Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
Where did the idea for Breadnbeyond come from?
It all started back in 2009 when I helped my friends to design logos, posters, and banners– anything to do with graphic designs for their businesses. The name Breadnbeyond itself is an abbreviation for Branding and Animation Design.
The idea then developed into something bigger as the clients started to grow through referrals and word of mouth. I delved into explainer video production several months later after I got a request from Boulder, Colorado, a client I’ve been working with.
I saw that explainer videos could be a potential tool that many businesses would invest in in the future. At that time, “how-it-works” videos (now we often call them how-to videos) started to continuously trend on YouTube. Twitter also crafted its first explainer video that got a lot of traction. Also, an explainer video helped Dropbox to finally get the attention. So, I decided to fully focus on explainer video production and left out all the graphic design projects that were coming on my plate. And within five months, I had to hire more employees as the clients grew at a dizzying rate.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually woke up in the morning, around 5:30 am. Then, I go to my desk to check my emails and my to-do list as well as my calendar to see what I need to do for the day and plan around them.
After I understand the structure of my day, I have my breakfast around 9:30-9:45– usually before I have a meeting with my sales team at 10 am.
I am a morning person. Early in the morning works really well for me to think and plan what I’m going to do for the day. When I’m about to make a big decision, I often sleep on it and think about it again in the morning when I’m fresh.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I try to remain curious 24/7 and keep a note of any ideas that pop into my head. Never put anything off. That’s why I always carry a note-taking app to help me capture and jot down ideas or something interesting that I heard wherever I go. Writing them down makes me act upon them.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Every 10-12 years, there’s always a big trend that’s happening in the tech world.
Last decade, it was an app store. It’s a big place where app developers try to make a dent in their world by doing something that they are passionate about.
This decade, it seems that blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs are making their debut in the big boys club. So many fresh funds are being introduced to the cryptocurrency industry while looking at future applications on the metaverse and the new web 3.0.
I wonder what’s in store for the next decade. Is it going to be web 3.0? Will crypto and blockchain dominate the industry? Would there be new trends that are taking over the tech world in the future?
Let’s find out!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Besides helping me bring any ideas to life, jotting down and writing down everything I need to remember also boosts my productivity. I use Evernote so I can both store and manage all the notes I take at my fingertip. And when I want to review specific notes, I can also easily find them. This note-taking app saves me a lot of time, making it much easier for me to spend more time on anything that is more important.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Financial advice: Buy Bitcoin when it’s still new, and store it somewhere very safe for the next 20 years.
Other advice: Eat healthy, organic food.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I have no problem persuading people to agree with me by asserting obvious, uncontroversial statements. There’s not much I can say about this.
One thing that I often remind myself of is, “There’s no such thing as free lunch”. Not everyone agrees with me, but I kind of believe the world is split 50-50 on this.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I believe that only the ones with a truly agile workforce will succeed in this ever-changing, fast-paced, on-demand industry we find ourselves in. The key for me and my team here is to keep moving forward, keep up with the latest trends, and sharpen our skills to gain a competitive edge. We have weekly training sessions where we brainstorm any innovative ideas, share our knowledge, and just basically make sure everyone is on the same page. We need to constantly learn, re-learn, and adjust to the changes going on around us.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I’ve been targeting international clients since the very beginning. That’s why the aim has always been to make the service more accessible and visible for people around the world. So, I think besides investing in a high-skilled team, strengthening the digital presence is crucial too.
I’ve been investing in advanced marketing strategies to make my service easier to find online and stay ahead of the game. More people know and learn more about my services through original and valuable content, social media posts, and partnerships. They have been effective in bringing us new leads and even clients. It keeps the sales funnel full.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve made enough mistakes in my life as an entrepreneur. One that I would like to share now is to choose your business partner wisely.
Having a business partner is just like having someone to marry. And your business is something you gave birth to and will have to nurture to help it grow. You must look for a partner who exhibits traits that complement your own skill set. That’s where everything will be well-balanced. And even though you both have slightly different traits and even different skill sets, make sure you both want to create the same thing– sharing the same goals and values.
I’ve made mistakes in choosing my business partners earlier, and we ended up getting a divorce.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think many would like to pay for an image generator– whether it’s a plugin or an app. AI writers, content generators, and online writing assistants are getting more mainstream, but image generators that produce fully-customized images in seconds for an unpublished article that’s currently being written still lag behind in development.
There are many Open AI projects that can be utilized for this, such as Dall-E, to power this plugin. Or maybe integration with Canva. I believe this is a helpful tool for writers and content creators.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I’m a family guy. I just spent about $100 yesterday to take my family to a park out of town and eat in a nice family restaurant.
Ironically, I can’t do it every day because my kids have to go to school. And it will be boring to do the same thing every day.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
See #5 above.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris is one of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read and I recommend any entrepreneur to read it. I’ll say it’s the playbook for life by your design, under your exclusive control.
The book talks about a mini-retirement lifestyle, working smarter, and not wasting time, which was really helpful for reevaluating my life, work, and direction. I was familiar with some of the practical tips, but still found plenty of interesting information to make it worth my while. I also love the good detail on the travel side too.
What is your favorite quote?
“Life is like playing a video game.”
You gain experience by playing, and eventually beat the game, or you can just quit playing.
- Choose your business partner wisely
- Use technologies around you
- Always stay curious
- Adapt to the advancement of technologies
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.