Sramana Mitra: Let’s go back one step. Winning big customers like PayPal, what was the pitch that you made to let you start working on their technology stack?
Lior Gal: It’s the same pitch, but the pitch isn’t the trick if you can call it a trick. The process is, you need to identify which customers are early adopters. You can google PayPal and see if they have any PRs with any companies.
It starts with identifying early adopters and within the company, people who are also willing to adopt the technology and will be willing to work with you because they believe in your vision and they are willing to take the risk. That’s where it started. You need to identify the customers and the use case.
It’s not enough that people want to innovate; there needs to be a use case. Technicolor had an issue where they needed to do post-production work for titles which are 4K format. It’s a heavier format. They were just tired of putting stuff out there that doesn’t scale with their performance needs. They were tired of replacing hardware because the old hardware is not efficient.
We found Amir. He had a vision. He called it the any-K use case. How do I build an infrastructure to support any format? He understood that the ingredients that we are working with are exactly the ones they needed. That made it easy to take him to try it out.
In November of 2017, they were one of the first production customers to do production titles on our stuff and were public about it in April 2018. It’s that combination – a combination of finding the right person that has that issue that needs to be fixed. You need to be 10x better than the incumbent because if you’re just 10% better, it’s not going to work. Somewhere around the process, someone is going to stop it. That’s what we did.
Now that we’re a more mature company, businesses bring in business. That’s the way you get the first deals. You need the other side to believe in the same vision. It’s the same if you sit with an investor and you start talking about stuff. You really need to start talking about the market. The investor needs to believe that the market you’re going after is something that he wants to be part of.
With customers, he needs to believe in your vision. The second part you need to understand is, does that customer have the ability to be an early adopter? He needs to be able to buy and work with small companies. Most companies just don’t know how to do that. Then, is the guy a decision-maker or is he a strong enough influencer to make people follow him?
It’s the person. It’s the company. It’s the space. When all of that is there, magic happens.
When you understand that that customer is visionary and he’s saying, “I can do the any-K use case,” that will be a seed for any requirement I have moving forward. That’s what happened with Technicolor.
Then you work with the integration. You need to work with the file-system integration. You need to work with the application integration. You need to see that everything works together and that it’s easy-to-use. Once you have all that figured out, you need to work with the best solution integrators. The end goal is simple. You want to be a component in their solution. You want to be a component in the system they sell.