May 18, 2023

400k Followers in 30 Days in an AI World

400k Followers in 30 Days in an AI World

Today Greg is joined by Roberto Nickson, the entrepreneur and designer building Eluna AI, Metav3rse & MV3. In this episode, Greg and Roberto talk about how to win the game of social media using AI.

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Production Team:
Roberto Nickson:

0:00 - Intro
2:42 - Why you probably need an alt account
10:27 - Roberto's advice for new creators
19:26 - Go slow to go fast
30:33 - Roberto gazes into the AI crystal ball


Greg: Dude, I'm, I am really excited for this chat.

Roberto: Likewise man. I feel like it's been a long time coming. I almost, I almost wish I was sort of like interviewing you on the pod cuz you're doing such like crazy stuff man. So I'm really excited to chat today.

Greg: I mean, let's just, let's just chat and see where it goes. Um, why I'm excited to chat with you is I've seen you grow to millions of followers over the last couple years. through your Metaverse account and now through your AI accounts, and I want to crawl around your brain and extract all that good stuff in there and, and I appreciate you taking some time.

Roberto: Of course, man. No, I'd, I'd love to, you know, start, uh, by chatting about content. It's just been such a big passion of mine for so long. You mentioned Metaverse and now Luna, I've actually been building, um, you know, let's call 'em faceless Media Brands, right? For a long, long time now. Better part of a decade.

And I've built and then sold now a lot to, uh, a lot of communities specifically on Instagram, cuz that's just where I've sort of like, probably spent my most time, you know, on the internet, on Instagram. So I built a ton of communities, you know, totaling probably over 10 million followers.

But I think what's been really interesting. Is in January I started putting out content consistently for myself, which is something that I've never done cuz I, I think this is where sort of the world is going, especially the media landscape is going, my inbound for my personal content has been a hundred x, even, even metaverse to the bull run a hundred x what that inbound looked like.

And so, I've, I've really started to notice it's like, you know, people buy from people. People want their in information filtered through people, not these faceless media brands or media giants. Um, and so I think, uh, I, I think it's sort of like a, a small microcosm of where the entire media landscape is going.

So that's been a lot of fun to see.

Greg: So if you were to redo it all, Would you have started your personal brand earlier?

Roberto: Hundred percent, now granted there is, there is a lot of benefit to having like these media brands as like, sort of support or content that doesn't necessarily fit my personal brand or content that I think may cause diminishing returns. It's great to have those media brands to kind of like, you know, use those.

Um, but yeah, man, I I, I wish I started a lot, a lot earlier, right? Because I've always been sort of posting content to the internet sporadically. Um, but I've never done so consistently and deliberately. Like now I'm, I'm creating content and there's a deliberate mission behind it, right? I wanna capture all the attention I can at the top, funnel it down to my own products.

Um, whereas before it was just sort of, you know, off the cuff. Like I'd post a picture here, like go on vacation. I'd post a cool picture here, but it was really nothing but kind of like vanity, right? Like, this is my life. This is what I'm doing. Look how cool this picture I just posted was where now there's a deliberate strategy behind it.

Greg: I have this new thesis, it's like a work in progress thesis. Curious your thoughts that every brand will have an alt account. So I came to this conclusion, um, do you know Nathan Lands?

Roberto: Yeah, man.

Yeah, I talk to him all the time on Twitter. Great guy.

Greg: great guy. You know, tweets about generative AI a bunch. And I saw him just continuously tweeting about this Boris account.

Have you seen that?

Roberto: Oh, is that his account?

Greg: Yeah.

So yeah, so basically he was like, yeah, he was, he basically kept tweeting like, don't follow Boris. Okay. His, his last tweet, it's been less than 72 hours since mid journey 5.1 bomb drop. Check out my 10 favorite examples.

How are these not real photos? PS I stole this from Boris. Whatever you do, don't follow him. Or at Nathan Lanz. So I clicked on Boris and it's like the profile picture's hilarious. It's this guy with like super long hair. It's like this cartoon weird looking guy. And he, he went from zero to 19,000 followers in a couple of weeks and.

If you go to his account, it's like way more edgy. So like it's way more edgy memes. It's like, not really Nathan. So it got me

Roberto: more off brand for

Greg: Exactly. what do you think of this idea that, you know, maybe every brand has their brand account, personal accounts for the leadership team, and then an alt to count, which is way more edgy.

Roberto: I think two thoughts come to mind. One, um, it, that's fascinating cause I thought Boris was just a real person. Right. And it sort of like adds to this new notion of the internet where like, is there even a real person behind the brand? Is it AI generated? AI assisted? Is it. You know, somebody completely different.

Uh, and so that I would've never known if you didn't tell me, right? And so I think that's pretty fascinating. I follow Boris. I, I, I laughed at the memes. I like, I, uh, consume the information as if, if it were a real person, right? So, so like the first thing that comes to mind is like, wow, you know, generative AI maybe, or AI assisted sort of like bot accounts could sort of pass as a real person.

