alexchung

Alex Chung

Founder and CEO at Giphy

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON May 16, 2016

Discussion

Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Thank you for clearing up the GIF vs. JIF debate at TechCrunch Disrupt
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@nivo0o0 Hard Gs y'all
Frank Jania
Frank Jania@fjania · VPE @ Tapestry and Gifyourself.in
@alexchung @nivo0o0 What will we call them when they're animated PNGs, or when they're displayed as MP4?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@fjania @nivo0o0 I think "GIF" has probably broken free from the literal definition applied to it in the 80s by now. Now that this short moving image is something that has been recognized as definable and distinct from photography, film, and other media format I think we need a name for it. GIF is good enough for me. The future of this format will most likely be MP6 or some variation of it. This is analogous to "film" representing all the films that were never shot on actually film.
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
Good Morning!
Charles Kunene
Charles Kunene@charles_kunene · Co-founder & Product Designer @Obaa
What's one use case of Giphy that surprised you?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@charles_kunene A mother came up to me at SXSW and told me how she teaches her autistic son how to recognize human emotions by showing him repeating gifs on Giphy. There hadn't been a place on the internet where she could go through hundreds of different expressions in one place.
Gabriel Reynard
Gabriel Reynard@gabrielreynard · Business Lover ✌
@alexchung @charles_kunene That's amazing, you should talk more with this mother, maybe there's a opportunity for a new product
Charles Kunene
Charles Kunene@charles_kunene · Co-founder & Product Designer @Obaa
@alexchung Fantastic!!!
Gabriel Reynard
Gabriel Reynard@gabrielreynard · Business Lover ✌
Hi Alex, thanks for hosting this live chat! Recently you gave an interview to Wired where you say that you want to build a Giphy channel in the future, only with highlights of the things you see on other channels. But TV is loosing audience to internet, and sooner we will have VR's and other things. So, could you share with us your vision about how gifs will work with virtual reality and IoT? Thanks.
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@gabrielreynard So TV is losing audience but not the amount of content people are watching. The average US viewer watches between 6-8 hours of TV a day as that switches away from TV that's going to internet, mobile, etc... but I bet the average amount of hours will be the same. It's a zero sum game there. So some % of that will be gifs on all the platforms we use to be entertained and informed, basically wherever cute puppies are. We also have a Giphy VR app in the works, for real. It's awesome.
Gabriel Reynard
Gabriel Reynard@gabrielreynard · Business Lover ✌
@alexchung omg, I can't even think how a VR giphy app will "work", must be something truly amazing to experience. Thanks for the answer ☺.
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
Thanks for all the great questions guys! Will try to get to these in a bit. Good bye for now!
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hey Alex, how do you see Giphy as a platform? As the leader in all things GIF, do you see apps that plug into Giphy as competing? As an example, Google's new keyboard and the new Giphy Keys (which is great btw)
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@nivo0o0 I think the gif space is way too small yet for competition. We are trying to start an entire industry around the moving image. The more people in the space promoting the cause the better for the medium... and I'd like to meet and work with all of them! Gboard is dope, Giphy Keys and Slash are my go tos. As long as people are sending gifs and getting used to the idea we'll all move the needle on the revolution (not the Sanders one).
Laszlo Levente Mári
Laszlo Levente Mári@laszlolm · CEO @ Dakai - Blockchain Services
How will GIFs change the future? 🙈
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@noxowe The future is now! Most people think about gifs as this internet meme/fad filled with people posting their cats doing funny things but I see it more as the next evolution of photography. Before photography paintings were the best technology to capture the world around. With photography we were able to easily capture the world but only a second of it which isn't really how the world works. We were never able to capture time until film but we skipped over upgrading photography, Gifs = Photography 2.0! or wait are we 3.0 now.
