We talked to Jan Dirk Bijker of Coolminds about the next level partner in digital process optimization and the following is what he said about it:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jan Dirk Bijker: We adapted to this strange situation. Walking around wearing a face mask, social distancing, and working at home are some of the safety measures that we have adapted. I feel most sorry for my daughters. My kids can’t go to College or University, meet their friends, or go out. They are missing out on a great deal in any important part of their lives.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Coolminds.
Jan Dirk Bijker: New technology has always crossed my pathways. The idea of Virtual Reality came to my mind 8 years ago. We began to consider how VR could add value to our customers’ businesses. We came up with several ideas, but eventually, things evolved into serious VR Training for Transport, Logistics, and Industry and a kind of Netflix 360 video platform for Mental Health Care.
How does Coolminds innovate?
Jan Dirk Bijker: We start pitching to our customers as soon as we get a new idea to test their support. Ideally, we work together with them to convert the idea into a product. However, If an idea finds no support from the beginning, we freeze it and move forward with one that does find support. I define innovation as bringing a product or service successfully to market. So knowing you have the support is crucial.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jan Dirk Bijker: Corona has affected our business. Companies focus on their core business and struggle with finding new ways to secure their business. The development of VR training has dropped since our customers stopped training their personnel. Thus we routed our energy for change to discovering new working methods. In Mental Health, thousands of social workers had to learn to use video when treating their clients. There was little time to move forward and innovate the business with VR.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jan Dirk Bijker: Crisis such as Covid help you rethink your company’s focus. We discussed our identity in the past year. What do we want to be? Saying goodbye to activities that don’t contribute to your business success is easier when it comes apparent they are not a star that needs investment.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are helping you navigate the crisis?
Jan Dirk Bijker: Good financial management, controls, and reports that give insight into the performance of our several product segments.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jan Dirk Bijker: We expect a consolidation in the market of VR providers. When things get rough, you need to take a long breath and good faith. We think that some startups will give up, and we plan to take over the market. Now is the time.
Your final thoughts?
Jan Dirk Bijker: Thanks to our organization’s good processes and structure. They helped us to relocate our 25 employees to work from their homes within a day. I am grateful to them for displaying professional attitude, creativity, and ongoing positivism during these uncertain times.
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