The past year has been an extraordinary one the team at affiliate.ai and I. As the founder my journey began with a simple yet powerful idea. With a background spanning two decades in affiliate marketing, I thought there was untapped potential of the vast amounts of data in our industry, and I thought I could build something to unleash that.
I had had these thoughts for sometime, and in January it collided with the release of OpenAI's APIs, sparking an inspiration to create something groundbreaking.
January marked the start of this venture, a period dedicated to engaging with industry professionals. I bought everyone I knew in affiliate marketing a coffee and listened to their challenges, tried to understand their needs and find some the gaps in the current landscape. The insights gathered during these conversations were pivotal in shaping our initial approach.
The concept of using chat as a medium for data interaction emerged as a key innovation. This idea was not just about incorporating new technology but about reimagining the way affiliate marketing professionals could interact with and leverage their data. I thought we could use the new technologies we were presented with to allow that in a way that has never been possible before
The early months were spent in fervent development, leading to the launch of our MVP in March. This version, though basic, was our first real test in the market. It was a period filled with both excitement and fear, mainly because it quickly became apparent that this would be much harder than expected.
April to June saw us developing version 0.1 of our product, this version was more refined, though it still had its share of teething problems. Nevertheless, it was a significant improvement over the MVP, and it provided us with invaluable feedback.
June was a milestone as we onboarded our first agencies. Their feedback was crucial, helping us understand how our product was being used in real-world scenarios. July saw more agencies coming onboard, each bringing new perspectives and challenges.
One of the biggest challenges we faced was the limitations of existing AI models, particularly in understanding specialised affiliate marketing vernacular, terms as simple as EPC or CPA would cause mayhem in our systems. It was a stark reminder that while AI is powerful, it needs to be tailored to specific industries and applications.
We discovered that our users often struggled to frame their queries in a way that the AI could understand effectively. To address this, we developed query rewriters. These tools helped in rephrasing user queries into formats that the AI could process more accurately, thereby improving the overall user experience.
We recognised early on that speed was critical in our user interactions. By September, through various optimizations, we managed to reduce our response time from 35 seconds to a remarkable 8 seconds. This improvement was significant in enhancing user satisfaction.
A key goal for us was to create a system that could learn and improve continuously. We implemented mechanisms for user feedback and integrated another AI system to evaluate the usefulness of our responses. This allowed us to make iterative improvements with each interaction.
October was a landmark month for affiliate.ai. We went public, ingesting a staggering $300 million in sales in the first week alone. This success was a testament to the potential of our product, but it also brought to light new challenges, pushing us to further refine our platform.
As we progressed towards the end of the year, we continued to ramp up our efforts. Each step brought new learnings and opportunities for growth. Our focus remained on improving the product, addressing challenges, and preparing for future expansions.
January was another significant milestone, marking our official launch in the U.S. This expansion was the result of countless hours of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Engaging with dozens of agencies over two and a half days, we embarked on a new chapter in our journey.
As I look back on this incredible yet humbling year, I am filled with a sense of pride and humility. The journey of affiliate.ai has been one of learning, adapting, and growing. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support and trust of our users, partners, and the team behind affiliate.ai. Their contributions, feedback, and belief in our vision have been the driving force behind our success.
As we step into another year, our commitment to innovation and excellence remains unwavering. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and are dedicated to continuing our journey of making a meaningful impact in the affiliate marketing industry.
Here's to embracing the future with optimism, determination, and a continuous desire to learn and improve. Thank you to everyone who supported us along the way.