Meet Bryce, VerbalizeIt’s VP of Engineering

Bryce Headshot

Bryce has been an entrepreneur and technologist his entire career. At age 24, he founded his first official startup in the healthcare research space. Since then, he has been the technical co-founder or early employee of five startup companies. Bryce has significant experience in building and leading technology teams in e-commerce, business intelligence and marketing & advertising. Bryce was most recently employee #1 at The Clymb, an e-commerce company specializing in providing flash sale merchandise for outdoor enthusiasts. He single-handedly built and supported the original platform for the company that grew to $10M in top line sales in 18 months. The company now has a nine-figure valuation. When not programming or reading about programming, Bryce enjoys the outdoors. When it’s cold, he’s usually skiing and when it’s warm, he’s usually camping with his wife, young daughter and border collie.

Welcome to the team Bryce!

VerbalizeIt’s Newsletter: Three Ways to Enter New Markets Without Language Barriers

This month we’re sharing advice on how to navigate the global marketplace. We’re showing you how to appeal to global markets, how to leverage strategic partnerships, and how to provide superior customer service without running into language barriers.

Screen Shot 2013 08 26 At 4.08.02 Pm

Thanks for reading,
-The VerbalizeIt Team
@Verbalize_It

Forbes: Three Ways to Appeal to a Global Market

Seventy-two-percent of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. Here are three things your company can do right now to make sure you stop missing the billions of people who do not speak English and the billions more who range from low to very low English proficiency.Common Sense Advisory Stats 72%

Wharton: Breaking The Language Barrier: Technology Is The Great Equalizer

We now have partnerships with American Airlines, Rosetta Stone, Inspirato (an American Express affiliate) and Skype (a Microsoft company). Considering that a year ago, we were a four-person company with 50 Spanish translators focused on keeping the lights on, we’ve come a long way. The natural question is how did we do it?

Truthfully, there is no magic bullet. But if you incorporate these themes, you’ll have a much better chance of finding your brand alongside the brands you want. Read on

VerbalizeIt Looks to Leap Language Barriers via a Network of Live Translators

Check out our CEO’s latest interview in Tnooz, Q: “Where do you see yourselves in 3 years time?” A: “Simply put, we want to make VerbalizeIt synonymous with translation. Whenever a traveller faces a language barrier or a business wants to better support an existing customer or acquire a new one, we want them to know that with VerbalizeIt, language barriers are a problem of the past.” Read the rest

Ready to Reach International Customers? Desk.com and VerbalizeIt Answer the Call

Desk.com has led the web-based customer support revolution and now they’re leading us into the next frontier: globalizing customer service. Our seamless API integration allows Desk.com to address customer concerns in any language. See how

Verbalize It Desk Integaration

Interpreting Emerging Markets: Why Translating Today Will Give You the Competitive Edge Tomorrow

In this white paper you’ll find three sections guiding you through how to successfully enter the global economy and grow your business. You will learn how to:

  • Embrace the uncertainty of the future of language
  • Earn the understanding of emerging market consumers
  • Bring out the best in your global workforce

Download your free copy today

Human Powered Translation & Interpretation Services For Business Professionals   Verbalize It™ (580x171)

See How the Winner of the #FoundinTranslation Campaign Spent His Time in Italy

“VerbalizeIt sent me to Italy to see my Italian friends and I got to take my beautiful wife on the trip of a lifetime. From the beautiful Duomo of Milan, to art in Florence, to meeting friends and family in Genova and Rome, to seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we had an amazing trip! Grazie Mille and viva VerbalizeIt!” Check out Caleb’s slide show  

 Found In Translation

See How Our Process Benefits Your Business

Have questions about how we operate? No worries, here’s how VerbalizeIt works in three easy steps:

  1. Sign-Up 
  2. Upload Your Files
  3. Start Translating 

That’s it. See how VerbalizeIt benefits your business

Screen Shot 2013 08 28 At 3.11.20 Pm

Italian to English Translation and Getting #FoundinTranslation

Caleb And Nikki Caple

My name is Caleb Caple. I’m a VerbalizeIt Translator and the winner of the #FoundinTranslation campaign which allowed my family and me to take a trip to explore the world. We chose to go to Italy. Having learned Italian from Rosetta Stone and having lived in Italy before, it seemed like the natural choice. Here’s the story of our final (crazy) day on the way to Rome.

Rome

Today my wife (who’s seven months pregnant) left her purse on the train from Florence to Rome. To make matters worse, the train went all the way to Salerno. I went and told the police of the train station what happened and they got a hold of the train captain. After what seemed like the longest fifteen minutes of our lives, the train captain reported back that he found it and said he would send it back “pronto.” My wife and I hugged in excitement and the police smiled as they told us they would have the purse sent back from Naples to Florence, problem solved, or so we thought.

