Spotlight: Testbirds Harnesses the Power of the Crowd

usability testing services

Software companies have a complicated job to do. Before even releasing a product, they need to make sure it works properly and is actually usable for consumers. But as it turns out, the best resource for gaining those insights might just be the consumers themselves.

So, how do you get a software product in front of consumers before going through all the trouble of actually releasing it publicly? Testbirds thinks the answer lies in crowdtesting.

Read more about the company and its crowdtesting philosophy in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides usability testing services using the power of the crowd.

The company provides testing services for websites, apps, games, wearables, smart TVs and other software based products. The company has its own crowd of testers, or companies can choose to use Testbird’s system with their own crowd of existing customers or employees. Testbirds founder Markus Steinhauser told Small Business Trends:

“Testbirds provides a variety of software testing services, with a focus on bug and usability testing, using the power of the crowd. We call that ‘crowdtesting’.”

Business Niche

Helping you through each step of the process.

Steinhauser says:

“As we are one of the pioneers of crowdtesting, our ability to offer project managers has allowed companies to have a quick, efficient and easy experience implementing crowdtesting into their standard software testing practices.”

How the Business Got Started

Thanks to a scholarship and some early funding.

Steinhauser founded the company in 2012 along with Philipp Benkler and Georg Hansbauer. He says:

“First financed by the EXIST founded-scholarship we went on to win multiple awards such as the IKTV Innovativ, IT-Innovation Award and Best of Mobile Awards. In 2012 we also received a seven figure cash injection from Walther Beteiligungen and Immobilen AG through the financing network: evobis.”

usability testing services

Biggest Win

Acquiring their first client.

Steinhauser says:

“Finalizing a frame contract as well as a proof of concept and establishing a long term partnership really makes you feel like you’ve made it into the business processes of another company as you are incorporated as a service. It displays that you not only have value to them but also value in the market. That was a great source of hope for us.”

Biggest Risk

Expanding their team.

Steinhauser explains:

“There is a lot that can go wrong, and once you begin expanding your team, you are responsible for others. That means if your business does fail the impact can be felt throughout the team and there is a lot more at stake.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Improving the workplace environment.

Steinhauser says:

“One of our strategic goals is to increase employee satisfaction. Therefore, we would look to invest it into making our events bigger, our employees more and more comfortable, providing new and improved opportunities in terms of education, facilities etc. It’s very important to us that our workplace has a welcoming and safe environment.”

usability testing services

Team Tradition

Relating everything to birds.

Steinhauser explains:

“At Testbirds we ‘birdify’ everything. We have a ‘bird flyout’ twice a year which is a company-wide trip that includes team building activities and a chance to create long lasting memories. We refer to our testers as ‘the birds’ and our testing platform as ‘the nest’. We have a ‘bird university’ where once a month a few employees will lead a conference where they teach the rest of the company interesting new skills such as ‘the benefits of LinkedIn and Xing’.”

Favorite Quote

“Surround yourself with smart, dedicated people — to build something isn’t a one-man show. It’s more important to have smart people who really believe in what you’re doing than really experienced people who may not share your dream.” — Niklas Zennstrom

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.

Images: Testbirds Second From Top: Tesbirds founder Markus Steinhauser

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.