ZooEasy: how it started

Erik Reudink, ZooEasy

Erik Reudink, director and founder of ZooEasy

ZooEasy has existed for ten years now. The customers of ZooEasy are spread over the entire world: from a bird breeder in Australia until a dog breeder in Sweden. There are sold over 15,000 stand alone software programs to hobby and (semi)professional breeders, and nowadays over 40 breeding associations and herd books are using ZooEasy Online. But how did all this start?

A bunch of flowers
Erik Reudink, director and founder of ZooEasy, looks back at a special time. “In 1993 I studied at the HTS (technical university of applied sciences). One day a friend asked me to make a pedigree for his dogs, because I have a background on information technology. I liked the idea, so I learned to program this software. I got a bunch of flowers as a thanks for my first software program ever.”

Erik wasn’t completely satisfied for his first attempt, but he got the hang of it. Then there was a second opportunity: “A friend of the badmintonclub was keeping birds and pigeons. I rewrote the first program for dogs and adjusted and renewed this for birds.” His friend was very content with this software, and suggested that Erik should sell this breeding program. After the first advertisement in a club journal of the NBvV (Dutch association for bird lovers), the rush started. “It was a big hit. In just one year time I had got 500 paying customers and the company started.”

From pastime to professional company
The hobby of information and computer technology grew into a professional company. In 2001 the name ZooEasy was born. “My nephew Karst started at the helpdesk and every now and then I was hiring programmers to improve the software. In 2005 ZooEasy grew internationally, when my other nephew Bram started out intensively on the German market.” At this moment ZooEasy works with several parttime employees. ZooEasy mainly uses Skype to keep in touch with all the contacts, such as the developmentteam in India.

Since the beginning of ZooEasy, much has changed. Erik: “The biggest difference is the professional approach we have now, in comparison with the hobby in 1999.” For instance, ZooEasy now uses more shared knowledge and there is a manned helpdesk. Furthermore, ZooEasy has bought a stand to visit more shows and events, to get in touch with more customers. Erik: “What I liked best, was to speak with customers who were happy that the ZooEasy products meets their needs.”

Aquarium
In the ten year existence of ZooEasy, much has happened. One of the funniest moments Erik experienced, was during a telephone call for the helpdesk: “I asked the customer, what’s on the screen? The customer answered: “An aquarium.” It took a while for me to realize that he didn’t refer to a screensaver, but there was an actual aquarium on his computer monitor.”

Proud
Erik: “I am proud of everything we have done so far. We will keep improving our products to provide the best service to all our customers.” ZooEasy is pleasant, friendly, but professional and grown up by good service, annual renewals and excellent product support.

You can now read the complete series about the foundation of ZooEasy:
The interview with Willem Stemerdink, the first ZooEasy Online customer.
The interview with Jacob Miedema, the very first customer.