Traditionally the process of making a portfolio website is a series of painful, time-consuming tasks: everything from formatting media, building pages and wrestling with a CMS that is designed around the concept of displaying article content. Fabrik allows you to update and personalise your portfolio more quickly and easily than ever before by connecting to your existing creative services or uploading your work. Fabrik’s clever portfolio technology adapts to your work, so that it shines on any device. Starting life as a simple bunch of tools to produce portfolio websites for creative friends, Fabrik went through several beta stages before becoming an actual product that people could use. Due to its initial customer base (and two of the founders working in film) the product’s core audience is, and remains, filmmakers. Development to this point has been bootstrapped and influenced through a bespoke service building highly-tailored themes for best-of-breed film and tv production companies on the Fabrik platform. Over the last year with a new fully-focused team, the product has evolved towards absolute simplicity as a user experience model, and is now quickly moving into the development of intelligent systems and algorithms that work in perfect harmony with user content.
Fabrik has been designed by a small group of makers who have spent years and years figuring out the best way to show off their work. Ben Foster spent a couple of years developing the beta product with two now-established commercials directors before differing career choices brought him to London on a contract. Tim Jarvis ran his own digital agency for ten years, which he cannibalised to make this product happen. Phil Jenkins has worked with Tim for five years but has known Ben since his teens. For the Fabrik team, the biggest hurdle they are facing isn’t development or figuring out what they’re trying to achieve – it’s in their audience. Creatives need portfolio sites, but the process of creating them is hard and in no way enjoyable – so the hurdles they’ve been facing are discovering where the painful or difficult elements of the process lie and completely removing them. The Fabrik team believes the onboarding process can be quick, fun and actually really motivating for creatives, so that’s what they’re working very hard to achieve. With such demanding customers, they really need to deliver.
Whether new or experienced, creative individuals need exposure for their work to get discovered – but maintaining the skills necessary to develop a personal, responsive, semantic portfolio site is out of reach for all but a few. Existing CMS and SaaS products don’t adequately serve the specific demands of a market with low tolerance, limited time and technical ability, but very high expectations. Creatives are forced to place their work where they can across disparate creative services and struggle against the noise of everyday social connectivity to find reach. With Fabrik, creatives can add content from their favourite creative services or upload it unformatted. Its adaptive technology examines content and presents it in the best possible way, removing the entire process. Fabrik only does one thing: it presents creative work online. For that, they use their experience to make sure the platform does that as beautifully as possible by building technology that understands the media added to it.
Fabrik targets reative individuals – filmmakers, photographers, designers, illustrators, artists. Small creative studios, production companies and talent managers in the film and television industry. They’re worldwide. Our core adopters are primarily UK-based filmmakers. Fabrik has a number of competitors, but the team believes that their service is the best among the lot. Cargo Collective is now relatively outdated, but was the go-to choice for creatives over last decade, once respected but now damaged by Squarespace’s market domination. Squarespace is predominantly SME craft and trade, recently e-com focused, and aggressively advertised. Their product generally falls short of expectation in this industry, so creatives often churn. Behance ProSite is also quite outdated, basic and unloved – but its free to subscribers of Adobe’s Creative Cloud software suite. Format is actually the closest competing product, considered one to watch, and it’s primarily used by photographers. And possibly The Grid, although until it launches it’s unknown whether creatives will benefit from its AI, or whether it will render their content unrecognisable. At present, Fabrik is an SaaS product with monthly and annual subscription plans. Having launched in May 2015, Fabrik has around 320 subscribers and 65 trials at the moment.