Vitalii Romanchenko is the CEO and Co-founder of Elai.io. He has 10+ years of experience in Product and Project Management, leading software product development for world-famous companies and brands. During his career he managed to work with various products, gain millions in revenue for the companies, launch new features and build strong teams. After building a successful career, Vitalii has decided to focus on building his own startup, which, he believed, will put his skills and knowledge on the whole new level. And it turned out to be true.
Elai.io is an innovative AI product whose main goal is to make video creation process fast and affordable and address the problem of costly process of making changes to existing video, localising it for different markets and finding the actors. Moreover, recently Elai team has launched a feature which allows you to create videos from a link to a blogpost. Video creation has never been so easy and effortless.
Even though working on Elai is very challenging, it gives Vitalii an opportunity to try himself as a CEO, operations director, accountant, marketer, designer, recruiter and much more. It would never be possible for him as a hired employee and it definitely opens new horizons for him as an entrepreneur.
Where did the idea for Elai.io come from?
I have always wanted to create something cool and I’ve actually created several products which, unfortunately, didn’t last.
Thus, one day I was talking to Alex, my Co-founder (who was playing with different ML solutions) and we came up with the idea of an AI product which could generate video content with digital human-like presenters just from text without camera, studio, actors, re-shooting, post-production and other hassle. So, we did an initial research and started to work on this idea straight away.
So, currently, the advanced AI algorithms allow creating videos with an AI presenter In a matter of minutes that significantly decreases the time and cost needed for video production. Any changes can be done instantly, which saves precious time and a significant amount of money.
Everyone can now afford a professional video.
Moreover, people who are eager to use the solution, but want to stay the face of the brand, can request a custom avatar.
They’ll be able to talk to their audience in different languages, create videos in a matter of minutes and dedicate the time they’ve saved to other business priorities. And that’s what excites me about it.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually wake up at 7.30 (well, to tell the truth, it is my kid who wakes me up, so I just need to obey, haha). Then, spend time with my family, read news, and have breakfast. Next, I start to work, checking the emails and numbers from the previous day; I use Trello to organize my daily tasks and Calendly to schedule the meetings.
In the middle of the day, I have a short walk to grab a coffee with my wife and go back to work till 8 p.m.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe it is crucial for the CEO to understand what ideas are worth focusing on and what should be thrown away. That is why I validate ideas before investing time and effort into them. It might be a discussion with a team, group of customers, or a quick A/B test to see which idea is worth tackling. Once a decision is made, I make a plan, divide it into small tasks, order them according to priorities, dependencies and level of uncertainty and start to work on them.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m super excited about AI video creation and how Deep Learning algorithms revolutionise the video production industry. I believe that in the future, everyone will have their own digital twin that will be used in content creation
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Using Kanban board and prioritising my to-do list
I’m also convinced that investing time into sports gives a lot of energy and motivation and makes me much more productive and efficient
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do sports consistently;
Invest more time into practical experience, theoretical knowledge is overrated; learn as you go, and you’ll get the results.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
My cat loves me more than my wife.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be bold, try new stuff, read, and talk to people who are smarter than you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Finding product market fit, making sure that the product addresses the customer’s needs;
Participating in conferences, sharing information about my product everywhere
Believing in my product and working on it relentlessly
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Hiring a wrong person, who turned out to be a fraud. Luckily, I noticed it before it became too late.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Organic edible coffee lid
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Donation to Ukrainian Armed Forces. It was more than $100, but anyway
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Trello, Notion, Calendly, Figma
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Lean Startup – Eric Ries. Building a working prototype and getting frequent customers feedback is essential.
What is your favorite quote?
sapere aude (dare to know)
- Validate your ideas before implementation. It could save you tons of money
- Use Project Management tools to be more effective in your daily activities
- AI will take over the world
- Dare to know. Always look for opportunities to grow
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.