One Million Conversations – Braden Ream, Voiceflow – Voice Tech Podcast ep.063

Braden Ream Voiceflow

Episode description

Braden Ream is the CEO of Voiceflow, a collaborative design platform for voice app development. Voiceflow is currently responsible for powering one million conversations a month and 6% of the world’s Alexa Skills are built on their platform.

In this episode, we discover how to build Alexa Skills and Google Actions without coding, using Voiceflow’s drag and drop interface. First off, we dive into conversation design on Voiceflow, the difference between using flowcharts and stateful design, the limitations of Voiceflow versus coding from scratch, and how Braden views the parity gap between what their platform can produce and what you can produce on the core platforms.

We also get into industry topics such as what it is like to build a voice startup in the context of today’s funding, competition, and timing challenges; whether Braden considers voice to be an interface or platform; and his thoughts on the discovery issue and how it can be improved.

You will also hear Braden’s predictions for 2020 – specifically the rise of intent-less voice app structures, the debate about whether apps are the right model for voice interfaces, and then he shares how he has managed to build such a strong community.

For the Voice Tech Pro listeners, there are a number of bonus questions that reveal more about Braden’s background and the advice he has for newcomers, so be sure to sign up as a Voice Tech Pro at


  • Voiceflow’s Project Voice Award for third party voice development tool of the year.
  • A description of the workflow problem that Voiceflow solves for conversational product teams.
  • The benefits of their real-time collaboration feature for designers and developers.
  • The commenting feature that allows stakeholders to add notes and markup the canvas.
  • A breakdown of how a skill is built in the drag and drop canvas of Voiceflow.
  • Overcoming the weaknesses of Invocable by enabling the quick production of prototypes.
  • Hear more about the partnership and integration between Voiceflow and Invocable.
  • How chapters allow users to section their content and add reusability into their projects.
  • Creating a new version of their codebase to accommodate their long-term vision.
  • Examples of remarkable skills that have been developed on Voiceflow.
  • The difference between flowchart and stateful design and the pros and cons of each.
  • The limitations of Voiceflow in comparison to coding from scratch.
  • Considering the number of users and depth of impact before developing a new feature.
  • Why it is most beneficial for voice tech startups to collaborate and innovate together.
  • Thoughts on whether the ISP market is sufficient to support a whole ecosystem of developers.
  • Are voice apps the right model for voice interfaces? And other alternatives to consider.
  • The problem of poor discovery of voice apps and how that impacts monetization.
  • What implicit invocation entails and why voice apps should mimic the landing pages model.
  • Secrets and benefits of building a strong community around your product.
  • Learning about market timing at two social networking companies prior to Voiceflow.

Quotes from the show

[05:56] Designers can collaborate right from the start

[25:26] The industry is more collaborative. It doesn’t make sense for two startups to compete.

[32:30] Monetization is a symptom of poor discovery

Links from the show

About the author

Carl Robinson
Carl Robinson

Carl is the host of the Voice Tech Podcast. Since launching in April 2018, Carl has conducted scores of in-depth interviews with voice industry experts, building one of the most well known media brands in the voice AI space.

He also publishes Voice Chops Tuesday, the number 1 voice technology newsletter, enjoyed by thousands of voice tech fans each week.

Carl is a startup founder, product manager and data scientist, and recently presented a model for voice emotion conversion at ICASSP 2019.

To contact Carl, use the links in this box to send an email, tweet or message.

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