Anders talked with Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, the CEO of Trivato AB. Trivato is a company founded by five friends in Stockholm and they are working on a product called Responster. Those of you who went to the Startup Night at Collage in Stockholm, might have tried it already, since the team was at the party showcasing it.
What is Responster?
Customer feedback will always be valuable to all companies whose customers are other people. To get this feedback, companies have been trying to make their customers fill out time consuming paper forms perhaps once or twice every year.
Some companies even send out their forms to their customer’s email address a few weeks after the actual visit. Imagine me asking you how your lunch was 10 days ago. Do you remember what you were wearing during that lunch?
These kinds of questions are simple, but to get the best answer you need to ask them at the right moment. Preferably when you just had lunch, or when your customer just used your product or service.
This is exactly what Responster does. You install Responster on your iPad and collect your priceless customer feedback right in your store, right when the customer knows what to answer. If you have a website, just throw in Responster there and voila, you have a state of the art customer feedback system!
You can try before you buy, and you don’t have to tie yourself to us any longer than you want to!
Tell us about yourself, your role and Trivato/Responster?
My name is Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, born and raised on a small island called Vaxholm just outside Stockholm, Sweden. I’m the CEO of Trivato AB, creators of the next generation of customer feedback systems, Responster. Alongside Responster, I study medicine at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and I’m now starting my fifth year there.
Alongside Responster, I study medicine at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and I’m now starting my fifth year there
In 2009, our current head of development, Henrik Tibbing, and I founded the website hpprov.se which was supposed to be an education tool where you could practice to the högskoleprov (the Swedish equivalent to the US SATs). We worked for countless hours after school and whenever we could find some free time. The project was partly a success; we had never learnt so much about coding in different languages ever before. However, hpprov.se was mainly a failure as the company responsible for the högskoleprov added three new parts to the test, giving us a hard choice – to continue development for many more months or just give in and do something else. We chose the latter and made hpprov.se available to everyone for free. Today, hpprov.se has over 10 000 registered members, despite being incomplete.
In 2011, Henrik Tibbing’s younger brother Daniel Tibbing (one of my oldest and best friends) and I decided to start learning programming for Apple´s iOS and offered our app-programming services to the public. In the spring of 2012 we wanted to expand our business and an old friend, Ludvig Berling, popped into my mind as he had been one of the nicest person I’ve ever met. Ludvig told me that he was on board as long as I also hired his friend Alexander Palm. After meeting with Ludvig and Alexander, there was no question about it, they were both joining the company immediately. Business was fun and challenging but a bit slow. In the summer of 2012, Daniel left to study abroad in Taiwan for a year while I was working with general health at a local clinic.
This clinic felt the need to evaluate their performance and was planning to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get a paper form. After the patients were done filling the forms out, the clinic would then store all the papers for a month before sending them back to the evaluation company who would “analyze” the data for two weeks before returning the final report. My spontaneous reaction was – “I’ll do it for half” which got us to the first version of Responster – the next generation customer feedback system. This was a year ago. Since then, we’ve really built an advanced system for collecting and analyzing feedback and brought in more people to help the product grow.
Tell us some about the team
Responster has one of the most homogenous heterogeneous teams. We work perfectly well together, there’s always someone who knows the answer to whatever question is raised in the office whether it’s “What’s the best design for this business document?” or “How many percent of my body consists of water?”. We make sure that everyone is on the same page and try to involve the whole team in all big decisions so that everyone feels that they’re a part of the company’s success.
Responster has one of the most homogenous heterogeneous teams. We work perfectly well together
Today, Responster is owned by five of us working here, each one of us contributing with all our time and devotion to make this a global success. When we first started off, our knowlege of how to run a business was very limited (if not to say non-existant). You quickly learn that starting and running a business is more of an education than anything else, there’s so many new terms, procedures and rules to learn. Everyone will at times feel lost in his or her own creation and this is why a great team is a requirement to continue advancing.
I firmly believe that the Responster Team has precicely what it takes to accomplish this.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently putting 100% of our efforts into making sure that Responster is the easiest, most user friendly and best system for receiving feedback. We’re making sure that the end user doesn’t need a manual to use Responster while also making it more advanced than any other system available. We believe that more controls do not mean more pages to explain how they work.
Are you developing exclusively for iOS?
No, you can also use Responster to collect data through the web. Every form available on the iPad is also available as a link that you can send to your customers or employees and get their valuable answers no matter if they have an iPad or not. An android version is also in our development pipeline and will be available sometime in the future. Our goal is to make Responster a true multiplatform product.
How is Apple, Google and Microsoft handling the app eco system in your opinion? What is good and bad?
I believe that these companies are showing us a new kind of market. Micro-payments and freemium are good examples of two terms that people didn’t know about before these markets existed. Although, it’s a shame that all the systems cannot use the same frameworks as the base, that would have made development so much easier!
Micro-payments and freemium are good examples of two terms that people didn’t know about before these markets existed
The worst (or maybe the best?) thing about these markets is the extreme competition between companies and their apps. You have to be on your toes; ready to adapt to your customer’s needs fast if you want to hold on to your customers. If you’re too slow or too ignorant, another company or app will race past you and take your customers.
This is also probably the best thing about the markets; anyone can be a developer! If this wasn’t the case, Responster might not have existed today.
What’s the next step for Trivato/Responster?
To continue the development of Responster. We’re really striving for perfection with our product and we want to make statistics fun and beautiful for the end user. To expand outside Sweden to the global market, as well as to make sure that our employees give us the best feedback possible because they’re hired by the best employer. Perhaps we’ll use our own system to find out about the latter question!