Interview APP Founders: Gideon Nagtegaal – Dennis Hendriksen – Paul Nijhof – Veronique van der Roer – Man Yong Toh
Name Founders: Gideon Nagtegaal (on the photo) – Dennis Hendriksen – Paul Nijhof – Veronique van der Roer – Man Yong Toh
Name Company: Seeviews
Name App: Seeviews
Category App: Travel / social / marketing
Is the App created for a certain country/area or worldwide: Worldwide
As Founder of this fantastic App, what was your motivation to create such an App?
GN: “We saw a few things. The hospitality industry is heavily dependent on written reviews. They struggle with their relationships with OTA’s (e.g. Booking.com / Tripadvisor) because of the margins they lose and therefore want to be more OTA independ by getting more direct bookings. Written reviews are almost always made after a stay and therefore gives the hotelier no change to solve a problem or issue during that stay, but has to read it sometime later.
On the other hand you have the guests that want to find out how other people experienced a certain hotel or holiday. Now, the only way to find out is by reading reviews, and looking at the photos that are made by the hotel. This can give a distorted image that is bad for the hotelier and the (potential) guest.
This made us develop a tool that gives the hotelier a lot more marketing-power by get more direct bookings and control over the experiences of the guests, e.g. they can now solve a problem when it’s actually happening.
And the potential guest can see and hear other guests experiences that are shown on the hotel website. This gives them a way more honest and transparent view of how things really are, because Seeviews are made during the stay. The change a holiday becomes a disappointment is basically 0%.”
‘Most people experience their holiday with their eye’s open, right? So, why would we “close” them by reading about that experience, when their are Seeviews to look at?’
Why should Users download this App?
GN: “At the first stages of our launch (March) guests will be invited by the hotel or travel organisation to make Seeviews. They receive a personal code with which they can make Seeviews, by using the Seeviews app. In a later phase (June) we will make the app open to the public and ad all kinds of other social components to it. Travelers can then make Seeviews at every hotel.”
What are the advantages compared to other similar App’s?
GN: “As far as we know, a service like Seeviews does not exist. Of course some of the components aren’t new but the combined toolset that Seeviews offers isn’t already out there.
Can you tell something about the process, challenges, hurdles and time spent from the moment you start (The Idea) till the moment you launched the App at the AppStore / GooglePlay?
GN: “From start to ‘finish’ it took about 18 months to get to the point we are now.
We did extensive research and testing, maybe a bit to extensive,… but you learn while you go, and then planned the further development. Yes we had some hurdles, but we are well trained ‘athletes’ that jumped right on time, also due to the help of one of our co-founders Paul Nijhof (ex CEO and co-owner wehkamp.nl, one of the largest online retailers in the Netherlands), who has tons of experience when it comes to building a company. Let’s say we were and are in good company!”
Do we have an investor?
GN: “We have our own investment firm (Brandsinvest) which financed the development. So technically speaking, yes we have an investor. But we did not have the need to get external funds. But it could well be, in order to grow, we need external (smart) money in the near future.”
Once you launched the App in the Appstore / GooglePlay, what did you do to promote this App to your target audience (user group)?
GN: “As I said, the hotel and travel organisation invites the guests and therefore does the majority of the promotion. Of course we give them all the tools to do this. In the next few months we will open up to the ‘public’. We have a marketing plan in place to let the world know we exist.”
Do you think Applepies (as worldwide rating and reviewing Online App Magazine) can have a certain role in this?
GN: “Yes, most certainly! We want the world to know that by making a Seeview you can help other travelers to make the best choice when it comes to getting the most out of their well deserved holiday. So we can use all the help we can get. Thanks for that!”
You as a visionair, what is your view on the new technologies of the digital smartphone (App) world. Do you think that within 1 to 5 years App’s will be indispensable?
GN: “I don’t see myself as a visionair, I have had 8 years of schooling incl. kindergarten. But I am smart enough to be surrounding myself by people that are smarter than me to take things to a whole ‘another level.
As far as apps and technology goes, I think a lot of things will be automated as our devices learn our routines and adapt to that, if we notice or not we are creatures that have a lot of habits. Technology in the near future will try to monetize those habits by giving us what we think we need, before we even need it. Either that or technology will cease to exist due to the fact our energy consumption will be more than the energy we can generate.”
Are you currently (still) looking for investments or funds to finalise or optimize your App?
GN: “No. Maybe in the near future.”
Last but not least is there anything you want to recommend other creators/founders?
GN: “Don’t overthink things. Try to proof your concept by using the minimal amount of money and energy because you’ll need that to make your product. Choose your partners wisely and when giving out shares in the beginning 1 or 2 % may seem not that much, until you are worth 300 million.”