As attention spans continue to decrease, getting your business message across quickly and effectively can be harder today than ever before. It’s crucial to be able to get the gist of your company to your customer before they impulsively click the little “x” on the browser tab.
That’s why the aptly titled startup Explainify is hard at work helping companies pitch their businesses to customers in concise and interesting animated videos. Started by a former member of full service digital agency Rockfish Interactive, Explainify is looking to address the gap and inject a little fun (and absurdity) into the brand video market from the scripting stages all the way to the finished product.
We chatted with founder Eric Hinson about easing into the life of an entrepreneur, banging out a stressful day on the drums after work, and the value of continuing to dream big.
What it the backstory behind Explainify?
I come from Rockfish Interactive, one of Ad Age’s top ranked agencies, which was recently acquired by WPP. I helped launch Rockfish’s video production branch, Rockfish Studio. We worked first-hand on videos for clients like Walmart, Sam’s Club, EA Sports, Nerf, White Cloud and so many more.
I learned a lot and am very thankful for my time spent there, but ultimately agency life wasn’t my thing. I also felt like agencies worldwide were missing the boat by not telling effective stories. The average attention span of a human is eight seconds (one second less than that of a goldfish), so if stories aren't carefully crafted and told in a fun and exciting way, you lose the potential to convert customers, especially on your homepage. I saw this desperate need in the digital space, knew I could conquer it and Explainify was born!
When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Honestly, throughout my whole life I’ve said, "I don't ever want to own my own business." I swore up and down that I would never own a business. The idea was just not appealing to me. But, I was worn out from the agency life, and felt like I could challenge myself more.
So, I decided to try my hand at the entrepreneur thing. I think I officially knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur once I left my job and saw that when I wasn't working a steady job with benefits I could really use my passion and energy more than ever to accomplish some larger-than-life goals.
What keeps you motivated throughout the workday?
Knowing that this is bigger than me. I have huge, far-fetched goals in place that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can't accomplish on my own. It makes success that much sweeter when I hit them. Also, I'm a huge fan of all kinds of music, so my Spotify premium account plays all day long to keep me energized.
What do you do for fun?
Although I'm not super great at it, I love to play the drums. It's amazing to go home with a mind reeling from a stress-filled day and bang it out on some drums. It doesn't even have to sound good; it's just a great stress reliever and challenge.
Other than that, I prefer to just stay away from technology and be with my wife. I'll usually read a book or go mountain biking.
If you had all the money in the world, what would your days look like?
I'd head over to Africa and partner with my friends at Emerging Ideas to invest in entrepreneurs that make huge impacts with a small amount of help. Along the way, I'd like to stop and snowboard the Swiss alps.
What advice would you give to any beginning entrepreneurs out there?
Be wise, work hard, and stay centered. You can’t work 24/7 and function. Have a family life, love your wives, drink some tea (Savoy Tea Co. is our favorite) and don’t forget to have FUN!
Also, get plugged into the local entrepreneurship community. It’s super encouraging to meet and talk to cool, innovative local people that are hustling just as hard as you are.
What’s next for Explainify?
Explainify is committed to telling the best story and we have a big vision for that. Whether it’s a bootstrapped startup or a Fortune 100 company, we know there is a great story in there somewhere and we want to extract it, and motivate the world with it. We're constantly evolving the process, tools and methods for doing this, so stay tuned!