Roam Is Modernizing And Simplifying The World Of Interactive And Digital Signage

Their biggest product is a web-based software platform to control screens. If you can do PowerPoint and Facebook you can manage even the most complex project. Then they tested everything on the market finally partnering with hardware vendors they trust like LG and NEC. Finally, they have extra services like creative, consulting, installation, customization and more. Whether totally turnkey or a la carte they want to be people’s first choice when thinking about going digital.

Dennis grew up with his Stepfather working for Dell so he spent his childhood tinkering with electronics and as a punishment had to learn HTML in 1998. He focused on a mix of art and code and ended up doing work as an interactive director in the advertising world. His biggest skill was merging the creative team with the development team while being able to explain it all to clients.

Roam is one of the most promising early-stage startups in Texas, and Dennis was gracious enough to do an interview with us.

What is your favorite hobby?: It switches all the time but I like a good mix of making things. Guitars, artwork, old arcade games, etc. I also try to go totally offline and get outdoors and go rock climbing or hike.

Who are your ideal clients?: Right now we still specialize in the Commercial Real Estate market but within the next 12 months, we want to expand first into medical and residential real estate then into things like retail and restaurants.

What is the biggest reason for your success so far?: Every building needs a directory. Most are absolutely terrible or look like a library from 1997. It takes time but once we get in front of the right people we have a great impression.

What is the #1 way you differentiate from your competition?: Modern technology and design. From the hardware to the way our cloud system works we utilize many of the same processes as modern web or mobile apps. Things like using the app store to handle automatic updates, the material design standards on the directories and back end, google cloud for hosting, and being 100% serverless.

These things let us deliver more features at a lower cost while delivering a great user experience visitors expect.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?: The digital signage market has a long established model of pricing and delivering content. The directory world has a totally different one that hasn’t changed in 30 years. Trying to serve both markets has been a real struggle model wise when one is used to single purchase and the other monthly payments.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?: The digital signage market has a long established model of pricing and delivering content. The directory world has a totally different one that hasn’t changed in 30 years. Trying to serve both markets has been a real struggle model wise when one is used to single purchase and the other monthly payments.

Favorite place to travel to?: I really want to go to Japan but climbing I loved Red Rocks in Nevada.

What book are you most likely to give as a gift?: For anyone who likes Game of Thrones: The Lies of Lock Lamora, it’s one-half Game of Thrones the other half Oceans 11.

For Designers: Evil By Design talks about how the brain works and how to avoid dark patterns.

What is your favorite app or online tool? : I’m in Audible and Flipboard the most on my phone, Online I’m in Asana, Github, and Gliffy the most. Firebase might be my favorite of them all.

What was the best event that you recently attended?: It’s been a while, SXSW’s Dropdowns event was my favorite tech presentation ever, the rest are blurring together. Dallas New Tech has presentation events where you can present to a crowd of like-minded folks and get honest feedback. It doesn’t feel like anyone is malicious and the advice is usually really great.

What business would you love for someone else to start?: Someone to get me out of group texts.

What advice do you have for new founders? : See my previous comment about work/life balance. Find good co-founders and employees. Even if it’s your best friend/brother/spouse get everything in writing. Find a well-respected bookkeeper, CPA, and lawyer. They are worth 100X their costs in saving yourself time. Every now and then, find folks not in your circle, pitch them your idea and see what they think. It can take a few hundred sales pitches to get it solid.

Twitter: @DennisSmolek

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