That's insane. But two, I love the idea. I mean, I think it's sort of what I have kind of been doing, right? Like so sometimes. There is something that I'd love to post, but I feel it's a little bit off brand. Sometimes it's a little bit gimmicky, you know, like, here are 10 apps that you can use to harness the power of generative AI to, you know, boost your business or whatever.

And I'm like, I don't know if I want to post that as a little gimmicky, but I got Metaverse or Luna that I could do that on. Right? And so there's no, like, there's no brand equity hit, if that makes sense for like the personal brand. And so now that you say it, I actually think you're onto something. I think that's a brilliant idea, right?

Because you have two separate brands, two separate, uh, tones, voices, communication styles, and then, uh, you know, depending on the content that you wanna push, it's like you can see which one is better suited for that. I love it.

Greg: Yeah, and it's a, it's just another creative outlet. Like there's some things where you start writing the tweet and you're like, uh, do I really wanna press publish on this? Like the, uh, you know, it's gonna maybe ruffle some feathers. Maybe it's a bit too edgy. two cringe. Um, so what you're saying is kind of like for the two cringe put posted on your, per, on your brand account and for the two edgy posted on the alt account.

Roberto: Yeah. I mean, honestly, it's kind of like a Finsta with economic ambition, right? It's like a Finsta, but that's public that you could use to drive commerce. Honestly, you, you may have just spotted like a really fast emerging trend, so kudos to, to Nathan. Um, I love that. I'm gonna give that a lot of thought over the coming weeks.

Greg: So you've got these, you've got a Luna. You've got Metaverse. Tell people what they are and what type of content you post and why. Like why even be focusing your time on that.

Roberto: Yeah, so what I've, really been doing with some of these media brands is I, is I build up these communities and these audiences and then there there's usually a product to push underneath that. With Metaverse, it's not been so much that it's really just been like this educational sort of, Endeavor for me, right?

Like, I love, uh, to educate people on emerging tech paradigms and new things happening in the space. Cause I'm like, I'm a nerd man. I'm, I'm geeking out about this stuff all day, like on Twitter, like chatting with like-minded people. And I just love to be able to present this to, to a more mainstream audience.

Like sort of what's happening, what's going on. And so like, I lead really through education first and my style, um, a Luna was always a, it's a SaaS. It's a SaaS startup, right? Because I'm looking around, uh, the generative AI landscape and I'm like, man, this is incredible. But it's, it feels pretty disjointed, right?

Especially stable diffusion. Um, I'm a big believer that open source will prevail and that'll be sort of like the winning, uh, foundational layer that AI is gonna be built on top of, because, you know, it's, don't wanna go on a tangent, but even, you know, Chad, G b t I feel like every update, it gets neutered a little more and more and more and more.

So, like, as a builder, I, I, I feel a little bit. I don't know if I'd want to build on chat g p T, right? They have too much leverage. There's too much platform risk. So I'm looking at open source alternatives, and I see stable diffusion. There's incredible stuff being built on top of stable diffusion, but it's hard for anybody to interface with, right?

You gotta be able to, uh, rent it locally in your pc. So you need technical abilities. You need to understand how to, you know, operate a node or set up a dev environment. I'm like, who's gonna go through this and do it? Even mid journey, I think is one of the most spectacular products I've ever seen in my life.

But like, why is it Discord only? Right? And so I think we just saw an opportunity with a Luna to build this SaaS product to bring in like 20 generative AI products. Uh, eventually they'll be like this, um, this l l m that will train. Uh, so you'll be able to interface with all these products with voice.

So as a content creator, like Greg, you might say, um, Hey, I need an image of this. I want, trap music, like a trap beat. I need that on top of it. I want big, bold text that says this. And so hopefully like in a year from now we'll have this l l m that'll be able to, you know, anything a content creator may need, you just do it through voice.

Greg: when you came up with the idea for a Luna, were you like, I want to create this SaaS product and this is the vision? Or were you like, Hmm, I'm not sure what I want to build here. I'm just gonna aggregate a bunch of people and figure it out from there?

Roberto: So that's part of it. So I knew I wanted to create a product, right? And for content creators specifically. And so that's when I sort of reverse engineered it. And like something that I've just been doing over the last five to 10 years is like I build these online communities. Through education, through information, through like really great visual content that really resonates with audiences.

And then I put like a product underneath, um, and with a Luna. That's it, man. It's like we're trying to figure out now, like I think we've sort of achieved product market fit. You know, we have 30,000 users now. There's been 800 purchases on the site. Um, I think 200 subscribers. So I'm like, okay, we're something here.

But now it's about trying to figure out that moat and trying to figure out what to build next, right? And so what we've done is like, we've just put four really dope builders under one roof. Me, um, and my co-founders, Greg, who's a, a front end developer, suha backend wizard, uh, and then Efe, who's our mobile developer.

And, um, you know, now we're just tinkering and we're playing around and we're seeing what's possible. And we're just building, building, building, shipping as fast as possible. And like the idea is that we'll, we'll, uh, we'll hit a home run on one of these products, right? And then put all of our resources behind that product.

And so it's just like, it is this exercise and tinkering and it's been a lot of fun, man. And, and, um, you know, people really love the site so far, so.

