I'm Andrew Mason, CEO and Founder of Descript, AMA ⚡️

Andrew Mason
20 replies
Hi everyone, Andrew here. I’m the CEO and Founder of Descript - our platform makes editing video as easy as editing text. Before focusing on Descript full-time I founded Detour which sold to Bose and Groupon which went public in 2012. Ask me anything! Questions about starting a company, floating a company, selling a company, the future of podcasts and audio, tools for collaborative editing, what it’s like transitioning from seed to series A or anything else! I’ll be answering questions at 10am PT on December 3rd


Stanislav Podyachev
Hi Andrew! I`d be happy to hear your opinion about micropayments (<1 cent) in Bitcoin Lightning Network. Which business models can it change? Could it be useful or it`s just an echo of hype?
Stanislav Podyachev
@andrewmason Bitcoin Lightning Network is a technology (or one of tech standarts) for offchain bitcoin microtransactions. To keep it simple it is the tool to accept smallpayments without banks and cards.
Phillip Martin
Hi Andrew Just the man we'd like to talk to!! I wanted to get your thoughts on video as a gifting medium similar to how we gift our photos today i.e. creating physical products to display and consume our personal video memories. We've very recently launched a service (www.viftbox.com) that looks to combine elements of ecommerce with online video editing / creation for a DTC market. Our service allows users to upload video and photo files and then add music and a video style to create a video album of their moments. We actually provide a physical product at the end of this however called a video book. With your knowledge and experience of video do you think there is a space for this kind of product and could it become as popular as photo books are today? Sorry 2 questions there!
James Abayomi Ojo
Hi Andrew, Thanks for joining us here. My question are you getting signals that you should build out tools to enable music creators or would you prefer to partner with someone who has better access to this music segment
Andrew Mason
@jayyoms we have our hands full with narrative media!
Sarah Press
Hi Andrew, Thanks for doing this AMA! You are my favorite Chicago founder (the title is current location agnostic) and it's great to see what you're up to now. My questions: 1) What made you land on this particular startup concept. 2) Your original The Point idea was very grounded in social activism. Do you think you'll ever get back to those roots? I likely have more but those seem as good a start as any. Thanks again! Sarah
Andrew Mason
@spressto 1. Path dependency. We were building Detour, and this was an internal tool that turned out to be a better idea than Detour itself. 2. In a different way. As I've gotten older and had some experiences closer to power, my perspective has shifted on how to create change.
What advice would you give pre-Groupon-pivot Andrew (i.e when things weren’t quite working with The Point)?
Andrew Mason
@brothitable1 the funny thing is, if the pre-Groupon pivot Andrew pitched me The Point today, I'd tell him it's a terrible idea, and I'd be right, but it would have been bad advice because I needed to do that dumb thing to get into a position to make something worthwhile out of the rubble. I don't know what the lesson is in that other than that life is random and unfair!
Jono Lee
Hi Andrew! I liked what you were doing with Detour after Groupon, I thought it was a unique mobile take on tours but I see that the service is no longer active after selling to Bose. I'm curious what were your takeaways from working on Detour? What successful strategies did you use for growth? Are you bullish or bearish on investing in travel startups after Detour? I ask because I'm also working on a travel app (https://www.producthunt.com/post...). Part of the problem that makes marketing hard is that the average traveler probably only travels once a quarter. I imagine you probably had this problem at Detour too. Any insights here would be super helpful!
Walid Shaar
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Alex Conway
Hi Andrew, first off I'm a huge fan of Descript, well done! I read a blog post on your blog comparing various cloud transcription models and saw your Google Cloud Platform case study. I'd love to hear your thoughts about building a business that's realiant on a cloud-hosted machine learning model that you're helping train but never own? It also limits the kinds of applications you can build because some situations prohibit you from sending audio to the cloud (e.g. banking customer service audio recordings). It sucks that you can't download and run these kinds of models yourself...
Riva Puati
Hi Andrew As someone with who's been a long time music/audio technology fan, I really admire what you're doing with Descript. My questions to you: 1. What advice would you give someone who's looking to get into the Podcasting space right now, especially with a SAAS product in mind? 2. In regards to validating MVPs, how did you come up with the concept of Descript and what was the biggest hurdles and obstacles throughout your journey?
Robin Nessensohn
Hi Andrew what would you stay is the most important factor to get traction when launching a new product? Thanks so much!
Martin Jensen
Hi Andrew! I love Descript and I loved Detour – which was hands down the best value I've gotten from an app, ever. So, my question is: Will we see Detour again? I miss the app like crazy, and I'm hoping Bose gives it new life. Can you shed any light on the matter?
Hi Makers - this AMA is now closed. Thanks for participating and thanks @andrewmason for your time sharing insight.