The 19-year-old Who Built a $1.5M Ai SaaS in 7 Days

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI
Summary Notes


In this episode, 19-year-old entrepreneur Aria discusses his rapid ascent in the tech industry, detailing how his AI-powered software, MusicFi, leveraged a viral AI Drake cover to skyrocket from zero to 2 million users. With a projected first-year revenue between $1.2 to $1.5 million, Aria attributes his success to the foundational skills and entrepreneurial mindset cultivated at Build Space, an alternative online incubator that champions project-based learning over traditional education. He shares his journey from learning to code to identifying a gap in the music industry for AI-generated content, leading to the creation of MusicFi. Aria emphasizes the importance of swift execution, leveraging no-code tools for rapid MVP development, and utilizing affiliate marketing to drive user acquisition. Looking forward, he plans to expand into the B2B space, targeting audio solutions in gaming and animation, highlighting the potential of AI to revolutionize content creation across industries.

Summary Notes

Financial Success at a Young Age

  • The speaker is 19 years old and is reporting significant financial success with their first-year business revenue projected between $1.2 to $1.5 million.
  • Young age combined with high earnings is highlighted as noteworthy.

"In our first year business, we're going to make over like around 1.2 to 1.5 million dollars." "I'm 19."

  • The quotes emphasize the speaker's age and the financial success of their business.
  • The relevance is to underscore the remarkable achievement of generating substantial revenue at a young age.

Development of a Viral Software Product

  • The speaker has developed software that enables the creation of AI-generated covers of songs, which has gone viral on TikTok.
  • The product has grown from zero to almost 2 million users in about eight to nine months.
  • An early user of the software created a viral AI Drake song, which significantly contributed to the product's exposure and user growth.

"We built software products... we actually built the tech for that... from zero users to now almost 2 million users." "That was one of our early users... all of our distribution done for us."

  • These quotes detail the creation of a successful software product and its rapid user growth due to viral content.
  • The relevance lies in demonstrating the impact of viral marketing on the growth of the software product.

The Launch and Growth of "Music F"

  • The product is named "Music F" and maintains around 1 million active monthly users.
  • The speaker shares the story of the product's inception and rapid development, including the initial user acquisition and unexpected financial costs.

"It's called Music F... around 1 million active monthly users." "I spent a week... launched it and a week later it had 100,000 users."

  • The quotes provide the name of the product and describe the swift development and user adoption.
  • The relevance is to highlight the product's name and the speed at which it gained traction.

Experience and Learning at Build Space

  • The speaker gained valuable experience working at a company called Build Space, which provides an alternative to traditional education by helping people work on their passions.
  • Build Space offers a six-week program to help participants start their ideas, which the speaker credits for learning how to scale a startup and the importance of engineering skills.

"I spent working at a company called Build Space... we launched a six-week program called Build Space... from Step Zero to step one." "I spent a lot of time learning how you would scale a startup."

  • Quotes outline the speaker's learning experience at Build Space and its influence on their entrepreneurial journey.
  • The relevance is to show the educational background and experience that contributed to the speaker's current success.

Inspiration and Development Process

  • A research paper on vocal style transfer inspired the speaker to create their product.
  • The speaker identified a market need when observing non-developers struggling with coding issues in a Discord community.
  • The software was developed and launched within a week, attracting 100,000 users in the same timeframe.

"I came across this research paper... I realized like this can be used for music." "I spent a week from that idea and kind of just launched it and a week later it had 100,000 users."

  • These quotes describe the inspiration behind the product and the rapid development and launch process.
  • The relevance is to showcase the innovative approach and efficient execution that led to the product's success.

Monetization Strategy

  • Initially, the product was free and incurred daily costs in GPU credits.
  • The speaker implemented a $1 subscription paywall to offset costs, which quickly demonstrated the product's monetization potential.

"It was free... I was losing money... I put like a $1 pay wall... by the end of day one it was 2,000."

