Create the Future. Today

We’ve already seen companies such as Dole Organic marking their produce with three-digit codes via stickers to give consumers information on their origins. Now, as part of a marketing drive to show how natural the ingredients are in Camp Nectar fruit juice, Brazilian ad agency AGE Isobar has come up with a novel way to turn the actual fruit into the shape of the brand’s cartons. The marketing company spent two years researching potential methods for creating a piece of fruit that mimicked the box shape of Camp’s juice cartons and eventually developed a mold that could be fitted around a piece of fruit as it began to ripen on its tree. Over 1,000 lemons, guavas, passion fruit, papayas, apples and oranges were grown into the molds, which resulted in cuboid produce embossed with the Camp logo and even a straw on the back. These were then placed into the fruit sections of supermarkets among the more naturally-shaped versions to draw attention to the brand’s use of fresh fruit in its drinks. The video below explains more about the molding process: Although the pieces of fruit were used solely as a marketing tool and were not for sale, the research from this experiment could readily be adopted by producers in order to embed a brand logo onto the fruit itself. Fruit suppliers: could this model set your brand apart in the supermarket? Spotted by: Regina Gauer We recently saw PleaseBringMe.com offer a way for tourists to contribute to the community they are visiting by delivering products from abroad as they travel. Now travellers can take something back from their experience with Discover & Deliver, a site which hunts down the sources of accessories adorning rooms in some of the world’s luxury hotels and delivers them to customers’ doors. Based in the UK, the site was conceived by founder Isabel Rutland after a stay in the Greenwich in New York, which is famous for its perfectionist interior design. Rutland decided she wanted to make it easier for people to replicate the high standard of hotel decoration in their own homes and set up Discover & Deliver to fulfil those needs. Tourists who have spotted a piece of furniture, crockery or cutlery they like while staying in a hotel can take a photo of the object and send it into the site, whose team of researchers aim to find the exact object, or failing that something very similar in terms of style and quality. This service costs GBP 25, which is reimbursable upon purchase. Each item can be bought through Design & Discover, which offers free international delivery of the objects to UK, Europe and US. Travelers who have purchased something too sizeable to take home can also benefit from the delivery service, although a fee is then charged. The site features a webshop which contains some of the interior design team’s favorite spottings from hotels worldwide, photographed both on their own and in their original location, which acts as a recommendation bank for those who want to add luxury to their home but don’t know where to start. Discover & Deliver turns some of the most admired hotels in the world into interior design showrooms, with the added benefit that tourists can try before they buy. Could this concept work in your industry? QR codes have proved themselves to be a useful tool across a wide range of industries, and the catering sector is no different. In February, we covered the LA-based Paperlinks service, which enables take out restaurants to direct customers to mobile ordering via a code on their menus. Now offering a system for sit-down restaurants and other hospitality services, Your Smart Butler allows diners to view the menu and place their order solely using their smartphones through QR code technology. With the aim of bypassing the need for menus in restaurants, those purchasing the service place a QR code on each table. Customers scanning the image with a mobile device are then directed to a menu of available items and are able to place their order within the app. Their choice is sent to the restaurant’s point-of-sale or computer system, along with table number, and an order voucher is printed out for staff to send to the kitchen. Diners can also notify staff when they would like to settle the bill through the system, as well as share their order along with a review on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Your Smart Butler’s use is not limited to restaurants however and could easily be used for room service at hotels (with QR codes located in rooms) or services elsewhere – the company gives the example of a beach caterer printing the codes on sunloungers. The system makes the ordering process more convenient for both customers and restaurant owners and has the potential to reduce any mistakes made through traditional waiter service. Like Paperlinks, the system could also be used on takeout menus, opening up its use both inside and outside the premises of the business. QR codes are just one way we’ve seen menu ordering moving into the digital realm, with BlackBerry Messenger also being implemented in Malaysian nightclub No Black Tie. Are there any other platforms which could make the ordering process easier?

We’ve picked out our top ten Marketing & Advertising articles from the last year on Springwise. We hope that the campaigns and initiatives listed below — which could potentially be adapted into longer term business models — spark even more innovative efforts in the future!
