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.
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