Below is our recent interview with Sylvain Perron, CEO and co-founder at Botpress:
Q: Can you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Botpress is the leading open-source chatbot platform that allows developers to build the best chatbots possible without a team of data scientists and machine learning experts. Botpress is a platform that has a unique managed NLU engine, an integrated development and visual conversational design environment, flexible integrations, and extension options for customization. At our core, we aim to create the best chatbot builder in the world by being developer first and experience-oriented.
Q: 2021 was quite a year in terms of growth. How does it feel to build a company from the ground up and now see so many people rallying to your mission?
A: Everything goes so fast. You sort of don’t take the time to take a look back and see the big picture. Yes, we have grown a lot. I think we’re over 70 employees. We were just 20 employees a year ago. I see where we’re headed and in two years we’ll be 200 or 300 employees. I’m thinking about the future and not so much about the past because we need to grow and we have a long way to go. But, it’s really amazing that we’ve been able to gather such a high density of talented individuals at Botpress.
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Q: According to you, what makes Botpress different as a company?
A: Botpress is open source. Especially for developers, it’s one of the only open source dev-oritented companies that mixes all sort of interesting challenges like AI, machine learning, hardcore front-end and back-end. Also, we sell to Fortune 500 companies as well as startups. Understanding natural language is a non-obvious thing to solve. So it is very challenging considering it touches many things. I think it is one of the only companies in Canada that combines all of that. That is exciting for developers.
Q: From a product perspective, what will be Botpress’ competitive advantage in the future state of the space?
A: Just like Photoshop is used by designers to edit photos, we want Botpress to be the best editor for creating and automating conversations. To me, if you want to have the best editor, the experience is extremely important. I’m very proud that we are one of the only companies, if not the only company, in the space to really focus on the end user. The end user means the developer and the conversation designer. I think that’s the only ingredient for long-term success in this sector. That’s really where we’re tripling down on for the years to come. We want to create the very best tool and ecosystem for the makers and builders. The rest will come.
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Q: How do you think the Botpress products will impact your customers and your customers’ customers?
A: The great thing about what we’re doing is that the benefits are extremely clear. You’re taking conversations that normally can only happen between one human and another human and you’re essentially enabling those conversations to scale infinitely. One bot can potentially talk to billions of humans at the same time. You’re completely unblocking the gateway to knowledge and efficiency and satisfaction through that single innovation. I think we’ll see a lot of industries transformed by this. Customer service is the most obvious one, but we will see bots pretty much everywhere. For example, when you think of an amazing game like Grand Theft Auto, all the NPCs have a very hard-coded and static dialogue. The future of gaming is going to be conversational where you have to interact with NPCs in the game to develop social skills to unlock a new step or level in the game. That to me is fascinating! All the new types of games you’ll be able to build and create, especially combined with VR and AR, are going to be amazing. There are also many more industries like education that will also be transformed by conversational AI.