FameTube Generated Thousands Of Users In Just Eight Months
Bryan Cornelius had no experience in website building, coding or really anything computer-related. He a self-described “opposite of a computer geek,” and yet in eight months his site FameTube has generated thousands of users and fans across the social media landscape. Working totally on his own and with limited money, Bryan is poised for success.
FameTube looks to answer a question that YouTube has, in some ways, created: how can talented people get noticed by the rich guys who will pay them to do what they do? Hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded on YouTube every day, making it nearly impossible to stand out from the crowd.
FameTube curates their videos–making sure that only people who really have something to show end up on their page–and then encourages people to vote for the ones that they like. The top ten winners get featured on their landing page for the next month, while the number one winner each month gets a year long spot right there up front.
Bryan took some to talk with KillerStartups about why he’s psyched about FameTube and making his mom proud.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
I had dabbled as a domainer for a couple years prior to launching the website, and learned a lot about finding the right name and the importance of an appealing name. For several months, I had this idea thought up but was patiently waiting for the right name to come along that would stand out from the crowd.
One day, I stumbled upon FameTube.com that was currently in auction on GoDaddy. I immediately looked the name up in the trademark database and throughout the social media channels. To my amazement, all was available, so I purchased the domain in auction, applied for the trademark and locked down the name throughout social media.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
Just me at first. Then, I brought on my cousin as the VP of Marketing and a lawyer that handles all the legality stuff including trademarking and brand protection.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
Getting traffic to the site! Encouraging talented people to share their videos with FameTube even though there wasn’t any talented people being featured on the site at that time. I knew that if I could get non-famous but popular artists (i.e. YouTube celebrities), the traffic would follow.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumpin’ away to house music or is it more traditional?
Actually, I have a full-time career that has nothing to do with FameTube. I am a General Manager of a couple hotels, and do this when I’m at home. That obviously makes my wife not too fond of it, but she understands.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
In 5 years, I picture FameTube as the premier platform for helping talented artists receive the exposure they need to get discovered. A website has yet to come along and become that go-to place for discovering talented people. YouTube’s probably the most relevant but that’s not the purpose of YouTube. Not to mention, you’re a “needle in a haystack” when you upload your video on there. So, I think there’s a huge void in this market that if successfully tapped, can result in a major player in the internet world.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food? Give us the deets, dude!
My inspiration comes from making my mother proud. My drive is fueled by the excitement she receives when her son is achieving success.
My favorite quote that keeps me going everyday is; “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spent the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, man?
Nothing really to speak of. I am been fortunate to have a great “day time” job that has allowed me to fund a majority of the startup. Our legal expenses and services have been funded by our lawyer in exchange for company shares.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
The internet! It’s the most valuable resource out there. Utilize all the free information on the net, and the other necessary resources (i.e. investors) will follow as long as your idea is unique and/or solves a problem.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your currently startup / projects)
On a Caribbean beach doing absolutely nothing!
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
Currently, I consider myself an entrepreneur that has the potential to be successful. Coming up with an idea is one thing. But turning it into the next Facebook, is something completely different. I will not be a successful entrepreneur until I have achieved my goal. And, I haven’t achieved my goal yet.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
Google! Because it has an answer for everything. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, change the wording.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
TMZ! Without it, I wouldn’t know what’s going on in the “real world.” TMZ does seem to breaks a lot of headlines before others do, making it appealing because everybody wants to be the first to know about everything.
Dogs or cats?
Neither but if I had a choice, I’ll take a dog.
iOS or Android?
Android owner who’s on the fence ready to jump to Apple. I will be making that leap when the iPhone 5 is released. Android is a great operating system, and has been very good to me, but at the end of the day, it’s all about efficiency, and if my wife can navigate her smartphone (iPhone 4S) quicker than me, there’s a problem.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website/idea?
FameTube is an oddity! There isn’t a site (that I know of or can find) that’s similar to FameTube. I think that’s why we’ve generated a large fan base in such a short time.
Where can our readers get ahold of you?