A conversation with Anthony Welgemoed
Co-founder, CEO, and Acting CTO of Ziflow. Online proofing guy. Agile enthusiast. These are all titles Anthony Welgemoed holds with pride.
As the CEO of Ziflow, his job is all about helping creative teams collect and collate feedback and reviews on multiple assets, from static graphics to digital banners, websites, videos, and audio. This helps streamline the approval process, especially when multiple people are required to provide feedback.
Feedback is important in the creative process, and Ziflow helps you get it right. The tool provides creatives with a single-pane view of all their assets for reviewers to comment on and give constructive feedback. With thousands of customers globally, Ziflow processes millions of assets on its platform.
In our latest episode, we talk to Anthony Welgemoed about his journey, why we should be using Ziflow, and his key to success (hint: there’s no secret recipe!).
Ziflow – A fun tech challenge
Anthony and CEO and Agile CTO co-host Alan Haefele share a storied past. Their personal and professional lives have overlapped on numerous occasions. Anthony even took over Alan’s role at Proof HQ, an online proofing platform similar to Ziflow and now part of the Adobe Suite of products.
When Anthony made the bold decision to exit Proof HQ and start his own business with his partner Matt, Ziflow was born. Anthony adds, “With Ziflow, the idea was to automate creative production tasks; a bit like Zapier but for creative teams. We realised that there was no dedicated, standalone, enterprise-ready solution on the market. So, in mid to late 2017, my partner and I decided to pivot back into the space.” He continues, “We had no idea if it was going to work. Luckily with SaaS, the markets have grown, and there was a gap for a solution, so the risk was slightly mitigated.”
Changing the game at Ziflow
Despite a move towards automation, many clients want to do things the same way as they have in the past. With Ziflow Connect, the company’s integration platform, users can automate different tasks (for example, converting files) and also integrate with various project management systems. Adds Anthony, “There is no reason for designers to manually put files into Dropbox, copy links into work management tools like Jira, perform email approvals or provide status updates. We’re automating all of that.”
By using an automated, annotated tool like Ziflow, you’re cutting the approval cycle from three weeks to four days. Talk about a game-changer!
Anthony passionately shares his insights on why companies should be automating feedback and review processes. “If you need to review from a small group, doing things manually may work very well for you. But, once there are different asset types, a lot more content or larger files, things become more challenging. Automating the process becomes a need as a lot more time, and people are now involved with a lot more feedback to collate and review. For just creator, we’ve seen that up to five people provide feedback.”
“We’re also seeing a lot more compliance driving the need for a system like this,” he continues. “Companies need audit trails and reports for assets that require more regulation. This can be across various industries. In these instances, having a solution like Ziflow can prove hugely valuable.”
The key to success
Being involved in two start-ups that have both reached impressive levels of success, Anthony believes that having a right-fit partner is supremely important. That, and a little bit of luck!
“Matt, my co-founder, founded his first company in the late 90s. Since then, he has been involved with various companies, becoming something of a serial founder. Coming together, we knew each of our strengths and weaknesses and what we enjoyed doing. We’re trying to solve problems and make the customer happy. At this point, Matt and I know the agency, we know marketing and how creative teams work, so we’ve built solutions for it. We haven’t veered off into different areas too much. We play to our strengths and trust each other. It’s just sticking with what we know. There’s no secret recipe. That’s probably what has helped us be successful.”
For our full conversation with Anthony Welgemoed, listen to The Agile CTO podcast here.