  • The quote explains the initial financial challenge and the subsequent implementation of a monetization strategy.
  • The relevance is to illustrate the transition from a free service to a monetized product and the immediate financial response from users.

Viral Marketing and Affiliate Program

  • The speaker discusses the strategy of creating controversy to generate viral attention for the product.
  • An affiliate program was established, incentivizing content creators to drive traffic to the site.
  • The affiliate program resulted in approximately 4,000 people promoting the platform, significantly contributing to its growth.

"To create any type of viral product you want to make a lot of controversy." "We created like this crazy affiliate program... around 4,000 people make Tik Tok pages and just started in our links out of there."

  • These quotes detail the marketing strategies employed to promote the product and capitalize on viral content.
  • The relevance is to demonstrate how controversy and a well-structured affiliate program can lead to widespread product adoption.

Content Strategy and Traffic Quality

  • The speaker notes the difference in traffic quality between TikTok and YouTube, with YouTube bringing more valuable users who are likely to purchase plans.
  • Long-form content on YouTube proved to be more effective in converting views to revenue.

"TikTok... not high quality traffic... YouTube videos... that brought in $30,000 in Revenue in a month."

  • The quote compares the effectiveness of different social platforms in generating not just traffic, but valuable traffic that converts to revenue.
  • The relevance is to highlight the importance of targeted marketing and the selection of appropriate platforms for higher conversion rates.
  • The business received a cease and desist letter from major music labels, prompting a pivot in the product offering.
  • The speaker describes the transition from offering celebrity voice models to creating custom models, which users can train and pay for.

"We had a letter from Universal Music Sony music and Warner Music... we deleted all these Dr Kanye models... replaced it with the ability for people to train custom models."

  • The quote outlines the legal challenge faced and the strategic pivot to a more sustainable business model.
  • The relevance is to show how the business adapted to legal constraints while still offering a valuable service to its users.

Focus on Music and Audio Industry Expansion

  • The speaker expresses the intention to expand beyond music tools into solving audio problems across various industries, including gaming, animation, and movies.
  • The goal is to reduce the need for voice actors and expensive soundtracks, providing cost-effective solutions for audio production.

"To build huge companies, you're going to have to have huge missions and huge goals... imagine you never have to hire a voice actor again."

  • The quote reflects the speaker's ambition to scale the company by addressing broader audio production challenges in multiple industries.
  • The relevance is to convey the speaker's vision for the company's growth and the innovative solutions they plan to offer.

B2B Focus and Future Plans

  • The company is transitioning to a B2B model, targeting gaming companies with a keen interest in audio innovation.
  • The speaker discusses plans to launch a B2B product for gaming companies and mentions investor interest from industry leaders.

"Right now we want to build this B2B product which is going to be like this for gaming companies." "We just had an investor reach out who just invested in our company."

  • The quotes highlight the strategic shift to a B2B model and the support from influential investors in the gaming industry.
  • The relevance is to outline the future direction of the company and the potential for growth in the B2B space.

Impact of Investors and Fundraising Strategy

  • The company has raised funds strategically, focusing on investors who can provide more than just capital, such as connections and industry expertise.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of strategic partnerships and the value of investors who align with the company's vision and can contribute to its growth.

"We only took two checks... the only reason I took money was because I realized they helped me a lot at the last company." "We haven't needed to raise in terms of for monetary reasons, it's more been for connections."

  • These quotes discuss the rationale behind the company's fundraising efforts and the selective approach to accepting investments.
  • The relevance is to highlight the company's strategic approach to fundraising, focusing on value-added partnerships rather than purely financial support.

Founding Curse Gaming and Connections in the Gaming Industry

  • Huber, the founder of Curse Gaming, has extensive connections in the gaming industry.
  • Curse Gaming was a Discord competitor at an earlier stage.
  • Huber's network has facilitated access to the first 10-20 customers for a new venture.

"A guy named Huber, he founded Curse Gaming, which was pretty much a Discord competitor at the time a long time ago. So he's friends with pretty much everyone in the gaming space."

