INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Jesse Lempiäinen, Co-founder of Geeklab Shares Their Story with Us; How They Started a Company during COVID-19
We talked to Jesse Lempiäinen of Geeklab on how they are helping businesses improve their marketability to save millions.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jesse Lempiäinen: Hey, thanks. Interesting times indeed. Luckily my friends and family have been safe during the pandemic, and life seems to be going on.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Geeklab.
Jesse Lempiäinen: I’ve done my time feeding my thirst for entrepreneurship by freelancing, creating content, and marketing stuff. After multiple turns, I joined Rovio, the Angry Birds Company, which kicked off my mobile marketing career.
We founded Geeklab a bit over a year ago due to the frustration of the lack of a service like this on the market. Working as a product marketing manager on a big mobile gaming company, I found it unbelievable that there was no cost-efficient and accurate solution to optimize our app store conversion, which is 50% of our paid marketing. Secondly, we had no visibility on a proper install rate for a concept we were planning to make.
Long story short, I called an entrepreneur friend who I’ve previously worked closely with and said, let’s fix this. We formed a team of 4 co-founders, and that’s how Geeklab got to be.
How does Geeklab innovate?
Jesse Lempiäinen: We innovate by looking at everything through the lens of” how could we make this better,” not how it is should be done and how it has been done.
Let’s take the pricing models f.ex. We noticed a massive part of the mobile marketing market that could not use the tools because of the pricing models (expensive, long term agreements). We completely rewrote our pricing model and ensured our business is still scalable, with scalable pricing options based on our customers’ needs. The fact that we currently have customers ranging from indie developers to listed companies shows success.
We apply the same thing to everything we do. Customer-first, what could we do rather than how it should be done. Data discrepancies have been an issue with tools like ours, so even though the easiest and fastest way to build the MVP would’ve been to utilize the existing third-party tools helping on this, like Google Analytics. We made everything ourselves.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jesse Lempiäinen: We kicked the company off in August 2019 but hard-launched the monetizing version of our software in January 2020. So we’re one that could be called a COVID-company. We do not know how things would’ve been without COVID as we do not have a comparison point.
The business we operate has been doing well—mobile gaming. The industry saw a 16% uplift in revenue during H1 2020. The industry is packed with fantastic events where you get to meet and network, which all are now, of course, held online.
In a nutshell, I could say that we save a lot of time by not traveling and visiting all the events and our clients. On the other hand, as we’re stuck inside our homes, even the smallest topics require a meeting. There is no coffee talk anymore. To cope with the lost time there, I feel like the team has worked hard.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jesse Lempiäinen: We’ve been blessed to be in a situation where we’ve been able to grow our business, and all our decisions have been relatively positive.
We’ve had to prioritize things and shift our plans a bit, but to be honest, everything has been relatively easy for us. We were about to move to a new office, but as lockdowns kept going on, we decided to stick to our current offices.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Geeklab in the future?
Jesse Lempiäinen: Personally, completing tasks, moving forward, doing things is the thing that helps me out here.
I’ve also noticed that the importance of communications has been increasing a lot. You have to over-communicate things now. There’s no coffee talk; there’s none of this spontaneous idea sharing, which is troubling.
We are in good shape now, and we’ll keep on working from home to make sure everyone is safe, but as soon as this is over, we will jump into our new offices and start to share our precious coffee moments again.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jesse Lempiäinen: We’ve got four competitors in the market: two older and big ones, and two aspiring and innovative ones.
We plan to stay in the game by ensuring we are the best at bringing value to developers and marketers. We’re doing this and improving our company on three different fronts;
- Technology: the most accurate and cost-efficient solution. Best product available
- Educate: Bringing useful information to the community for free
- Service: Bringing in our talent and knowledge to our customers and making close relationships while being a strategic partner helping.
Your final thoughts?
Jesse Lempiäinen: Stay healthy, stay safe. To be honest, this is a weird a** year. Looking at the bright side has forced us to think about what we value the most. It has forced us to take giant leaps technologically. Lastly, as harsh as it sounds, the companies that survive this will come out more vital than ever. I wish good luck and strength to all my fellow entrepreneurs. If our services seem something that can help you get through these tough times, get in touch, and we’ll figure something out.
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