On 1 October 2022, we celebrate OutSmart International’s 10th anniversary. The whole month of October will be dedicated to the 10-year anniversary, which we will celebrate extensively. We thought this would be a great opportunity to get to know our founders, and especially the people behind these roles, a little better. What is the story behind OutSmart International and what is the main driving force behind these entrepreneurs?
Steven Rigter (CEO) and Bas Langenhuizen (CCO) launched the MVP, the first version of the WerkbonApp, on 1 October 2012. Later, this became OutSmart. In 2009, Steven started a company developing Apps for businesses. At the time, Apple had just released the iPhone 3 and the Appstore had been released to third parties. Steven and Bas got to know each other from one of the App projects. Bas was working for a company in GPS tracking systems and had had a number of requests for digital work orders. Together, Steven and Bas turned this idea into a concrete concept they called WerkbonApp. Steven: “For me, this offered the opportunity to not just develop Apps for others for once, but now I could translate all the accumulated expertise into my own solution.”
When the first version of the App and back office was launched in 2012, it was the first SaaS -solution for digital work orders. From day 1, there was traction. Bas: “I think we both felt we had created something we could really help companies with.”
What are you most proud of?
Steven and Bas: “If you look at the literature, out of 1,000 newly started companies, 4 reach the turnover level we are at now. We are fast reaching the next level which is only achieved by 1 in 100,000 companies. We are extremely proud that we have come this far, without external funders, under our own steam. From an idea that we developed together, we have now come a thriving company with 45 people that has experienced great growth year after year. Together with our colleagues, we go through ups and downs and it feels like one big family. From the first OutSmart babies, we are now going to the first OutSmart wedding. Together we are growing with our employees, customers and partners.”
What have been your most instructive moments?
Steven and Bas: “It has been a huge learning curve for both of us from the beginning until now. You start out as inventors and salespeople. Now we run a medium-sized company together. As a result, you get to know your own strengths, but also weaknesses which can sometimes be tricky. As an entrepreneur, you think you can best do everything yourself, until you find out that’s not the case. Slowly you move from micro-management to macro-management and hire people who are much better at specific parts. We also take a course every year, such as scaling-up or growth hacking so that we keep growing and don’t become bottle-necks of our own business.”
Name each other’s strongest points
Steven: “Bas is a sales tiger who is very outward-looking. He knows our customers inside out and understands how to market a product. Bas also has a lot of experience in setting up partner networks, which has substantially accelerated customer growth at OutSmart.”
Bas: “Steven’s strength lies in always staying calm, keeping an overview and not getting easily stressed. He thinks up innovative solutions and with his positive attitude he manages to enthuse the entire organisation and build the internal organisation. This is our Yin and Yang and I think that is also the source of our balanced growth.”
What can annoy you about each other?
Steven: “The funny thing is that we have never had an argument in the past 10 years. Not about the strategy to be taken, nor about the operations. We respect each other’s expertise and we are complementary to each other. We laugh together every day, we keep it light-hearted, but most of all we enjoy the adventure!”
Still, after 10 years, the main driving force is: helping entrepreneurs make work easier and faster in order to grow with clients.