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AI for Professionals: Building Brand Identity, Authenticity, and People-Connection with The Multiverse AI

February 19, 2024

Tanya and Zeeshaan (Co-Founders of The Multiverse AI) share their journey and inspiration of turning AI generated images into high quality professional portraits for businesses, saving them time and resources

How The Multiverse AI captures the niche needs of AI

Siska: Can you share a little bit about what inspired the creation of The Multiverse AI?

Zeeshaan: Tanya and I got in touch a couple of years ago, and actually, the first time we met, we were already brainstorming business ideas. We both have an entrepreneurial mindset and want to do something innovative. Then, in November 2022, there was a big AI boom when stable diffusion was launched, and these really cool chatGPTs were also introduced around that time.

We realised that our skill sets are diverse. Between the three of us, our skills complement each other very well. I am a software developer, Tanya is exceptional at various PR and marketing tasks, and our third co-founder is a senior designer. And we thought, why not try it? We're early in the wave, so let's start building something and benefit from our unique skills that the three of us have.

We spent a few nights and days in a hackathon-like session, and finally, we launched in April. We began with generating portraits. That was already fascinating, right? You could enter a sentence like "an astronaut on a horse on the moon," and it would actually display that. It was really impressive. But now, the technology has advanced so much that it's no longer newsworthy.

We eventually focused on artistic portraits and we had one option for professional portraits, which turned out to be the most popular choice, accounting for 90% of the demand. At that point, we realised that we had something valuable. People want professional headshots of themselves, which saves them both time and money. From there, it exploded.

Tanya: We were really excited about AI, chatGPT, and image generation. It felt very natural for us to collaborate on that. We didn’t really expect it to become such a big thing. It'll be a really fun project that we can start with, but then it kind of took off from there.

Creating genuinity, maintaining consistency, and saving resources through photos

Siska: What makes The Multiverse AI unique compared to other products in the same category?

Tanya: The main point is, if you're considering things like this from a business perspective, your professional headshot really matters. It's the initial point of contact when you're an account manager or a salesperson. It truly helps people connect with each other, whether it's on LinkedIn, email, or elsewhere.

Your professional headshot really matters. It’s the initial point of contact and truly helps people connect with each other.

Businesses face a big problem when they have a remote team because it's hard to keep the photo consistent across the entire organisation. You can try organising company events or make sure everyone meets off-site once or twice a year. But the company spends a lot of money to ensure that everyone can attend, including booking hotels and possibly hiring a photographer. It takes up an entire day that is meant for team bonding.

If you work as a remote team now, you have a new option that wasn't available before. You can have AI headshots created that are consistent for your entire organisation. Whether that’s the colour of your clothing or the background choices. It is the best option available to you.

For other companies, it's the same situation. For example, being a project manager and having to arrange a photographer for 300 people is extremely difficult. Many project managers have told us, "This has really helped me out because otherwise, I had no way to accomplish anything else other than this headshot." For tasks like creating pitch decks or designing landing pages, it's a huge time saver and a real added value.

Zeeshaan: It's as simple as uploading your photos and receiving them within 2 hours. You need to upload around twelve to fifteen photos, which helps the model learn your appearance. Essentially, it spends about an hour studying about your face, and then it generates headshots based on that.

Adding value to the market by constantly improving and having team alignment

Siska: How has the journey been so far for The Multiverse AI?

Zeeshaan: Generally, our experience has been mostly positive. Business-wise, the three of us have strong, different views, which can sometimes cause differences. I would say that this can be a challenge as we try to make decisions together.

It’s great that we’re making a product that has value for so many people.

However, this way of working also helps us use each other’s skills set. We started out as friends, which is great. We get through disagreements. It’s great that we’re making a product that has value for so many people. And, to do that with your friend is a dream.

Tanya: We launched last year in April without any funding, and now we're profitable. We've just hired our first employee and we’re looking to grow further. It's hard to believe how much we've grown in just nine months. Last April, I was working for a large smartphone company in Germany. Then I quit to focus on The Multiverse AI, and it's been an extremely satisfying and interesting opportunity.

We're constantly launching new things and improving. There are so many plans that are coming out in the pipeline, but our challenge is figuring out what to do first with our small team. It's a lot of work, but we're excited about what's to come.

