Joe Gustafson, CEO of Brainshark, Inc., founded the company in 1999 to help knowledge experts accelerate the flow of information to their audiences in a highly effective format. Under Joe’s leadership, Brainshark has become a leader in on-demand business communications and a successful Software-as-a-Service company, with more than 1,100 world-class customers, including a third of the Fortune 100. Most recently, Joe has led Brainshark to a series of significant company milestones – with Brainshark presentations netting more than 25 million views, and the company doubling its profits in the last year.
Geetesh: In a recent announcement, your company declared that 25 million Brainshark presentations were viewed since the launch of your flagship product, and 1 Brainshark presentation is viewed every 5 seconds by users around the world. Those type of stats would make anyone proud – what else does it mean to you?
Joe: Not only is it a great milestone for our company, but it’s indicative of how multimedia has become a part of the way people want to communicate and share information – in both our business and personal lives, it has become pervasive. And the most popular content of all on the Web is user-generated – not high production value content – but that which engages and is authentic, because it is created by everyday people who have something to say. And I think businesspeople like me look at this trend, or they see what their kids are creating and sharing over the Web and think, how can we leverage the power of this in business? If you make it easy for any businessperson to communicate in more powerful ways, and make it possible for their organizations to manage that process across their enterprise – and, at the same time, make it more enjoyable and convenient for their audiences to experience these messages – they will embrace it. That’s what those numbers mean to me.
Geetesh: With such a successful business model for a product that’s not free, what made you decide to go ahead with myBrainshark, that’s a free albeit less powerful version compared to Brainshark?
Joe: We think we’ve developed the easiest way for any businessperson to communicate using multimedia. But just seeing a Brainshark presentation doesn’t nearly illustrate the possibilities. We want you to try creating one. When you record your very first presentation, and hear your own voice coming back to you over the speakers while you watch it, you’ll see how easy it is to use and how fast it is to create. From that experience, we expect that many users will think about how this could be applicable to their business to get their message out quickly and cost-effectively. Some myBrainshark users will be interested in talking to us about our enterprise offerings – and some won’t; and that’s okay too! We hope they love our free site and tell their friends and colleagues about it.
Our goal with myBrainshark is to get more people exposed to our technology and to how it can be so powerful for business yet be so easy to use. And thousands already “get it” today – more than 1,100 companies whose names you’d recognize already use Brainshark across their organizations and to communicate to global audiences, along with thousands of additional myBrainshark individual users. More than 8 million minutes of content are viewed each month. In an economic climate where everyone is trying to do more with less, it’s silly not to use myBrainshark to tell your story.