“Be in the Moment.” Bronchae Brown’s Mantra for Putting Down Your Phone and Letting Zoomiee Do the Work.
Bronchae Brown is the Founder and CEO of Zoomiee, a photography service to help people enjoy the moment, rather than be distracted by their electronics. Professional photographers, close to the action, will send pictures directly to your phone in real time, allowing you to be present. With a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Systems Engineerings, Brown is passionate about his technological solution to a ubiquitous challenge people face every day.
How did you come up with the idea for your business? Were there any personal experiences, passions, skills, hobbies, etc. that influenced you?
I have been an amateur photographer since taking a photography class in high-school. I have two daughters and when they performed in school events, I was usually the dad with a “good” camera and people would ask “Hey, Bronchae can you get a few pics of my kids too?” I was always happy to do so because digital pictures cost me nothing.
One day, I was attending an award ceremony for my oldest daughter; she was receiving a National Gold Key Award for an art project. I was there with my 200 mm lens Nikon and decided to take pictures from my seat rather than elbowing for space at the front. Because of the dim lighting in the auditorium, I had to use a slower shutter speed as my daughter was moving across the stage. I snapped a couple of shots, looked at the pictures and felt disappointed with the results. 1 second later it hit me... “my daughter got this once in a high-school career award, and I did not clap, cheer, or show her how proud I was once because I was messing around with this camera.” I looked around the auditorium and saw at least 50 other people doing the same thing. I decided there must be a solution.
Zoomiee has its sights set on helping people all over the world focus on enjoying the moments that they are experiencing at the time.
What past experiences or assets helped you the most in growing your company?
I was a Pilot - or Naval Aviator as we like to be called - in the Marine Corps, and the skills I learned in dealing with complex environments and unexpected situations have been very helpful in building a company from the ground up.
As a Pilot, I hate the phrase “build it while we fly it” because any real pilot knows you cannot bolt on new wings or install an engine in flight. Professional pilots are taught that a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of fluid dynamics, propulsion, atmospherics, and human physiology will allow you to develop workable plans when unexpected scenarios are encountered.
Building a startup is full of unexpected occurrences, whether they be changes in market demand, competition, governmental regulation, etc... Taking the time to understand the fundamentals of your particular sector will allow you to rapidly adapt.
What were the toughest experiences to endure as a business owner? Points where you wondered why you were doing this at all?
The feedback from my very first pitch was a “kick in the gut.” I pitched way too early and felt pressured by some Venture Associate to showcase my deck. I have done some hard things in my life and rejection from a VC Firm is not like dealing with an in-flight emergency as a Pilot, but it was still hard told my idea did not make sense.
I have since adjusted my frame of reference and understand that all the challenges I am facing in business will not result in the loss of life the way failures in my military career would have. I still have difficult days, but handle them much better now.