Charmie Kapoor
Charmie Kapoor@charmiekapoor · co-founder @Zaffingo.com
Hey Alex! As you you already deep dived into the GIFs domain, what new kinds of problems are you going to solve next?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@charmiekapoor Outside of Gifs? I have a notebook of about 5000 problems I'd like to work on with smart people but high on that list are energy, inequality, and email cause it hurts my soul. But I would be happy working at a movie theater for the rest of my life (I'm was born a slacker from Seattle)
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
If you had to chose one GIF to be displayed on your tombstone in 2058, which one would you pick?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@tomstocklein Tombstone? The only tombstone I want is a microwave pepperoni pizza. I want to be cremated and turned into dust and be apart of the endless loop of the universe, woah.
Vinay Mimani
Vinay Mimani@wiredmau5 · Founder : trbble
Hi! How did you steer conversations related to monetisation in the early stages? Was it only user-growth that was your priority initially?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@wiredmau5 So if you're pitching your startup you have to show some kind of hockey stick growth curve right? You have two options 1. growth 2. revenue. If you're making revenue you have to be wary that people don't price you at a multiple of your revenue when you're still small. If you're on growth you better be exponential, this was our case, whew. If you have both you win, don't take investment and go rule the internet.
Jared Halpern
Jared Halpern@jaredehalpern · iOS Eng. Author: https://amzn.to/2J2ItUa
🔑's
Yosub Kim
Yosub Kim@yosub_kim
Alex, who is your favorite Korean at GIPHY?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@yosub_kim Becky then Danny then hmm....
Danny Chang
Danny Chang@thedannychang · Technical Partnerships Manager, GIPHY
@alexchung @yosub_kim Only a week in and already making big strides.
Jared Halpern
Jared Halpern@jaredehalpern · iOS Eng. Author: https://amzn.to/2J2ItUa
How has the culture at Giphy influenced the product itself?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@jaredehalpern Sup dude. After you convince yourself your product is awesome you have to convince your friends which means everyone at Giphy. That ends up being a high bar when you're talking about people who play with gifs all day. We only put out things that we think are awesome and that we use everyday. We launched the Slack integration after we had been using our own version internally for a year. That is to say without the culture at Giphy which supports being creative and being a weirdo we wouldn't have any of these awesome products out there that we use and you can tell what our culture is like by seeing our products and that's a good thing.
Connie Liu
Connie Liu@connie219
@alexchung love the slack integration! use it literally every day
David Rosenberg
David Rosenberg@david_rosenberg · BD at Giphy
Aliens invade our planet intent on destroying humankind. You are chosen to show them one GIF explaining why humanity should be spared. Which GIF do you show?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
Sarim Haq
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
What was your most successful growth hack during the initial days of Giphy?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@sarim_haq Before gifs were supported on most social networks we wrote a SWF that would decode a gif byte stream and turn it into a embeddable flash movie. This is how we got gifs everywhere originally.... so hacky I know.
Product Hunt GIF
Product Hunt GIF@producthuntgif · Giphy followed me 3/30/2016
Hiiii Alex, big fan of Giphy ☺️🙈 What can you tell us about Giphy Studio in LA? 🤔
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@producthuntgif Thanks! We're HUGE fans of Product Hunt. Giphy Studios is a group of amazingly talented artists in LA that we've put under one roof. This was a collaboration with the former team of Adult Swim and ADHD into creating a studio that could handle all the official gifs for everything. http://giphy.com/studios
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
How. Do. You (and your team). Make. These. Creations. 😮 https://twitter.com/giphy/status...
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@nivo0o0 We have all our talented artists at Giphy Studios!
Craig Andrew Cook
Craig Andrew Cook@craig_andrew_cook · Founder | Aybo.iOS
What was the hardest part about marketing your app?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@craig_andrew_cook Trying to explain to people what a GIF is. 99.9% of the world is like...
Craig Andrew Cook
Craig Andrew Cook@craig_andrew_cook · Founder | Aybo.iOS
@alexchung if you have 30 seconds for a quick email I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks for your time today as well. Cacook9@gmail.com Craig
Seenit Hunter
Seenit Hunter@seen_hunter
How did the concept of giphy initially come up?
Seenit Hunter
Seenit Hunter@seen_hunter
Curious to know the thought process.
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@seen_hunter Over brunch and a lot of drinks probably how most things are invented.
