3:35 - Not having a clear goal for your PhD
7:54 - Starting your own company
22:04 - From old acquaintance to co-founder
27:32 - Selling to retail and logistics
43:53 - Life after unicorn status
Christof Roduner is the co-founder and CIO at Scandit, the leading technology platform for mobile computer vision and augmented reality (AR) solutions for enterprises. He holds a MSc in Business Administration and Computer Science from the University of Zurich. It was during his time as a researcher at ETH that he met one of his future co-founders, Christian; together with Samuel, whom Christof knew from UZH, they created Scandit in 2009.
Their goal with Scandit was to create a bridge between real world objects and the digital information available about them. Barcodes were then the natural entry points, especially at a time when phone cameras were just starting to become ubiquitous. It was when they began getting some coverage from the press that they realized the true commercial potential of their product.
Their scanning app was rather shaky at first though: it only worked on a certain type of phone, the barcode had to be in perfect condition, there had to be perfect lighting, and it was tricky to deploy the app itself regardless of how perfect the rest of the setup was. Another challenge that they faced at an early stage was finding real world applications and knowing which one to focus on, from price comparison, to ethical shopping, to vegan/vegetarian shopping, etc.
Nowadays their main two verticals are retail and logistics. Scandit helps its customers at several points, from self checkout, to inventory counts, etc. They currently have over 1M users worldwide and have offices in 6 countries. Scandit has also recently achieved Unicorn status.
"As an entrepreneur you need to accept that you can’t control everything, and sometimes that means that you can’t deliver perfect results."