The Entrepreneur: Aidan Fitzpatrick, Reincubate

Reincubate is an indie British software company, focused on helping users get more from their Apple devices and data.

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Written and reviewed by:

Founder: Aidan Fitzpatrick
Company: Reincubate

Reincubate’s Camo lets users harness their incredible phone cameras to get clear high-quality footage with powerful effects and adjustments on Zoom and Meet calls, at a time when successful remote working has never been more vital. In its first 12 months, Camo generated over £1 million, as a strong example of how smaller tech innovators are continuing to succeed in a world of mega-corporations.

Aidan Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Reincubate, speaks to Startups about business challenges, goals for the future, and his belief that relationships and experiences are greater achievements than financial gains.

The Business

Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:

Camo gives users better video quality than any webcam—quality that’s similar to a $2,000+ professional camera setup—at a fraction of the cost and with far less hassle.

Camo stands out in many ways. Fundamentally, it has many unique features including its portrait mode and native, high-quality macOS, Windows, iOS and Android apps, and a number of unique elements to the user experience that go together to make it “just work” the way users expect.

We provide a free version and there’s a paid upgrade, which can be bought as a lifetime license or on a monthly or annual subscription basis. We don’t use ads in the software at all, and we don’t believe in tracking or capturing users’ data.

What is your greatest business achievement to date?

From a financial perspective, it was the sale of the last business I was involved in driving. It was our investors’ biggest ever return, both in gross terms and in multiple, at 15x their money.

Personally, I’m more interested in the relationships and experiences that users build around our products. I’m really proud of the incredible reviews we’ve got in the app stores and general press about our products. Seeing people have such a positive experience with our products that they take it on themselves to evangelise on our behalf is incredible.

How did you fund your business?

Reincubate is self-funded and profitable. In the past I’ve raised angel, VC and private equity, but I was interested to start without external funding this time around. That’s turned out to have been the right course of action.

What numbers do you look at every day in your business?

I keep a close eye on user metrics around acquisition, retention and interaction. Getting, delighting and keeping users is critical to what we do.

To what extent does your business trade internationally?

The business is very international — we received an award for International Trade from the Queen in recognition of this. As well as the team being highly distributed (we’re all remote), our customers are spread around the world.

I really rely on international networks to get things done. I’m part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), which is an international network of 15,000+ entrepreneurs. This has opened new doors for me and helped me navigate what it means to do business on a global scale.

Where would you like your business to be in five years?

I’m expecting to see Camo widely adopted for streaming, live production and meeting and presentation, working alongside the best partners and products in the industry. Our roadmap is loaded with milestones — we’ve got a busy few years ahead of us!

What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?

The incredible capabilities of phones have been fundamental to the growth of Reincubate. Our products have always revolved around helping users to make the most of what their devices can do. As processing capability, cameras, and camera software have grown, it’s grown the opportunity for us to build incredible experiences for users.

Check out the video below to see how Camo works:

Growth Challenges

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business?

I’m fortunate to be working alongside a great team, but it’s not something that’s come about by accident. Finding the best people and building relationships with them takes a lot of time on an ongoing basis. You can’t just start on day 1 and pull those people in — or at least, you won’t pull the right people in. I’ve always got an eye on finding new people to work and partner with, and I believe there’s a disproportionate benefit to working with the best people. Finding great people is a vital, ongoing role, and it’s not easily delegated away.

Part of the way to overcome this is through building a community around you. EO has helped me with this by allowing me to work with like-minded entrepreneurs, who can provide advice about how to overcome staffing challenges – and also help me meet potential new employees through the wider EO ecosystem.

What was your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?

The company was a lot more successful than I had ever imagined soon after starting, and that led me to get involved in starting other companies. Sometimes that’s the right thing to do, but in this particular case the right thing to do was double-down on the fantastic opportunity that was in front of me.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?

It’s important to be “on” the business rather than just “in” it. I built our first products myself — that was a lot of fun! — but once that first traction is achieved it’s important to build the business, not the product.

How has the pandemic affected the market you operate in?

The pandemic and accelerated rise of remote work has rapidly boosted our market. Many more people are using video as part of their day to day, and we’ve been able to make their lives easier as they go about this.

Personal Growth

Did you study business or learn on the job?

I learned on the job. I’m still learning: I’m reading, building, mentoring, being mentored, and investing. There’s a lot still to learn.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without fantastic mentorship and networks, including EO. Having a place to not only find connections with other members who have advice about whatever situation I’m going through, but also access to EO’s wealth of resources, training and speakers, have definitely sped up how quickly I progress on my learning curve.

What would make you a better leader?

I care passionately about the experience we’re building for users and I have to work hard to balance how closely I work on it versus the rest of the business. Juggling those priorities is always a challenge.

One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?

I’m a big fan of Alex MacCaw’s Reflect app, both for personal and work use. I write a lot during the day, and it’s helpful to record and reflect on what I’m doing and have done. It has rapidly become an invaluable tool for me.

A business book or podcast that you think is great:

I found Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog an inspiring read, particularly where it talked about the recovery of business in post-war Japan, and the attitudes of entrepreneurs there. As far as podcasts go, I really enjoy This American Life. I’m a big fan of Americana, but even when the stories aren’t focused on the US, I get a kick out of it.

Finally, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting a business?

Foremost, I think understanding one’s personal values and those of the business is absolutely critical. Why are you doing what you do, and how will you behave as you do it? Being able to work sustainably and look after oneself is important. Overnight success takes a lot of time! Building a support network of peers can be incredibly valuable, too – and, as in the case of EO, is worth investing in. As a bootstrapped founder, having a clear picture of where the money comes from — and why — is essential!

Written by:
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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