How to offer products your online customers really want

Joining me is someone who didn’t think of himself as an entrepreneur. He was working at a company where he saw a problem and he developed a solution.

For a long time he didn’t recognize that the thing he created was actually a standalone business. It slowly evolved into that—we’ll find out how.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard is the founder of Clerk.io, an e-commerce personalisation platform.

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Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard

Clerk.io

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard is the founder of Clerk.io, an e-commerce personalisation platform.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew Warner 0:04
Hey there freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they how they built their businesses. Joining me is someone who when he started his company wouldn’t have listened to mixergy In fact, he didn’t think of himself as an entrepreneur didn’t think of his company as this big entrepreneurial thing didn’t even understand what venture capital was when he got started but he was an employee at a company saw problems and you know, I think I could solve it solved it started doing it on his own apart from the business and then it slowly as you’ll see evolved into a company that is now doing phenomenally well and it seems it’s going to be really set up well for a recession. Because Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard How do you pronounce your last name? I want to get it right.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 0:53
Bjerregaard

Andrew Warner 0:54
Yeah, yes, sir. viago. Thank you. We practice it before we got started in To get wrong, corrected anything, we got to get this right. He is the founder of clerke.io. They are an e commerce personalization platform. That means, among other things that if somebody buys something from your site, you show them other things that they might want along with that, and it goes beyond personalization. People don’t search with perfect spelling in your search box on your website, they don’t search by asking for the exact same thing that you might have in a drop down menu. They just type in what they’re looking for. Clerk that IO makes it easy for them to find what they’re searching for. Even if they type it in in some whacked out way it understands it makes it it makes the proper judgment to help them find what they’re looking for. Anyway, that’s what we’re here to find out how this guy who is not an entrepreneur became an entrepreneur doing well, and we can do it thanks to two phenomenal companies that keep supporting entrepreneurs. Number one, if you need a developer and you’re willing to work with remote developers, you got to know about Toptal. I’ll talk about those in a bit. I’ll also tell you why that if you think you’re not an entrepreneur if you haven’t started something and you want to get started on the cheap there is no better way to get started than to go build a website right now for fun for curiosity for entertainment by going to hostgator.com slash mixergy I’ll talk about those later. Hans-Kristian I’m going to hit you with the most uncomfortable question for European to be asked which is what is your revenue?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 2:24
I think our revenue if I’m not doing the right conversions in my head is around a bit more than $4 million a year and us sure fine yeah, yeah $4 million dollars US a urinal

Unknown Speaker 2:36
you have a profit

Unknown Speaker 2:38
Yeah, yeah profitable around

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 2:42
various how much we want to be

I think we have profit margin off right now. No, sir.

10%

Andrew Warner 2:53
and when you want it to be is if you if you don’t want to earn too much of a profit because or why Why? What makes you

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 3:01
As I see the businesses that every month we have more MRF to use. And I can add the lock position to decide who wanted to go on the bottom line or if I want to invest it in in more sales more customers and hopefully go into a future top line. So that’s why I say like, it depends from from time would want to be right now we want to be a bit more than normal. But better.

So it is pretty much we want to be

Andrew Warner 3:27
scatters Jeep, other big brands are using us small companies too.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 3:33
Yeah, we are pretty. We actually started out I was like, we’re

Andrew Warner 3:38
gonna get into the stock. Don’t give away the story too much. Listen to what you do. Yeah.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 3:42
All right. I think

we’re strongest actually with SPS with I would say 20 to 50 employees like well, it’s still the owner who makes the decision. So we pass we we are a fully automated solution. So you save a lot of money. manual labor, which an owner is really, really aware of, compared to, let’s say, a CMO in a big emoting organization. So we are strongest with the with the s and B’s. And then we have some really, really strong brains that we’re also proud of, but we are pretty much divided into like a third from a big enterprises suffered from SMBs and effort from small, small workshops, less than 10. When

Andrew Warner 4:23
we got started, we were talking about companies that are doing well since you see all their numbers, right. You see their revenues, you see when they’re doing well and you reach out to companies that aren’t doing so well maybe to help them out to increase their sales so that they continue to work with clerk.io Give me an example of the type of company that’s not doing well in the economy today as it is and one that did that is doing well online based on what you’re seeing when you’re seeing the store numbers.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 4:48
I think right now if you’re selling any like retail service, mostly retail or online stores, so what we see is if you’re selling anything that has something to do with people meeting up like say you are selling costumes and party equipment, Yeah, your sales have pretty much dropped to zero. And if you’re, if you’re an online pharmacy or any kind of selling anything that can help Coronavirus, your sales are like multiply by a ton.

Andrew Warner 5:15
Okay, let’s suppose

Well, I think interesting thing. Sorry. No, you go ahead first.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 5:22
I just said the interesting thing is that how much online revenue is just stable? Like we right now?

Andrew Warner 5:30
Online revenue stable?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 5:32
Yeah, I think it’s more what we see in terms of traffic and orders and revenue. All the things that are not really directly affected by Corona is pretty much stable. So you see some extremes that really like a few percent and one that like really grow and we see the same amount in URL and that really suffer, but I averagely what we can see across the couple of thousand stores. We can monitor So right now is that people are still buying across Europe in the US and online purchases haven’t changed that much.

Andrew Warner 6:08
Okay in a second. So change that could change over time, I’d love for you to publish numbers overall, to give us a sense of it, even if you’re not publishing the exact numbers, if you say, January 1 2020, is the baseline and then you show a graph of up and down in as a percentage of current sales to show us how sales are going. If you did that month, a month, I’d be on your site all the time, just to get a sense of overall where where’s the world going? We actually stopped we actually posted that on our LinkedIn. So we kind of give a benchmark. We just, I can see an article that you write on a on a regular basis that shows how you’re doing.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 6:50
Yeah, we just started posted when Corona really hit the mark. started posting how to fix it in the first 24 hours because you could see some pretty interesting especially in the Danish community. Through connecting to see when the Prime Minister announced that there would be a rest of the nation house that things dropped and for the next 24 hours were below index. But then at around noon the next day when everybody had settled in, we were back to normal. It was really interesting to see that abnormal. So we actually trying to bring as much real time information out during the Coronavirus buyers process are you largely in in Europe or where are you largely your sales wise? Most of Europe with the Scandinavian countries and our second biggest market is actually Italy, which is a pretty hot hit right now. And then yeah, UK, Netherlands. And then we have some some SS business around the world, Australia, South America and the US.

