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July 1, 2019

Five Questions with… Betty Blocks’ CEO Chris Obdam

"In another life I'd be a tulip grower..."

By CBR Staff Writer

Every Monday morning we fire five questions at a C-suite technology industry interviewee. Today we’re pleased to be joined by Betty Blocks CEO Chris Obdam.

Biggest Challenge of Your Clients?

The problem that arises [when building apps] is that, when your employees start to build their own solutions, you run the risk it all becoming a big mess. Although they might have the best intentions, their applications might – for instance – create a security breach resulting in thousands of customer records leaking out.

A no-code platform can prevent these forms of shadow IT because it supports central governance and control from the IT department. It’s vital that you keep supervision on the tools that your business creates. You want to be in control of the application building processes to safeguard the quality and security of the product.

As no-code platforms remove the need for writing code entirely, they have the amazing potential to democratise application development. Instead of just the IT department, anyone in the workforce can help drive digital innovation by building and adapting software themselves.

Technology That Excites You Most?

I’d say: Artificial Intelligence. When Citizen Developers – the users of no-code platforms – start to build applications, they aim to solve each problem in the most efficient way.

AI is very important as it will profoundly change the way we relate to technology. It holds the power to improve existing services exponentially, creating smarter and stronger systems, which will change the way we do things. So, AI will – without a doubt – play a vital part in the future of our platform.

Greatest Success?

My brother and I started the company from our attic in a small village in The Netherlands. I’m tremendously proud that we managed to grow into the global player we are now. We now have offices in the US, Mexico, Japan, and the UK (as well as The Netherlands). And despite this huge success, we have both stayed true to ourselves.

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Worst Failure?

As brothers we launched some early products that failed. When we first started, long before Betty Blocks was our primary claim to fame, we lacked a certain focus. We tried to work on many different products at once and that, in hindsight, distracted us from turning our platform into a success. I regularly found myself getting into my car on Sunday mornings desperately trying to fix problems that had nothing to do with Betty Blocks. Back then, I guess our focus was too broad…

In Another Life, I’d Be…

…A tulip grower, just like my dad. Working in nature, getting your hands dirty, working with big machines, and living by the seasons. It sounds very romantic. But for now, we’ll continue on our mission to add value to software development and helping to solve the major problems faced by businesses and IT.

See also: Five Questions with… Roger Hale, CISO, Informatica


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