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@seen_hunter I'm pretty selfish when coming up with products. I only build things for myself. So if no one likes it or doesn't use it at least I made something that I like. So Giphy came from the problem of having gifs on our hard drives not being able to search for them on Google and them not playing on most social media sites. The last 3 years has been about fixing all these. I originally sent Giphy to 4 people to play with me and somehow it leaked and here we are. Oh convincing your friends to use your product is the next step and usually they laugh at you.
Mohamed Abbassi
Mohamed Abbassi@pixmonkey · Founder @Peps / Peps.io
Hey Alex, thanks for being here. what was the hardest part in building Giphy ?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@pixmonkey Hey! Thanks! The hardest part is always committing yourself to one idea full time and staying focused then convincing all your friends to come work with you on it. Also fundraising sucks yo.
Adam Cecil
Adam Cecil@fakeadamcecil · Marketing, PolicyGenius
I know Giphy has its own content department — what is the process for creating a new GIF at Giphy?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@fakeadamcecil We mostly use our own tools now. We have some fanciness internally but most of our editors use Giphy Capture, Gif Maker, as well as Giphy Studios for most of our gif making. We have some crazy tools we'll launch soon!
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Congrats on all the recent partnerships and integrations with Twitter, Tinder, Bumble, etc! How do you see GIFs vs. Emoji use in the next 6 months?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@mrsharma Emojis took years to get adopted. My mom just started using them like a few months ago. The transition to gifs will take some time but it will happen. There are about 1000 emojis in the world mostly defined by a small group of people. Why would use ever use an emoji when you can use millions of gifs from every cultural reference and event in history. The average human I think uses 2000 words daily and has about a 80k word vocabulary. What are you going to say with 1000 words? You'd sound like Brendan Frasier from Encino Man.
JB
JB@jay_bee12345 · Founder
How do you think GIFs will find a place in AR?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@jay_bee12345 (most) gifs are 2D. There are a ton of great artists doing amazing work in 3D right now. Just wait till you start seeing 4D gifs. That's crazy yo.
Juan Francisco
Juan Francisco@juanffrann · Founder - CEO || @Mementuum Sports App
What do you think its gonna happen with GIFs and copyrights?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
Juan Francisco
Juan Francisco@juanffrann · Founder - CEO || @Mementuum Sports App
@alexchung LOL holding hands w/copyrights !? I asked because, there's a huge gap between sports media and technology with this topic. We're trying to solve it with our app.
Mario Enrique Gonzalez Hernandez
Mario Enrique Gonzalez Hernandez@marioenrique · Software engineer at
@alexchung @juanffrann I feel curious about this too
Abhilash Jain
Abhilash Jain@findabhilash · Product Marketing / Growth
How do you see @giphy grow as a platform? Also will gifs change how we communicate in the future?
ARIEL
ARIEL@arielzorrilla · Creative Genius. Founder of Cuanto 🇩🇴
What do you think about GIF's and VR? Do you think there's a bridge between the two collaboratively in the near future that Giphy can build?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@arielsrodeo Gifs are going to be big in VR. I'll show you the demo sometime if you're around.
Emily Cavalier
Emily Cavalier@ecava · Twitter
@alexchung I want to see the demo. We're a few blocks away from you, in Chelsea - just have Simon say when!
ARIEL
ARIEL@arielzorrilla · Creative Genius. Founder of Cuanto 🇩🇴
@alexchung Thanks for replying! I'd be honored to see the demo when it's ready. Feel free to keep In touch.
Kris Shkodrani
Kris Shkodrani@kris_shkodrani
Hi Alex, thanks for taking questions. What did you guys do right at Giphy to become so successful?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@kris_shkodrani I'm not sure if we did anything right, ha. BUT the one thing I know we did is choose to work with all our friends. Startups come and go but waking up and getting to work with all you friends is something you want to make last forever.
