So much has been said over the past few years about: The rise of the ebook, the death of traditional publishing, the emergence of self publishing and If your moving away from physical books into the Kindle and ibooks world then you will probably love Readmill.
I invited the founder, Henrik Berggren on YHP to learn more about the company.
Can you give us some background information about yourself, were you the entrepreneurial type growing up?
I was born in the south of Sweden in 1980, my parents moved around quite a lot so I ended up living in all bigger cities in Sweden. I don't know if I was entrepreneurial but I was loud :) As the middle child of three I always had to scream for attention. But I remember selling an old family tv set to a friend from school, my dad was so happy about both getting rid of the old thing and getting money so he gave me half.
Tell me how the idea for Readmill came about?
It was born out of frustration for Kindle and iBooks which both provides pretty crappy experiences, especially when it comes to social. So we went to San Francisco where we met Caterina Fake, founder of flickr. She showed us this book which made us realize how important and cool highlights are.
What is Readmill? Tell me how it works?
Readmill is a simple, social reading platform. We currently support a range of apps where you can share what you read and highlights you make. We also help you finding your next book to read through your friends.
Tell us about the first few months of running the business? What would you say was the hardest part of starting the business?
Wow, a lot of things. I think the hardest part is knowing what to focus on. The todo lists are endless and you have to make the right decisions.
How have you been able to fund the business?
We raised a small seed round last year from two London based VC firms.
How has the business evolved comparing to the your first year of running it, the business model? Strategy?
Strategy wise everything changed. From only recommendations and integrations to becoming the iTunes for reading.
What is your business model?
Premium subscriptions for publishers offering extra features.
Are you profitable?
How many users do you have? Paying customers?
We have quite a few users now and we're growing fast.
What makes you different from other competing platforms out there?
We care a lot about design and focus on helping other readers become social.
What could you say has been some of the key things you’ve learnt so far as an entrepreneur?
Good question, it's probably that building a team is extremely fun!
What has been your most memorable moment so far on your entrepreneurial journey?
When me & David were raising money we did a really bad pitch to a group of investors. It was kind of a done deal but we really fucked it up and ended up lying on the floor in the apartment we had borrowed, crying.
What trends, startups, technology are you personally looking forward to in 2012?
I'm mostly looking fwd to the continued rise of ebooks. And hopefully we'll see more tablets on the market.
What are your other plans for Readmill in 2012?
We're still working hard on making Readmill available for everyone. This year we're launching iPhone support, better recommendations and much more.
What pieces of advices could you give to aspiring entrepreneurs out there looking to start their business?
Don't look, start :)