UNICORNS DON’T SLEEP: Chronicles of Couch-preneuers

Here at Gjemeni—home of the couch of stunning versatility —we love entrepreneurs. Especially the ones who start their businesses while firmly planted on their sofas. So we’re kicking off our Couch-preneur Chronicles, a series of interviews with rising entrepreneurs who tell you how they’ve launched their business (tips, tactics, tradeoffs) from the comfort of their couch in desk-free mode.

Who: Ephraim Birney, the film-making fanatic

The Object of His Obsession: “Clickbait: The Show,” a web series he crowdfunded and is now shopping around

How It Started: I’m an actor (“The Americans,” “Gotham”) in New York City, but I got sick—really sick—a year ago. I was basically in bed for months, watching tons of videos and series on the Internet. I loved young creators were doing and felt inspired to write my own script. I called it “Clickbait: The Show,” a parody of those “click-bait-y” things on the web we’re all addicted to, with titles like “Kim Kardashian spotted on the weekend without right arm.”  I wrote a script, and a friend showed it to a producer who said it was the best thing he’d seen in months. Yeah, that got me really fired me up! I connected with a crew through word-of-mouth and then went on Indiegogo to fund it – and raised $13,000 to make the first episode.

The Best of Times: ”Clickbait: The Show” was just accepted by the Independent TV Festival which happens in a couple of months; we’ll get to share the show with executive producers, and hopefully it will find a home.

The Worst of Times: I didn’t properly vet some people I hired. They came with good word of mouth, but they didn’t have passion for my project. I mean, people turned up on set and hadn’t even read the script!  Another worst of times moment: The first episode was just about done, but it wasn’t working. It was a really tough decision, but I went back and, with very, very little money left it he budget, re-did the entire episode. I couldn’t let my investors down. There were over 100 of them. I didn’t want to be that guy, the one who takes the money and then can’t hack the work.

Best Resource: Indiegogo was fantastic. Not just because we raised the money quickly, but all the advice it provides about marketing your project, how to package it for investors. Very helpful.

Where He Works on His Business: We film on location, but otherwise, everything happens from my couch. My creative partner Ryan Quigley and I would sit there writing and throwing ideas around, getting funding, applying to festivals. And we edited from the couch as well. Our editor Kyle had another job, so he’d come over after that and we’d work typically till 4AM. I fell asleep a couple of times. Couldn’t help it.

Best part about the Couch-preneur life: Even though you work harder than if you had a “desk job,” there’s something comforting and relaxing about being in your natural environment, sprawled on the couch.

Worst part about the Couch-preneur life: In my case, when we were editing from the couch, we’d try to plug in the equipment but we’d wind up having to shove the couch across the room to reach an outlet; I never had the right extension cord. It was a ridiculous ritual. I scratched the floor multiple times. {Editor’s note: Gjemeni has built USB ports and outlets so you’re always fully powered without getting up.}  

Weirdest Couch-preneur experience: All I’m going to say is you learn how crazy people are when you work overnight on a couch together.

What’s next: We’re applying to more festivals. Hopefully “Clickbait: The Show” will be coming to a screen near you soon!

Gjemeni is made for the couch-preneur life. Our versatile couch adjusts to 20-plus positions for working, lounging and brainstorming, napping – and it becomes an incredibly comfortable bed so you or your co-founder can crash on it, night after night. It’s also wired for productivity, with 4 USB charging ports and 2 110-volt sockets. If you’re in go mode on your start-up, Gjemeni’s got your back. Take a closer look here.

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