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Q&A with WinePoynt CEO and Founder Chris Taylor

Born in Austin, TX, Chris Taylor grew up on the Aegean coast in Izmir, Turkey where his parents worked as school teachers. He returned to the United States for college in 1994 and earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Chris has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, working his way up from waiting tables and managing in the front of the house, to becoming a sommelier and wine director. He is currently the president of WinePoynt, a personalized wine app he helped co-found, which launched in 2012. Chris lives in Bryan, Texas with his wife and their three children.

Please visit WinePoynt for more information.

Q&A with Chris Taylor are followed :

CU Q:How did WinePoynt get started?

Chris Taylor:The idea that launched WinePoynt began with two frustrated engineers in a Dallas wine bar. Unable to find anything they liked after each drinking two wine flights, they started talking about “data problems” and “algorithms” and “optimized solutions”. Those two engineers co-founded the project that grew into a company, and the rest, as some say, is history.

CU Q:Where does WinePoynt work?

Chris Taylor:Wherever our customers want us to work! We spend a significant part of our time working on accounts that our users have requested, and the rest on developing the relationships that will help us build into the different types of features we hope to provide future WinePoynt users.

CU Q:What makes WinePoynt different than other apps?

Chris Taylor:Our goal is to provide features that are valuable and relevant to real people who purchase and enjoy wine. In the long run that means we have to be motivated to see the world of wine through the eyes of our customers and to provide them with features they can appreciate. To sum it up, our scope and ambition in providing the most value to our customers is what makes WinePoynt different.

CU Q:How does WinePoynt benefit Restaurants and Bars?

Chris Taylor:If you sell wine, then having WinePoynt work in your business is an easy proposition to understand. WinePoynt helps people find wines they want, even if they don’t know what they’re looking for. It’s personalized, it’s social, it’s practical, and it gets better at its job every month!

CU Q:Why is WinePoynt spelled with a Y?

Chris Taylor:Not entirely one reason can do justice to the process of choosing the name for something that doesn’t exist yet, but along the way we ended up falling for the ability to design a logo around the “Y” as a wine glass which could also stand alone without the rest of the word and mean something intuitively visually.

CU Q:How does WinePoynt manage all of the wine information out there?

Chris Taylor:Well, thankfully we’re not trying to manage it all yet. For now it’s enough for us to concentrate on supporting the wines on the shelves and wine lists of locations in WinePoynt, and the ones that our users are drinking. We grow with our users. The system we’ve built scales a number of different ways to balance and maintain the challenge as we go forward, but for now it’s all about a measured data solution that builds up as we become more relevant.

CU Q:How does WinePoynt keep up with the constant addition of new wines?

Chris Taylor:The short answer is that we have a GREAT team. We will need to expand the scope of our relationships at a supplier level as time goes to keep up the quality of the experience going forward though. We’ve put a system into place, keep your eye on it, to make adjustments, measure the effects and never stop trying to improve the way you do things.

CU Q:How do I get started with WinePoynt?

Chris Taylor:WinePoynt is available for iPhone and Android. So for starters, just go to the app store you normally use and download it. After that it only takes a couple of minutes to get your profile started, choose a location, and play around with the recommendations that WinePoynt gives you.

CU Q:What makes WinePoynt so smart?

Chris Taylor:Part of the magic of WinePoynt is all the different ways in which we provide value to our customers. WinePoynt helps wine drinkers of all experience levels, restaurants, wine bars, retailers, wineries, and all the other folks whose business it is to get wine onto our shelves and wine lists and ultimately into our glasses.

CU Q:If you don’t drink wine that often, does WinePoynt still work?

Chris Taylor:Absolutely. A lot of WinePoynt’s features were designed to help people make purchase/consumption decisions quickly and conveniently, that they will be happy with, which may have previously been frustrating or too time-consuming.