Greg: Yeah. You know, People often ask me, they're like, what should my minimal viable product be? What should my MVP be? And I always say that 95% of MVPs could be a WhatsApp group,

Roberto: Yeah. A hundred


Greg: like, or an Instagram or a TikTok or a Twitter account. You know, it's a free account that you can just start inviting people and start with your friends.

Right. Um, what advice could you give to people around. Maybe they're interested in a niche and they want to start an account. Um, it's pretty daunting for a lot of people. What advice could you give to people around starting.

Roberto: so, so that's the, what you just said. Starting start is always my primary piece of advice and as like elementary and obvious that it sounds, it's actually not that. Like, it's very, very difficult for people to grasp. Right? And there's 2, things that I think hold everybody back. And these are the two mental hurdles that I think if you're able to, uh, jump over.

If you're able to leap, then you kind of become invincible, right? To me. And one is the ability to really, truly not care what people think, right? And, and um, I used to really care a lot. I was like, man, what's my boy gonna think? What's this person gonna think? What's this random person on the internet gonna think if I try this?

It doesn't work out if it fails or. And something that kind of like freed me was this idea that nobody's thinking about me, man. Like I finally realized it. Like nobody's thinking about us, nobody's thinking about anybody else. Everybody's really just kind of consumed and focused on their own self. Right.

Then the other thing that helped me out was I realized like all toxicity and negativity on the internet, like I started to really understand insecurity from an intimate level, and I think all behavior on the internet stems down to. Fear, like a healthy fear, but, but insecurity is like, uh, you know, any, any toxicity on the internet kind of stems from there.

And so that allowed me, I'm like, free now. I'll post whatever I want whenever I want. I don't, I don't care. Right. And then the other thing is this idea that. You're never ready and you never will be ready. You know, and a lot of people are, oh man, I see it every day. Oh, I need to get into a little bit better shape before I start making content.

Or I need to, I need to make a little bit more money so people can take me more seriously. Um, I need better equipment. Like all of these, anytime I hear this, I'm like, I. This person's not gonna break out anytime soon because they gotta get over this, this, uh, mental hurdle. And so that's it, man, really understanding that nobody's thinking about you.

Um, and if they are spewing toxicity, that's a reflection on them and not you, and two, you are never ready, you might as well start today.

Greg: I was, I was actually reminded of that over the last 45 days because I decided that I wanted to grow my Instagram account. And my Instagram account had like, I don't know, 1500 people following me, mostly like high school friends. so I basically tried to get my, you know, I've got 330,000 followers on Twitter.

I was like, follow me on Instagram. Turns out like very hard to get people from you know, one platform to another

platform. So I was like, okay, I guess I'm just gonna try to build this on my own. And first, I was posting like everyday videos, you know, thoughts on my Instagram, and I kept noticing that like, you know, 2, 3, 4 people were sharing it.

And I had a feeling that people were sharing it and they were kind of like making fun of me, basically. Um, like, who's this guy? Like post, you know, every day I was posting, getting like three likes. and I have to stop myself. I have to be like, doesn't matter. And you kind of just have to push through.

Um, now I'm at, I'm sitting at like 6,500 followers and I'm like, I could just start, I'm starting to feel the momentum.


Roberto: of the year where you're gonna be, you know,

Greg: Yeah, exactly. So it's, yeah, I, I totally agree with that advice. I think it's, it's easy advice to give, it's hard advice to take. Cause you have to wake up every single day and look at your, you know, Instagram account and see two likes or, guess how, guess what?

The media, what is it? The, a guess the average amount of likes on a tweet.

Roberto: probably one.

If you, I mean, zero. That's insane. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it makes sense, right? It makes sense. Like in our world, we probably don't, we probably don't notice that, right? Just because we're following people who have already like sort of accomplished and stuff. But yeah, I mean, you imagine, you know, Facebook has, Facebook has, I think now 80% of people with an active internet connection who are daily active users of one of their products, you know, so that's 3 billion people.

So you can imagine probably 2.9 billion of those, if not more, are averaging, you know, one or two likes and whatever piece of content they do. But man, that's that. You're proof of that idea that. You just have to start, you know, even as uncomfortable as it is in the beginning. And that's another thing I tell people, I'm like, you're gonna start creating content.

You're gonna probably gonna suck at it. Two, probably nobody's gonna care for a long, long time. But that is the point. Like that is part of the process. You gotta go through that. And that allows you to find your voice, develop a visual style, communication style, learn to see what works, what doesn't, what resonates with an audience.

And so I'm like, Sir, it's, it is that simple. You just have to start and then have patience. Like I saw Mr. Beast tweeted the other day, like the, uh, the, the total number of views that he's had in every year he's been acting on, on YouTube. And the first year, I think he had 14,000 views total. Right? Not a huge number over the course of a year.

And then the second year he had 7,000 views, so it got cut in half. He went even harder. Most people at that point would've been so discouraged. And they would've been, you know, starting to self-doubt themselves and they would've quit. They would've stopped making content. And so like that, that was a perfect example of what will happen when you start making content.

