First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Gijs Bekenkamp: We are doing all right!
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded Chordify
Gijs Bekenkamp: Together with four friends, we founded Chordify in 2012. When our current CEO, Bas de Haas, gathered a team to help put his PhD research on audio recognition into practice, we jumped right in. Before Chordify, I traveled the world as a freelance photographer. When I resettled in The Netherlands, I founded a graphic design agency together with Dion ten Heggeler. Chordify was one of many things our agency took on, which gradually took all of our time. Before we knew it, we were hiring people with Chordify to keep up with demand. And that actually hasn’t changed since.
How does Chordify Innovate?
Gijs Bekenkamp: Chordify innovates by understanding what drives musicians, and how we can help them achieve their goals. By measuring carefully, thinking critically, and with everflowing curiosity, we never stop learning about technology, musicianship and the music we live.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business and how are you coping?
Gijs Bekenkamp: During the lockdown, a lot of people turned to music and started picking up their instruments again. We really saw that the platform aided people in these difficult times, which resulted in a big increase in the number of visitors, app installs, Premium subscriptions, etc. We also initiated a ‘Stay Home and Jam’ channel with uplifting songs to practice from home and highlighted trending artists that help cope with quarantine.
Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned?
Gijs Bekenkamp: Following the Dutch government lockdown measures, our two regular offices closed and were replaced with 40 home offices. The change happened overnight. But the rapid transition went seemingly effortless, which makes me very proud; to see how everyone kept on taking responsibility. Instead of difficult decisions during COVID-19, we managed to grow the team with more professionals.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you project yourself and Chordify in the Future?
Gijs Bekenkamp: I love to run. It grants me to see the bigger picture and helps me to put it all into perspective and keep a clear head. Company-wise, it’s important to take the time to plan ahead, set goals and look forward. We want to help as many people around the globe to live their music; explore their musical talent however big or small that might be.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Gijs Bekenkamp: Chordify is built on top-notch technology that provides chords for every song online. The competition is strong when it comes to music e-learning tools, but no other competitor serves chords fully automatic like Chordify does. This way, we provide chords to brand-new songs, local hits and obscure genres. We stay in the game by our eagerness to learn, to improve and the love for music.
Your Final Thoughts
Gijs Bekenkamp: Everyone is a musician. Start playing.