  • The quote highlights Huber's influence and network within the gaming industry due to his history with Curse Gaming.

Investment in Gaming Studios and Industry Connections

  • Jerus Love from Beat Saber has connections with Meta Gaming and has invested in multiple gaming studios.
  • The combined connections of Huber and Jerus Love provide strategic industry entry points.

"Jerus Love also from Beat Saber, they're also really good friends with everyone at Meta Gaming. They invested in like five or 10 other gaming studios."

  • The quote emphasizes Jerus Love's investment activities and relationships within the gaming industry.

B2B Customer Acquisition and Scaling

  • The initial customer base can provide learning opportunities to refine and scale the sales process.
  • B2B contracts in gaming differ significantly from consumer contracts, often involving larger sums.

"We can kind of get like our first 10-20 customers and once we get a lot of learnings from those 10-20, we can kind of scale from there."

  • This quote outlines the strategy for leveraging initial customers as a foundation for future scaling.

B2B Pricing Model and Value Proposition

  • The B2B pricing model for gaming studios involves contracts worth tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
  • The new venture aims to offer in-house audio generation tools at a competitive price, potentially replacing external agencies.

"Imagine we could get them for $30,000 to have their own in-house tool that can kind of generate whatever audio they needed."

  • The quote discusses the potential for cost savings and efficiency gains for gaming studios through the new venture's offerings.

Hollywood Strikes and Voice Cloning Technology

  • Voice cloning technology can replace voice actors, potentially impacting Hollywood strikes.
  • The tool can be used for various purposes, including converting voices for movie trailers.

"The voice of voice tool kind of works for anything. You can use it for, we have a bunch of users that even use Music fi just to convert their voice into like a Morgan Freeman style voice for a movie trailer or XYZ."

  • This quote explains the versatility of voice cloning technology and its potential impact on traditional voice acting roles.

AI Landscape Changes and Voice Cloning

  • The AI landscape, particularly for voice cloning, has evolved with more tools becoming available.
  • Specific companies have emerged as industry leaders in text-to-speech and audio-to-audio cloning.

"I think there's a lot more tools specifically in voice cloning. I think like 11 Labs has definitely cemented itself as like an industry leader."

  • The quote identifies the growth of the voice cloning sector within the AI landscape and notes the emergence of industry leaders.
  • There has been a shift from web 3 projects to AI-focused ventures following the launch of influential AI tools.
  • The ability to build a strong product in the current AI hype wave can lead to future financial success.

"As soon as like CH and all these other APIs came out, people are just switching their entire companies. I know companies that raised three, four, five million on a web 3 idea and just pivoted straight to AI after the chat launch."

  • The quote discusses the trend of companies pivoting to AI technology following the release of powerful AI APIs.

Potential Opportunities Beyond Music Vibe

  • Collaborations with influencers like Daniel and Musa to create content generation tools for social media.
  • Leveraging distribution networks through these collaborations to guarantee customers for new products.

"We're basically building a product that kind of takes long-form like Twitch streams and kind of creates clips like that very quickly with generative products."

  • This quote describes a venture to develop tools for content generation, indicating a strategy to tap into existing influencer networks.

Technology Stack and API Offerings

  • The venture uses TypeScript, JavaScript, Next.js, and Supabase for development.
  • A unique serverless GPU company, Modal, is utilized instead of APIs due to the proprietary model hosted.

"For Music F., we don't use any APIs like everything we run locally on Modal, which is a serverless GPU company."

  • The quote explains the technological underpinnings of the venture and the strategic choice to use Modal for hosting their model.

API Strategy and Business Model

  • The venture offers a closed API to select customers with a minimum spend requirement.
  • This approach enables other companies to integrate the venture's audio features into their applications.

"We have a closed API that we give to like specific customers like we have a spend limit of like, you have to spend at least 10K, and you'll get access to it."

