In mid 2013 I was still very much the dedicated LA creative. I had so many creative ideas in my head that I wanted to bring to light.
Mobile First Entertainment is a multichannel network that enables content creators to directly access their own mobile video applications. It allows users to take direct control over advertising and branding strategies.
Meet the CEO founder Saif A. Rahman, as he shares his startup story and a few business lessons.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Mobile First Entertainment all about?
Our company is Mobile First Entertainment (MFE). We create branded mobile video apps for content creators and allow access to advertising. This allows them to have more direct control over branding and monetization, while being part of a platform. The mobile ad spend is going to approach $100b globally and we want people who create video to have their fair share of it. Up to %75 with us; and a FREE app.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
In mid 2013 I was still very much the dedicated LA creative. I had so many creative ideas in my head that I wanted to bring to light. I remember my manager at the time sent me to meet an agent, with hopes of him signing me ‘across the board’ so that I could finally take major steps towards my career.
We met in this huge office building in Beverly Hills, and literally chatted about what I wanted to do for about an hour. At the end of the meeting, I leaned forward, expecting for him to tell me when we will start, and what the next step was. He looked me dead in the eyes, and told me “Oh, I’m not interested in representing you; I just wanted to be nice to your manager and take the meeting.” That was paired with me getting fired from my day job.
That is the exact moment it all became clear to me, that no one cared about what I thought, what Ideas I had, or where I was going. It was a moment of clarity. So I decided to find a way to make things happen on my own terms. That was the catalyst for MFE.
I saw a trend coming that mobile advertising was going to be the fastest growing ad sector EVER. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t just about creating original content for mobile, but assisting others who create, and distributing content. Literally help content creators and those that make video have more control over what’s theirs, and make more money doing it.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
We are currently plugging away on our live Kickstarter campaign. We are also working on different iterations of our mobile app that can be useful to more people.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
Immediate plans are to acquire a user base and make them happy. I feel like happy customers is a great sign of how valuable your business is. That will lead us further creating our own in house ad network, and spreading out globally to service more video creators.
Q: How do you bring ideas to life?
Hard work. It is so understated to say, that when you have an idea, no one cares to hear it. So you hear so much negativity about what you’re doing. We brought our ideas to life by literally trusting our gut and instincts. Then we found a way to create Alpha and Beta versions with little money. It was so much hard work.
Q: What’s one trend that really excites you?
The next generation of video. Toppling stalwart companies that don’t see it coming. The mobile video trend is here, and some still don’t know it. It excites me to see developing nations embrace mobile as their first platform, and see what that growth looks like. We are in an exciting time.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
Perhaps the largest one, was that I was not a tech founder. I have a background in entertainment. I love tech, and have a high understanding of mobile, but I am not a coder. It was a huge barrier. It took us months until we found someone amazing to come on board and really get down to the brass tacks of coding what was was needed.
Another huge mistake was not getting enough money together to have an MVP. It’s so important to show someone that your idea is actually real, by making it real. That was a real difficult time, because up until then the idea of individualized video apps was literally a bunch of mockups and drawings.
Our last error was time. We severely underestimated how long it would take to get a project so large off of the ground. We estimated it would take a few months, and hear we are almost two years later. We learned that when you make errors, adapt quickly and don’t let it stop you from your larger goal.
Q: How do you go about marketing your business, and what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?
Facebook is such an amazing marketing tool. Getting friends and family, and their friends and family to talk about and endorse our product has been really great; and cheap! Kickstarter is a great tool as well, because it gives us a finger to the pulse of what is actually happening with our product in front of others.
Q: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur – and why?
Firstly, be a ‘go getter’. Entrepreneurship isn’t the type of thing that you can ask more than others than you are willing to do yourself.
Secondly, be sound in your conviction. Your opinion is your idea, so don’t let other tell you its worthless.
Lastly, be a big dreamer. I feel like all entrepreneurs share this quality. Nothing great was ever accomplished by being small minded.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
- Definitely LinkedIn. Its a fantastic social/business tool for reaching out to others.
- Crunchbase is almost a daily search for me to see who is getting funded and where.
- I said it already, but Facebook has been fantastic for our growth. Such a great tool. Twitter is ok, but more for interaction than growth.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?