“Envision the finish line.”
That's something we hear a lot of nowadays. People telling us to set our eyes on the goal as we strain ourselves to make it through each step.
But that’s exactly the problem. What about the process? What about the sweat you have to put in before even seeing the first hints of the promised land?
So often are we told to think about the finish line that we forget about the process. That is, until we’re in the midst of it and we find ourselves tired and frustrated and if I’m honest, even hating it a little.
Earlier last week, I met up with Florian Simmendinger, co-founder & CEO of Soundbrenner.
Soundbrenner, a hardware startup , is currently based around a central product, the Soundbrenner Pulse. It is a modern take on the tradition metronome that literally allows users to “feel the beat.”
Sounds like a marketing ploy? Well I too was skeptical at first, but after getting to know Florian and trying on the Pulse, I must say, Soundbrenner is a brand that is determined to the strive. A company that exists for the purpose of encouraging others in their journey and pursuit of achieving their potential.
Talking to Florian, I found out that prior to starting Soundbrenner, he was an author to a book, ‘Auslandssemester: Conquer the World the Easy Way!’
As a young traveler and student, he had the idea of sharing his experience to help others going through the same struggle. As the title implies, the book is as much about the process as it is the goal.
It is this exact notion that continues to live on in the Soundbrenner brand. The desire to inspire others in their journey and sharing the importance of having fun while reaching for the goal.
Intermission into Motivations
To a certain extent, we are all born with this same mentality. The desire to do better in life - be it for work, school, or even just to be better at getting away with being lazy sometimes.
But how do we get there?
What are the motivations as we trudge along the path and find ourselves asking if reaching the finish line is honestly what we want?
We’ve lightly talked about the different types of motivations in some of our previous articles but if you haven’t already, we’ll have a short recap here.
There are two main types of motivation. Extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivations engages people with external regards. They refer to the results of engaging in a behavior. The things we get in return. So perhaps when you were younger, you learned an instrument which required a great deal of practice.
A positive reward may be the praises or compliments you got for having practiced. Extrinsic motivations also include the removal of something unpleasant. For example, imagine that you have parents who would continuously nag you but stops doing so once you start practicing, so that would be considered a negative reward.
Intrinsic motivations on the other hand are driven by internal rewards. Meaning that the person engages in the behavior because they enjoy the behavior itself and find it intrinsically rewarding.
As you may have guessed, intrinsic motivations are way more powerful and long lasting yet harder to come by and develop. While extrinsic motivations are less effective in the long run but act as great quick fixes and boosts along the way.
The Soundbrenner Pulse taps into this very mentality.
Soundbrenner turned the metronome, what used to be an annoyance with the audible click, into an intuitive vibrating pulse and now incites fun and excitement by making the metronome beat feel natural - flowing with the movements of the user.
The Initial Climb
Part of Soundbrenner’s success is thanks to the dedication placed into early stages of product development.
Instead of jumping right in and throwing a mediocre product into the market, founders Florian and Julian used the first 5-6 months building the product and testing the market demand.
During this period in Berlin, they looked into the use of different vibration strengths, ways of attaching the product onto the body, material of the strap and much more.
For them, it was important that they made a product that would actually help musicians improve their performance.
As musicians themselves (a classical pianist and a percussionist), they understood the differences in the needs of different musicians. Which was why they had reached out to 100 musicians for feedback to make sure that there was indeed a demand for such a product and for ways to further improve it.
After establishing that there was a demand and having built the initial product, the company made a strategic move.
A literal one!
Knowing the advantages of having a manufacturing base in Asia, they moved their headquarters to Hong Kong as well as keeping a presence in Berlin where there’s a greater supply of talented developers.
Their Hong Kong office is now the main driver for manufacturing, marketing and other processes, while the Berlin office is the main driver for all software development.
Not everyone can be as patient with such a great idea, but it is this measured practice of dedication that helped establish the foundation of the Soundbrenner brand name.
Impression of a Critic
“But can’t I do the same with an app on the Apple Watch?”
Yes, those were the words uttered from my mouth just minutes after meeting the co-founder & CEO of Soundbrenner -perhaps not my wisest move.
But not to be rude, it was a genuine question. Why buy (or in their case, make) another product when there’s already alternatives out there that can do the same? More, even.
Well, it turns out I wasn’t entirely wrong... that is IF the Apple Watch could actually be considered an alternative.
The Soundbrenner Pulse differs from the Apple Watch (and devices of the like) in many ways. One of them being the fact that it is a dedicated device. What this means, is that all the components within the Soundbrenner Pulse is made with the musician in mind and designed to deliver an enjoyable music playing experience.
For more on the technical differences and specs, you can find on their official website linked at the end of the article.
What I would like to share however is my impression of the Soundbrenner Pulse when I tried it on at the end of the interview.
By the end of our meeting, I finally got to try on the Soundbrenner Pulse, and boy was I blown away. Almost immediately I realize how stupid my question was just a few minutes ago to compare the Soundbrenner Pulse and the Apple watch.
The Soundbrenner Pulse was a literal interpretation of what people meant by feeling the beat. The vibrations elicited a very visceral response. Intuitively, your body would want to move with the rhythm of the device.
Aside from the tempo, you are also able to adjust the strength of each pulse. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced, as if the beat had made its way into my very being. It is truly one of those feelings that you’ll get only after experiencing it for yourself. A great companion for any musician!
There aren’t many brands out there that stays true to their core beliefs, but thankfully, Soundbrenner is one of them.
At the moment, the Soundbrenner team is focused on perfecting the Soundbrenner Pulse with feedback from their current users. Just like users of the Soundbrenner Pulse, they are looking to perfect their approach and grow the product into a piece of technology recognized by everyone in the music industry.
They also plan to expand their target market from professional musicians and passion players (adult musicians who play for passion) to early adopters (children learning to play an instrument) by making the learning experience more fun and rewarding.
In closing, Soundbrenner is a brand dedicated to the walk towards perfection. A brand that puts its attention not only on the finish line but also on the process in getting there.
“Help musicians to realize their full potential.”
For more on Soundbrenner, make sure to check their customer stories article where we look more into the struggles of building a successful eCommerce.