1. In Singapore, loyalty card rewards coffee fans for being disloyal
The demise of the independent coffee shop has been a real threat on high streets across the globe for a number of years now. In one city an enthusiastic team refused to accept this threat as a foregone conclusion and a partnership sprung up between three Singaporean organisations with the aim of saving the local coffee shop through their Be Disloyal card campaign. The disloyalty card encouraged customers to visit as many of the eight participating outlets as possible with the intention of encouraging the eight to join forces against the major chains. This initiative managed to effectively combine grassroots retailing with a savvy business approach — a blueprint for the future perhaps? Read more about Be Disloyal »
2. Fashion brand offers discounts based on a shopper’s social influence
Word of mouth is an essential tool in any company’s kit if used correctly. Californian fashion brand Volga Verdi were well aware of the power of the spoken word when they offered discounts to their customers based on the amount of contacts they had on social networks — the more popular the customer, the more discount they received. This clever campaign encouraged customers to increase their friendship base, all the while broadening the company’s pool of potential fans. Customers were also more likely to associate the Volga Verdi brand with the attributes of friendship — trust and kindness — thereby enhancing their brand image in one fell swoop. Read more about Volga Verdi »
3. Google flu prediction model used for mobile ad campaign
Companies have often made the most of data on their customer base in order to effectively target their products and Vicks’ recent campaign was no exception. Using information from Google on flu incidents across the US and flu-related web searches they were able to pinpoint areas where flu rates were high and directed Vick’s Behind Ear Thermometer advertisement to relevant smartphones in these areas. Read more about Vick’s campaign »
4. Pop-up store sells chocolate for good deeds, not money
There’s nothing quite like a business venture that combines clever ideas whilst rewarding good behaviour. Chocolatier Anthon Berg managed just this with their sweet gifts being sold in exchange for acts of kindness. The use of iPads to replace tills meant that staff members could immediately post the good deed to the customer’s facebook wall, successfully sharing the person’s thoughtful act as well as marketing the brand. Read more about The Generous Store »
5. In Seoul, retailer uses 3D QR codes and the sun to deliver discounts only during its quiet times
There’s nothing groundbreaking in the idea of shops maximising sales during quiet periods by slashing their prices, however South Korea’s Emart added a touch of adventure to their discount offers. The Seoul retailer placed QR codes dotted around the city that could only be scanned between the hours of 12 noon and 1 pm each day. Between these times the QR codes were visible because the sun was at its highest in the sky, casting the correct shadow for the 3D QR code to form. Once customers scanned a code they were taken to Emart’s homepage where they could browse reduced price items and have purchases delivered direct to their door. Read more about Emart’s campaign »
6. At London bus stop, interactive ad shows different content to men and women
An age-old dispute centres around gender, and whether men and women are so very different from one another. One charity that used this debate to their advantage was Plan UK, who adopted facial recognition software for their bus stop advertising campaign to highlight gender inequality. The software identified whether a man or woman was standing in front of the screen and then played a different advertisement accordingly. Women were shown profiles of three females from around the world who each experience gender discrimination in different ways. Men, however, were denied access to the full profiles and could only read a set of statistics about gender inequality. The charity hoped to bring home to the male viewers the limited opportunities women can find available to them simply based on their gender. Read more about Plan UK’s campaign »
7. Mexican retro sneaker brand relaunches with free shoe exchange
The Mexican sneaker company Panam noticed an increasing demand for their 80s designs as a demand for retro style swept the country. They boosted their wavering popularity by organizing shoe exchanges in the country’s busiest squares, where people were encouraged to bring an old pair of shoes and swap them for a Panam pair. Read more about Panam’s shoe exchange »
8. Insurance company recruits existing policyholders to advise potential customers
It is a brave company who hands over responsibility for their brand image to the consumer, but Finnish insurance company If did just this when they asked 852 of their customers to provide live one-to-one testimonials to potential customers over the telephone. These one-to-ones could include positive and negative feedback on the company and aimed to give a fair and unbiased assessment of the service offered. This was a potentially risky strategy that empowered the consumer. Fan-sourcing sales platform, Needle, also recognized the importance of customer testimonials, matching up brands with their most loyal fans to provide personalized recommendations for potential customers. Read more about If’s campaign »
9. Alarm clock app rewards users for guessing which city’s sounds they wake up to
Most people need a little help to clear heads in the morning, and this app from Lufthansa airline struck us as an ingenious idea to kickstart the brain at dawn. Set up as an alarm on the user’s phone, the app played sounds to represent different cities as a wake-up call. The user then had to guess which city the sound represented and input their answer into the phone. If they were correct, they won discounted plane tickets to that destination. Lufthansa created a fun game as well as cleverly alerting the user to their brand on a daily basis. Read more about Lufthansa’s Anywake app »
10. Deliberately late pizza deliveries raise awareness of world hunger and money for charity
