Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, co-founder and CEO at Vivaldi.com, launched the web browser in April of 2016 with the mission to adapt it to user’s needs. Today, Jon says: “Vivaldi is more than just a browser — it is the way you would like to explore the Web, on your terms with complete control.”
In this interview for MarkUpgrade, we had a chance to ask Jon why he quit Opera and founded Vivaldi, what is the value and importance of owning a premium exact match domain such as Vivaldi.com and what has been the effect of having it for his brand.
Jon, you left Opera and decided to start Vivaldi. Was there a certain event or moment in your life that made you realize you needed to start your brand or it was something you always wanted to do?
I had spent more than 17 years building Opera and at the time I left Opera I had no plans to start up again. Two years later, however, things changed as Opera was clearly heading in a very different direction as a company and when it comes to product philosophy. Thus there was a need for another browser and Vivaldi was born.
Who came up with the brand name “Vivaldi” initially? Were there any other names you were considering?
I was already using the Vivaldi name for my investment company at the time and we were looking for a name for the new company. It is not easy to find a name and my son asked me why I was not considering using the Vivaldi name. It was a good question and thus we ended up with using Vivaldi. We did consider other names, but Vivaldi was just a lot better than any other names we were considering.
Your business is run on a short and memorable domain name. Did you know the value and importance of owning a premium exact match domain and what impact it could have on your business?
My first company was named Opera, so clearly, we knew the value of having a short, international name that did not require efforts to spell correctly. :)
When/how did you get the domain Vivaldi.com? What has been the effect of having it for your brand?
Part of the decision making when it came to name was whether we could purchase the most popular domains for the name. The domains were clearly for sale, so we purchased vivaldi.com, vivaldi.net, and vivaldi.org, as well as some other Vivaldi domains.
We knew the value of having a strong brand name and we recognized Vivaldi as a potentially strong brand name. Our views there have not changed.
Did you start off with the Vivaldi.com domain, or was it an upgrade from a previous name/domain extension?
We wanted to have the domain name settled before going live. We got Vivaldi.net first, but Vivaldi.com and other Vivaldi domains quickly followed. Now we feel we have the domains we need, with Vivaldi.com and Vivaldi.net being the central domains for the browser and community services.
What was the best and worst part about the process of acquiring the domain Vivaldi.com?
Clearly, we were happy that the domain was for sale.
If you could have any domain name in the world would you still pick Vivaldi.com?
We are very happy with Vivaldi.com. :)
If your brand is a person, how would you describe its personality?
That person would be your best friend. A friend who can adapt to your mood anytime. That person who would respect you for what you are and gives you the freedom to make options. A friend who does not cheat you or spies on you. A friend that you can trust. This is the foundation that Vivaldi is built upon.
What would you say is the most important thing for your brand right now?
The most important thing about Vivaldi is that it is a brand that is based on its roots. This gives us the direction to build Vivaldi as a unique, fun and trustworthy browser — a multi-faceted dynamic tool that lets you bring out your best on the Web.
Yes, we are building a Web browser. A more powerful and flexible Web browser that places the user first. That may sound like something everyone does, but clearly, business models and design philosophy can get in the way of that. We are purely focused on the end-user requirements and we take every user seriously. We build a browser which for most will feel just right, after learning about what we have to offer.
What is the one element of your brand you would not compromise on?
It would not be wrong to say that Vivaldi is a breath of fresh air in the world of browsing. It has flexible features that can be tweaked and tuned to create your own unique experience.
With the rise in privacy breaches, data tracking and profiling of users, it has become imperative for users to try out alternatives that respect them.
We are making the browser but how you use it and who you are — your interests, income, personality — is none of our business. Really, it’s our job and responsibility to protect your data.
Vivaldi will never compromise when it comes to user privacy. Vivaldi is built with privacy as a priority and gives you full control of settings critical to keeping your data safe.
What is next for Vivaldi, where do you see the company in 5 years from now?
The general trend in browsers has been to remove functionality, typically based on usage stats. We do not collect usage stats. Instead, we listen to the needs of our users and add features and flexibility based on their requirements. We believe we are all different and have different requirements, so our goal is to be able to adapt to those needs by providing a lot of flexibility in the browser.
Staying true to our core, we engage daily with our user base on our community site, vivaldi.net. We have a very close relationship with our users, who we consider our friends. Based on their feedback; we strive to improve every part of the browser. We want Vivaldi to be a browser of their choice which they can trust now and always.
We aim to provide services that users are proud of and do not hesitate to recommend. I hope people will understand that Vivaldi is more than just a browser — it is the way you would like to explore the Web, on your terms with complete control.
We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat with someone about the process, book a free consultation at MarkUpgrade. We are always happy to hear from you.
Find out more about Vivaldi.com
Written by: Kristina Mišić