It'll take time to break through. And that's just, that is just part of the game. You know, unless you get really, really lucky or ride like some crazy momentum wave, it's just gonna take time. And that's, it's supposed to be that way.

Greg: Yeah. You gotta get out of your head

and get into other people's heads, meaning what is the. What is the tweet? What is the the picture? What is the video that is really gonna resonate with the people that you actually care about? I also think that there's a bunch of accounts right now that have millions of followers that are just very low quality accounts

Roberto: Oh man, we, we could talk about that forever. Quality versus quantity. Right? It's, and and first of all, I wanna go back to what you were saying, like even if that were true, even if somebody were sharing one of your piece of content to your friend, like in a negative fashion, like how bad of a look is it for that person who took time out of the, so that's another thing I've realized, like there's no fulfilled human on planet Earth that would even take 10 seconds outta their day to tear somebody else down.

Right. And so that's another thing that's really helped me. It's like, Who cares? Like, would you take advice from those people? Probably not. So why would you, you know, why would you take the toxicity to heart? Um, so that was kind of like, these are the mental models that I've been framing for myself over the, over the years to the point where now I like truly, I can truly say I just don't care.

Right? Um,

Greg: Well, the booze come from the cheapest seats,

Roberto: hate never comes from above,

Greg: Never above.

Roberto: a hundred percent man. So to me, like the best indicator of a quality audience is how much commerce you're able to push, right? Because ultimately, you know, people don't like to admit it, but like social media really is kind of a status game. And at the bottom of it, like the underpinning of social is sort of, you know, the ability to drive commerce, you know, for yourself or others.

And that, that is kind of like the game that, that we're all playing. I think there is an economic ambition, um, behind this all, And when I see, I mean, there are some influencers out there with five, 6 million followers that if they try to sell a t-shirt, they might get two sales, right? There's no, there's no relationship there with that audience.

So there is a huge distinction between a follower and or followers and a community, right? And I see this all the time and I see people, Hey, I have a hundred thousand people on my mailing list. And then you look a little closer, their open rate's like 1.2%. So it's like, what is that? Really matter, right?

or there's people with 3000 people on their mailing list with a 70% open rate, and usually what happens is, you know, people develop, uh, this following through cheap tactics, right? So through like algorithm hacks, um, you know, through giveaway loops, whatever it may be, it's actually, it's actually, if you want to get a 2 million, follower Instagram account, you just do cheap tactics and it's easy.

But what end up happening is your engagement will be like, dismal. You only have 2 million followers on an Instagram account. You might get like 300 likes, propo, like eventually you kind of expose yourself, right? And so like, my, my mantras always just build slow, build right? Quality over quantity at all times.

And I think marketers around the world are finally smartening up, whereas five years ago it was just like, this person has a lot of followers giving money,

Greg: You say, uh, gross, low, um, but at the same time, you're growing really quick. You've probably added 400,000 followers across your platforms in 30 days. How are you doing it, and how are you dealing with it?

Roberto: fir first of all, it's like people like, oh, you, you blew up like. And I'm like, yeah. Oh, maybe overnight success. 10 years in the making. You know, this has been nine years of trying everything as, you know, just like constantly being, you know, creating content. Um, yeah, I think for my personal, I've gone maybe 400,000 across all, uh, all my personal socials in the last hundred days.

And then again, like a Luna in the last a hundred days, uh, you know, 230 K followers. I think Metaverse has added another a hundred thousand or so, the last hundred days. All of this. Like people ask for the secret. The secret is just good content, right? It's just good content. And that's, and that's kind of it.

And consistency and quality. And, you know, people ask for like the cheat code. What's the cheat code? What's the secret recipe? I'm like, there is none. You just put in the work over a long enough period of time, you'll eventually have your breakthroughs and figure out. Um, and so it just instinctively and like, sort of like innate to me now, I just understand how to resonate with an audience, what people are looking for.

So I've been able to crack a lot of these platforms, but the last sort of final frontier for me is YouTube, which I think is the, is the most important one. So this year I'm like gonna focus on, on trying to crack that one because that's the one that's been alluding me for for a long time.

Greg: first of all, on the YouTube bit, I, I just recorded an episode. where we, we go through how to grow on YouTube, um,

the biggest takeaway I had from the Austin Lieberman chat was that, The people, like I thought the people that were was watching the Where it Happens YouTube show were subscribers of the Where it Happens YouTube show.

And I was completely wrong. It's, you know, a lot of people just seeing it on YouTube recommendations. It's people seeing shorts, it's people, know, just seeing it across YouTube. So you know, one way to think about YouTube is how do you reverse engineer. search terms.

Basically, if people are searching for X, Y, Z, how do you go and then create a video about it and then rank for it. So definitely check that out. And then, I heard through the grapevine that you manage the Luna Instagram account, so I chatted with someone on your team who was like, You know, doing some freelance work.

And he was like, Hey, I like, you know, I work on the Luna Twitter account and I was like, you don't work on the Instagram account. That's like the bread and butter. And he was like, no, no, no, that's, that's Roberto's thing.