While we’re used to marketing campaigns that have stand-out qualities, it’s rare that we come across one that takes the risky step of potentially annoying its customer base. But that is just what Paraguayan ONIRIA/TBWA did when they arranged for the country’s two leading pizza delivery chains to deliberately deliver their customers’ pizzas late. The campaign aimed to give consumers a glimpse into the lives of those who suffer from a lack of food every day, and each pizza was delivered with a note inside explaining the thinking behind the strategy. The campaign helped collect 50 tons of food for the Food Bank Foundation, but its success perhaps lies in its one-off nature. Read more about ONIRIA/TBWA campaign » The ubiquity of cell phones has inspired countless creative ways to keep them charged, whether it’s through a pedal-powered table, a charging handbag or a USB-equipped urban bicycle — to name just a few recent examples. The latest spotting? A tiny chip insertable in the sole of any shoe that gathers and stores energy as the wearer walks. The brainchild of Kenyan entrepreneur Anthony Mutua, the new technology was on display earlier this month at the Science and Innovation Week taking place in Nairobi, according to a report in Kenya’s Daily Nation. The technology consists of an ultra-thin chip of crystals that generate electricity when subjected to pressure; placed in the sole of a shoe, it gathers energy when the wearer walks, runs and moves about. A phone can then be charged via a thin extension cable that runs from shoe to pocket, or energy can be stored in the crystals for charging purposes later. Mutua charges KES 3,800 to fit any shoe with one of his chips, and he offers a two-and-a-half-year guarantee. Mass production of Mutua’s chips will reportedly begin soon thanks to funding from Kenya’s National Council of Science and Technology. Mobile and energy entrepreneurs the world over: One to get involved in? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel Allergy-sufferers have already seen a number of innovations to help them avoid food that causes discomfort, from translation cards to food traceability apps. Placing allergies at the forefront of their business, however, is French restaurant Mon Histoire dans l’assiette, whose menu is entirely free of 11 of the most common allergens, ensuring that most people with a food intolerance of some kind can still have their pick of the restaurant’s selection. Located in Lyon, the eatery runs a menu focused on organically grown and reared produce that is free from gluten, eggs, lactose, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, mustard, shellfish, celery, sesame and lupine. The restaurant’s offerings change throughout the seasons to make certain that allergy sufferers have access to as wide a range of seasonal produce as possible. Data sheets are provided for everything that is cooked to ensure transparency and the staff are well-trained in the nutrition and allergy fields. Mon Histoire dans l’assiette (which translates as ‘My Story on a plate’) aims to make eating out with friends a more pleasurable experience, priding itself on “creative cuisine” that is healthy, “full of flavor” and designed to be enjoyed by everybody, not just those with allergies. The pricing is also affordable, with the average dish costing EUR 13.50. Mon Histoire claims to be the first of its kind to introduce a menu totally free of major allergens. Perhaps this is one for restaurateurs to replicate in your part of the world? Spotted by: R Steinberg We recently reported on Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble’s wifi-blocking wallpaper, which aims to make home and business networks more secure against unauthorized use. San Francisco-based startup Open Garden, however, is focused on democratizing internet access and is looking to boost mobile broadband coverage by sharing devices’ connectivity in densely populated areas. Fed up with the ‘closed’ nature of mobile networks and their patchy connectivity outside of urban areas, the founders of Open Garden – entrepreneur Micha Benoliel, internet architect Stanislav Shalunov and developer Greg Hazel – set about creating an app which effectively enables the hardware in mobile devices and laptops to act as a router, which others can connect to. Using peer-to-peer technology, each device with the app installed can broadcast their connectivity across a 20-meter radius, meaning that business centers with a high density of notebooks, smartphones and tablets can have guaranteed internet connections. The app works with devices that are connected to the internet through 3G/4G, wifi hotspots or femtocell bases. Although users will need to share some of their connection, Open Garden seeks to break down the restrictions placed on mobile devices by carriers, which often mean customers experience a lack of connectivity even when another brand’s broadcasting signal could get them online. The startup aims to encourage larger businesses to change the way they operate their mobile internet provision and to learn to share in order to generate extra income and provide a better service. Mobile phone operators – is this territory you would explore? Spotted by: Matthew Smith This week we caught up with Daniel Noonan from Pikup, the media platform that pays artists a fair share based on how often their fans listen to them, which we first covered in April of this year. Daniel claims there was no great ‘eureka!’ moment for the idea behind Pikup — instead it was a concept that crept up on him slowly, developing over time. Pikup runs on Macs, iPhones and iPads and allows users to input their playlists into their Pikup account so that these statistics can then be turned into royalties for the artists. Daniel graduated from Brunel University with a BSc in Industrial Design. His route towards entrepreneurship was unusual — after graduating he started out as a designer working on corporate branding, before moving into property, working as an estate agent for just over a year. Shortly after this he took the plunge and founded Pikup in June 2011. A year in to running his own company, we put some questions to Daniel to find out how he’s finding the experience.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