Andrew Warner 7:54
Okay, let’s suppose that I made something that helped people I’m not going to say that I can help recover, help save them from Coronavirus, right. Let’s say it’s a calming teeth that people might want to buy right now. How How’s clerke.io helping me, I want to give people a quick sense of what you do. And then we’re going to get into the story of how you built this thing up.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 8:15
Basically, what we do is that we know what when a consumer comes into your online store, we know what they’re gonna buy next. That’s kind of what all the services we provide, they narrow down to this thing. What is this consumer gonna go to buy next time, so we can help you come to

Unknown Speaker 8:31
the site?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 8:32
Yeah, now, admittedly, the next time I mean, when they visit your site, they potentially want to buy something from you. And that’s what we want to predict.

Andrew Warner 8:38
What is it that I want to buy right now? Not next?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 8:41
Yeah, not me. But what do we mean when Next is the next purchase will be hopefully in 10 minutes from your side, if you present the right

Andrew Warner 8:48
so it might be the very first purchase you can anticipate. And it might be the follow up purchase after they make a purchase. And so you just your software knows it and it’s not always intuitive.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 8:58
Yeah. So so what we tried to figure out routers when you enter a sign whether we know you or not, try for what we’re trying to what you want what you’re interested in, what do you want to buy, and they want to present the right product in front of you, just as a normal sales clerk would do in a physical store, like help you out. So it could be as I said before, like if people in the search bar we can enrich the search engine, so you present more relevant products, depending on seasonality and sales trends, or when if you’re on a product page, and it might not be the right product, we can show you all the things that you want to buy instead that are in the store so you don’t lose

Andrew Warner 9:36
that customer may change based on where I came from.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 9:40
Yeah, okay, everywhere you’re on your online shopping journey. When you want to bring consumers and products together. That’s what we do.

Andrew Warner 9:48
And the company that you’re working for before, it’s unisport unisport. So sells all kinds of sporting equipment, right?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 9:56
know that they are they are like saga exclusively analyzed? Yeah, sorry, exclusively and I would say it’s for the true saga geeks. Like they really branded into the people who just love like, I remember when I work there. I always joke that even though I work in tech, I was the least geeky guy in the office. Because these guys were people who like they knew what kind of football boots were used to school, the success goal in the 86. VM and stuff like that. So that So unisport was really like a soccer for for for kids who really love the product and love the teams. I

Andrew Warner 10:35
see it now. I mean, they really are very clear about it. I don’t know why I didn’t catch it before. Okay, so they did that you were one of the early people there. I think you were the technical. The first technical guy who they hired, am I right?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 10:47
Yeah, I was actually hired to singlish back in oh five. And I have almost no technical skills, but I had to put products on the website. And back then it required a bit of HTML coding, because that was where we were So my job initially was just to take pictures of the products and order them for suppliers and put them up. And it was just my first job out of high school straight at HTML. Yeah, it was kind of a CRM, but like lsms, but not as evolved as you were today. So that was a bit of editing to get off and get quickly I don’t actually don’t know how it happened but pretty quickly, I just to sit on the task to build a new website for them from scratch. Yeah, so I had a year that was really really extremely interesting where I went from like, I’m serious, I could a bit of HTML and nothing else, to coding a website for them in a year where was just go home, learn to code at night, come back to work, apply what you learned go to the Wild West days of ecommerce before, like standard systems like Shopify and Magento really became

Andrew Warner 11:56
a five right which is 2000 5000 5000 Okay, and then

you know what you told our producer something that I’ve heard so many freaking times, I’d like to understand it better. You said you learned a lot on the job, which I understand, obviously, first, you spent a year learning to code so you can rebuild their website, I can see how much you learn that way. But you also said you learned a lot about running a business there. For example, you said it got stuck in your head that if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking your time. What does that mean? What did you see that that if you guys weren’t growing it unisport then you guys were shrinking.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 12:30
That was actually the model of like, one of the who was not the original founder, but one of the two co owners of the business back then. He was saying it all the time. Like if

Andrew Warner 12:40
they were saying it all the time. Is it true though? Did you see that? Isn’t it okay sometimes to just be just let things level off.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 12:48
If you are if you’re, if you’re not going up, if you’re just like I see that leveling out, is the first step to going down.

Andrew Warner 12:57
It’s it’s not it’s an indicator that you’re Going to go down if you’re flat right now you having a flat year you might think hey, you know what? Life is good I’m staying calm. I don’t always have to push it. What you’re missing is that your company is on it’s about to go down that is the biggest idiotic second

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 13:13
zero You are a tiny fraction from going down.

Unknown Speaker 13:18
You know what?

Andrew Warner 13:20
That I don’t have any evidence of that. Do you have any evidence of that? I do have it anecdotally experiences like that. But do you have Did you have any experiences like that a unit sport where you saw that you were going down? Why did you guys keep beating that into your heads?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 13:33
I think it was just because the first corner he was or were the aggressive like that. They were they were two owners that had really well where one was like he just wanted his quiet a business and selling soccer items to people and but then he had like these brilliant ideas like going online without really being ambitious about it. And then we had the other guy who always said like, if you’re not go like if if you’re not growing then We are dangerous ranking. And so they were we have match, but it worked worked out really well for for the business. So she was just overly aggressive. But I really learned that the DNA of businesses that you are if, if you’re not always growing, then I think what happens is more about in DNA on how people in the business thing that when things starts to turn against you, you don’t if you’re used to just staying the same place, you don’t have anything you have a don’t have any more wiggle room to work with. It’s not part of your DNA anymore.

Andrew Warner 14:34
Yeah. Okay, I get that. I’ve experienced a little bit of that. I know that there have been years here at mixergy where I thought you know what, I could use a year of just come things are doing fine. I don’t know I’ve got a kid now. I’ve got hobbies now I’ll just let things be where they are. I’m happy making the profit where we are. Why push it? And you’re right. The next year was a difficult slog, and maybe it wasn’t exactly a year for a year but soon after, it was a difficult slog. And what I’m getting from you is, that’s an indicator I should have recognized if we are flat. It’s not, hey, enjoy it live life a little bit. It’s you’re getting slapped in the face and being told wake up, things are going to get bad. And if I don’t heat it, then I’m going to suffer later. Is that what you mean? It’s like, ideally, you should have time for your kids and your hobbies and grow. Yeah,

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 15:22
that’s a healthy business. I agree.