Pierre-Marie Galite
Pierre-Marie Galite@tsunaze · mobile developer & advice giver
I use gifs and emojis everyday, in your opinion, what is the next shareable medium? 🕵 What would be the evolution of a gif, if not short videos?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@tsunaze Same thing. I think gifs ie short videos have a long way to go still. Once images on paper play and every static image moves we'll be there. I think there are going to be advances in audio (as soon as someone figures out how to listen to things in parallel) as well as advances in print, not sure what that is but someone will figure that out.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What life experiences do you think have helped shape you to be a leader?
Ben Basche
Ben Basche@basche42 · Product @ Multichoice
How do you think non-verbal communication will evolve over the next 5 years, and what role will GIFs play?
Yosub Kim
Yosub Kim@yosub_kim
asking for Tyler -- what is your favorite Pokémon?
Tyler Menzel
Tyler Menzel@tyler_menzel · Editorial Director at GIPHY
@yosub_kim I am legitimately curious.
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@tyler_menzel @yosub_kim I stopped talking about Pokemon when I decided I needed to get a date.
Jared Halpern
Jared Halpern@jaredehalpern · iOS Eng. Author: https://amzn.to/2J2ItUa
Jared Halpern
Jared Halpern@jaredehalpern · iOS Eng. Author: https://amzn.to/2J2ItUa
Who would win in a fight? Nick Hasty’s baby, or the office daschund, Maia? No performance-enhancing elements allowed. (I'm looking at you, Maia.)
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@jaredehalpern It matters who peed the most, in that case maybe Maia?
Bryan Landers
Bryan Landers@bryanlanders · COO, Backstage Capital
Do you have shared company values at Giphy? What's the vibe at HQ like? With such a vibrant, creative product intertwined with mainstream culture and human expression, one wonders how wild things get in there. 🙃
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@bryanlanders This is an outline of our company values. We could get into this but you might want to meet us for a drink on a friday night. Giphy Values Animated Experimental Expressive Friends Heart <3 Help Weird Witty Infinite Balance Alpha (0,0,0,1)
Bryan Landers
Bryan Landers@bryanlanders · COO, Backstage Capital
@alexchung Thanks! Oh wow. Those are everything I had hoped for and more. Care to share the story behind them on the Mission & Values podcast? Definitely a remarkable startup culture I'd love to feature and help promote! 🙇 bryanlanders@gmail.com
Yosub Kim
Yosub Kim@yosub_kim
This one is v urgent. F*ck, marry, kill -- GIF edition.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Alex, Congrats on your recent $55M Series C led by Lightspeed. How will you guys use the money to further grow Giphy?
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Have you ever considered merging with Imgur?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@tomstocklein Alan is the best. Big fans.
Charles Kunene
Charles Kunene@charles_kunene · Co-founder & Product Designer @Obaa
Does Giphy plan on monetizing its user base and what strategies have you looked at to do that?
Benji Taylor
Benji Taylor@deleted-168041
Interesting stuff.
Charles Kunene
Charles Kunene@charles_kunene · Co-founder & Product Designer @Obaa
What are the features that Giphy users want, that have not been released yet but are on the product roadmap?
Charles Kunene
Charles Kunene@charles_kunene · Co-founder & Product Designer @Obaa
What can Giphy grow to become in the next few years and how much more value can you deliver to your users?
Pratik Thaker
Pratik Thaker@pratikthaker · Rocket scientist and entrepreneur
Hey Alex! What place do you see for GIFs as a medium in a world where internet speeds are increasing and 4K video is getting popular. Why would consumers still use GIFs for short clips?
Jordan Gonen
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
What is the biggest mountain Giphy has to climb in the next year, 5 years, 10 years? (do you guys look that far out)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What is coming next for Giphy? What should we be prepared for?
JB
JB@jay_bee12345 · Founder
Do you think there is a market for an official set of animated Emoji GIFs?
Stephanie Bui
Stephanie Bui@stephanietbui
What is your beverage of choice?
alexchung
alexchung@alexchung · CEO/Founder @Giphy
@stephanietbui Gerolsteiner Sparkling Water then anything that smells of whiskey.
Stephanie Bui
Stephanie Bui@stephanietbui
@alexchung You are a simple man. Love it!
Guray
Guray@1ilk · Dinamit
GIPH why working at Facebook in .mp4 format