The biggest frustration so far has been freelancers. I know many people use freelancers a lot but I’m not sure I will ever again. Time is very important at the start of a business and the freelancers I used missed deadlines on a number of occasions. If you are deciding between using freelancers or learning how to do it yourself then do it yourself. You will learn something new and it will probably be quicker than the time the freelancers would have taken.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
I’m not sure I can call myself truly successful yet but I think it is helpful to keep redefining your personal view of success. If you set goals that you either can’t achieve or will not achieve quickly then you will lose motivation. By setting a small target for the next stage of your business you will improve your speed of development and keep yourself motivated for what comes next. Keep working hard and moving forward.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
The biggest frustration so far has been freelancers. I know many people use freelancers a lot but I’m not sure I will ever again. Time is very important at the start of a business and the freelancers I used missed deadlines on a number of occasions. If you are deciding between using freelancers or learning how to do it yourself then do it yourself. You will learn something new and it will probably be quicker than the time the freelancers would have taken.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Pikup?
I probably don’t unwind as much as I should but I do make sure that I go to the gym three times a week. It’s very easy to just keep working and when I started Pikup I would begin working at 8:00am and finish some point after midnight, only stopping to eat. I achieved a lot very quickly but it’s not possible to maintain that schedule for very long; so no matter what is going on I always finish what I’m doing and go to the gym or for a walk.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
I’m not sure I can call myself truly successful yet but I think it is helpful to keep redefining your personal view of success. If you set goals that you either can’t achieve or will not achieve quickly then you will lose motivation. By setting a small target for the next stage of your business you will improve your speed of development and keep yourself motivated for what comes next. Keep working hard and moving forward.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
The biggest frustration so far has been freelancers. I know many people use freelancers a lot but I’m not sure I will ever again. Time is very important at the start of a business and the freelancers I used missed deadlines on a number of occasions. If you are deciding between using freelancers or learning how to do it yourself then do it yourself. You will learn something new and it will probably be quicker than the time the freelancers would have taken.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
There really isn’t a typical day but most of my time is spent in front of a keyboard and mouse. I start by dealing with e-mail, news etc and I tend to end the day by either going to the gym or for a walk. Anything that happens between these two points varies wildly depending on what is required that day. Working on layouts, writing code, researching solutions to problems, marketing or planning changes and improvements. You really need to be a jack of all trades or, if you want to be fancy, a renaissance man when it comes to starting a web-focused company.
4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Pikup?
I probably don’t unwind as much as I should but I do make sure that I go to the gym three times a week. It’s very easy to just keep working and when I started Pikup I would begin working at 8:00am and finish some point after midnight, only stopping to eat. I achieved a lot very quickly but it’s not possible to maintain that schedule for very long; so no matter what is going on I always finish what I’m doing and go to the gym or for a walk.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
I’m not sure I can call myself truly successful yet but I think it is helpful to keep redefining your personal view of success. If you set goals that you either can’t achieve or will not achieve quickly then you will lose motivation. By setting a small target for the next stage of your business you will improve your speed of development and keep yourself motivated for what comes next. Keep working hard and moving forward.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
The biggest frustration so far has been freelancers. I know many people use freelancers a lot but I’m not sure I will ever again. Time is very important at the start of a business and the freelancers I used missed deadlines on a number of occasions. If you are deciding between using freelancers or learning how to do it yourself then do it yourself. You will learn something new and it will probably be quicker than the time the freelancers would have taken.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
2. Do you feel Pikup’s model could offer the music industry a more sustainable future?
I think the music industry will always have a future because live music and merchandise will always be a part of a large section of the world. What Pikup allows is for fans to support their favourite artist even if they don’t go to a live show and most importantly the payments are based purely on merit. People who produce engaging and well-crafted content will be rewarded through Pikup. When I designed Pikup I wanted to make a system that would be as good for small companies as it would be for established large companies. Therefore we structured Pikup to be completely neutral to the size of the company. Any company who signs up and is verified by Pikup is treated equally by the system. I think the biggest effect will be on podcasters. There are a few podcasters making money from advertising but it seems unlikely that advertising will be able to scale beyond the top few networks. A regular stream of income through Pikup could allow podcasters to work full time on their shows without taking advertising and I think that is really exciting.
