Interview With Fritjof Andersson, Co-Founder Of RelationDesk.com
Congrats on launching RelationDesk.com!
Fritjof: Thanks a lot! It’s been an enormous team effort to get to here and we are really excited to start letting more people in!
Before we get into the juicy stuff; I know you from before of course, but for the blog readers, who is Fritjof Andersson really?
Fritjof: Well, I’ve been an entrepreneur and intrepreneur since the late 90′s. I love to create and I channel that through stuff like painting and producing music but also through business development and lots of coding. Back in my apartment I’ve got my wakeboard and my snowboards side by side, and I’m actually one of very few male cheerleading coaches.
Cool. Now, truth to be told—there’s a lot of social dashboards out there. What makes RelationDesk.com special in your opinion?
Fritjof: RelationDesk.com is not a marketing tool, what we have is a service for companies that actually want to build real relationships with their customers. That difference in how we look at social media makes all the difference when we create the user experience and choose functionality. Every single item in the system has to be able to answer a clear “yes” to the question “Does this really help the user build relationships with their customers?”. If it’s a no, we literally throw that idea out the window. And don’t’ worry, man. We write on paper. We don’t smash an iPad every time we get a bad idea.
And you could also say that the service is data-driven, am I right? I mean with the pulling in data about the fans to give them a more personalised experience?
Fritjof: Yeah, that right. You can see all the data on the people you’re building relationships with. Say that you have several Facebook pages and want to see if the same customer has commented on your other pages as well, then you get a great overview of all those interactions.
Do you have any proof of concept? Any beta clients at this point?
Fritjof: At an early stage we invited a few companies that we saw were doing some really great stuff in social media. Companies that could really push us to develop a service that could live up to their very high expectations. One of them was TeliaSonera, the telecom company. They have a social media team of 40 people that use RelationDesk.com to handle all the conversations on their Facebook pages. TeliaSonera has won a long line of prizes for their efforts in social media, we hope to help them get a big pile of new ones!
I know you’ve been passionate about this project for a while now, please tell all the digital entrepreneurs out there a little about your journey up until this point.
Fritjof: In short: work! So much work! Lately I’ve worked 12+ hour days more or less 7 days a week. But the story behind it is that it all started back when I was building the social media strategy for a large company. I had a discussion with a bunch of social a media managers and they pretty much all said “in social media we don’t want to do marketing, we want to build relationships”. I realized that this is huge, so I set out to create a tool that would help them do that exact thing.
So, now it’s about getting the product out there on the market. What’s your take on how to market RelationDesk.com?
Fritjof: It all has to start with a great product. Then we have to prove to the world, over and over again, that we are a bunch of really descent guys that truly want to help our users do great things. Since our customers are social media mangers, people that by nature are unnaturally über-social, generous and honest, we are going to use social media almost exclusively to reach these guys. And of course we are going to aim at building long term relationships.
Now, what can you tell us about the financial side? How has the project been funded? Are you looking for investors? How many users are you projecting the first year?
Fritjof: We have not taken in any external funding, we are four founders and we own 100% of the company! We really don’t need investors that much, but I can tell you that we are continuously having discussions with interesting people that could improve our management team. What we need is people that have proven experience and great insights into specific markets.
Very exciting, best of luck to you and the team, Fritjof! Finally, any invites for the Doktor Spinn readers? Maybe for those who are first to comment?
Fritjof: Sure thing! I’ll give you 5 priority beta invites that you can give to those five commenters. Or you can just keep the invites for your self and whispr “my precious…”