Andrew Warner 15:24
I think that there are times that I thought, I think I’m okay where I am. Let’s just while we push it. Alright, I get it. You also started to notice there that if you could predict what customers want to buy in the future, you can obviously increase sales, you found a solution for it. But before you found the clever solution, how did you recognize this? What did you start to recognize in the early days when you were coding on your own?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 15:48
I think I came across this problem when we actually bought an external recommendation engine, I think was back in oh seven to get more upsells and I was really fast. aided by the fact that you could take existing customers transaction and then predict what some other customers will do in the future, like that idea that previous customers could help current or future customers? Did you do it in an automated way? Or did you say, Hey, you know what it seems like everyone who buys shoes could also use socks. Was it more manual more intuitive, more gut? Or was it it was, it was the system we bought back then was just a basic collaborative filtering engine, which means that for 5% of our top 5% sellers, it worked really fine. And for the remaining 95% of our items, we had to do all kind of fit for basic rules, like if this brand or this type of product, then these will be upsell products and stuff like that.

Andrew Warner 16:45
But it was then you predicting based on your experiences instead of the software knowing what comes next.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 16:52
Yeah, the software kind of could take care of like, again for the top sellers because it had enough data, but everywhere. Where did have enough data, we had to do a lot of fall backwards. Okay, I also couldn’t predict either I predicted nothing, or just things that didn’t make sense. And that was kind of what what I really fascinated me was that it worked. But it also frustrated me that it didn’t work well enough. And I had kind of this idea that if we humans, even though I don’t know anything about like, I don’t know anything about soccer. I learned a great at the five years away unisport but I still had a good gut feeling of what would go to below that this chain will go with this food and this year with the shorts and stuff. If we humans have that intuition, the computer should be able to build that same intuition as well. You know, that’s,

Andrew Warner 17:43
that’s really smart. I remember Actually, my dad always own stores in like really bad neighborhoods, selling to people he couldn’t relate to they listen to hip hop, he listened to Persian music. And he could even tell if someone’s buying this pair of shoes, they probably want that shirt because they The shirt that we have happens to have the exact color as the logo in the shoe and they want that matching situation right now. Got it. And so if he who can’t really speak their language is able to Intuit what to offer and and get more sales, I get that a computer could do it better. You also notice another problem, Nike and Adidas would launch new products, they would tip you off or tell you and work with you about what was coming out. And then what’s the problem with that that led you to find out to develop the more intuitive quicker solution.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 18:29
That was actually what started what is the core of crypto is ending today was this problem that? Yeah, I guess you said like when when Nike Adidas launches a new product or if a big important players which is club and stuff like that. That’s a huge marketing effort from one of the big brands, which meant we had and it’s something like yeah, Thursday at noon, it will be announced and five minutes before nobody knows it. But then exactly at noon, the big marketing agency Again, and we get a lot of sales as a retailer. So we had this situation where we have a lot of sales in the few days in the first days, and then it kind of fell down to the, to the normal level of whatever that product would sell out. But the cost of recommendation engine took some weeks to learn what was going on, we didn’t start to have upsell on these new products until two free weeks in when all the fun was over. Sort of basically that problem that was stuck in my head when I went to lift unisport, which kind of became my, that should be a way to when we get the product at hand even before it starts. So we should be able to show relevant products that people want to buy with us. And thus have all the upsells from day one.

Andrew Warner 19:46
Yeah. And you want to know how can we do this fast? How can we do in an automated way and still you left your job? Did you leave it to with the idea that you were going to creep to spank me. Did you leave I didn’t You’re going to create this on your own for your own company or where you’re not sure.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 20:03
No, I was, I only left unisport I really loved being that I left because I was offered as a student teaching assistant put this position at the university, I had started studying computer science. So it was actually just because a photo was done with e commerce. And then this idea just kept like being stuck in my head. And I remember I was I was, I was in the backseat of a car on the way home from a skiing trip in Norway, when I kind of had the first big breakthrough, just as an idea and set for 12 hours. Just try to see if it worked when I when I got home, really anxious. And it looked like it worked out. So I actually just wrote an email to my old boss. Filippo and said, like, Hey, I think I’ve solved this problem with with the big brains launching or it’s just an idea.

Can I get your data and try it out?

That was before TPP We didn’t use any personal information. But I literally just got a dump of sales and product data from unisport and then started building a model on top of that. I think that, yeah, sorry,

Andrew Warner 21:12
I wrote a note for myself to come back and get deep into what the idea was how it worked. In the very first version, let me talk about my sponsor top talent where people can build websites. And I’m actually going to talk about in reference to what you did. You talked about how you learn to unisport how to build a website by going home every night and learning to code and coming in. But the original time that you learn to write to, to create websites, when you learn HTML, when you learn the fundamentals that allowed you then to rebuild the site for unisport happened when you were in a band. And that kind of relates to what I’m suggesting here with hostgator. For anyone who’s listening to us, how did you end up learning to code What did have to do with music and we’re going to use this for my ad for top towel.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 21:51
Yeah, okay. And when I had

a band in high school, and of course we needed to take out needed to take over the world. So we need a website. And again, this is bagging. 234 something like that. We just draw straws. And I draw the short straw. So I had to go home and learn. learn HTML.

Andrew Warner 22:07
And you did just for this and you created your website. And what happened music was it for?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 22:15
We played some real funky circus Music Circus.

Circus pop rock back then.

Andrew Warner 22:23
And what did you remember one of the things that you learned back when you were just building it for your band? about building websites? Yeah. What’s one thing that you learned about building websites?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 22:35
I think it’s just, there’s just the basics of getting really getting getting really, really basic rudimentary tools and HTML and CSS and really copy pasting a lot. I hadn’t learned anything about dynamics, dynamics, stuff like PHP and programming languages. So it was just, every time we put it up, and you put up a new news article, a new thing, I just copy paste all the raw stuff back and forth. So