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
There really isn’t a typical day but most of my time is spent in front of a keyboard and mouse. I start by dealing with e-mail, news etc and I tend to end the day by either going to the gym or for a walk. Anything that happens between these two points varies wildly depending on what is required that day. Working on layouts, writing code, researching solutions to problems, marketing or planning changes and improvements. You really need to be a jack of all trades or, if you want to be fancy, a renaissance man when it comes to starting a web-focused company.
4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Pikup?
I probably don’t unwind as much as I should but I do make sure that I go to the gym three times a week. It’s very easy to just keep working and when I started Pikup I would begin working at 8:00am and finish some point after midnight, only stopping to eat. I achieved a lot very quickly but it’s not possible to maintain that schedule for very long; so no matter what is going on I always finish what I’m doing and go to the gym or for a walk.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
I’m not sure I can call myself truly successful yet but I think it is helpful to keep redefining your personal view of success. If you set goals that you either can’t achieve or will not achieve quickly then you will lose motivation. By setting a small target for the next stage of your business you will improve your speed of development and keep yourself motivated for what comes next. Keep working hard and moving forward.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
The biggest frustration so far has been freelancers. I know many people use freelancers a lot but I’m not sure I will ever again. Time is very important at the start of a business and the freelancers I used missed deadlines on a number of occasions. If you are deciding between using freelancers or learning how to do it yourself then do it yourself. You will learn something new and it will probably be quicker than the time the freelancers would have taken.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here.
1. Where did the idea for Pikup come from?
I’m afraid that there’s no great story about how I was walking along and saw a busker and an iPod and thought “That’s it, I should start a company called Pikup”. As with most ideas Pikup gestated for a while and comes from a number of different sources. I wanted to have a record of the media I was playing and started work on designing a system to do that. For this part of Pikup I was inspired by the work of Gordon Bell — Microsoft — and Gina Trapani — thinkupapp.com — who have a number of projects aimed at passively recording the digital information we create every day. The idea for then using that information to allow fans to support media creators comes from podcasts such as No Agenda from Adam Curry and experiments by musicians such as Radiohead — proving that it is possible to move the pricing of media from a fixed price towards one based on the value that the fans put in it. People want to back the things they enjoy and I realised that Pikup could act as a centralised point for funding ongoing media projects.
2. Do you feel Pikup’s model could offer the music industry a more sustainable future?
I think the music industry will always have a future because live music and merchandise will always be a part of a large section of the world. What Pikup allows is for fans to support their favourite artist even if they don’t go to a live show and most importantly the payments are based purely on merit. People who produce engaging and well-crafted content will be rewarded through Pikup. When I designed Pikup I wanted to make a system that would be as good for small companies as it would be for established large companies. Therefore we structured Pikup to be completely neutral to the size of the company. Any company who signs up and is verified by Pikup is treated equally by the system. I think the biggest effect will be on podcasters. There are a few podcasters making money from advertising but it seems unlikely that advertising will be able to scale beyond the top few networks. A regular stream of income through Pikup could allow podcasters to work full time on their shows without taking advertising and I think that is really exciting.
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
There really isn’t a typical day but most of my time is spent in front of a keyboard and mouse. I start by dealing with e-mail, news etc and I tend to end the day by either going to the gym or for a walk. Anything that happens between these two points varies wildly depending on what is required that day. Working on layouts, writing code, researching solutions to problems, marketing or planning changes and improvements. You really need to be a jack of all trades or, if you want to be fancy, a renaissance man when it comes to starting a web-focused company.
4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Pikup?