  • The quote details the business model for API access, highlighting a targeted approach to customer selection based on spending thresholds.
  • The founder has a history of building and launching new apps rapidly, capitalizing on emerging AI models.
  • Staying informed on the latest research papers and industry trends is crucial for spotting opportunities.

"I spent a lot of time just working on these new models that were coming out and just kind of launching apps as fast as I could."

  • This quote reflects the founder's proactive approach to leveraging new AI developments for product creation.

Team Composition and Affiliate Marketing

  • The venture operates with a small team of engineers and a large network of affiliates for marketing.
  • A 16-year-old affiliate manager has been instrumental in managing the affiliate program.

"We have four or 5,000 Affiliates that do content for us. So like this one 16-year-old kid that kind of manages all of it."

  • The quote illustrates the scale of the affiliate marketing program and the surprising efficiency of a young affiliate manager.

Affiliate Program Software

  • The venture uses a software called Toltty for managing affiliate links.
  • Toltty's unique proposition is its ease of use for creating and tracking affiliate links.

"There's a software called Toltty which makes it really easy for people to make their own affiliate links."

  • The quote highlights the chosen software for the affiliate program and its key features that streamline the process for users.

Strategic Investors and Gaming Industry Focus

  • The venture has brought in strategic investors from the gaming industry to facilitate B2B expansion.
  • The goal is to grow the music market through accessible tools and to capitalize on the gaming industry's demand for audio solutions.

"I don't think you can build a billion-dollar company in music right now... but when you do the same thing for music which allows anyone to convert their voice into instruments... you can kind of grow the market in one way."

  • This quote discusses the strategic vision for expanding the music creation market and the parallel focus on the gaming industry.

Work Ethic and Productivity

  • The founder is highly dedicated to work, often sleeping little and waking up with new ideas.
  • A focus on productivity and ideation is a key aspect of the founder's work style.

"I spend so much time kind of just working on random stuff. I'll wake up in the middle of nights literally sometimes with just random ideas."

  • The quote conveys the founder's intense work ethic and the spontaneous nature of his ideation process.

Future AI Developments and Industry Implications

  • Upcoming improvements in text-to-audio and text-to-video models are anticipated.
  • The proliferation of deepfake technology and the need for verification methods are growing concerns.

"Over the next year, like those are the models that... text to image kind of improved the most this year but over the next year text to audio and text to video are going to improve a lot as well."

  • The quote predicts significant advancements in AI models related to audio and video, indicating potential shifts in various industries.

Theme: Pivoting to Emerging Technologies

  • The speaker pivoted to a new field because of the rapid adoption of new business models and the immediate utility and value that applies to every business.
  • They believe that the long-term impact of crypto and Web 3.0 will be significant, though the current focus is on technologies that have immediate applications.
  • The speaker is excited to discuss Web 3.0, indicating a personal interest and expertise in the area.

"The reason I pivoted was because I realized there's this problem of adoption, and I should probably find a way to make money really quickly, and all these new models are coming out, so it made it really easy to kind of just move over because everyone is adopting it way quicker."

  • The quote explains the speaker's decision to pivot to emerging technologies due to their quick adoption and potential for immediate financial gain.

Theme: Identity Verification in Web 3.0

  • Discusses the potential of NFTs with World ID to verify identities across the internet, similar to Twitter's verification model.
  • The speaker has been scanned by World ID, which uses iris scanning technology to confirm identity.
  • The process involves scanning the iris with a device called "the orb" and receiving a payment for participation.
  • World ID offers an ID app with its own wallet, which currently does not support other assets.
  • The NFT representing the ID cannot be transferred, but the associated currency can be.

"NFTs with World ID will do that across the entire internet, so you have to connect your wallet that proves that this is you, a real human, with an NFT."

  • This quote highlights the speaker's belief in the potential of NFTs combined with World ID to provide identity verification across the internet.

Theme: The Impact of AI on Web 3.0 Adoption

  • AI is seen as a catalyst that will expedite the adoption of Web 3.0.
  • The speaker believes that the need to stop deep fakes will drive the integration of real identity verification on social media accounts.
  • They suggest that AI and the need to combat deep fakes will necessitate the move to Web 3.0.