Andrew Warner 22:57
I remember some of the first things that I learned when I was doing building websites just kind of goofing around without the idea that we’re going to go anywhere, it was little things like I can have relative URLs, like if I have to send people from mixergy.com to mixergy.com, slash interviews, I don’t have to write the whole URL, I could just write slash interviews, right? It’s a tiny little thing, but it matters. Here’s another thing that’s also tiny, but matter tremendously. I’m not a designer, I have no design I, but if I found a theme that existed, and I could put it up on my site, and then I could publish it, I could see it on my little place. It felt really alive to do that. If I could create a site just to kind of goof around and send it to my wife just for her. It didn’t feel like websites were such a big thing. They felt like they were easy. It’s just like a no brainer to do you know, and so that allowed me then when it was time to build websites that are for real, to not be so scared of it, but to think of it is I got that part. That is a no brainer. Alright, here’s what I’m suggesting this as part of my ad not for top towel, as I said earlier, but for hostgator. If someone out there is building website for there. If you’re thinking about starting a business, if they’re building a business right now, I think an easy thing to do is have a side, website aside experience just to play around. I’m not saying spend thousands of dollars on it. I’m saying spend even dozens of dollars a month, spend a few bucks a month, play with it, so that you remember how fun it is to create remember how fun it is to build a business. Remember that it’s not such a big deal, toss it away, start again, do it over and over until it feels so native so intuitive, that when you find a problem in the world, the way the hands Christian did, you can build a solution for it, you can create a business to solve it. I’m highly recommending that you go to hostgator.com slash mixergy. Because Hostgator is super cheap. And at this time, I think we’re all starting recognize the value of saving a few bucks when it comes to hosting a website. And because let you if you pick the right option on this page, that middle option, build unlimited domains. They’ll also give you $100 in Google credit, they’ll give you a bunch of stuff to make it super easy for you but what I want you to do is just Go play, and everyone who uses it, of course gets tagged as one of my listeners, which means that we stand behind you. And also you’re helping me out by using hostgator.com slash mixergy. Yes, you’ll get the lowest price they have available at that URL. But to be honest, you also support what I’m doing here at mixergy mixergy. I mean, hostgator.com slash mixergy. Do people call you Hans Christian the whole time? Or do they just like after a while call you hands?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 25:24
I have a ton of different variations of my name. So it could be Yeah, hands question or just hands. So HK, and it actually depends on the group. I’m around and it’s, yeah, sometimes you find it to see that evolves naturally and within a group of friends and stuff like that.

Andrew Warner 25:39
I get that. And you know what? I thought you were in Hong Kong. Because I’ve seen you referred to as HK and in my mind, HK is Hong Kong. That’s how that’s how I guess people refer to you and I, and I’ve seen it a few private places that I won’t bring up and that’s what made me think this dude’s in Hong Kong now. You were starting to say you had an idea was the beta alpha initial seed of an idea for solving the problem of people come by a product that’s never been bought before. And you need to know what they’re going to buy next, even though you’ve never seen people buy a next product before, what was the initial germ of an idea?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 26:19
And without going too much into our secret sauce, and I think that he was more about how and truly understanding how much I think there are two things it’s first of all, how to pick this build background information with off of intuition, or sometimes call it like, how do you build this intuition into a machine? not going to go too much into details about that. That’s a lot of computer science. But, but I think one of the things I’ve really started to realize is that if you enter a webshop and are at a specific product that tells you that tells me something More about your intentions right now then what you visited before or how many times you came to the side and like just what you want to do right now says much more about where you are on the website right now what you’re looking at what category what product says much more about what you want to do and what your intentions are. Then in your other thing, if you’re locked in or have purchased before and stuff like that,

Unknown Speaker 27:23
let me give you an example.

Andrew Warner 27:25
So if you’re looking for football boots how you guys say it I’m going to say a soccer shoe for a five year old right? I come to a website soccer shoe for five year old I get it from an email from a friend. What the hell do you know about me that can help you sell me the right one, let alone upsell me the right next thing?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 27:44
I know it’s a soccer soccer shoe. I know it’s for kids. Like and I know what our products are Chagas shoes for kids and I know what people buy when they buy soccer shoes for kids. I know what car it is. I know. Like, I know that style you have in might not necessarily necessarily now oversimplifying an AI, that might not be those rules. But that’s kind of the intuition we can build up. So so that information, and we actually was actually from digging a piece of data at unisport unisport was a very special business because a lot of specific at all our target audience didn’t have a credit card. Like they were young boys and girls 10 to 16 back really kicked out about about saga. And then it was mom, dad, grandparents support stuff, which also meant that we had a lot of sessions where I could see that they maybe bought something for two kids or to grandkids, which meant one is fan of one football club and another fan of another football club. And that was actually the first trace, I got that how do you detect this shift? Because if you’ve looked at Liverpool and now looking at Barcelona, a student keeps showing us should not keep showing your Liverpool products I should I then immediately identify that you’re now going to complete a different direction. So things one of the things we were destroying is getting really much knowledge out of little, little, little tiny data from, like, what, what you’re looking at right now.

Andrew Warner 29:08
What I’m doing right now is I’m really recognizing they got it I went to, I didn’t get everything that we need. But sure enough when I’m looking for soccer shoes for kids, I’m looking for those shin guards. You know, kids always need to have those shin guards that go along with it. I see that up on their website, and I see a couple of other things. But I think I’m also seeing shoes that are meant for older kids. Maybe I’m thinking initially that they that they would know how young my kids are. So it’s not fully getting everything that I know. And I need just because I’m doing a search, but it is getting some more of it than people had back then when every page was just a templated page. And remember that this is the system so the more you dive in, the more the more it’s going to get. So depending on what sizes you will look up next and stuff like that.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 29:57
But I think the biggest The biggest thing Here is that

I think the name of a game in our industry is that I don’t have to get you right. But I have to get most p righto. A broad spectrum to get the likely to get the big volume.

Andrew Warner 30:14
Yep. Okay, so you went to Philip, you said Can I have some data? He said sure. Here’s some data. Yeah, go play with it. See what you can come up with. You came up with something and you said, I think I know how I can increase your sales. Will you be my first customer? Well, you didn’t say first customer you said if you pay me if you pay me consulting fee, I’ll take care of this and handle it. No, no, no, no.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 30:34
We literally just started a split test on the website as it’s like here, I think the model works and we looked at it like just preview like say, okay, for this product, we predict this and we went to the website and to see okay, this was the prediction of the engine they had back then. Okay, it looks better. So we did those initial just Vishal just good.

Andrew Warner 30:53
You didn’t you didn’t even charge didn’t have a contract. No,

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 30:57
no, no. I had no literary Three months split test. And I remember that after that I have just caught I have written down two slides like literally white slide with back black text on it just to remember the numbers. And then we had this meeting where it was it was just like, this is the sales from a and this is the sales VP. And this is what we increased it with, I think was 143% in if we only measured up sales and products, like not all revenue, but what other products did we actually add to the basket? Okay, the two different engines and then he asked the famous words of like, what’s the price the thing that I actually think of left the meeting and just giving it if you haven’t asked but the price was so for me it was like it was this really slow second where I was thinking okay, I could charge a couple of hundred bucks because then that would be nice because They’ve recovered the hosting price for me and and that will be a nice like addition to my salary but then I looked at the numbers, okay and made them feel a big sum of money. So just trash throwing out I think we started at 1500 dollars and something like that. And that was what I left the meeting with. So 15

Unknown Speaker 32:23
Yeah, okay.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 32:26
So I had to go home and figure out how to you know, had somebody I needed to send an invoice so I needed to figure out how to create a company, like start googling the app, like how to create a covenant dig, then mark,

so it’s really relevant from there.

