Recode Decode: Framebridge CEO Susan Tynan explains why it’s okay to be analog in a digital world

  • What is Framebridge? Custom picture framing in half the time and for half the price of traditional framing. You send us your art or upload a photo. We print and frame it.

  • The thesis behind Framebridge: If someone made custom framing easier more people would do it. Custom framing should be a bigger category than it is. We believe it was constrained due to price and the way it was delivered. We make it less expensive because we have aggregated more demand. Previously the demand was local and decentralized.

  • The essence of her pitch to investors: How many more industries are left that haven’t been transformed by the internet? I found one.

  • The hardest problem to solve when building Framebridge: Lining up supply and demand. Unlike other companies, we have to build everything we sell.

  • Framebridge is creating new demand: 33% of our customers have never framed something before. 65% of the items they get framed they wouldn’t have framed otherwise.

  • What are the challenges you face running the company? Being a solo founder can be challenging because all the weight is on you and you alone. 

  • Silicon Valley doesn’t get analog: Pitch meetings would ask what is the social element to this? It’s a frame! It hangs in your house. Analog is a thing and it will always be a thing.

  • In an Amazon world, you need to know why you exist: Amazon could do any product category they want. What protects us is DEEP knowledge of our category. We are in a category that doesn’t have a beloved brand and deserves one.

  • Don’t build a solution in search of a problem: Some technology businesses shouldn’t exist. There is no market for what they built. The beauty of analog businesses is the market actually exists. 

  • How to spot an opportunity to start a company: Identify areas where there is an information asymmetry. Any time a customer doesn’t know what they are getting or doesn’t know who to trust, is an opportunity. There are a lot of industries that exist by making things appear harder than they are.

  • Biggest mistake you have made so far: Thinking that the original team could come from my network. I needed more expertise.

  • Full podcast here.