We talked to Carole Danancher of Kannelle on how to empower employees to create videos, simply and quickly only using their smartphones and this is what she had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Carole Danancher: My family and I are doing fine. Even though I got infected, I was lucky to get through the illness with no complications.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Kannelle.
Carole Danancher: I became an entrepreneur a few years ago. After working a couple of years in the “Corporate World,” I felt I needed something that meant more to me. I wanted to make an impact. After a coding bootcamp in Paris, my team and I started a first project whose idea was to create a video review platform for restaurants, hotels, services, etc. To make it simple, it was a Tripadvisor platform but in video format.
We failed at making it big, obviously, but from our small community, we learned how to help people create amazing videos in minutes with just a smartphone! Companies started knocking at the door, asking for our technology be adapt to their corporate needs. In a blink, Kannelle was born! Two and a half years later, Kannelle has become a leading video creation tool for professionals and companies.
How does Kannelle innovate?
Carole Danancher: I believe our innovation relies on our product is truly different from other video creation tools. Unlike many video creation tools, none of the founders were video experts. It made us see the problem with fresh eyes – those of a newbie looking to create videos easily, quickly, and without skills.
It also made it clear that the video had to be accessible to everybody in a company, video experts, and communication managers.
Today, Kannelle is the only tool that is so easy to use that you can give it to anybody, from an intern to an operational employee that needs to share field best practices.
And that was made possible thanks to a strategic technology choice: video on a smartphone.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Carole Danancher: Just like many other startups, the outbreak of the pandemic was full of uncertainty. How is the market (and our clients in particular) going to react? How long is it going to last? How are we going to organize the teamwork?
The team organization’s significant change: we already had half the team working entirely remotely while half the team was working in the office. It helped us launch full remote work quickly. Being transparent and dedicated to our team helped us do the switch without any friction. We also stayed attentive to any unease feeling from the group, going from a lousy internet speed to a loneliness syndrome. Today, we plan to keep this small organization, with some team moments in coworking spaces and cafes.
Second, our worst fear was about the market reaction. After a one-month blackout, thanks to our positioning, Kannelle quickly became a “covid-19 friendly solution”, meaning it would help corporations work better. The video format has been a way to keep in touch with teams, clients, learners, etc. In this “no contact” stressful period, the video made interactions more human. And by understanding how to market our product during this crisis, we grew steadily in 2020.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Carole Danancher: Although we were in the dark in the first weeks of the covid-19 pandemic, we decided not to split the team. It was a risky decision since finances could have become very tense. But we had a great team, and we needed the ship to remain intact to get through that crisis. We could not have done it without everybody’s support and implication in our team. Today, we are even recruiting!
Lesson learned: unity is vital.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Carole Danancher: I have found some interesting ways of fighting anxiety: every day, I would put music out loud (really loud) in my flat and shake like crazy for 10 minutes. I can assure you it’s worth any gym club!
Also, I practice 10 minutes of yoga every night before going to bed. It helps me fall asleep like a baby.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Carole Danancher: We have several competitors, like Moovly, but they are all desktop video solutions. Meaning, they are less flexible and agile than Kannelle and don’t match our client’s needs.
Let me give you a concrete example. We work with construction companies, and their need is the following: they need site managers to make video construction reports for clients, third-parties, etc. Those site managers only got their phones, and I can assure you they will not spend 4 hours on a laptop to do video editing. With Kannelle, they record and edit videos on their smartphones in 15 minutes.
Your final thoughts?
Carole Danancher: We have been through a tough year. It’s still hard (the culture, events, and food industries, to mention a few). However, I do believe that you can find opportunities in every difficult moment in life. It might not be easy, but that is the mindset I forced myself to adopt at the beginning of this crisis. And the way I see things now, a positive attitude can help us take on every challenge in life!
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