Andrew Warner 32:43
Okay, and for how long was he your only customer?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 32:48
About I think the first year, um, it was I was going I was going for, for a PhD in computer science. I was going down that route already. So so so that was kind of my what I wanted to do. And then we had this habit unisport were just manually sat down every, every month and sent them an invoice and started counting money into a company bank account. And I had to figure out how to do taxes and stuff. And yeah, I was like, Okay, what is this thing actually make more money from unisport than I do as a teaching assistant? What is this thing? And they will have Yeah, they’re awesome. All unisport guys and previous owner of units bought and started another business and some other guys from unisport signal running that and they were just starting out. So we’re talking about if they could, like try it out, they were really a small business. So I think we split it. I think I hadn’t received anything from unisport at that time, because it takes a heck of a long to get a bank account. And then Mike so I had no money and they didn’t read either, but we split it so they got it for free for a year. If they paid that developer set it up and work for them. It was the same relative increase. Like and percentage wise, but of course for everyone you because there was a smaller owner with the Friday, but what they said was that it saved them up to a day of manual work every week, which was really important. And that was were set and said, Okay, I have something that can make a lot of money for the big guys and save a lot of time for the small businesses. I need to shoot this. I need to figure out I owe it to this product to get it out into the world

Andrew Warner 34:27
with this Casper from resit.

Unknown Speaker 34:30
Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 34:32
And the reason that I see it, the reason I could figure that out is because I’m looking at the very first version of clerk.io. And there’s a quote from him saying, clerk enables us to use our time on our business, not on maintaining software. He is the person who’s saying it’s not about increasing sales first, it’s about saving us time. What kind of annual work were they doing that you were able to save them time? And they did, just as we did in units board for the 95% products were our recommendation, it didn’t work, we had to do a lot of manual rules and then to tweak the bit here, and then it broke over here, and then you add new products. So it’s a lot of like just tweaking and maybe adding some products manually and recent, there was a lot about just taking products manually. And when they got a new item, they had to find something that fit with it. And when you add when you do that manually and you do it a lot, then you’re not really being smart about it. You just ask something that it’s just a chore to do to just add something that seems to work. So yeah, that’s just a lot of manual labor and mincing those things. Which was automatic frustration unisport active it jot it down. I think it was something like just a salary for me alone at unisport. And I didn’t get paid that much. It was a $10,000 a year just on manual maintenance. Wow.

Andrew Warner 35:56
Yeah. And so you realize if I could sell the save a company that Much, they, of course would want to pay to use my software. The thing that I wonder then is, I told you I looked at the first version of your site in preparation for this interview. It said it was 49 bucks a month after 3030 day free trial. How did you end up charging $40 a month? How’d you come up with the price?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 36:23
Again, like I started from minus minus 10, like a fingers just trying to figure out okay, we just charge a price and see how it works. I think we’ve done one prior just price adjustment after then where I think we increase the price itself bit after two years, we could see that we want a charging. It’s all like how the way the way we have made our prices is just based on your usage. So we try to be as transparent as possible. So the more you use, the more you pay. It was like climbing just on x brackets. Yeah, one was the search product that I described earlier, where if someone searches you help them find the right thing that they’re more likely to buy And the other one was the product recommendations. And based on the number of impressions that the store owners got, you are going to increase the price. So it’s still super cheap. We’re talking about 50,000 impressions for $49. really tiny, right?

Andrew Warner 37:17
What did you what was the software able to do? We’re talking about a world before everyone had a Shopify store. Were you creating something that work manually on every platform? Or did you focus on one?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 37:30
No, no, we just went out and tried all kinds of different platforms. In the beginning, you just build a fee for us like so we had to convince people to build this feed, just like a Google Shopping feed, but with a bit more data. So So I think it showed us a couple of years until we actually both had the money and the skill to get integration for any kind of platforms.

Andrew Warner 37:50
It was just but it was it seems like it was a lot of manual work on your side on their side, right?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 37:54
No, because when you have built a feed, it just ran automatically. People built their automated, they built Built on their own. Yeah, they build a free just Google Shopping feed was where we started. And you can actually still do that today. If you have any custom platform, it’s actually the exact same feed.

Andrew Warner 38:09
csv file, is that what they were using?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 38:11
Yeah, J JSON file were completely different kind of data and into it. So we just read that it’s automatically updated. And then everything we do is that dynamic. And what to push into the website is dumb and dynamic, again, based on what others don’t do anything

Andrew Warner 38:27
based on individual so their site was still pulling data out of this feed before displaying it for users. You were on the site and were you able to pull the right data out of the feed or were you just

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 38:38
enriching really be just read data from the feed into our AI it predicts for this and then you can insert some content on the website where chicks up with us and say, Okay, this customer is looking for this product or this customer is typing this into the search engine, what you show them the gender back,

Andrew Warner 38:54
Okay, got it. What was the company called social digits,

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 38:57
because that was the first name that popped into my head, it was just something about like, what we did was we extract the social information from like digital data, stuff like that. I’ve never been in a mastermind in naming stuff. So that was kind of the first name, which just was way too clunky and too hard. And don’t think logo might be particularly much better, but

easier and faster.