Roberto: it's, it's been really, really tough for me to find people who understand how to create good visual content,

Greg: so that's my question. Can you outsource great visual content?

Roberto: This is so tough, right? Because it, looks easy to do, right? It's much harder to do well than than people may think. And so I've had trouble finding people that do it well on a consistent basis. And then two, what I've noticed is, Here's another phenomenon that I think is like, and, and you talk about this a lot, which I love, like the solopreneur kind of like, uh, emergence, right?

But here's the thing, Greg, like if I find somebody who's a killer, who knows how to do it super, super well, why would they come work for me? They're just gonna do it on their own, for their own, faceless media brands or their own products or their own, whatever it is. And I've had difficulty finding people, to be able to create really good visual content.

but at the same time, I really love it too. Like, I, I really do enjoy it, so it's hard for me to kind of like relinquish control, as silly as it may sound, in a world where, you know, you really need to be delegating, uh, to maximize output.

Greg: Have you ever considered acquiring other media brands and employing kind of like a doing things media approach? Um, for those of you who dunno doing things, they. They run 35 plus accounts, they've got more than 80 million followers. Some of their accounts are like middle class, fancy or

Uh, o overheard. So it's these meme accounts.

And the beauty about it is, you know, once you have this network of accounts than like coming up with a new account is so much easier cuz you can essentially pump the new account with your existing network.

Roberto: Totally, absolutely, man. It compounds very beautifully.

Greg: Exactly. So have you ever thought about essentially acquiring accounts, but it's really acquiring talent?

Roberto: Yeah. Yes and no. I mean, one, one person that's doing that really well is my friend Kit. He runs the Puberty Media Group. You might have seen puberty on Instagram on, I mean, like, I think he has a hundred million followers across his family of accounts now. So he's done that really, really well. I think for me, like I.

Honestly, Greg, like I, I like media, I like creating content, but I don't necessarily like the media business. I really love building product, right? Like, that's what I've been doing over the last 10 years. And so that, that's kind of really what I wanna focus on. And I just look at these sort of media brands that I'm building as a way to drive traffic, uh, and to bring awareness and attention to those products.

So it's not necessarily something that I haven't considered, it's just not. You know, something that's super interesting for me, and for me, it's always been like it's been a little bit less about the money and more about the freedom to do whatever I find interesting to do. Um, so it's a great idea, just not something that I wanna put a lot of time and energy into right now, if that makes sense.

Greg: It does, it does. Let's, uh, let's actually transition from the media side of things to the product building side and talk, talk Luna. So, okay, so you launch a Luna. Um, it's helped a little bit by the Metaverse account, I would imagine, in terms of growing it.

Roberto: So, so funny enough, uh, it's really been so me, metaverse even stagnated for like four months. It's actually been my personal content and I'll collab post, uh, with a Luna and Metaverse that has grown these accounts again, right? That have seen this emergence. So Metaverse is now stagnated for a long time and it's now up, I think, like nearing a hundred thousand followers over the course of the, since I started making my content.

And I've noticed that these platforms are actually prioritizing original content creation and they like longer videos. Now, even TikTok, they're encouraging and promoting, uh, minute long minute plus longer videos. And so without recommending anybody trying to build these accounts is like leverage yourself or somebody else as a personal creator cuz that really helps to build these, these other accounts.

Greg: you leveraged your account, started building Luna, the account. You're getting a lot of traction and starting to feel good. When do you know it's ready to actually go and build the product? And how did you know which product to build?

Roberto: so I actually had the product in mind first. So we knew we were gonna build a product and I think the first actually commit to the repo was around. 10 weeks ago. So it's like we've just been really, uh, rapidly. And then the Instagram account was in January, so about 12 weeks ago, I wanna say. Right. And so I knew I wanted to build a product.

I started with the IG account first, just to drive that attention, um, to gather the team and the resources needed to build this product. But it was really a product comes first, and then it's like building an account to suit that product, if that makes sense.

Greg: my, my hunch is you knew you wanted to build something with AI and content creators,

so you knew that, and then you're like, okay. How do I like reverse engineer that to build an account around it. Once the account started to grow and you, you saw validation, then you're like, okay, let's hit the pavement, put the team together.

Did you raise funding or you just self-funded

Roberto: Not yet. So right now we're totally bootstrapped, there's been a lot of venture interest, but I was like, let, let's hit this product market fit first. Let's get some real, real momentum and understand like, okay, we're gonna be able to be profitable very, very quickly and then we'll be comfortable sort of raising funds.

Um, it'll probably go for a pre-seed fund, uh, very soon. However, though, because I've, I understood really quick, like to be able to compete with some of these BM os, we need a real distribution. Strategy. You know, we, we need a lot of, a lot of money for there. And also the hardware stack, like right now we're running on our own GPUs and we have a product launching today called Motion Blend that I think is gonna go crazy viral.

I have a ton of content creators lined up to, to release a video around this motion blend product. I think, we'll, you know, reach a million eyeballs in a day. But we actually can't unleash that because we don't have the Jeep, we don't have the hardware stack right now to be able to. You know, like if about a hundred thousand people visit the site in a day, there's not gonna be a lot of generations happening because all the GPUs are gonna be filled up, right?

