We talked to Christian Heidemeyer, Co-Founder of Echometer, about team development and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Christian Heidemeyer: Quite good, I cannot complain. I love the increased focus (in my case) when working from home.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Echometer.
Christian Heidemeyer: Originally, I studied psychology and soon discovered the great potential of psychological know-how in our everyday life. During my studies, the desire to build something useful based on psychological knowledge came to me naturally. That’s how I founded my first company – Psytastic. An app that explains exciting psychological facts and studies concisely. A few years later, I started the project Echometer as a spin-off of the University of Münster, which I then founded in 2019 together with Jean Michel Diaz (Business) and Robin Roschlau (IT). I am also a Scrum Master now – I can highly recommend that certification.
How does Echometer innovate?
Christian Heidemeyer: In short, Echometer is a software tool that leverages psychological know-how for agile teamwork and continuous improvement. Our tool helps unleash employee potential and facilitate team development remotely. Keeping your teams motivated and your company culture strong is already difficult in normal times, even more during a global health crisis. In this sense, Echometer bridges the gap between psychological facts and agile best practices.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Christian Heidemeyer: As a start-up in the field of HR tech, the year 2020 was particularly busy and enriching for us. The exponential growth of home office and digitization really helped us deploy our tool into organizations. Our revenue increased tenfold last year. Looking back, one of the most satisfying things was to see how companies are opening up to remote and agile work methods. This was a big helper for our first full year on the market.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Christian Heidemeyer: We are still a small team and overall we were in the privileged situation of not having to lay off our employees or close our business. Quite the contrary, considering that we have just completed our first round of investments. We are positive about the future and strive to strengthen our team.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Christian Heidemeyer: As you know, building a business from the ground up is a lot of work. But at Echometer, we believe in flexibility and retrospective. That’s why I personally deal with stress by taking time in the evenings and weekends to reflect on our challenges. With the support of my team, I feel confident about our goal to increase our revenue at least threefold this year – I’ll keep you posted. Being able to share these feelings within your team is critical to moving forward.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Christian Heidemeyer: We have several competitors in our main market and abroad, like Retrium in the US. Most of them rely on either agile retrospective or top-down employee feedback. We on the other hand combine both and favor bottom-up feedback, i.e. involving employees in the improvement process. Given our psychological expertise and the speed with which we improve our tool, I firmly believe that we have a unique solution for companies worldwide.
Your final thoughts?
Christian Heidemeyer: You’ve probably heard this saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Your team is the key to success, so invest in them. It will pay off in the long run.
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