Editorial note: Since this interview, the Bunkr technologies and team have merged with Synthesio. (March 30, 2017)
PowerPoint is one of the most common tools you will use for work, however strongly you may dislike it. Everywhere on the planet, on every continent, in every company, in every meeting, in every work group, you find slides and people who make them. Over the last twenty years, the PowerPoint slide has experienced very little innovation. A slide is still a slide, and somehow we have grown comfortable with it.
However, what really matters isn’t the presentation in itself, but the messages you wish to communicate through the slides. Edouard Petit, co-founder of Bunkr, an alternative to the PowerPoint presentation, or « the Powerpoint killer », tells us how his ambitious French startup has helped people build relevant presentations.
Bunkr is a French startup created in 2012, which has developed presentation software in the cloud. This Software as a Service (Saas) allows you to create presentations easily with beautiful templates and, more importantly, with the possibility to link your slides directly to your data.
So what is one of Bunkr’s main goals?
“Often you have to struggle to put relevant data into your presentations. With Bunkr, we wanted to help people show what they had to say in the most efficient and simplistic way”. Bunkr has over 40,000 users to date and is present in a staggering 175 countries.
Software must adapt to users, not the other way around
Edouard argues that even though the PowerPoint slide has arguably become stagnant, it doesn’t mean that people’s expectations of it have not evolved. “Microsoft used to decide what features they wanted to put in PowerPoint and we had to deal with it. This is no longer working this way. People want products that meet their own expectations, and with the cloud, we have never paid so much attention to customers’ behaviour (that’s why a new job is emerging, User eXperience Designer)”.
“Nowadays, what matters is not what marketing you have to adjust to your product but how you will adjust it. Your product must speak for itself. People have recommended our product because they have found it easy to use, and that’s the key.”
Edouard Petit’s thoughts on big data, the next big thing
“We are constantly surrounded by an ever-growing amount of statistics and data. Yet, too often we find it hard to synthesise it all, which doesn’t help when it comes to making a decision. At Bunkr, we created a simple tool that helps people to put order into their data.
In companies, people meet too much. They make slides because they find it a convenient tool to express their views, but those slides lead to nothing real. People spend too much time discussing and too little going one step further in their strategic planning. In a way, PowerPoint has killed innovation and decision-making in companies. Bunkr has been designed not to make slides, but to present things easily so that the presentations can help people make relevant decisions to go from a point A to a point B, not in ten years, but in six months.
Innovative ideas blossom when people start accepting the possibility of failure. We still call companies like Google or Facebook “startups” even though they rule the world because, in these companies, people are prepared for failure and see it as a part of the whole process. So let’s be innovative again and make slides, not just for the sake of it, but to create ideas and make decisions.” (Edouard Petit)