The Soundbrenner is a wearable device that provides 4 different features: vibrating metronome, magnetic tuner, decibel meter, and watch. It is one of the most powerful tools for musicians nowadays.
Florian was born and grew up in a small village of southern Germany. Then he left his place for marketing studies before 20 years old and moved to Mexico in Monterrey city. One year after his studies, he went to Shanghai for an internship, where he wrote an advertising book and consulted young students to go abroad.He volunteered in an orphanage close to Beijing for 6 months, after what, the final destination was Hong Kong, where he started his own electronics development company. Florian speaks German, English, Spanish, together with Mandarin, and was named in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list 2016.
As a musician, not a professional but a lover, he knew every professional musician uses a metronome. A metronome device is an excellent tool for musicians, but it has a very annoying click sound. The idea was to create a wearable device that could help musicians be in the right beat, without the classic metronome’s negatives.
As a marketing student and a music lover, he had the best tools in his hands to make his dream come true. Together with his partner, he started combining elements to create the device. When everything seems to be ready, their friends told them their first feedback. It was a great idea with terrible results! Florian and his partner started thinking of solutions and correcting the problems, and after a while, they had their prototype. An Asian investor and an Asian product manufacturer were the final steps before their device comes come to life.
He lives in Hong Kong, and his company has built the world’s first wearable smart vibrating metronome, the Soundbrenner. His next goal is to upgrade the device with more advanced features and provide musicians more tools to help them with their music passion.
AGE OF CREATIVES AND FLORIAN SIMMENDINGER
There were rumors about an Apple Watch Fitbit, and we felt it made so much sense to synchronize musicians with a vibration. That was kind of the idea spark!
Feel the Beat.
We met a violinist at an event, who told us he had an idea like: what if you could synchronize a whole orchestra through vibrations, and they could all feel the beat together?
You are kind of an entrepreneur, kind of have to take that feedback and kind of have in your own hands to fix the problems and imagine if they will like it after all these things have been fixed. The answer in my mind was: yes. I was inspired by their feedback to do it better. Then we just started iterating and improving things. And that’s actually what eventually led us to leave Berlin and come to Hong Kong because we had better access to components and know-how for faster improvement.
There are so many competing priorities. One, for sure, is about what our customers are asking for. We actually have a system where two weeks after you register a product, you get an e-mail from us asking you how you like the product and if you would have any suggestions. So far, we have received over 10,000 recommendations from customers.
Assembling in China.
I would say that the biggest thing is just that communication is a big issue always, not just because of the language, but also because of the culture and the expectation. And I mean in general as someone developing products you have the opposite. You always want your product to be amazing. You wanted to be just you know, look perfect. Have all the features. And as a factory, you wanted to be cheap and simple, and you wanted to be easy to manufacturer. And so, you know you’re constantly clashing and fighting about the same as the factory says oh you can’t do this and you’re you’re like oh no what about this. Why don’t we try this? And so it’s like a battle and I think that’s why it’s so important that you’re out there face to face.