Dimitris Drandakis, Co-founder & CTO of mediastalker.ai on applying cutting-edge AI/ML technologies.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Mediastalker.
Dimitris Drandakis: Back in the late ’00s, I worked as a software engineer in Athens – Greece. After 10+ years in the field, I felt I was coming to a stand-still career so I decided to move to an Ionian Sea island, switching to the tourism industry. That proved to be a wise decision since the economic turbulence hit my country harder than all the rest and tourism was one of the few untouched industries. A few years later when software engineering knocked on my door again with Mediastalker, my heart beat strongly. I put on the CTO cap and the rest is history in the making.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Dimitris Drandakis: Spending quality time with things totally outside the business ecosystem is always essential to boost one’s performance at the workplace. For me what works best is spending time with my family, caring for strays as well as my pets, doing pilates and taking long walks at the beach clears my mind and refreshes me for the hard days at work. After all those peaceful stuff, I am blasting some extreme metal music to keep myself focused on the ruthless startup grinder.
How does Mediastalker market its product/services online?
Dimitris Drandakis: We apply a mixed marketing strategy and we are very flexible to taste new things and quit non-working methods. Since we are b2b, we are doing a lot of `Below the Line` marketing activities. All the current promotion channels are being followed. However, what recently came up is that despite how good we are at what to do, corporate clients are always skeptical to work with startups and scaleups.
We realized that brand awareness is what we need to grow and we are moving in this direction.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Dimitris Drandakis: Everything is around content and building a strong audience. Producing good content is half of the job. We make our content and we have a partnership with a marketing agency as well. Publishing good content in multiple ways is our top priority. Having quality content stored in our channels, we are confident to invest in selected `Above the Line’ publicity activities to enforce bigger viewership and also get a reliability certificate that way. Of course, the basis of our marketing is our software and all the minor and major successes we record for our clients.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Dimitris Drandakis: One thing. Sparkling eyes. Yes, sparkling eyes over CVs & degrees and the attitude `let’s pretend we are the ideal company for you and you are the ideal candidate for us.` Retain is on fairness, motivation and being always accessible to each member of the team. All the rest are coming next. So far, so good!
How are you funding your growth?
Dimitris Drandakis: One word. Clients. Recurring client revenue is our driving force. Even if we have to reorder budget allocation, we stayed out of early-stage external funding. We discuss it with everyone out there, but to be honest we are not interested in the usual procedures. We are in the soonicorn path, going there or nowhere. That simple.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dimitris Drandakis: We have competitors of all sizes and styles from all over the world. We are the most cutting-edge and effective in what we do, namely in the digital protection of intellectual property (IP) in the media space. We provide the overall best experience out there for our clients. We are gaining market share, we grow and expand, and our plug n’ play solution is being recognized as the ‘hard to believe until you see’ item of our sector. We are the media content protection benchmark & leaders. We are always upgrading our services and recently we launched in a new industry, setting new rules there as the only player in the game. Stay tuned!
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Piece of cake! We are the secret sauce on the Greek audiovisual media revival recipe. Achieving full control of the traditional movies portfolio online availability, we helped the asset owners rebound and save their property, while getting new agreements with the distributors. In a nutshell, we were the instrument for millions of Euros addressing the market, in a win-win case for all the involved parties.
What is coming next from your company?
Dimitris Drandakis: We are on exciting new things to introduce. Things we still working on and we have to carefully launch in order to change the world in our domain. I even dare to say that we are in the process of re-drawing the Content Protection domain itself. I can share that we have the map to the Holy Grail and we are ready to noisy disrupt Privacy. We cannot disclose much, but we have already done a fantastic job there by bringing back the smile on peoples’ faces.
Your final thoughts?
Dimitris Drandakis: Economic Crisis. Pandemic. War. Inflation. Interest rates paradox. Energy crisis. What is going on guys? Being an entrepreneur is at the same time blessing and curse. No magic tricks, no success paths to follow. You make your own way day by day. Only two things in common for all the co-passengers to go under. Focus and stand up again. Because you’re gonna fall, for sure. And a third one is the motto of my co-founder Constantinos. Stone Deaf, Forever.