"AI is going to expedite the adoption of Web 3.0. That's my assumption."

  • The quote reflects the speaker's assumption that AI will play a crucial role in accelerating the adoption of Web 3.0 technologies.

Theme: World ID's Technical Infrastructure

  • There is a discussion about whether World ID operates on its own blockchain, with the speaker expressing uncertainty and a need to research further.

"Do you know if World ID is its own blockchain? I'm not sure, I'll need to look into that."

  • This quote shows the speaker's curiosity about the technical details of World ID and acknowledges a gap in their knowledge.

Theme: Zero-Knowledge Proofs and Privacy

  • The speaker explains the concept of zero-knowledge proofs and their importance for privacy in digital IDs.
  • They provide an analogy for zero-knowledge proofs, emphasizing the ability to prove something without revealing the underlying information.
  • The speaker advocates for digital IDs that use zero-knowledge proofs, especially those not issued by the government.

"Zero-knowledge proofs are the reason you want to trust IDs, and if you want digital IDs, you want NFTs, and you want zero-knowledge proofs not from the government."

  • The quote captures the speaker's endorsement of zero-knowledge proofs as a privacy-preserving mechanism for digital IDs and their preference for non-governmental solutions.

Theme: Opportunities in AI and Software Development

  • The speaker discusses the potential of using open-source AI models for specific applications, such as a text-to-image generator for dog pictures.
  • They believe that combining AI models in unique ways presents a significant opportunity.
  • There is a concern that dependency on a single API, like OpenAI's, could be risky for startups.

"All these models, if you have distribution for a specific angle, you can now generate images of your dog in Paris, in France, wherever you want."

  • The quote suggests leveraging AI models to create tailored solutions for specific markets or interests.

Theme: The Future of the AI Landscape

  • The speaker predicts a growth in the number of micro-apps due to easier market entry and the help of AI and no-code tools.
  • They foresee a few large companies dominating entire industries due to their computational resources, like OpenAI with its GPU capabilities.
  • The speaker advises finding a balance between launching a polished product and iterating in the wild to capture market share.

"I think micro tools are going to grow like 10x over the next year."

  • This quote indicates the speaker's expectation of significant growth in the development of micro-apps due to the lowering barriers to entry in the software market.

Theme: Strategies for Starting a Software Business

  • The speaker outlines a playbook for starting a software business without coding knowledge, emphasizing the importance of finding someone with distribution (a large following).
  • They suggest partnering with a developer who is attracted to the project's potential for quick user acquisition due to existing distribution.
  • The speaker recommends leveraging distribution to attract developers and then leading a project that brings both elements together.

"If you have distribution, you can sell anything. So go first find distribution, then find a Dev that's willing to work on your project with you."

  • The quote emphasizes the importance of having a built-in audience or distribution channel when launching a software product.

Theme: Marketing Strategies for Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • The speaker discusses the importance of having a reason for people to share your product, which can be as effective as having an influencer promote it.
  • They mention that influencers are increasingly interested in building software products as a more sustainable business model compared to content creation on platforms like YouTube.
  • The speaker notes that the SaaS business model allows for predictable income and is attractive to influencers looking to diversify their revenue streams.

"If you can go to an influencer and be like, hey, I know you have this type of brand, I can help you build a software product in the next two months if you want to work with me."

  • The quote suggests a strategy for collaborating with influencers to leverage their brand and audience to promote a software product.

Theme: Finding and Working with Developers

  • The speaker shares insights on how to find and engage with developers, recommending joining Discord communities and other platforms where developers congregate.
  • They advise on using creative tactics like posting a coding challenge to identify talented developers.
  • The speaker emphasizes the synergy between developers and distributors as a powerful combination for successful projects.

"If you can find the pocket where Devs live, where Devs learn, you would find hundreds of devs."

  • This quote provides practical advice on locating developers by engaging with communities and platforms where they are active.

