We talked to Nicolás Fernández of Be Smart Technology about exclusive music, photos and videos streaming platform.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nicolás Fernández: Everything’s fine! I am feeling lucky and thankful for being healthy through these difficult times.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Be Smart Technology.
Nicolás Fernández: Be Smart was found back in 2015. I have always been an entrepreneur in the technology industry, and I was always a bit restless. Around 20 years ago, I founded a company in Argentina that still continues its operations, in which we rent systems infrastructure equipment for companies and governments. In 2015, with the boom of Mobile Apps, and after settling in the city of Miami, Florida, we built a white-label platform so that any company could get its App without great development costs. We have decided to work under the SaaS model, and we have done it very well. That’s where Be Smart was born.
Then, we moved on to solving a great Latin American music artist’s needs, who, although he had more than 20 million followers on his Social Media, was not doing well in the Digital business. We realized at that time that having your own App with a Subscription Model could pave the way to success and digital innovation…and we were not wrong. Later, we decided to develop a platform that allowed any artist to quickly replicate this model with all the technology resolved. I have always been passionate about finding technological solutions to current problems, bringing technology closer to entrepreneurs in general, and now also artists, and even new influencers.
How does Be Smart Technology innovate?
Nicolás Fernández: We have built a White Label Platform where any artist, influencer, or any user who has been able to get hundreds of thousands or millions of followers on their social networks can have their own technology to generate their own App or even their own channels to carry out live broadcasts under a subscription model and pay per view.
With Be Smart, our clients get their App and their own Live channel in less than 48 hours, with almost no implementation and startup costs. And in a few months, by making that less than 1% of your followers become App Members, our system will be your best digital business.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nicolás Fernández: As we have many artists from the music industry in our client portfolio, and considering that the benefits of being a member of our Apps came hand in hand to making subscribers live real, physical experiences…concert tours were our horse of battle to gather fans and make them fulfill dreams, unique experiences, and benefits. Since the pandemic started, concert tours were one of the first business verticals to be cut and one of the last to return. With which we have had to reinvent ourselves with other remote experience products.
I always like to see a glass half full, and today we can be proud that the pandemic has given us the possibility of having built a new product, “My Smart Live” where our clients (Artists, Influencers, but now also, Opinion Leaders, Speakers, and even Personal Trainers, Language Teachers, and Psychologists, can in a matter of minutes get their own website where they can sell tickets or subscribe users and broadcast live both for a massive audience and one on one events. Without having to worry about technology and under your complete and transparent control.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nicolás Fernández: You always have to make difficult decisions. But I think the most difficult of this pandemic was the decision to invest in the development of new products at a time when you were not receiving any positive comments. Or at the same time, having that business declined as a result of the pandemic. And the news from outside was one worse than the other. The first image you picture in your mind is that of closing the business with the justification that the pandemic has not let you continue…but the interesting thing is always to face the problems. Lessons learned; I enjoy learning, making mistakes. As everything bad leaves a lesson, the pandemic has undoubtedly left us a very important one. We are never going to stop valuing the beautiful things of our everyday lives.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Be Smart Technology in the future?
Nicolás Fernández: I am restless, curious, I like to learn, try, and start over. I’m anxious, of course, but I can fight stress by disconnecting. When I put my mind to it, I do it quickly. I am with my family, I share everything with my wife and my son, I even play PlayStation games or have a barbecue, and I quickly leave the stress of work and pressures behind.
I enjoy the team that we have put together at Be Smart, and we have had a hard time achieving it. They are young girls and boys, intelligent, with personality, who like what they do. They know how to lower me when I get excited about something, and they support me with tireless work when the business needs it. Sometimes I see on a Sunday night that a group of the company is active with something, and that is when I feel proud that with mistakes and successes, at least we have created an environment in which it is good to work at. And that means being happy 70% of the time…you have to always try to enjoy what you do.
How do I project myself? I will be 42 years old soon, and maturity came to me with more desire to transmit the little or much that I learned in these years of experience to the new generations than to prove myself in different areas. Hopefully, I can build and continue to grow a team that will then function on its own. This is my main challenge today.
I see the company with many more clients, offices in different parts of the world where they still don’t know us, and a young, fresh team, wanting to achieve great things and the ability to carry them out without having someone tell them what they have to do. That would be an achievement of all of us who made Be Smart a stable company, and without ever having received significant investments other than those made by the partners. It is a 100% organic company.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nicolás Fernández: Depending on the area, we have different competitors. Regarding software companies, they see us as a Software Factory. Ticketing services in our LiveStream product probably, since we are signing contracts with Venues, Producers, Artists, etc., they could be a competitor if we talk about our product as a means of achieving your website with your own live broadcast and pay per view model.
One of the things that we have gained in the last year is to be able to diversify the business, for example, ensuring that the company remains in the market in the midst of a pandemic and with a forecast as ambitious as the one we had before COVID-19.
Your final thoughts?
Nicolás Fernández: The ability to reinvent yourself is one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur. And the pandemic has put us all to the test with this one.
The future comes hand in hand with many tools that will allow you to continue your business remotely. There will be more and more businesses, startups, innovation in all areas. The vertical structures, the organization charts, I feel more and more distant from. Creating groups of people capable of complementing each other with a common goal is everything in today’s business world. At least from the new StartUps point of view. And this is something that the new generations already have in their DNA. Knowing how to guide those minds and provide an experience that is also essential for the real success of projects, I think, is the path that, at least in my opinion, I recommend to any entrepreneur. Young people who have just arrived in the labor markets are the thermometer of any idea. I always say that when I was 20 years old, I admired my bosses, who gave me the opportunity to work. I wanted to be like them. Today our employees are the ones who tell us what to do even with only having a few years of experience!! When controlled and well channeled, those things give a personality to the companies that I celebrate and enjoy very much.
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