Unlocking Digital Success through Experimentation: The Story of Henrique Chappuis, Founder of Inflame and Biteplay

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When it comes to building business online, sometimes the challenge can be more than just a lack of motivation or means, but instead, a struggle to hone in on your business concept itself.

Back in his early 20s, Henrique Chappuis knew he wanted to create a concept online and build it into something – he just didn’t know what. With nothing but determination to make a living through the internet, in 2015 he sold his guitar to raise funds and began experimenting with YouTube ad optimization. Eventually, through trial and error, he landed on his first social curation tool Biteplay – which is absolutely amazing. Not only that, but he continues to experiment and grow his business with new apps under his umbrella company, Inflame.

With more than 5k users, his software helps brands and content creators make profitable careers and nurture thriving business relations to boost their online profiles.

Allow me to introduce Henrique Chappuis…

So, who are you and what’s your business?

Hi, I’m Henrique Chappuis, a millennial born and raised in Brazil with a strong passion for digital business. My online journey began by building websites and trying to achieve success on MySpace with my rock band during my teenage years. However, the idea of making a full living through internet business didn’t occur to me until 2015.

In my early 20s, I was completely broke, but my obsession with building an online business led me to try anything to gain experience. I eventually discovered that promoting affiliate links to earn commissions was a viable option, and the best part was that I didn’t have to spend any money to do so. The process was straightforward: I would locate products with high-paying commissions and optimize YouTube videos using SEO for specific keywords.

This approach proved to be remarkably effective, and it sparked an idea in my mind: what if I could enhance these videos with YouTube ads? To raise funds for this endeavor, I sold my guitar, and my girlfriend (now wife) sold some rare LPs. The investment paid off, resulting in a predictable influx of cash. This is how I generated my first $100k online, starting from scratch.

I’ve always been passionate about creators, both as a consumer and now as a founder.

I am on a mission to connect creators and brands to help them leverage their careers.

About the Business:

  • My team and I are developing a suite of tools for creators under the umbrella of Inflame Inc.
  • Our first tool, Biteplay, allows you to curate your social media feed to showcase your content in the best possible light.
  • Additionally, Inflame app serves as a marketplace for social collaborations, connecting creators with like-minded individuals, brands and fans to grow their audiences and expand their reach.

What is your backstory and what inspired you to come up with / pursue this idea?

As I mentioned earlier, I began my journey by promoting affiliate products through YouTube ads. I discovered that YouTube provides the option to select specific videos for placing ads in front of their content. However, I soon realized that automating this process would make it much more efficient. That’s when I approached my cousin, Leonardo Chappuis, who was studying game development at the time. We had always talked about working on a project together, and he was enthusiastic about the idea.

This is how Biteplay, our first product, came to be.

Since then, we’ve been working tirelessly to expand our offerings and provide more tools for creators.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product or service- what was that like?

As a first-time founder in 2020, I relied heavily on gut feeling to guide my decisions. I even designed most of the UX/UI using PAINT (suck that figma!), which is a bit unconventional, but it worked for us. My co-founder, on the other hand, came from a background in C programming and was excited to learn about web app development using Javascript.

Our first product had a very basic interface, which was mainly focused on getting the job done. To speed up the process, we utilized https://material.io and conducted A/B tests and made discoveries along the way. It was a learning process, but we were able to create a functional product that met our users’ needs.

Describe launching the company… Where did you start?

To kickstart our marketing efforts, we conducted a massive outreach campaign on Facebook groups and forums like IndieHackers. Initially, Biteplay served as a YouTube video scraper that helped brands find creators and videos for better ad performance. This proposition was an easy sell for brands seeking to improve their ad campaigns.

As we gained momentum, we decided to offer monthly plans for $99 and were pleased to acquire our first paying users within days of launching.

What has worked to attract & retain customers so far?

The pivotal moment for us came when we launched on ProductHunt in 2020 and quickly rose to become the #2 product of the day/week. The exposure to such a massive audience opened up even more opportunities for us, such as launching our product in markets for lifetime deals, like PitchGround and AppSumo.

Thanks to these efforts, in our first year of operation, Biteplay was able to attract 5k users from all around the world. We’re proud of our progress thus far and are excited to continue growing our user base and offering more tools for creators.

What books, podcasts, or people have been the most influential on your journey?

To this day, my favorite resource for learning about startup journeys is the Y Combinator YouTube channel. They offer valuable insights for every stage of your journey, whether you’re just starting out or looking for your first seed round of funding.

As for books, several have helped me develop a strong business mindset, including:

  • The Social Network
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
  • Zero To One
  • Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
  • The Lean Startup
  • The 4-Hour Workweek
  • No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram
  • The E-Myth Revisited

My favorite podcast is undoubtedly the Lex Friedman YouTube channel, which offers insightful discussions on a range of topics related to tech, AI, and entrepreneurship.

How are things going today and what does the future look like?

Since our first launch lots of things have changed. Biteplay is not the product that was first developed to do. AI is getting better everyday and we decided to pivot our products to a suit tool for creators. We incorporated Inflame Inc as our lab to build new tools to help creators on their journey.

Biteplay.com is becoming the platform to curate and personalize your social feed and Inflame.app is a powerful tool to connect brands and fans with creators in the easy way.

At the time of writing this, we’re discussing our first seed round to accelerate our progress. If you are reading this in the future, you can check how the things are doing: inflame.wtf

Any advice for others who are just starting out?

Igniting rebellion, fueling innovation.

We firmly believe that to embark on a successful journey, one must be willing to take risks, make mistakes, and learn quickly.

We encourage everyone to challenge the status quo and push boundaries by doing things differently.

We believe that true innovation only takes place when we are willing to step outside our comfort zones and embrace the unknown. We encourage everyone to push past their fears and showcase their products, because it’s only through action that we can create meaningful change.

We believe in progress, not perfection, and strive to iterate quickly and make continuous improvements.

Innovation is a journey, not a destination, and we’re committed to fueling this journey by igniting rebellion, challenging the norm, and fueling innovation.

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