A Q&A with MYMUSAIC founder and CEO Alec Meikle. The Los Angeles-based company was founded in late 2011 and recently made its public debut.
SUB: Please describe MYMUSAIC, and the value proposition you bring to content creation.
Meikle: MYMUSAIC enables users to put their photos to the beat of their favorite music without having to edit, the end result resembling that of a carefully edited movie. With this new power of creation in the palm of your hand, no longer will such movies be reserved for special occasions.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for MYMUSAIC? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Meikle: I was burnt out on editing this movie I was making from a recent vacation and wished I could just sync the photos to the beat and be done with it. I thought back to the old screen savers that would change direction on the beat of the music and thought to myself, there had to be an easier way.
I couldn’t get the thought out of my head and remember driving down the road listening to the song ‘Someone Great,’ by LCD Soundsystem, which goes to a very quick and hard drumstick sound, about 3-to-4 clicks per second, in fact. I couldn’t wait to get home and see if it was too fast of a sequence to watch photos to. It turns out, that was one of the coolest movies I’ve ever made and it was just to test a concept. The 12 seconds movie went through 60 photos and it didn’t feel chaotic to watch at all. That, was the ‘aha’ moment.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Meikle: Everyone with an iPhone, particularly those who actively take pictures and are proactive about discovering music.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Meikle: We’ve created an entirely new way to create content. To compare MYMUSAIC to slideshows, camera apps, and or editing software isn’t appropriate. Photos are, well, just photos and not movies. Movies are great but to make them, you need to edit. For example, slideshows don’t connect with the music; are limited by pace by not transitioning on the beat; are more similar to a presentation; rely on cheesy transitions detract from the content; are not a great story telling format, too slow.
SUB: What differentiates MYMUSAIC from the competition?
Meikle: Our beat recognition technology.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Meikle: In late 2011 I began working with a young programmer by the name of Thompson Huang who convinced me to give him a chance to prove himself with 10 hours of work. At the time, the cost seemed like a small price to pay to explore this new idea which I was so excited about. In that short time, Thompson was actually able to create a very simple slideshow creator in which you could make a movie with photos and music. There was nothing to do with the beat recognition element of the idea, but I knew he was a talented individual and we immediately got along very well.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Meikle: If you’re starting an online company these days, it’s incredibly difficult to come up with a good name that’s also an available domain. A friend of mine had come up with the name ‘Musaic’ which made a lot of sense as it was a play on the words Mosaic and Music. The domain had only just been reserved, literally months before, but mymusaic.com was still available.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Meikle: Getting the software to create the desired effect of matching the transitions with the beat, universally, with any song.
SUB: You recently had your official launch. Why was this a particularly good time to launch?
Meikle: The desktop version of MYMUSAIC is the foundation for our mobile app which is staged for release next week. It was more a function of getting it out as soon as we could so that it could build awareness for the app.
SUB: Do you plan to raise outside funding in the near future?
Meikle: Our goal is to remain in continual development and provide our service for free which would require outside funding but we’re not making any plans until the release of the app.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Meikle: I have an exit strategy in mind but it’s important to me that MYMUSAIC reaches its full potential before that happens. Possible revenue streams: app downloads, premium user subscriptions/content, brand sponsorships/campaigns, powered by sponsorships, corporate licensing, reseller licensing, tourism promotion.
SUB: What are your goals for MYMUSAIC over the next year or so?
Meikle: To be sustainable, growing, and have an evolved product appreciated by a deep network of users for the enjoyment it brings.
MYMUSAIC – www.mymusaic.com