Andrew Warner 39:22
All right, let me talk about my second sponsor, and then we’ll come back and see how it worked for you to get customers online. And then some of the challenges you had as a leader because you’re a developer, you didn’t want to start leading people. And then you found a solution for the first. Anyone who’s listening to me can hear how HK like, I know you well enough that I can go by ha ha the guy who got a job, left the job and still couldn’t frickin stop thinking about the problem that he was solving while he was on the job. There’s something about developers where if they have this mindset, they just love to problem solve. They love to figure out solutions and they know how the software works. They know how the business works. They can come up with solutions that you wouldn’t know to ask them to come up with, you wouldn’t even know to present them with a problem. They understand it internally, they can come up with, with the solutions with the approach. The idea behind takedown was they wanted to find a set of developers who are just like that. If you are in business right now, and you feel like nobody has got your back. Nobody is thinking through how to solve the serious issues that you’re going through right now. 2020, you owe it to your business to go to top cow and just challenge them to find you, the right developer, tell them what languages you’re working on. Tell them what problems you’re working on. Tell them what you what products you’re building what you envision for your company, maybe it’s an internal product that only you guys will use to save you money now that you’ve got to cut back on people. Maybe there’ll be a product they use that you do as a side product because you’ve discovered a need just like Hans Christian did, and it becomes a problem of product that takes off whenever it is challenged the people at top towel to find you the right developer who will think through the problem with you in mind with your user with your customer in mind, who will enjoy the process. problem and take it to bed with them, bring it with them in the morning, when they’re in the shower, they will think about it. And they will come up with solutions that you couldn’t anticipate. That is the mission. The top towel has everyone who I’ve interviewed here, who’s worked with top towel, just about his love that about them. And I will be honest with you, the big hesitation that has come up in past interviews is I need people to work out of my office, we are realizing right now in 2020. You don’t have to have people working out of your office, top down realize this years ago, when they got started. It has been a remote company, even for the people who manage it even for the bosses, even for the operations team. They all are remote people who will work from their homes will work from wherever they happen to be. They’ve seen it work for themselves. They’ve seen it work for their clients, many people who have interviewed just born into it. Today, we’re starting to realize that if you can get the right developer a little bit less cost than having somebody in your office, it might even be a win to have them not be in your office. If you want to get this started. If you’re just curious because you’ve heard me talk about this forever and you’re in a place where you want your mind to be expanded and see what’s possible. out there even if you’re not ready to hire right now I want you to go to top towel.com slash mixergy tell them what you’re thinking of for your business. Let them be your consultants if you get started with them great if you don’t you lost nothing and if you do use this URL that I’m about to give you you will get 80 hours of top towel developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours in addition to a no risk trial period of up to two weeks we’re talking about a no brainer here to P t a l top isn’t top of your head thousand talent to pta.com slash MIZ rG why to get that unique offer top towel comm slash mixergy How did you get customers to come to clerke.io.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 42:45
Again, as I said, we started super easily so it was when I had those two first like customers and I thought okay, we need to pursue this somehow. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. So as baby Just going out on the internet finding a webshop see if we could help them like it’s pretty easy with our products we just do a search you just look at the website and see how good the recommendations are handling calling them up. So it was really really like rough in the beginning. I think it took six months to get customer free and then three months to get customer for and then like slowly

Andrew Warner 43:23
reaching out to them. You seen a site saying hey, I did this for you to sport. I can do this for you. I see that your search recommendations are not as great as they could be. Let me help you out.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 43:32
Yeah, me and then I joined up with another guy that has started he had worked for he was from competing business school had worked from rocket internet in Germany and just came home from one of them inches. I was I was I have no idea how business works. I have nobody helped us with I need somebody to help me. So I convinced him to come join the company. I think we made each other some startup board where every post but mine were Business School students posting an idea and looking for developers and also want to say hey, I have a product and revenue who wants to help myself?

Andrew Warner 44:09
And somebody said yes, I want to help you sell this thing.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 44:12
I had a ton of candidates because I was the only one that actually had something money per sale

Andrew Warner 44:18
were you doing commission only? Or were you also no I,

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 44:20
I took him in as a partner and and sold a third of the business to him. Like no nothing. So we have a

Unknown Speaker 44:27
third of the business.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 44:28
Yeah, I bought a fourth with this guy. This guy moved from like working at rocket internet home into his parents basement, because we have no real revenue and no salary and stuff like that. So a sort of fodder for business to again like just shut up and then nothing for the next two years. We just try to get all of this up and running. Did he put my company in addition to doing this? No only only what he was legally legally required.

Andrew Warner 44:57
What? Oh god, it was just enough to officially Making the sale and then he undeterred Does he still have a third of the business?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 45:03
No I think after two years I could see that we just wanted to go different ways. In terms of where we want the business go I think that was around 14 where we were starting taking off who could pay a salary, I could kind of see where where this was going. So so he’s we made a good deal where he he still has a little little piece of equity and I paid him something that I could manage to pay him but we’re still fine. So So we’ve worked for the first two years and like building the base of the business I think

Andrew Warner 45:37
what did you see what are you are giving me a number up to around how much

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 45:41
and what is that? 20 $25,000 a month or something like that. I think that was what we have taken into so it was a little

Andrew Warner 45:50
and at that point you saw what and he saw what you’re both smart guys, I’m not looking to put down his approach but you did have different I want to see how to different

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 45:57
trying to look at as a can because of Don’t want to ask somebody in a in a you were to me, cuz we have big respect for this guy for Christian who have ssF moved back into his parents apartment when he was 28. And I turned parents basement. Yeah. I think was just he wanted a more lifestyle business and I hate the word lifetime business. But people understand what I mean when I say it. And I was a bit more ambitious about how we could grow it how fast we should learn and iterate and scale it. So if it was just yeah, I said like what Patrick would take should just make it super profitable business and live off of that, or should we just try and bring it out to the world?

Andrew Warner 46:40
Wow, I didn’t realize at what point did you get the bug that you have to make it so big you went from I’m just going to do this as a side thing. And I didn’t think about how much I was going to charge them. One guy just asked you to pay the other guys. You say wait a year, and then you suddenly are so hungry. You don’t want a lifestyle business. You see the vision.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 46:56
I think it was because that

For those two years, I really think I learned what I learned what it was, like means to build a business, what a business is, like, what it can do what it looks like, and have no idea about that. Like, I was lucky.

Andrew Warner 47:16
Why couldn’t you say to yourself, you know what lifestyle business grows a little bit every year we can do well, there’s something that you notice that’s more than just I get business. It’s I get something bigger. It’s it’s because I think it’s fun. It’s competition. And that

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 47:29
this is your competition. Let’s Let’s be better next year. Let’s prepare our next let’s be better tomorrow than it was today. What drives me? Yeah, that’s really what drives I’m not in it to to take over the world because then it will take on a lot of venture capital and probably never survived because I didn’t know enough and don’t have enough experience, but, but I’m constantly driven of say, Okay, how can I do this better? Like I say, I’m the kind of,

Andrew Warner 47:55
I don’t see this in your personality. Up until this point. You told our producer growing You’re always a builder you were the kid who was building Lego now obviously you came right from place where everyone’s into Lego. But still there’s a builder quality in you. At some point you got the vision, the bug, the competitive spirit, the ability and I’m wondering, what is it is it because

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 48:18
I see it as

it you see the same thing. Like for me? Legos building software and building building a business or building businesses. It’s the same thing. It’s about always getting better about always Yeah, about always pushing your limits. That’s really what what fundamentally excites me.

