Startup Founder Martijn de Kuiper
Martijn de Kuiper is Dutch and a born entrepreneur. Growing up he was interested in computers and programming. Naturally, he ended up doing his bachelor in Design & Media Technology and later on did a master in Business Informatics. His passion is tech and he’s an all round product guy. That’s why he founded his first startup 9 years ago, called Yunoo. He later sold it to a software company in The Netherlands. Shortly after in 2013, he founded his second venture called Fosbury. Afterwards, he participated in the startup accelerator TechStars and is now a proud alum. He eventually sold Fosbury to a US based company (soft landing).
In 2015 Martijn successfully launched one of his side projects Revue on Product Hunt and two years later the company has grown significantly and continues to do so. One of the initial investors in Revue is Nalden, who founded WeTransfer. Now the company has people like Kevin Kelly, Azeem Azhar, Steve O’Hear, Ryan Hoover and M.G. Siegler on the platform. Revue’s user base has grown to 25K, and about 2.5 million emails are sent out per month through the platform.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
To be honest, I’m not sure if there was just one specific thing that pushed me to pursue entrepreneurship. I started making websites for companies at a very young age. I liked creating something on my own. I’ve always been good with and interested in programming as well, so naturally things fell into place and I realized that being an entrepreneur is part of my identity.
Can you remember what the biggest barriers to entry entrepreneurship were for you?
We’re very lucky to live in an age in which you can do anything you put your mind to, simply because of the incredible advantages of the Internet. In my opinion, barriers are a very relative term in this context. I started my first company when I was still a student and had pretty much no resources at all but nevertheless, managed to do that because of the lack of such barriers on the Internet.
What does success look like to you personally?
My definition of success is doing what you love and others appreciating and enjoying your work. For me personally, that happens every time I see that people actively use and love the product I built, which is the case with Revue.
What is your role at Revue?
I’m the founder and CEO of Revue.
What does a productive day for you look like?
My rituals for productivity include rising early, a morning shower and a cup of coffee. I like to get to the office first as well and start with answering emails in order to get smaller things out of the way. Then I usually focus on the toughest tasks for the day and once accomplished, I consider the day productive. One thing I can’t do without are my headphones; they really help with zoning out possible distractions.
Which problem are you solving with Revue?
Revue is all about helping people express their thoughts by creating a more personal and intimate relationship with their readers. In a sense, it also helps with the information overload, since you don’t miss out on content and what you receive in your inbox is strictly curated. Lately, we’ve even noticed an emerging trend in which personal newsletters are used more and more as a counter movement to clickbait headlines, fake news and automated copy.
Where does your motivation to solve this problem come from?
I follow Benedict Evans religiously on Twitter, but two years ago I noticed that I was missing on a lot of the stuff he was sharing on social media. So, I thought there must be a better way of keeping up with all the content that people curate on a daily basis. Then the concept of Revue started to come together in my head and the rest is history.
What does success look like for Revue?
For us, success is knowing that people are getting informed about topics they’re interested in because of Revue newsletters. And vice versa. If our users are able to express their thoughts better and connect with their readers on a deeper level via email, then we’re happy as well!
“I prefer to think of mishaps or mistakes as valuable learning experiences.”
Which one thing would you love to tell your younger self?
Don’t get distracted by others! People will have opinions and there will always be someone who is doing better or more. That shouldn’t concern you one bit.
What has been your biggest failure?
It might sound a bit cliché, but I don’t really think there’s such a thing as failure. I prefer to think of mishaps or mistakes as valuable learning experiences. It’s a state of mind I guess given that you decide how to look at things.
What would you highly recommend aspiring entrepreneurs to do?
I would say to just launch. Whatever you have built, make it good enough and then go live with your product. Don’t waste time on perfecting something that doesn’t need to be perfect in the first place. Sometimes it never will be.
How many users and paying customers do you have?
At the moment we have 25k registered users, and out of those 1250 are paying customers.
How big is the team?
At the moment we’re a team of six talented and creative people.
What are you currently failing at?
Our biggest challenge right now is to get more of the right people on the platform. Personal digests are ideal for thought leaders, journalists and authors in general.
What’s your favorite emoji?
My favorite emoji is the :punch: one since I associate it with celebrating cool stuff. It’s like a virtual high-five.
Who is your favorite super hero?
My favorite superhero was Iron Man. He’s an engineer, who uses his money and skills to create awesome stuff. Plus, he’s a total badass!
Challenges expressed are in no way meant to solicit commercial acquisition.
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