Featured Startup: Tribute
This week we sat down with Andrew Horn, the founder of Tribute. Tribute is a collaborative video editor that makes it easy for friends and family to celebrate a loved one during life’s big occasions.
Andrew was nice enough to share his company’s unique origin story and the most valuable business lessons he’s picked up along the way.
The story of Tribute all began with a birthday gift. Andrew’s girlfriend put out the word to a bunch of his family and friends, asking them to send in a video telling Andrew why they loved him. This resulted in a video montage that Andrew found to be the most meaningful gift he ever received.
“Two minutes in and I’m balling my eyes out,” said Andrew.
He asked his girlfriend how she had managed to put together such a beautiful gift.
“I remember her telling me that it sucked,” he laughed. “Apparently it was a pain to get everything together.”
From there, everything clicked and an idea was born.
Andrew felt that it shouldn’t be so hard to create “the most meaningful gift on earth.”
The result from this light-bulb moment? Tribute.
“Tribute is the easiest way to build a collaborative video montage,” explained Andrew.
With Tribute, you don’t have to send out emails, or deal with auto reminders. Wrangling your friends and family would no longer be an issue.
“It’s as easy as collecting files and submitting them,” Andrew explained.
Tribute is still a fairly new business on the scene. Based out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn the company has only been around for about two years. Still, even in that amount of time, Andrew has amassed a wealth of applicable business advice and entrepreneurial lessons.
When asked about the most valuable lesson he’s learned thus far, Andrew emphasized that treating business as an opportunity to help others was of utmost importance.
He built his entire company from the idea that “if you have something nice to say, you should say it!”
Andrew himself is a staunch believer in paying it forward. After he experienced the first “tribute” montage, he knew that other people could benefit from receiving one as well.
Another piece of advice he was eager to share happened to apply more to the personal world.
“All too often we wait for a loved one to pass away to say how much we love them. Starting Tribute has shown me that we should be doing that now, while we still can and while they’re still around to hear it.”
Andrew also made it clear that true entrepreneurs shouldn’t have excuses.
“The essence of entrepreneurship is resourcefulness,” he explained. “Entrepreneurs should never give up just because they don’t know the answer to a particular problem.”
Andrew described how he’s a firm believer in “GTS”.
“That stands for ‘Google that shit!,’” he said. “You can never not know, anyone can Google anything and become an expert.”
Andrew also expressed how one of the most satisfying aspects of entrepreneurship was the union of creativity and impact.
“I consider myself a social entrepreneur,” he said. “Starting your own business can be the perfect melding of creativity.”
His belief that entrepreneurs should strive to make the world a better place and help people has been his driving force.
“That’s what’s most fulfilling about my business,” he said.
Of course, he admitted, entrepreneurship isn’t without challenges.
Andrew said the struggle of developing real, exponential growth and user acquisition is always difficult.
“You need to keep searching,” he explained. “But finding out what gasses the fire can be tough.”
Still, he said, the pros heavily outweigh the cons, especially when you provide a service that gives people such an impactful gift.
Despite everything he’s learned, Andrew still considers this only the beginning of the Tribute journey.
While up until now Tribute has been primarily used for friends and family to give personalized gifts for events like birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries, Andrew hopes to take the company even further.
“We’ve been exploring new opportunities,” he said. “Like introducing Tribute to funeral homes, wedding planners. These types of businesses could offer Tribute to their clients.”
However, Andrew said, no matter how the brand evolves, the most important part of Tribute is keeping up with the company’s original mission of enabling people to receive the most meaningful gift of all.
“That’s what it’s all about.”
Interested in creating a Tribute? Check it out!