Exedra Boscolo Hotel

(Here’s a pic of our hotel, “Exedra Boscolo” Hotel. We went swimming on the 5th floor, “siamo entrati nella piscina al quinto piano!”)

Since we were anxious to get her purse back, my wife joined me on the trek to the police station. When we arrived, they looked at me funny and said, “purse? What purse? We have not received a purse.” They thought I was crazy for asking! Frustrated and tired, we decided to take the tram back to downtown and spare my wife from walking even more.

When we arrived back at the hotel dejected and exhausted, the concierge called us over and told us that the purse arrived at the original train station in Rome. My wife and I looked at each other in astonishment we couldn’t believe how much our luck had turned!

As for the morale of the story: Even in Italy, when everyone is speaking Italian, things still manage to get lost in translation (luckily I spoke the language). As for the lasting morale of the story: If your wife is feeling tired, take her to the Coliseum in Rome and let her rest after eating Italian gelato 🙂

-Caleb

Italian Gelato

P.S. Here’s a slide show of our trip.

Signup to be a VerbalizeIt translator or interpreter and you could win next year’s #FoundinTranslation campaign. You can also see how VerbalizeIt helps companies and individuals navigate language barriers at VerbalizeIt for Business

#FoundinTranslation Friday: “Devil’s Bridge” Roman Aqueduct in Tarragona, Spain

“Devil’s Bridge” is a Roman aqueduct made from pink stone found just outside the city of Tarragona, Spain.

Devil's Bridge

Less famous than its French cousin Pont du Gard, but just as beautiful, this complex monument is actually called “Les Ferreres’, but is commonly known as “Ponte del Diablo” (Devil’s Bridge).

Ponte Del Diablo

Like its French cousin, Devil’s Bridge is inexplicably invisible from far away, despite its size. To get there you need to take the road that goes from the center of the city towards Valls a Lleida, just 4km (2.5 miles) outside Tarragona, Spain. You’ll come across an old sign indicating to veer to the right to reach the site. Pay attention, the exit is immediately after a flyover and it’s almost impossible to manage to turn off at the right time. If you don’t manage to turn off in time (which is what happened to us) you have to take a long detour to do a U-turn and then try to turn off again at the same point!! (You can only access the park from the road when leaving the city.)

Visiting the perfectly preserved Devil’s Bridge aqueduct is completely free.

It’s inside a park and it’s only a two minute walk to the arches.

In ancient times Tarragona was the Spanish nerve center and was much more important than near-by Barcelona.

The via Augusta (Augusta road) passed through here and in fact the wonderful triumphal arch “Arc de Bará” is 12.5 miles north of the city. Even to this day the coastline perfectly traces the Roman road, so much so that traffic still went through the arch until a short time ago when a roundabout was built around it, as you can see in the photo below.

The Romans left their mark on Tarragona in many ways, including the marvelous amphitheater, but we’ll talk about this wonderful and little-known city another time.

Tarragona

To read more translated blogs from all over the world, check out our partners at Webflakes

Forbes: Three Ways To Appeal To A Global Market

This post originally ran in Forbes.

In the twentieth century, futurists predicted a world where humans lived, but computers did all the thinking. Today, in our global economy, we are rediscovering that technology is no substitute for humans. The best solutions harness the perfect blend of humanity and technology.

The key lies in communication. Only humans can truly communicate what they are thinking, seeing, or feeling to other humans. A computer can simulate the concept of fear, but could never compute the difference between the importance of a firm handshake and eye contact in American business, as opposed to the importance of bowing and honor in Japanese business.

Computers have become smaller, more personal, and more prevalent in our lives. But when it comes to the characteristics that matter most — namely emotions, local customs and terminology — computer solutions overlook the most important fact in a global economy: humans still matter.

With that in mind, here are three things your company can do right now to make sure you stop missing the billions of people who do not speak English and the billions more who range from low to very low English proficiency (source: Education First).

1. Know Your Market

English is not the common link between the fastest growing markets. Of the 15 fastest growing global markets reported by the The Economist, eight are countries where English is not the native language. If you are trying to reach a consumer in an emerging market, there is a 57 percent chance that your potential customer, supplier or business partner will speak little to no English. Put simply, if you plan to take your business international, the likelihood of you running into language barriers is high and potentially debilitating.

Common Sense Advisory Stats 56%

There are two ways to reach these people without coming across as culturally insensitive. You could invest in boots on the ground — acquiring office space, hiring local employees, and sending over a training team — or you could expand your current team’s capabilities at minimal to no cost by leveraging crowdsourced platforms to improve your contextual understanding of new markets.

