We talked to Robert Jan Hofman, CEO at Myler Media about how they develop awesome apps and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Robert Jan Hofman: My family is doing great! During the first lockdown, our kids were suddenly at home all the time, and we had to find a new (working) rhythm and balance. As soon as we found this, we saw a lot of benefits in it as well. I really enjoy the extra time I have with my kids now!
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Myler Media.
Robert Jan Hofman: As a student in Information technology, I always had an interest in a new and exciting technology. Even when an iPhone was still something completely new, I already found mobile apps exciting and starting building them myself. During my job as a technical consultant, I wanted to create mobile apps as well and help companies build them. Unfortunately, this was not possible at the company I worked for. So I decided to start my own! I got a lot of advice from friends and my dad, who was an entrepreneur for many years, which I am still thankful for. Now, just a few years later, we are an app development agency with 14 people on staff.
How does Myler Media innovate?
Robert Jan Hofman: In our company, we drive innovation in a couple of ways. The first is that we set up a team that focuses on Innovation & Technique. Apart from their regular tasks, they spend time doing research and looking for new ways to innovate. They are always coming up with new creative solutions and know about the latest technical possibilities. This way, we are always up to date about the latest possibilities in the world of apps and mobile tech and find ways to make better apps. The second way is through our partners and clients, who ask us for new innovation and allow us to push the boundaries.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Robert Jan Hofman: The way of working and communicating evolved last year. We already worked completely digital but had to take an additional step. Employees had to start working from home full time, and everybody had to get used to this. We were lucky that mobile apps and technological innovations became more in demand than ever, so we didn’t lose any clients over this.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Robert Jan Hofman: In the beginning, I was struggling myself. I missed the social interactions with colleagues and clients. People at home were also struggling, especially those who lived on their own. But we found ways to make it work: we set up a digital coffee meeting every day and sent everyone plants to let them know we think about them.
We learned a couple of lessons. One is to keep innovating -that’s how we managed to transition to working from home pretty smoothly. Also how important it is to keep moving and doing sports. But the most important lesson is how important our health is. Health is not something that comes by default.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Robert Jan Hofman: For coming back to the office, we are now using Hotspot to make sure workplaces are booked. It’s a handy tool to limit the number of workplaces. This way, people know who’s at the office and what places are free. For the rest, not much has changed as we already worked digitally for the most part.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Robert Jan Hofman: To be honest, we don’t really look at our competitors. We try to make creative solutions to ensure a long-term relationship with our clients. In the end, it’s all about hard work and delivering high-quality products.
Your final thoughts?
Robert Jan Hofman: I hope that we can leave the COVID-19 era behind us soon and return to a normal way of living. Stay safe!
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