Andrew Warner 48:40
And so the idea is just like with Lego, I even see my three year old wants to see how high can you build the Lego and I could tell him to just be happy with half the height. Why do you need to keep falling down and getting frustrated and then trying to make it again bigger than your sholden bigger in your head? It’s just a part of nature. That’s what this tapped into your natural need to to see how big can I make this Lego set?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 49:00
Yeah, exactly. And I think every time you know, in every business and when you run a business you always have like, like ups and downs and, and hard times and good times. And every time I have a hard time whether it’s a bath fact the ship and my girlfriend always just said, just keep on because you know that even if you showed the business or did anything else, like, the next day, I would do same, the same old way again. Yeah, I literally the next day, I’ve kind of learned to live with this thing that I have to struggle a bit to be happy. Yeah.

Andrew Warner 49:36
Okay. So let’s talk then about happiness and leading you at some point became the CEO, and you weren’t happy with it. What was it about leading a team that made you feel unhappy?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 49:48
I think for me, it was.

I hired people right after a million questions but ways I had some revenue and I knew about it too. With sales was pretty much just doing all the coding and a bit of support and, and involved in like closing the deals in later stages and then start hiring some people’s first sales and supporter. Actually my, my very first hire was when Kristin was still here, and that was Steve and he’s still our head of support today. So he’s been with me all the way. And I think for me, I was just surprised or how much work it is leading people. And I think I expected that when I hired somebody who was better to me at something they would be running it or at least like, Okay, if I hire somebody who’s experienced salesperson, they will be better at pitching anything. I think it didn’t at the beginning, we didn’t learn to see the difference between a lot of basic advices that in the beginning, you need to find people real entrepreneurial, and can just live in the chaos and figure stuff out and then later on, he will be more used to us. So to figure just had some great really harsh lessons in the beginning of leadership? Just learning the hard way. That’s a good point. I’ve never been. I’ve never been motivated by telling people what to do. Like I have never been the one who wants to go up and give a big speech and be motivated by that. I love working with people. I love having fun, but I love working with people are really, really good at what they do.

Andrew Warner 51:21
All right, I’m with you. And so you looked around, and it turned out that you had some guy who was working for you who had pizza experience. What was he doing? Yeah, and what’s the pizza experience?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 51:32
Yeah, Jonas, he was fantastic, fantastic guy that

he also has a super interesting backstory, but just to summer up, he had had a franchise for, I think one of the biggest franchises of Domino’s Pizza in Denmark. And then he split out to build his own pizza chain with two partners and it had worked well but one of the partners went down with stress and then the thing kind of fell apart. And then he was, I think He had two kids and he’s like, Okay, I have no education, I have nothing to fall back on. So we started business school and then started working for me years and part time job, which in I think a few weeks became almost a full time assistant for him just working as for our daily sales team, and, and and I think, just in my pure EVC I was just looking at somebody who had some business experience and wanted to lead and ours really at that time, just, like exhausted and struggling and didn’t find it fun. So think, or a few months, we kind of were small. I think we were about 10 people ish at that time. And we started having these conversations. And I think one day was just like, I offered. Don’t give it a go. That was mid. Yeah. And he was I think that was summer, summer 16. And then he started us as CEO and was he good cannot think it’s hard to talk about these things and he was only me. No. That’s fair. He was really good. He’s really good people person and a really good salesperson. I think it gave him too much responsibility too quickly. I think there was some parts about the operations of pizzeria is not the same as Operation obsessed company, which for me, I think the biggest thing was that that the thing has really succeeded with was as a as a franchisee meaning that all the operational stuff was figured out. Like he just had to work on selling and growing. Ah, and so you’re you’re building the process as you’re using the process and then almost except rolling it out completely and starting with a brand new process. Yes, I think that the part about he really excelled when there was a lot of like when you just had this manual and you just put follow it and then he was just only leading and selling. And I think if I had learned, if I was a better leader today, I think would have been much better. Like I wouldn’t have put, I wouldn’t have given so much responsibility so fast. So quick that that was kind of like the things were that he he struggled with. And I’ve also struggled services is hard because it’s just experienced, the thing that really happened and when I think is most importantly, is that I’ve got to have a break. Yeah, like I have been not knowing what I did for I think we’re in 16 here, five years, like constantly just on the virtue of like the edge of my competence all the time and most the way out of my fears competence. So having a professional CEO and moving the spotlight really enabled me to kind of sit down and reflect about all the things I’ve learned that was actually the first time I had the time to sit down and just Look around. What is this business? Bill? I think the most important thing was, okay, now know what means to build a business. I know what it is I want I have learned something if I didn’t look at my business what I built this from scratch today and just say no, like, we didn’t have the right processes we didn’t have the product wasn’t that Polish as it should be, and all these kind of things. So I basically started in the, like late late summer of 16, just rebuilding the business from within, like, just starting from button with what I was best at rebuilding the product, rebuilding the user interface, rebuilding our how we service our customers and support, like just taking life from the core parts and then expanding the circle sound. And I think in that year, we really built the foundations of what is correct today. And I can just feel that in the beginning of 17 there was something in me that I can have now wants to build on the business like I’ve built These things for the past half a year I made these improvements. And for the first time ever I had this, like, faults that I like, there was something more I wanted to do with the company that I couldn’t do because I wasn’t CEO. Yeah. So So I think it was late. Yeah, late spring 17, Metro Fiona’s that actually wants to step back in. And then we found a nice transition for him to go and he works in a super successful

FinTech company in Copenhagen now.

FinTech, FinTech,

Andrew Warner 56:33
and you told our producer, I don’t know if you notice that you said it. But she’s so good about taking these little razors down. But you said, as soon as you get good at something, you start to enjoy it. And what you realize was you had to learn it that if you could get good at leadership at being a CEO, you’d actually enjoy it. Have fun with it. Right?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 56:56
Yeah, I think when a really

Think bigger transformation. And for me, it’s been that prior to this year, that spring 16 to 17. Before that my fault when I went into work was really like, I just can’t deal with all these people’s problems because as a CEO, you get the hardest problems in the company. They just get pushed up to you. And today when I’m heading in for work, I’m thinking the same thing in particular, for a complete different angle. I’m always thinking, I hope somebody needs my help today. I hope I get the time to help somebody today.

