We talked to Marcel Wientjen, CEO of Braintoss, the best capture tool and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marcel Wientjen: Thank you for asking. My family is doing fine. Last year we were very busy with working and my two daughters with studying. However, we are also looking forward to an everyday life where we can meet family and friends and go to restaurants and festivals again.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Braintoss.
Marcel Wientjen: Braintoss was founded by an old colleague and friend of mine. The aim of developing Braintoss was to facilitate sending whatever is on your mind to your inbox by a single touch of a screen. Ease of input was design goal number one. The goal is that when you have an idea on the go, you use the app to quickly email it to yourself – through voice, text, or picture input – for later attention and action. It’s especially perfect for the many people who use their inbox as their primary task list. When Braintoss was founded, I was CEO of another company. Two years later, I stepped in as a shareholder and CFO of the company. Since 2020 I have been acting as the CEO.
How does Braintoss innovate?
Marcel Wientjen: Braintoss is doing well because of the simplicity of our app. This simplicity is what customers like. All innovations (and features) should never impact the simplicity of the Braintoss app. All new developments in 2021 should make the app even simpler and more reliable. We listen to our customers for any changes we initiate. We received many requests from customers to have Braintoss also on Apple Watch. In less than two months, we launched Braintoss on Apple Watch in 2020. We also receive many requests from our customers to have Braintoss working with Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, Apple does not reply to our requests, but we are glad that our customers can use the Braintoss app in all Ford cars.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Marcel Wientjen: We can not complain. Since the company was founded, we have 100% increase in revenue every year. Also, in 2020 we had a revenue increase of 125%. Recently we were even nominated by Apple as one of the best apps in the Dutch Apple store. Without coronavirus, I would have expected an increase of 200%. We see most of our downloads during the week, and also most of our customers use the Braintoss app during the week. However, since the Corona outbreak, most people worked from home, and therefore I assume that we had fewer new customers.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Marcel Wientjen: The most difficult decision in 2020 was to switch from a front-end development company. Looking back, we are delighted that we made this decision.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Marcel Wientjen: We invested a lot in communication with our customers last year. The most significant improvements have been that all customer emails will be replied to within 24 hours and needs to be solved. We first ask a group of valuable beta testers to test this first for each new feature. We have more than 500 beta testers and a select group of customers who give us valuable feedback. This effective communication is the main lesson I learned last year. It is vital to listen and communicate with your customers, especially for app companies like Braintoss.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Marcel Wientjen: No, we are do not receive anything from the government.
Your final thoughts?
Marcel Wientjen: Follow your heart and keep focused.