Two years have gone since Guillaume Hachez participated in the Boostcamp for his QuickLyric project. We had a little chat with him to know what he learned from our training program and what he had in store for the future.
What is QuickLyric?
QuickLyric is a smartphone application that allows you to instantly display the lyrics of songs you listen to. It integrates with multiple other apps such as Spotify or Apple music. Another interesting feature is that while connected to the Internet, QuickLyric seamlessly scans your entire library and produces lyrics which are later available to you, even if you are offline. Also, is has a new feature that enables you to use your microphone to “Shazam” a song you hear on the radio. They have more big projects coming up as well!
How far along were you with your business idea when you joined the Boostcamp?
“I began QuickLyric in March 2015 while I was a computer science student. Initially it was a weekend project for me, for fun. I launched the app online and it quickly gained attention. Not being fully aware of the legal intricacies of a digital distribution platform, I encountered some issues which prompted me to seek advice from 1819 (information service for anyone who is starting or developing a business in the Brussels-Capital Region). They suggested that I register for a Boostcamp training at the Microsoft Innovation Center Brussels, which I did.”
What did you take away from the Boostcamp?
“Before the Boostcamp, I did not even know what a startup was. The workshops helped me define my business plan and how to draft a financial plan, for instance. I sometimes run into my past coaches. One of my Boostcamp contacts helped me learn about WeStartup.eu, the “Belgian Linkedin” for startups. That is where I found Ludovic Urbain, now the COO & CFO of QuickLyric. He negotiates contracts and pitches to investors and, with my tech background, we complete each other. Ludovic also has a software consultancy firm, which gives us access to a pool of web development contractors when we need them.”
What has been your greatest success so far?
“I wrote an essay on Medium explaining how we Belgians are the last ones in terms of entrepreneurship in Europe. This article seems to have resonated with many. I talked about how we are the first in terms of saving money at the bank. This is one of the signs that shows how risk averse we are. There are not a lot of entrepreneurs in Belgium, it is not conventional unlike other parts of the world like in America. People that launch startups here usually go for business to business strategies and come from the top business schools in the region. I take pride in breaking out of the mold and doing something even if it is unconventional.”
What has been your worst pitfall?
“In September, I went on a business trip with Molengeek to Silicon Valley and I made the terrible mistake of releasing an update right before leaving. The update had some issues, namely the fact that the “floating lyrics” window would pop up even when the user didn’t ask for it, which resulted in making the app very annoying to use (especially since the app focuses on providing a great user experience). Since I was traveling, it made it very hard to fix the issue and we lost many users that day. Fortunately, we have recovered since then and have improved our processes to make sur this does not happen again.”
What advice would you give to someone who would like to launch an app?
“They need to observe the traction of the app and see for themselves whether it is actually has a certain amount of popularity before turning it into a business. Some people in business schools tend to raise money from their family, spend 30K on developers, 10K on advertising, accountants. Essentially, they spend a considerable amount of money and realize that they were only able to obtain 500 downloads. In other words, before you invest your money, invest your time. Do it for yourself and see if there is a real business opportunity.”
Where are you now and what is in store for QuickLyric?
“We published the app for a second time this March and we capped half a million downloads. We are the most downloaded Belgian app in the world. We also recently won the Digital First Startup of the Year award. We are working on an IOS version of the app, a web and android platforms where users can add, correct and translate lyrics. We are also raising funds at the time. We are talking to investors in the hopes to raise 500K. Contact us if you are interested.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.