Andrew Warner 57:33
How did you get to that point? How did you get to the point where you really liked it? But notice

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 57:37
that is first of all, I got a break. Like I think that was my biggest mistake in the beginning was I was just powering through like just trying to do stuff without having any experience any knowledge, or anything at all. So getting that overview and reflecting a bit of my learnings and my experiences. So really learn from them was was really important. But But I think there’s also this positive cycle that okay when you get good at something like when you compete when you are a better leader, you help people better which means to have fewer problems which means there’s less overload of questions for you actually this is positive cycle and you can have more time helping with the with the issues that are which means you can get high quality help which again means there’s this positive cycle of just making things easy and easy and easier. And and I think today as I said, I have this I have this hope every morning that somewhere I can I can help today. Luckily, there’s some times that you can help people give me a

Andrew Warner 58:44
before and after before when you were a bad leader was a mistake or what’s the thing that you did and then after when you got break, and then you became good at it? Well, how does how are you able to be a better leader give me specific example if you could have each.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 58:58
I think that

I think the biggest mistake I made as a leader was that that I,

under I will say that the harsher phrases. I think the biggest mistake I made as a leader was that I was I wouldn’t say expecting too much of people. But I expected that when people told me they were going to do something, then of course if we’re going to do that, like and if they were going to hit a certain sales quota, of course, we’re going to do that and also have this expectation that if you are experienced salesperson, why should I go out and help you? I actually think I underestimated myself a lot like and, and I think it was to me, I don’t miss it, how much people needs sparing in leadership. To think I just, I think it gave people two Much to work with where today I just know I have to repeat myself sometimes if we want to get a message across like this, you just have to repeat yourself 10 times because it’s like well what’s

Andrew Warner 1:00:11
what’s something that you’ve repeated yourself so much at that in the past? You would have thought this guy’s silly he doesn’t understand that we got it ready. Everything, everything in leadership, everything communication, like just over communicate offline. So we’re talking about Coronavirus around what did you have to communicate several times to your people to make sure they got it?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:00:31
I think we realized we haven’t had anything but I think tonight I’m gonna and we’re gonna write an update after the first week of Denmark being closed, like where is the business? How are we doing all this kind of things. But if we go back, it’s just something like, okay, we launch a new feature. This is how it works.

Andrew Warner 1:00:47
You wouldn’t have waited, you wouldn’t have thought that people needed to know how the business is doing overall have what?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:00:54
No, I think, I think I think there’s just two different things. So I think perhaps if we want to have an example of Like, where I was bad leader before, I was frustrated if people needed to know the same thing twice, because we had all the target and you said you knew it. But today, I just know that, of course, when you get a new feature, you get some things. And then the second time you get a bit more, and you get a bit more, and you get a bit more. And that’s personally what I’m also working with my leadership team. And, and if we have new managers, kind of stepping into a managed management role for the first time, they also see like, why they know what the right thing is, why don’t they just do it? Just relax, just help.

Andrew Warner 1:01:29
It’s not stupid. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just you have to repeat and keep emphasizing.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:01:34
Yeah. And you think as like, you have to also serve for effect. So I could see that there might be some things that I’m really good at picking up but there’s also the some mistakes a keyboard doing so it’s also being more patient with people.

Andrew Warner 1:01:48
All right, let me close it out with this question. You started out kind of the I think we were still going through the Great Recession a little bit when you got started, right. Yeah. Do any experiences from that last bad financial crisis that the world went through that you can share with us to give people a sense of what we could do this time and experiences you remember that helped you get past get through that last bad experience?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:02:16
I think we started I want to start out in living, we’re just on the backside of it. So I think my biggest takeaway is just that you always need to be prepared for something bad to happen. Like that has always been in the back of my head, even when building this business that we can push it and we can pursue growth, but we always need to have a plan B that’s viable. And then but also thing The good thing is that I started my business when Yeah, it’s just like the aftermath of the of the Great Recession.

Shooting a build a business there, you can build it at any time.

Andrew Warner 1:02:56
Right that if you’re able to when the world doesn’t have much money, When people are still going through fear, build something, then when the world recovers, you’re gonna have something even stronger. Is that

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:03:06
something that Yeah, but it’s also kind of like, okay, we were worse off them than we are now as a business because we had nothing, maybe also have nothing to lose. But I think if you can build a business in that environment, it can show you come through this thing as well.

Andrew Warner 1:03:22
And why do you Why do you think that clerk what’s going to help clerk do well in a recession?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:03:27
For us, it’s basically when we help people make more money and get more out of the existing traffic. So it’s when your sales are down, you really need us.

Andrew Warner 1:03:38
Right. And I feel like that’s true in a lot of economies that this is that anything that you can do to help people grow their businesses, they’re going to value and I can see that here at clerk.

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:03:53
We could see that since the corona winners have hit like our train have just been down because people cannot afford to express And I’m trying to figure out even more what is going down.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:02
I’ll turn

Andrew Warner 1:04:04
Oh, turn. So people are now canceling as much. You know what? It’s these businesses like clerke.io that I’ve got to tell you, if I sat down and I told my friends, my family at dinner, what who I interviewed, they wouldn’t fully get it, they would kind of roll their eyes and think it’s kind of interesting, it helps somebody. But I find that these these businesses that are behind the scenes that help power up the businesses that we know are often this the ones that should be considered the sexier businesses, they’re the ones that have more staying power. They’re the ones that I think, have more strength in a down economy. And I think what you said makes sense, you know, over the years, one thing that I’ve got to tell you that has done really well for you is I mean, for from my perspective is you shown yourself you’re showing your people in the early sites that I saw, I got a sense of what the software was I got a sense of where you were going. I didn’t get a sense of who was behind the company. More and more as I went through the archives and found the site as it updated itself as you improve, I started to see more you I started to see more of your company in the past even I don’t know what the about had, but it didn’t really have what you have now about us now shows you shows your company shows the people who are building the software. And I think there’s a greater connection with the company I found when the company’s founder when the company’s team are willing to just stand up on the site and say, here’s who we are, like, look at this. We actually have sent this like this photo. It’s the biggest frickin photo that I’ve got on our on my notes, because it just grabbed whatever photo you had on your website, and she put it into my notes, as you can see right here, right? Yeah, what you put on your site. What you put here in this interview translates into how other people talk about you how other people get to know you. And I think that people want to get to know the people behind the companies that they use. Anyway, I’m happy that you’re here to do this interview, especially under difficult circumstances. Thank you so much for being here. The website for anyone who wants to go check it out is clerke.io. And if you ever get to see Hans Christian in person first Don’t shake his hands. We’re not doing that anymore. We definitely aren’t. But feel free to call him HK or let’s see where you go with this. Can they call you HK just because they heard you on this interview?

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard 1:06:09
Yeah, no problem.

Andrew Warner 1:06:11
Right on. All right. And thank you to the two sponsors who have really made this interview and so many others happen here at mixergy. Anyone who goes to check out these two sites, please use a URL that will let them know that you found them through my podcast, it’s Hostgator for hosting websites. So hostgator.com slash mixergy. Go play, go experiment. And if you’re hiring developers, go to top towel.com slash mixergy. Thank you to them and thank you to the team. Thanks.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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