I probably don’t unwind as much as I should but I do make sure that I go to the gym three times a week. It’s very easy to just keep working and when I started Pikup I would begin working at 8:00am and finish some point after midnight, only stopping to eat. I achieved a lot very quickly but it’s not possible to maintain that schedule for very long; so no matter what is going on I always finish what I’m doing and go to the gym or for a walk.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
I’m not sure I can call myself truly successful yet but I think it is helpful to keep redefining your personal view of success. If you set goals that you either can’t achieve or will not achieve quickly then you will lose motivation. By setting a small target for the next stage of your business you will improve your speed of development and keep yourself motivated for what comes next. Keep working hard and moving forward.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
The biggest frustration so far has been freelancers. I know many people use freelancers a lot but I’m not sure I will ever again. Time is very important at the start of a business and the freelancers I used missed deadlines on a number of occasions. If you are deciding between using freelancers or learning how to do it yourself then do it yourself. You will learn something new and it will probably be quicker than the time the freelancers would have taken.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
I’m not finished yet. As long as you always see ways of improving the product or the business then you should always be motivated to keep going.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I have learnt a lot from the mistakes and missteps that I have made when starting Pikup so I don’t know that I would do anything differently. However if I were starting another company I wouldn’t use freelancers again and I would probably try and work on establishing contacts and partnerships earlier in the process. It is always difficult to arrange partnerships before the product is ready to demonstrate but I would probably spend more time trying to build relationships before launching.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
Five years seems like a long way off right now. By that point I hope we are well established on all the major platforms and moving Pikup towards being more interactive. Ultimately I would like to see Pikup be for fans first and for creators to work with Pikup on new ways to create products for their fans.
10. If you weren’t working on Pikup, what would you be doing?
My degree is in industrial design and starting a manufacturing business used to be very difficult, but Kickstarter is now enabling designers to fund the first run of a new product with almost no risk to the designer. Therefore I would probably start working on a prototype for a product and try launching it on Kickstarter.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Sorry. I don’t really have any good secrets and I don’t think companies can be as secretive as they used to be before the internet and social media.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are so few obstacles to starting something (especially on the web) that you don’t have an excuse not to try. If you have the ability and the will then try starting something new.
Thanks Daniel!
You can read more about Pikup here, or visit the Pikup website here. Innovative and eco-friendly hotel rooms are nothing new to our virtual pages here at Springwise, but one we hadn’t had occasion to cover yet is Swedish Treehotel and its near-invisible, forest-mounted Mirrorcube. What makes the concept even more compelling is that the Mirrorcube is now available for purchase direct to consumers. Situated in the forest area around Harads, Sweden, Treehotel has now implemented five of the 24 rooms it has planned for the area. Among those are “The Blue Cone,” “The UFO” and “The Bird’s Nest,” all suspended four to six meters above the ground and designed in eco-minded fashion by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects. Designed to blend into its surroundings so as not to ruin the view, the Mirrorcube is an addition to this collection, featuring mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings and yet are safe for passing birds thanks to a layer of infrared film. Featuring six windows and a panoramic view, the Mirrorcube accommodates two people with a double bed, bathroom, lounge, and rooftop terrace. Perhaps most interestingly of all, the Mirrorcube is now for sale, with a delivery time of roughly four months. Retail pricing is reportedly about EUR 275,000 excluding transportation costs. Because of the cube’s ability to blend into its surroundings so well, it may be a perfect choice for those looking to create accommodation in areas of natural beauty. Treehotel is currently looking for suitable resellers for its Mirrorcube. One to get involved in? Spotted by: Hemanth Chandrasekar We’ve seen a number of tech-enabled efforts aimed at monitoring user health, including not long ago the Skin Scan app focused on melanoma. Recently, however, we came across a related effort from Japanese Fujitsu Laboratories, Color Frame — a mobile app designed to help users track the condition of their skin over time. With their smartphone’s camera, users of Color Frame begin by taking four photos: one around the cheekbone, one beside the nose, one beside the cheek, and one around the mouth, according to a report on DigInfo. The photos of these areas are framed by a small color wheel placed on the skin, allowing the app to detect and adjust to the ambient lighting conditions. Next, the user presses the app’s “Analyze” button, and in return they’re shown the submitted images along with a set of scores assessing factors including spots, dullness, and pore size. Results can be saved for future comparison, making it possible not only for users to monitor their skin condition over time, but also for retailers to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products, as DigInfo notes. The video below explains the premise in more detail: Reportedly slated to begin this year, Fujitsu’s service will target Japanese women initially, and could soon prove an invaluable tool for marketing makeup and skin care products. One to help regionalize for other parts of the world?