Michelle Bacharach

Michelle Bacharach


How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work?

What are the core requirements of your job and how do you measure success?

The CEO and founder of a startup always has an endless to do list. The problem is knowing what items on the list will actually make a meaningful difference — startups are innovations, so if someone knew how to build the business you’re building, they already would’ve done it and yours wouldn’t exist! My job is a lot of big vision work and pitching — showing how something so new and different as AI-produced shoppable content can transform a retailer’s business, from CLTV to gross margins to sustainability. That idea isn’t axiomatic yet, so if I can show someone the seismic shift possible for brands, I’ve done my job!

What is one notable professional achievement you've made over the past year that you are most proud of?

I had a baby and took time off! I call this a professional achievement because I was able to truly step away and things didn’t fall apart, the company continued its upward trajectory without me. It means I built the best possible team and can truly focus my time on the big strategic shifts and telling our story in the market.

What professional challenge or failure has stuck with you, and how did you embrace it?

Early on, we said yes to pretty much anything a big customer would ask for because we were so excited they’d work with us! But what I learned is that we’re the experts that they need help from, so doing exactly what they asked was usually not in customers’ best interest because it missed some critical unseen element that we could’ve addressed if we’d been a little more forceful. Now I’m much more adamant that we operate at the height of our intelligence and do what’s actually best for the customer rather than simply what they’ve asked for. It’s still hard because we work with massive brands many companies would love to work with. But in the end, I always come back to how can we add the most value and sometimes that comes in the form of saying no (and let’s do this instead).

What trend or technology do you believe will have the most profound impact on your work (and the work of your peers) over the next year?

Generative AI certainly, although I’m not just saying that because it’s the space we play in. I think real-world quality image, video and audio rendering is the critical precursor to the metaverse, to rapid prototyping and reducing the time to market for products, the end of inventory gluts and more. We won’t get all the way there in the next year, but everyone will be using some form of generative AI in their creative work.

If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be?

Trust your gut, you belong here as much as anyone else.