2. Understand Your Customer’s World

If English isn’t the universal language, the inevitable question comes into play: how do you reach these emerging markets and grow your business if you don’t speak the local language?

Common Sense Advisory’s (CSA) report, “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: Why Language Matters on Global Websites,” showed that 72 percent of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. CSA also states that 56 percent of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

Common Sense Advisory Stats 72%

To take advantage of these trends you need native speakers who know the lay of the land and bring cultural sensitivity to the markets you’re trying to reach. Remember, language is more than simply words on a page; it’s contextual understanding as well. Utilizing cloud-based companies like Elance.com and oDesk.com to find local people to try your product will allow you to test new concepts on new audiences at minimal cost.

3. Win From the Inside-Out

In a recent collaborative study, “Reducing the Impact of Language Barriers,” Forbes and Rosetta Stone reported that 84 percent of executives at international firms believe that employees are more efficient when spoken to in their native language. This finding, coupled with what we already know about consumers, makes for a strong case to localize your customer feedback loop.

For example, we recently partnered with Salesforce’s Desk.com to internationalize their customer service. Desk.com can now allow its clients to answer customer questions in any language without having to worry about relying on their bi-lingual colleagues (if they exists) to address customer concerns. Companies that allow employees to couple their common cultural understandings and expressions with their native language will lead stronger cultures, better customer retention, and greater business success.

Building a business culture that embraces the core components of human communication allows for companies to focus their energies on what executives want: higher levels of efficiency and engagement with today’s global economy.

Ryan Frankel

CEO and co-founder of VerbalizeIt

Ryan Frankel Image

Wharton: Why Partners Matter for Startups

This post originally appeared in Wharton Magazine.

VerbalizeIt announced a partnership with American Airlines this month, which comes on the heels of other partnerships with Rosetta Stone, Inspirato (an American Express affiliate) and Skype (a Microsoft company). Considering that a year ago, we were a four-person company with 50 Spanish translators focused on keeping the lights on, we’ve come a long way. The natural question is how did we do it?

Truthfully, there is no magic bullet. But if you incorporate the themes below, you’ll have a much better chance of finding your startup brand alongside the brands you want.

Don’t Ignore the Little Guys

We were fortunate to go through Wharton and TechStars, both of which gave us a huge advantage out of the gate. We were able to work side by side with other startups and learn about their pain points firsthand. One example that stands out is Ubooly, the stuffed-animal company that is powered by iPhones and interacts with kids. Initially, Ubooly didn’t have translation needs. But as it grew from a locally recognized toy to a national and internationally known brand, the company encountered language barriers. VerbalizeIt proved to be a natural fit, and today our partnership has helped Ubooly reach children all over the world.

Provide Value at Every Turn

Launching partnerships with bigger companies takes time and resources. Most notably, it takes critical collaborative thinking. We never view one cobranded campaign or initiative as the totality of the partnership. We view partnerships as opportunities to repeatedly reach customers with multiple messages.

When we launched our partnership with Rosetta Stone, we simultaneously launched our #FoundinTranslation campaign. This allowed us to create awareness of the partnership and familiarize both our audience with Rosetta Stone’s language services and their audience with our crowdsourced translation platform.

Always Be Connecting “ABC”

Like us, all of our partners have clients and partners of their own. It’s been hugely valuable for us, not only to make good on all our partnerships by delivering value, but also in connecting with our partners’ partners. Think of this as the six degree of Kevin Bacon parlor game, or more formally the six degrees of separation model.

LinkedIn has been instrumental in building our partnerships and allowing us to expand our networks in a targeted fashion. Most importantly, because crowdsourcing language translation is new and talking to a live interpreter isn’t something people are accustomed to, having partners that understand our business and help us connect to new potential partners is critical.

Ryan Frankel

CEO and co-founder of VerbalizeIt

Ryan Frankel Image

VerbalizeIt’s #FoundinTranslation Winner: Caleb Caple

Caleb In Italy

Hailing from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Caleb Cable is our #FoundinTranslation winner. In partnership with Rosetta Stone we celebrated VerbalizeIt’s success on Shark Tank by giving one lucky VerbalizeIt fan a chance to win a trip to explore the world. Caleb submitted the winning photo in our first annual #FoundinTranslation campaign of him and his brothers in Italy.

Now, a few weeks later, Caleb and his family are in Genoa, Italy, a country where Caleb went on his first church mission and became fluent in Italian. Caleb signed up for VerbalizeIt after he and his mother saw VerbalizeIt on Shark Tank. When asked to recall the story Caleb said, “I work for a TV station that sells commercials for ABC, Telemundo, and our news websites. We air Shark Tank and that is how my Mom and I found out about VerbalizeIt. I then took all the tests for Italian and have been translating for VerbalizeIt ever since!”