And so now we're like, okay, no, we do need to raise capital just for the hardware stack and the distribution, um, because there is, for some reason, there's no good GPU cloud service out there right now. So if anybody wants to build that, that's a great business to get into.

Greg: So walk us through like what are the coolest product features about a Luna and how are people using it today?

Roberto: Yeah, man. So the coolest product features I don't think are out yet, right? So the motion blend is one of these new ones. It's actually built on a tool called Deform on Stable Diffusion. I don't know if, if you've heard of that, but it's, um, you know, you're able to input, uh, several prompts, you know, 1, 2, 3, 5, however many prompts you want.

And then the AI blends, right, like the diffusion. Fills in like this blend, um, animation between all these prompts. And so again, like I'm looking at deform and I'm like, this is the coolest thing in the world. You can create your own mu music videos. Like imagination is limitless here, but like to interface with it, you have to be technically savvy.

There's no, there's no interface right now that exists online for the average person to go in and create. So we've built that, we've tweaked it, we've added our own animations and, and whatnot. And that's launching, uh, later today. That I think is gonna be one of our killer flagship products that we can evolve over time.

Um, and our text to image. I love it. We have different models that we've tweaked and refined over time, and I think the output is almost as good as Mid Journey, but mid journey is the king, right? And text to image. And so that's why we're excited to, to release some of these upcoming tools. We have 10 in the pipeline that that'll come out over the next six weeks, um, and which I think will be our sort of flagship product.


Greg: yeah. I also think it's, it's, it's similar to social in the sense that it's okay not to hit a home run at the first at

Roberto: Yeah, totally. Totally.

Greg: you're building goodwill with the community and they're seeing that you're trying and they're seeing that you're making progress and you're doing it your own way. And as long as you're doing that, like, and you have runway, all good.

Roberto: Well, I also think the, one of the key elements to Luna too, that, that we set out to build is there is a social layer on top of right and we're le releasing the ability to follow and be followed this week. But we've kind of built like Instagram for generative ai. And I think that's important cuz we all know in generative ai, the output is de is dependent on the quality of the input, right?

And so these chat boxes. If you know how to work 'em, amazing, right? But the average person will go to Chad, g p t and not understand how to harness its true potential or power. So what they'll do is they'll go, you know, search Google or whatever for prompts. But I believe if there's a visual feed there, you can actually follow your favorite creator, see what they're creating, get inspiration from their prompts, how they're creating, how they're using their tools.

I think that gives us a real advantage, um, especially when we get into audio video. And all these other products that we're building. So you have this vi, gorgeous visual feed of other creators you can draw inspiration from to really kind of get that best output for yourself or your brand or business.

Um, and so I'm really excited about the social component that we're building on top of Luna.

Greg: Do you think in five years from now people are still gonna be prompting or will that be a thing of the

Roberto: I actually, I'm not as bullish on the idea of a prompt engineer as most. Right. I think it'll be. It'll be like knowing how to use Google or Excel. It's just like a, a particular skill that'll be helpful. Um, but no, I think the pro, I mean, like one of our main ambitions too is to build a product where you don't need to know how to prompt engineer.

Like, we'll, we'll be able to like, sort of walk you through there. And I think a lot of products are gonna head in that direction yeah, I, I, I think it'll be phased out relatively quickly.

Greg: And how do you deal with competition? You know, you're, you're in such a competitive space. Um, every entrepreneur. Knows the feeling of waking up and seeing a competitor come out and then your, your, you know, your stomach, you know, just tightens. Um, it just hurts

Roberto: yeah, of course.

Greg: I'm sure you must feel that all the time.

How do you deal with that?

Roberto: Yeah, I mean, like what I think the most fierce competition are gonna be, the, um, the incumbents. You know, like a lot of this technology is gonna be built into the products that we know and love and use today, um, you know, even, even Mid Journey, I think they're gonna face trouble because it's eventually gonna be integrated into Photoshop in a premiere, into Da Vinci.

Resolve into Word into every product that we already know and love and use. So, The, the way that we sort of navigate this in one of our mantras is like, look, We have this now customer base that's pretty passionate. You know, they love the product, they wanna see it succeed.

Let's just cater to their needs. Let's not worry so much about the competitors, right? And so it's kind of this approach that I learned from just, um, consuming a lot of Jeff Bezos. Just, just hyper, hyper focused on your users, on your customers. Don't worry so much about what the competition is doing and don't like.

Your decision making shouldn't be dependent on your competition. It should be dependent on bringing the most value to your customers. And so we're just focused there and focusing on our advantages, which is the ability to ship at lightning speeds. You know, like you name a product, we could build it in four days and high quality.


Greg: The older I get and the longer I'm an entrepreneur, the more I realize that ignorance is bliss when it comes to competition.

Roberto: Yeah, a hundred percent

Greg: you know, I used to be, when I was in my early twenties, I would obsess about the competition.

Roberto: Yep.

