Founder Spotlight: Airion Watkins-Clark

Meet Airion Watkins-Clark our DivInc alumnus featured in this month’s Founder Spotlight series.

What is up to and how is COVID impacting business? ⁠⠀

As anticipated, COVID-19 had a negative impact on our network's traffic. While our creators still have audiences to cater to, they've sensibly reduced the production of location-based food and travel guides. Content that makes up 85% of all active guides across the Vessel network.  While this is still the case, we only saw a 37% drop in viewership. Combining the creativity of our current creators, the addition of new creators, and the pent up demand generated from thousands of quarantined fatigued consumers, our network has since organically stabilized. With recipe, family, fitness, and fashion media consumption generating a serious uptick, we've begun development on a new product we're calling Vessel Stories - It's a new feature that will allow our creators to mirror the content they're sharing on social media directly to a monetizable video player displayed on their website.

Any advice or insights you'd like to share?⁠⠀

The true value of a company is the sum of all problems solved. Move the needle on key KPIs and by any means necessary, stay alive. One path to consider is via partnerships. If you’re in a massive market where the incumbents are well-backed, find a competitor (prospective partner or buyer) with complementary strengths and do a deal that can help move the ball forward. Recently, we landed data partnership with our core-technology supplier; Mapbox. While I can respect the fact that we are indirect competitors, the partnership signals validation and yields operational advantages that have very quickly appreciated in value throughout the pandemic. So go find a partner and make sure 1+1=3.

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