Bootstrapping and having fewer co-founders is a strength as it reduces alignment problems. In a corporate environment, even small changes require hours of meetings, budget allocation, and persuasion. Whereas in our team, decisions are made quickly through direct communication and decide together.

There are pros and cons. It depends on your personality and what you enjoy doing. But, many people don't realize that bootstrapping is a real option. In the past two years, we've seen companies, even solo entrepreneurs or small teams, grow from nothing to millions. This is a big change compared to five years ago when it was very rare.

Accomodating specific requests of professions and attires: From tech startups to sports managers

Siska: When you mentioned new products in the line, could you share examples or scenarios of how The Multiverse AI is used for startups or smaller-scaled companies?

Tanya: They are out now and we’re so happy to give you access to this! The very exciting product we’re launching is called Custom. It's like Chat GPT, but for your profile photo. For instance, I can make it look like I'm in Bali, or you can appear in Barcelona by the Sagrada Familia.

We rolled it out to some beta testers and apparently, people love using it to put themselves with pets. Apart from fun uses, there are the professional uses. You could wear a t-shirt with your company's name and corporate colour on it in the photo.

Siska: How can teams personalize this tool to fit their specific goals and workflows?

Zeeshaan: Well, let's take an example. We had a customer, a sports manager, who needed photos of himself in formal attire with a stadium background. That experience made us realize the importance of customization. Initially, I created a simple version of customization and the customer used it to generate over 500 photos. This made us realize that customization can cater to a wide range of specific needs.

While some people may simply want a professional headshot, others might need a specific background or color scheme. Our tool can accommodate such specific requests.

While some people may simply want a professional headshot, others might need a specific background or color scheme. Our tool can accommodate such specific requests. We provide multiple photos at once, creating a lot of variety. If you need a picture with a stadium in the background, you'll get 50 different versions to choose from, and pick the one that you like best with the optimal angle.

Initially, we'll offer 20 images for free. For $24, you'll get 100 photos plus an extra 20 custom photos. We'll then sell photos on a per-credit basis, letting you buy as many as you need. Buying more photos at once reduces the cost per photo. We'll adjust our plans based on user feedback and usage patterns.

On the Roadmap: Making professional headshot accessible to everyone

Siska: What's the future for The Multiverse AI?

Zeeshaan: That’s the question! We've got about 20 ideas to explore, but with our small team, deciding what to focus on is tricky. One thing we're eager to see is how this new feature will work, especially for big companies. We're keen to understand how it can benefit them.

Tanya: There are two main areas we're looking to grow. One of them could be particularly useful for startups in Southeast Asia. But, stepping back, our aim with The Multiverse AI is to make sure everyone can get high-quality portrait photos. It's important because the way we present ourselves matters.

For example, when you see someone with a great photo on LinkedIn, you might want something similar. Having a good headshot can boost your confidence and improve your chances of getting a job, as many job opportunities come from LinkedIn and networking. Now, you don't need to pay a lot for that. You can get it without leaving home. So, a big part of our growth will be helping those who can't usually get this level of portrait photography. You can use any smartphone to take photos in bright outdoor light, then upload them to The Multiverse AI and edit them as needed.

The second point is this is great for everyone, from individuals to big groups. People who work in offices usually want a professional look, like a studio background or a shirt with a collar. But other professionals have different needs. Construction workers might want a shot with a hardhat and vest, doctors might prefer a hospital background and scrubs, and actors need specific headshots. With our tool, everyone can customize their headshots to suit their needs. Before, we only catered to office workers, but now everyone can generate the image they want.

Our goal is to democratise great photos, so everyone has the chance to get a professional headshot.

Zeeshaan: Our goal is to democratise great photos, so everyone has the chance to get a professional headshot. This is the message we want to get out there and the product we want to create.

Tanya: Exactly. I want to add, especially for those new to this field, that AI is not scary. Many people find it intimidating because they don't fully understand what it can do. It's natural to fear the unknown.

But there are many AI tools, like Chat GPT and The Multiverse AI, that are easy to use and readily available. Start experimenting with them and try them out. Don't hesitate to ask for help from your tech-savvy friends.

If you don't have anyone to ask, feel free to message me. My inbox is always open! Start exploring AI, get comfortable with it. It can open up many exciting opportunities and make things both fun and efficient, not only on your work but also your life. So, don't be afraid of AI.

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