Innovation Spotlight: Bliss Applications
This is the third article for the new Innovation Spotlight series for the DCD Blog, where we interview some of the newest and most creative companies popping up in the Boston area. If you would like to be featured in our series, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Company: Bliss Applications
Interviewee: Tiago “TJ” Janela
Most people don’t associate bliss with software applications, but Tiago Janela, CEO and co-founder of Bliss Application, is looking to change that. Their mission is to bring bliss into their customers’ (or their users’) lives through their software applications. “We try to improve the lives of all our customers,” he says, “and we make that a big part of every role we undertake.”
Although on the surface, Bliss Applications may look like every other software development company, deep inside they are not the same. Janela feels that the thing that makes them different, not only in the American market but in the world as well, is their unique style. They believe that in order to get sales, you need good talent to keep up with the workflow, and that talent needs to grow. To that end, they have created a culture where everyone gets to share their opinion, everyone gets to make a change if it’s acceptable and reasonable, and they’re always expecting people to help them grow. This is a distinct departure from most corporate cultures, where developers have little influence, and the bureaucracy gets so vertical that it’s near impossible to get anything done.
The result is that Bliss Applications has become a company that can take an idea from a napkin and turn it into a million dollar generating product. Whether you’re a startup looking for extra capacity or an executive who needs to turn a manual process into a mobile app, they can get you where you need and make sure you get the most out of them. Bliss Applications is for anyone who has an idea and is missing the technical expertise to turn it into a reality.
Founded in 2009, Janela drew his inspiration for creating Bliss from Apple’s Here’s to the Crazy Ones ads. Although they’re based in Lisbon, Portugal and São Paulo, Brazil, they’ve been working hard to break into the American market. As of right now, they have offices in both Boston, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas. Janela is hoping Bliss Applications will be a key player in software development, and is hard at work building partnerships in these markets by meeting with people around town and doing his best to be involved in the community.
Tiago Janela, CEO and co-founder of Bliss Applications
But what’s been the hardest part about breaking into the American markets? For Janela, it was obtaining the work visas. He believes that breaking into a foreign market means creating a stable foundation in terms of business, people, and marketing, and in order to accomplish that, someone needs to move abroad. Janela undertook that responsibility, and while building up a name and a reputation has its difficulties, it’s something that can be accomplished through perseverance, time, and investment. These are things that rely on the amount of work and effort he puts into the company, while awaiting approval for his visa application was entirely out of his hands.
After that, picking locations to move into was practically a no-brainer. Janela already had existing contacts in Boston, making it an ideal location to move into. This year, they were also accepted into a program at the University of Texas, Austin through the Portuguese Foundation, which helps Portuguese companies go abroad. Austin, they felt, was a good fit for their company culture and values. They have already signed with 4 clients in the United States, which Janela feels is a pretty good start.
Building up Bliss has been one of the most important projects in Janela’s life. In fact, he feels it’s his favorite project thus far. Though there hasn’t been an endeavour that he didn’t enjoy working on (he thrives off of having the chance to rise up and face a challenge), he says that at the end of the day, Bliss wins. Through Bliss, Janela and his team have helped improve their customers’ and users’ lives, something he feels very strongly about. And within the company, building up the employees and helping them reach their dreams is one of the best things he feels he can do.
From Portugal to Brazil and now into the US, Tiago Janela’s work to bring culture, comfort, and competency to the development world has been nothing short of true bliss.