Affiliate Marketing and Product Quality

  • Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for product distribution.
  • Providing incentives for affiliates can significantly boost a product's reach.
  • A good product should be simple and perform its intended function well.
  • High-quality products naturally gain traction through word-of-mouth.

"Affiliates actually have huge power, and people have a frowned reason to use it; they don't really use it that often."

  • This quote emphasizes the underutilization of affiliate marketing despite its effectiveness in increasing product distribution.

"If you can understand Affiliates and provide someone a reason to share your product, that's a big thing."

  • The quote suggests that grasping the concept of affiliate marketing and incentivizing sharing can be pivotal for a product's success.

"If you actually just make a simple really good product that actually does what it intends to do, you'll have good distribution just by people talking about it."

  • A high-quality product that fulfills its purpose will naturally be promoted through customer satisfaction and recommendations.

Viral Marketing and Demonstrations

  • Creating engaging and innovative demo videos can lead to viral marketing success.
  • Demonstrating a product's unique features in a relatable way can capture audience interest.
  • Novel ideas expressed through demos can lead to high engagement on social media platforms.

"I took my voice, and I would just hum a rhythm into the microphone, and I would convert it into an instrument... it was super viral on Twitter; it got like 4,000 likes."

  • This quote illustrates the impact of a creative product demonstration that resonates with the audience, leading to viral attention on social media.

Content Creation and Personal Branding

  • Leveraging content creators can help in promoting products without direct involvement.
  • Building a personal brand can be a strategic move for launching and selling products.
  • Personal branding provides a platform for quick product launches and initial sales boosts.
  • A strong personal brand offers networking benefits and adds value to collaborations.

"A lot of our content, we don't do ourselves; big content creators just made [it] because our product was good."

  • The quote highlights the advantage of having a quality product that encourages content creators to independently promote it.

"If you have like a personal brand... you can kind of sell anything."

  • Personal branding is portrayed as a powerful tool that enables individuals to market and sell products effectively due to established trust and audience reach.

Business Models and Learning from Others

  • Courses can be a lucrative business model but require expertise and credibility.
  • Learning from successful entrepreneurs and businesses can provide valuable insights.
  • It's important to understand the intricacies of one's product and market.

"Courses are probably one of the best business models, but you do kind of have to earn the right to sell a course."

  • This quote conveys the idea that authority and experience are prerequisites to creating and selling a successful educational course.

"Success is 80% consistency, and 10% luck, and 10% skill."

  • The quote suggests that perseverance is the most crucial factor in achieving success, with luck and skill playing secondary roles.

Software Tools for Business Operations

  • Various software tools are recommended for analytics, database management, communication, and organization.
  • Tools like PostHog and Retool provide valuable insights through analytics and data visualization.
  • Superhuman is highlighted as an essential productivity tool for email management.

"PostHog is by far the best analytical tool out there... it's open source."

  • PostHog is recommended for its comprehensive analytical capabilities and open-source nature, allowing for extensive user behavior insights.

"Retool... can make really nice graphs of what information is in your database."

  • Retool is praised for its ability to create visual representations of data, aiding in understanding and decision-making.

"Superhuman is something that if you take from me, I'm gonna fight to have it back."

  • Superhuman's value is emphasized by the speaker's strong preference for the tool's efficiency and features in managing emails.

Entrepreneurial Insights and Predictions

  • Entrepreneurs must be prepared to make difficult decisions and adapt to challenges.
  • Understanding both the big picture and the minute details of one's business is crucial.
  • Looking to the future, consistent effort and adaptability are key to navigating the changing entrepreneurial landscape.

"Sometimes your brain just convinces you like you have to make a choice, but why not do both?"

  • The quote suggests that entrepreneurs should challenge conventional decision-making and consider unconventional solutions.

"If you just keep kind of going at it, no matter what, you'll figure it out."

  • Persistence is highlighted as a critical factor in overcoming entrepreneurial challenges and achieving success.

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