After all these years of experience, you now choose to be part of Nodes. What inspired you most to make this choice?
After selling my digital innovation company aFrogleap, I pursued my dream of flying and got my my private pilot’s license by spending 3 months in the US. When I returned to my family I took time to think about what I’d want. I coached several startups, ran design sprints, gave business model feedback and coached development teams.
At the same time, I co-founded an endeavor in the new channel of Voice to start working on tomorrow’s world. This worked very nicely and was effective.
Then I met Andreas Green Rasmussen, the founder of Nodes, and the two of us started talking. There was a real DNA match:
-Optimistic pragmatism mixed with an opportunistic mindset, and
-Top level execution.
The next step became a no-brainer. Nodes does all the above, where I bring relevant experience from ideation to execution and I offer the added niche of the Voice medium plus the needed applied Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning knowledge to power that customer experience. A perfect match, accelerating the world of tomorrow to get here faster.
How would you describe Nodes as a company in the European tech space?
The tech stack and the way of working is very similar to how I had organized my teams previously. This familiarity breeds a lot of trust. Because the development method ensures to always peek at the newest things available, yet deliver stable proven solutions.
On top of that; Nodes is the foster parent to the open source community. Swift as a backend language, vapor.code. This proves the high maturity of the developer’s capabilities. The fact that the company has been growing at impressive rates year over year tells me that the sales consultants understand the Nodes customers’ needs very well. The operational excellence in combination of thought leadership brings Nodes at the top of the European tech space. Strengthened by the fact that the teams are able to deliver quality and on time.
Sharing the same digital DNA: founder of Nodes Andreas Green Rasmussen (m) and Naos Wilbrink (r)
What will be your role within Nodes?
I want to support brands’ interaction options with their consumers digitally whilst growing Nodes NL to be the profitable innovative playground. In other words, bring out the best with new digital products for our clients.
You’ve just started a couple of days ago. How did you experience your first days?
The first couple of days have been filled with connecting to Nodes. To engage with the enthusiastic people that drive the business in marketing, sales and/or execution, is thrilling. The consumer first approach, thinking of solutions with clients for their users, challenging and validating (false) beliefs is in the DNA of all Nodes talents I’ve talked to. Making clients successful through the Nodes process is a win-win for all parties involved. One reason for joining is the Nodes mindset to keep looking for the Next Best Thing, for Nodes clients. Testing the waters on Voice Services with the other Nodes offices globally has been very successful. All of us want to use new developments where they can make an impact. I’ve found ‘hidden’ talent throughout the company that I’d like to connect to this innovation cycle, mostly regarding machine learning and applied AI.
Nodes has been a front runner for 10 years, and continues to foster that growth mindset no matter what the future brings.
In his new position as Managing Director Naos Wilbrink will use the Nodes product portfolio broadly to help enterprises towards successful digital transformation
What trends and tendencies do you see on the Dutch market in terms of digital transformation, apps and mobile? According to your professional opinion, what are 3 major challenges Dutch companies are facing right now?
I’ve made predictions before and from that experience I need to add 10 years to what I see in my crystal ball. 12 years ago I called a meeting with the management team at a great company I was working for in email marketing. The SaaS email company MailChimp started to come out of the woodworks. They didn’t charge per sent email and they automated a large part of the business we were charging for, or they were about to develop it. So to me, email marketing was dead! We needed to find something else. I found apps as the next thing in a new company I started.
10 years into apps and I’ve seen a few apps that should and shouldn’t have been built. The market has matured. Now people understand when an app is a MUST and when it shouldn’t exist. A bunch of self-build tools have come out. Time for me to predict: Apps are dead!
Just as email marketing wasn’t over but had just matured into a field that could be tailored to and catered for the tiniest mom and pop shops to multi-billion dollar businesses, mobile apps are in the same space now. A mature market where some people need the self-build tools, some need a full in-house team and some need digital agencies like Nodes.
It’s up to the agencies to show their added value by using that combined experience from the last 10 years in app development with marketing and sales experience, in general, to help accelerate our clients work. Clients can now trust they are building an app that’s worth building, validated, and that the app will hold everything it should to service the need of the brand as well as their user.
So looking at the total stack: Websites, Apps, Platforms, connected API infrastructure; as a serious brand you have this. Now it’s time to ride the next wave. Another interface: Voice. We couldn’t have gotten here without the foundational layers that have been put into power the rest of the digital movement. We use the voice interface more and more. And yes we are going to build Voice Controlled interfaces that won’t make sense in hindsight. Right now we’ll collectively figure out where we as consumers want to use this interface. Where does it add value and or take away a perceived pain point?
Are we talking about a new Dutch Revolution?
The Dutch and Danish are culturally very close to each other. I would dub it the Double D Revolution: Danish & Dutch. Our countries have put and keep putting in the latest infrastructure to support digital growth of companies and invest heavily in higher education. We are relatively small countries, yet we are very connected with huge worldwide and globally operating companies. All those items combined make us the ideal playground for digital innovation.
The DD revolution will, therefore, help other big brands figure out their digital future for the rest of the world after experimenting with us here.
Dream project to start?
Curiosity may have killed the cat but it drives me! “I can’t wait to see what the future will bring” and since I can’t wait and see, I’d like to make it happen. Therefore I’d like to use an artificial general intelligence combined with quantum entanglement fMRI scans to steer us through the relativity of space and time as my ideal next project.
In order to get there, let’s start at the other elements that we can do right now. Voice is an interface. Same goes for apps, websites, and AR/VR experiences. The purpose of these interfaces is to present data and for us to consume it, interact-with or make-decisions-based-on that data. The ‘richer’ we can make this data experience, the more useful it is to us. The easier the data interface the more complexity happens on the backend.
For instance now you can get your bank account info through your Google Assistant. In order to have Google speak that info they where able to kraft it with respect for your privacy and without giving Google access to take control of your account. It’s like a good magic trick.
For me a combined offering that seamlessly moves with the user from one interface to the other, from voice command to phone app to friends invited using a site to interact and all that powered by enriched (smart) data, would be awesome.
Last but not least: what is your most used personal app at this moment?
I consume 12 times less time in an app. I like most than the app I get most content through; YouTube (American news satire, anything regarding flying, physics, and entanglement), I spend half of the time of YouTube reading the news in the NOS app, and 2/3rds of the NOS app is spent on social news; Instagram and about the same amount of time is spent in Safari. Snapping and LinkedIn combined is equal to my Insta time. That all together is about 15 hrs in the last 7 days. 30 minutes on top of that is spent in Skydemon! It’s like a very extensive TomTom for flying. That is my favorite app at the moment, planning flights I can do the minute the weather is good enough or when I’m on holiday.