Greg: And I would be like, oh my God, they have the same copy as us, or the images look the same, or Our background is white and their background is white.

And then I realized the people that win in the game of entrepreneurship have a long-term mindset.

Roberto: Yeah, a

Greg: And to your point, like they're kind of like, okay, I'm, I'm focused on content creators and I'm gonna, basically, if content creators is, The spoke in a tire, um, or the middle of the tire.

The spokes, are just the different products that you're trying to, trying to launch. And if you just like focus in the middle of the tire, things are gonna work out. One of those are gonna hit. Um, but if you spend all day obsessing on, you know, if you're on product hunt all day or you're on Twitter all day, just looking at different competition, uh, it's nice to know and it's also helpful, honestly, for motivation.


Roberto: Oh yeah, man. It keep, it keeps you on your toes for sure. I love that analogy though. Focus on the spokes.

Greg: Focus on the spokes. I'm sure you use AI in your workflow. Uh, what's some, what, what are some tools that you've been using that you find very, very, uh, powerful?

Roberto: Yeah, so first part of that question is like, it's funny cuz we're sort of reversing engineer to, to solve our own, uh, pain points, right? So me, I want to build a product that I would be integrating into my daily workflows to maximize my output. So one of the things was, you know, text to image. Um, I, I'm using that almost for every Luna cover.

I'm generating my own image with, uh, with a Luna. Um, first to draw attention to the platform for once, but also too, cuz before I had to use stock images un splash pexels, but like these same images are being used a million other places. And so it, it offers a chance to, to really kinda like generate your own unique imagery.

Um, I can also, like, one of the things that's amazing is I have a chat g p t browser tab open at all times now, and I'm always interfacing with that when it, when it comes to creating content, um, menial things like rewriting, captions, you know, written a little bit better. Sometimes when I'm summarizing or synthesizing an article or trying to present that information, I'll ask it to summarize that article, summarize a YouTube video.

Um, so it's increased, uh, my productivity. I would say probably like two or three x just on that front alone. And I also, it also just amazes me how fast things can change, man. Like, you know, five months ago we didn't have this product. Now I can't, I, I don't have a tab open, you know, it's like always open on one of my tabs and I'm using it daily.

but for, for me it's been mostly, uh, on, on the copywriting stuff, right? It's saved me a lot of time with copywriting, cuz that's one thing that people don't realize when you're creating a lot of content is the captions, um, the stories, et cetera. So that's cut my time in half. But other, other than that, like there's not a lot of products out there that I think have, that's another thing with generative ai.

We can get to that conversation if you want, but like, I think there's gonna be a lot of churn on a lot of these products because it's really cool, it's fascinating, uh, technology, but some of them are not just so helpful in the day-to-day. Right? Like 11 labs, best voice synthesizer on the planet. I'm using it maybe once a month.

And that'll probably get like less and less and less. There's just not that many use cases for it, for your average content creator. Um, unless you're automating content on YouTube, then it's, you know, a godsend. Those people are probably using it every day. But, um, I think we'll see this with a lot of generative AI as well, where it's not like it's helpful, but for certain specific use cases, not for day-to-day use.

Greg: Yeah, I think what's gonna end up happening is there's gonna be these AI suites for different communities. So there'll be the AI suite for content creators, the AI suite for marketers, the AI suite for insert and. It needs to be something that you're going to use every single day if you're gonna actually like pay for it and, and adopt it into your workflow.

I think what we're seeing right now at the stage we're in is there's a lot of people tinkering with single purpose AI apps, and we're, we're starting to see a lot of magic out of them. But, I think in 12 to 18 months, what we'll see is. Some of these suites come up. Of course some of them will be from incumbents, like the Adobe's already starting that.

Microsoft, of course, is already starting that Microsoft designer, et cetera. but there's also gonna be a whole new wave of alumna's and, and, and alumna for x, right? For,

Roberto: a hundred percent. That that's a, that's actually something that one of my, uh, sort of a mentor told me. He's like, Hey, you gotta focus on the specific subset. Cuz at the beginning it was just like, this is a, a tool for all, all people with, you know, business professionals, creatives. And he is like, that's too wide.

You're trying to build too much for too many people. Um, NHA down. And so now like the focus is gonna be for content creators and I completely agree with you. Like eventually there will be, uh, one. For real estate agents in specific, all tools, just, uh, you know, kind of like built on behalf of, of that community.

Greg: I want to end with this question just cuz it's a optimistic or pessimistic question depending on your view on ai. But what does the world of AI look like in five years from now?

Roberto: So I kind of, when it comes to tech, I'm sort of like an eternal optimist. And the reason why is like what is sort of the point of focusing on the negative if it's inevitable, right? It's just sort of like wasted energy. The be the better exercise, I think is how can we best harness it? How can we best be involved in the conversation to push it forward, ethically, responsibly, et cetera.

Um, what, what I think is gonna happen, and I made a video about it today actually, I just posted it, but like you are going to be able to generate anything that you want, enter any entertainment medium that you want. Curated to your taste. So like, yeah, maybe, maybe Greg. You come home and you say, man, I wanna play a video game.

