase prepaid packages of white label videos (100 – 299 or 500 – 1000) while enterprise clients, agencies and market research clients pay a subscription fee plus a cost per video, from $1 – $3 depending how many they create. Subscription package includes deeper data analysis, extra branding opportunities and customisable data collection fields.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
We’re just kicking off the Android app now and this completes our product roadmap by supporting two of the largest mobile operating systems and giving people access to our apps on these platforms. We are also developing full page “clickable” advertisements at the end of each video for subscription clients.
How do you make ideas happen?
With passion, speed and lots of hard work. When we see an opportunity we chase it, but we are always careful to keep a constant finger on the pulse of our clients to ensure we are constantly creating real value.
What does your typical day look like?
Catch the 6.10am ferry from Manly for a nice fresh start to the day. Read a book on the way in to wake the mind up and inevitably end up talking to someone about my kilt.
Coffee and then getting through emails until 8am whilst no one can reply. Quiet. Bliss. These involve potential clients, investors, opportunities etc.
8am – Katrin Suess, Founder and CTO, arrives and we discuss what lies ahead for the day. Major goals, key meetings and development updates.
Katrin gets down to managing the development team and my day usually involves 2 – 4 meetings with clients, partners, agencies, or customers. Lots of coffee
My afternoon involves more follow up with customers to make sure everyone is happy. Feedback is essential to our development process.
Back to end of day emails until 6pm and then back across the water.
Usually a call or two to the USA / UK 6.30pm – 8pm to coincide with time zones. We are testing various overseas markets. Usually done with a cup of tea.
A few hours with my better half to clear the head and wind down, potentially involving an evening walk along the beach, a surf in the summer, or game of thrones in the winter.
Tank Stream Coworking Space in Sydney
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business in Australia?
One of the major challenges is the high cost of talent compared to other places in the world – which affects fund timelines. As a small company we all need to be in the same room to be able to move fast. Another challenge is raising funds – Australia is an immature market in this respect with limited fund sources and restricted approaches to raising funds. We need to be creative with this and hence we accepted overseas funding.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Vimily! In all seriousness, find a business partner who has the same energy but the opposite skill set to yourself.
In terms of a business idea…localised beer coaster advertising.
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
I think Adioso is very cool,
What about internationally?
Showyou and Google Glass (as this could potentially be amazing for video!)
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
I think business plays THE pivotal role in affecting social change. Governments have too much red tape to take immediate action, charities can also be limited with resources and individuals have scope but not always the funds. Businesses have the ability for globalisation, fast results, and they also have the funds to make to make a real impact. Beyond this, unfortunately to change human nature en masse humans need incentives – businesses can offer this through innovation. The fastest way to drive change is to make it profitable.
Speaking of affecting social change, we’ve teamed up with Shout for Good to encourage readers to ‘shout a coffee’ to charity by clicking the button below. Is there a particular charity you’d like to support?
We’d like to support Open Family Australia.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?
Springwise (new innovations not just online)
BBC Global News – honestly as a business you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the world beyond tech
and the inevitable TechCrunch.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter?
Marc Lehmann – @Marclehmann
James Alexander – @shortino29
Alan Jones – @bigyahu
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
Absolutely – we are looking for funding; partners and people to join our team. In terms of funding, we are looking for marketing savvy investors as we are currently raising funds. We are also looking for partners who are excited in leveraging a brand new campaign technology, and finally we’re currently in the market for business developers, iOS and Android developers and marketing assistants to join the Vimily team!
Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.
We want to get some awesome creative ideas on how they would use Vimily. Daily video diaries, competitions, social change……what’s next? Get in touch, or even better demonstrate how you would use Vimily. Any excellent ideas will be showcased and who knows, we are always looking for creative people to join the team!
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
Sugar Lounge in Manly – there’s nothing quite like watching the beach with breakfast.
What is your favourite song by an Australian artist at the moment?
The Shimmie Shake by The Wiggles.
We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?
We would be happy to offer a small Vimily campaign to build their profile or business and get some awesome exposure – let’s great creative with video.