Magi Metrics – Milo Spencer-Harper
Milo Spencer-Harpers’ Magi Metrics software helps marketers target their product directly at Instagram influencers.
The software acquires data from Instagram and it’s analysed by businesses to determine the bloggers who can help them grow their brand through product offerings.
The 26 year old, from Harrow, talks about his experience of leaving his full-time job to enduring 12 months of making no profit from his product.
“I’ve always known what I don’t want to do”
“I was 15 years old when I started my first company, which was to go around and fix people’s computers in the village.
I did it for three years and sold it to my dad when I left to study Economics and Management at University of Oxford.
I really enjoyed that experience and that made me think that I wanted to do another company again.
I got my current idea by accident.
I spent a lot of time doing Excel and marketing reports at my old job and I thought it would be great if I can automate that and bring it from different services.
But I was intimidated by competition so I decided to do something slightly different, which was to find out how to get data from ‘X’ into excel where ‘X’ is a web application like Wufoo, Twitter and Basecamp.
People signed up to my site from Google and there were a lot of people going to the Instagram page, which gave me an idea so I started talking to these customers.
My customers are businesses within any industry and all over the world who want to grow their products or services through Instagram.
To give one example, I have a customer who sells high heel shoes and use my software to find people who blog about fashion on Instagram and reaches out to offer them free shoes or money if they talked about the brand.
“Doing a Start-Up has always been my ambition”
I left my job in November, last year, and I didn’t want to get another job. It was more of a shock to the system than I thought it would be because I’m normally quite confident and it was really weird not having a job any more.
I had to get over what people were thinking as they were quite sceptical about the whole start-up thing.
I guess the pressure was proving those people wrong.
The company at first only made non-monetary success like customers signing up and saying that they loved the product.
I took a break and went to Scotland and at that point I only had two paying customers even though 1000 people had signed up.
The revenue was flat and wasn’t going anywhere.
Freedom and Control
After quitting it for a month, I went back to work on it again and this time I had less to lose because I had almost given up on it.
So I did an experiment, which was my friend’s idea, to put a credit card sign-up form on the website.
People started inputting their credit card information and then it occurred to me that people actually want to pay for this.
That cut out people who were time-wasters and just wanted to get a free product.
I instead attracted people who actually wanted to pay for the product and it became clearer that Instagram was the one that people were interested in.
The biggest threat is usually yourself because you’re always going to doubt yourself in the beginning.
You have to realise that all companies have had to start from somewhere. But if you persevere, you get experience in that industry and also overcome your fears.
I want to diversify into other social media channels like Twitter and Facebook – I want to do a start-up in artificial intelligence because it’s such a huge industry in our generation.
The different thing about doing a start-up is you have complete freedom and control and no one is holding you back apart from yourself, which is terrifying but quite liberating.
It is completely your decision and I want to keep doing that my whole life if I can.”