After signing up as an interpreter, Caleb realized that he was joining something more than a freelancing platform. “I’ve thought about translating before in addition to my day job but the work is hard to find and the process leaves something to be desired. VerbalizeIt is different. The moment I signed up I was put through a formal onboarding process and welcomed to a large community of passionate people which was great. I then noticed the big promotion for the #FoundinTranslation campaign and was able to take part in this great trip to Italy with my family!”

Italian Gelato

To follow along with Caleb’s trip and see where he’s going, what he’s eating and how he’s using VerbalizeIt, “like” VerbalizeIt’s Facebook page. To learn more about how to become a translator or interpreter visit our become a translator page. To see how you can use VerbalizeIt’s text, image, video, and audio translation services sign up.

Ready to Reach International Customers? Desk.com and VerbalizeIt Answer the Call

The call center industry has long been regarded as a first mover in the mass migration to offshore customer service. This migration has moved from concept, to idea, to megatrend in a matter of decades. In the last few years another concept has come to rival the offshore call center: web-based customer support.

Verbalize It Desk Integaration

Desk.com has led the web-based customer support revolution and now they’re leading us into the next frontier: globalizing customer service. Through its integration with Salesforce, Desk.com can couple its customer support systems with powerful customer relationship management capabilities all over the world. Combining those capabilities with VerbalizeIt’s seamless API integration allows Desk.com to address customer concerns in any language.

VerbalizeIt for Business from VerbalizeIt on Vimeo.

Common Sense Advisory, a research firm offering insights for global market leaders, reports that:

• 72% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language
• 56% of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price

(Source: Common Sense Advisory Report Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: Why Language Matters on Global Websites)

Desk.com and VerbalizeIt are addressing these customer concerns together to open up new markets and reach more customers via the Desk.com platform. Desk.com’s long list of clients range from internationally recognized tech players like Squarespace and Klout to your favorite potato chip company UTZ. Now these companies can reach more website creators, social media mavens, and potato chip fans all over the world via Desk.com’s multilingual customer support.

Because VerbalizeIt’s API can be accessed by anyone, human translators can be integrated seamlessly into support, marketing, or business development platforms in order to help companies grow. With one request a translator will translate your text and return it to you in 24 hours saving you time and money and allowing you to focus on the more important elements of running your business.

Here’s how it works for Desk.com users:

VerbalizeIt & Desk.com Demo from VerbalizeIt on Vimeo.

To learn more about the Desk.com and VerbalizeIt partnership visit Desk.com.

-Ryan Frankel

CEO and Co-founder of VerbalizeIt
@rvfrankel

Shark Tank Round 2: Verbalize 1.0 vs. VerbalizeIt 2.0

It’s been nearly three months since we last found ourselves on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Since the show aired we’ve had literally hundreds of inbound requests, thousands of signups, and tripled our interpreter community. All of this has contributed to the growth of our business and towards supporting Children International. And tonight, it’s happening again.

Ryan Frankel And Kunal Sarda On Shark Tank (1) (350x208)

ABC has decided to re-air our episode and this time we thought we’d pause for a moment and look at VerbalizeIt before Shark Tank (we’ll call it VerbalizeIt 1.0) and VerbalizeIt today (we’ll call it VerbalizeIt 2.0).

The biggest differences between VerbalizeIt 1.0 and VerbalizeIt 2.0 exist in our products. When we were pitching to be on Shark Tank our company wasn’t just app-centric, we were app-dependent. We had (and still have) an awesome app that works on any phone, anywhere, anytime. Today, this notion of connecting to anyone, anywhere, anytime, from any device, permeates all of our products. In addition to providing access to live phone-based interpretation, our business translation platform allows companies to access audio and video translation, text translation and scheduled access to live, professional translators.

The second most notable difference is that although we had strong partners before, namely Skype and Inspirato, we now have a full spectrum of partners ranging from large multinational like Rosetta Stone and American Airlines to enterprise service companies like Desk.com. Being on Shark Tank has enhanced our ability to directly serve and support a broader-base of customers and partners because it has forced us to field calls from a variety of industries.

Lastly (and I think this applies to most growing companies) we’re smarter—much smarter. VerbalizeIt 1.0 was run predominantly on a test and learn model. We tested our product on customers, tested our translator and interpreter onboarding process, and tested our technology (see our Amazon article). Today, we’re testing more than ever and we’re much smarter about it. Because we offer more products to more people we’re constantly listening to feedback from our customers. Luckily, because of our number of users, we have lots of touch points with the market. These touch points translate into more knowledge and in turn, a smarter company.

If you missed our Shark Tank episode the first time around, you can catch it again tonight at 8pm EST on ABC.

-Ryan Frankel, co-founder and CEO of VerbalizeIt

Bio Photo Ryanfrankel