I'm a, I'm a big RPG nerd. There hasn't been a good R PPG in a while. I'm just gonna generate my own tonight and play it right. Or maybe there's a specific software that you need for specific purpose. Instead of browsing the app store and try to find it, you just generate it. Hey, I need an app that can get me, you know, do this.

So like, Almost any tool, any, any platform, any entertainment medium that you want to consume, you're gonna be able to do it. You're gonna be able to generate it. But one thing that I'm also thinking with ai, like obviously by the end of the year we're gonna have fully AI generated streamers, influencers, et cetera.

I actually think there needs that human element. There's like that aura that exists. Uh, they call it the, um, The Aura theory, uh, or the an art theory where it's like that human element needs to exist. So, for example, I listen to a lot of this AI Drake stuff going on, and some of the songs are crazy. Like if Drake sang it, I'd be like, this is the top five song of Drake.

Like, they're incredible, but there's like, it just doesn't hit the same as, as un as knowing that the actual Drake made this song. Right? So I think the same thing is gonna happen where like there's gonna be these incredible AI generated movies and scripts, but. I just don't think there's gonna be an, as large an appetite as people think of for audiences to consume this.

Cuz like what we really crave beneath it all is the story, is that human element. The story behind the artist. Behind the creator. Um, and so I think it's gonna permeate ev like I think it's the most disruptive tech that I've seen since I've, you know, since the internet. Um, But it's, and it's gonna permeate every like corner of culture and it's gonna be like at the center of the cultural zeitgeist.

But I don't think it'll have like this end all be all effect that people are thinking. I think the human element, the creativity or ingenuity, I think it'll always be desired and craved and it'll always be, you know, most important and central to me. But

Greg: Did you see what Warren Buffett said about AI the other

Roberto: I did, yeah,

Greg: So,

Roberto: he compared it to the Adam bomb.

Greg: Yes, he did. So he said, and I quote, it can do all kinds of things. And when something can do all kinds of things, I get a little bit worried. I am personally skeptical of some of the hype that has gone into artificial intelligence. I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well.

What are your thoughts?

Roberto: I agree. I think it was so, I think it was Munger that said that, that latter part where, where he said, uh, he's like, I'm skeptical of it. Old-fashioned intelligence is good enough. You know, I don't, I don't know if you would've asked me a year ago, I would've probably agreed, but now, like we're looking at all the top AI researchers and sort of gurus in the world, and the people that know this best, um, and five years ago they all suspected that AGI would come in the 2070s, 2080s at minimum, if not longer.

And now a lot of these guys are saying, Hey, look, this is sort of inevitable for the 2030s. Some, you know, swell and, and, um, Kapai and others, they're saying maybe by the end of the decade, And so I think AGI changes everything, right? Like right now it's still pretty mathematical, like ai,

right? There's still a lot of

Greg: for the people who don't know, can you define what AGI I is?

Roberto: yeah.

So AGI or a, uh, asi, artificial general intelligence or artificial super intelligence is this idea where the machines become as capable of humans, right? Like they've become as smart, creative, and shrewd as us for all intents and purposes. And, uh, basically where like our species. Won't be needed as much anymore, right?

Like that's the sort of like ominous, uh, idea behind it. cuz, cuz right now, like AI is incredible, but it still very much works under mathematical constraints, right? Like it's all, this is the information. It's just synthesizing the information and outputting it in the bay, in, in the way that it thinks is best for the end user based on all these data points.

But eventually there's people out there that suspect that it's gonna gain sentience. For all intents and purposes, it's gonna gain creativity. And I think if and when that happens, it just changes everything. And it's like almost impossible. It's almost like a futile exercise to predict what's gonna happen, because that's gonna be so world changing that we don't know.

Like it's, it's, it's ominous by nature, but I just tend to, I try to stay optimistic cuz it's happening no matter what. So let's figure out how to best approach it

Greg: I love it. Well, and on a positive note, dude, Roberto, you gotta come back again. You're.

Roberto: anytime. Man, I love this dude and I'm such a fan of you, man.

Greg: I appreciate it and, and likewise, where could people find and subscribe to your YouTube?

Roberto: Uh, yeah, subscribe to the YouTube. I'm struggling there. Uh, you could just search my name, Roberto Nixon, and on all other socials, I'm just RP, N I C K S O n, RP Nixon.

Greg: Amazing. I will subscribe to your YouTube, but Roberto tell the people listening to subscribe to the Where it happens YouTube too.

Roberto: You gotta subscribe to the word happens YouTube. I'm actually not joking. Let me, let me go on a 22nd tangent here. Like, one of the best hacks in my life has been subscribing to the right YouTubes and following the right newsletters. And so you have couple, you have boring marketer. Even a few subscribe to these things.

This is not a sales pitch, I'm just saying in a couple minutes per week, you can elevate your game, content, entrepreneurship, life, culture, et cetera, like literally couple minutes per week consuming this guy Greg Isenberg, right here. Go and do yourself a favor, otherwise you'll fall behind.

Greg: Elevate the game. All right. Thanks, man. I appreciate that.