We talked to Floris van der Breggen of SyncVR, the largest VR platform for medical care and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Floris van der Breggen: Pretty well, in fact! My grandmother, who is not only my hero but also a big Virtual Reality fan, is still alive and kicking. That’s my KPI for how well my family is going through the pandemic!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SyncVR.
Floris van der Breggen: During my studies, I noticed that the difference between other students around me and myself was due to being a weirdo and a misfit. That came to a personal crisis for about 1 night before realizing that I might use my weirdness as an advantage, not following any path but making my own. I decided that regardless of anything, I want to directly impact people’s lives using technology. After a few anti-poaching projects, creating a VR documentary in rural Africa and building drones for wood fire monitoring, I concluded that VR in healthcare needs my focus.
How does SyncVR innovate?
Floris van der Breggen: By a culture of discipline. Structured teams that challenge one another, developers being in direct contact with caregivers, getting young people on the team who score 3 on experience but 9 on ambition… And by the exciting realization that we are laying the groundwork for VR in healthcare – something that will be so normal in 20 years from now, we’re defining what that future will look like.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Floris van der Breggen: It’s a matter of changing strategy. We realized we couldn’t do direct sales in existing markets as easily anymore, but we could already start up the long healthcare sales cycles. That is one of the 3 strategic changes we quickly made. As such, we managed to grow faster during times of Covid than any period before.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Floris van der Breggen: Difficult choices affecting human beings will always remain. We didn’t have to lay off people because of financial difficulty. We did say goodbye to people who simply weren’t good enough or not motivated enough. The key lesson is simple: the best people will find a way towards company success, even during a pandemic, but average people don’t.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Floris van der Breggen: Apart from using more teleconferencing, the relationships have been strong. This is crucial in healthcare. The main change has been on the healthcare side: it used to take 15 minutes for the average caregiver to get any video call to work, and it’s only 5 minutes now.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Floris van der Breggen: We do everything on revenue; that’s our driver.
Your final thoughts?
Floris van der Breggen: Your working life comprises a large part of your awake time. Make it one epic adventure!
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