The first post interview on Sunny Office Blog with Kasper Graulund Jensen.
Do you know Kasper and his awesome projects? Here we go straight to the interview.
Elen: Hi Kasper, thanks a lot for taking time for the interview. Please, tell me a little bit about yourself. What is your passion? What motivates you?
Kasper: I’m 35 years old and I’m and online entrepreneur. My passion is the same as so many others have – travelling and having fun. I spend a lot of time playing a miniature fantasy game called Warhammer.
Elen: How did you come to the idea to build a business in this area? What was your greatest inspiration? Was it your first idea or did you have other projects before? Which, for example? Why haven´t you chosen them?
Kasper: Among other websites, I run a big casting-site in Denmark called Onlinecasting.dk. It was actually one of my first ideas, and I got it as I were watching the show Popstars for the first time in Denmark some 15 years ago. Then I decided to create a site for those people.
Elen: What were your main difficulties in the beginning and how did you manage them? And what is your challenge now?
Kasper: The main difficulty in the beginning was actually that my teachers at the school didn`t like the idea. They told me that this was just a funny idea, but it would be impossible to earn money with it. That´s probably why they are teachers and not entrepreneurs, I guess. My challenge today is that I’m facing competition from other sites. It’s like dating sites, people are on more sites than one.
Elen: Were there also funny moments at the beginning of your entrepreneurship?
Kasper: Well yeah, but actually I started doing websites when I was studying, so I had lots of funny moments. But I prefer my life as it is today, with lots of freedom so that I can do anything what I want almost at any moment. Elen: Did you have the moment, when you were thinking to return to an office job or were you always sure about your entrepreneurship?
Kasper: I was always pretty sure of my idea, especially after the site got success. But I had office jobs for 6 years or so and kept running the websites at the same time. Sometimes I think about going back, but it should be an interesting position with interesting people, and probably something in the movie-industry.
Elen: What “aha” moments had you in the implementation of your idea? What inspired you?
Kasper: Well. I don´t think that I really had any inspiration as such. I was one of the only people in my class and among friends who were realizing their web-ideas.
Elen: What tools, resources and websites were helpful in implementing your idea? And how have you used them?
Kasper: I talked a lot with friends about the idea. But when I created the site, there were not many of these, so I had to think of the new concept myself from scratch.
Elen: What was your most important learning in creation of your product or service?
Kasper: Well, probably that you might have to change your product or concept along the way. In the beginning the concept didn’t work out that good, so I had to try some changes and tests until it finally worked out right.
Elen: How does your typical day look like?
Kasper: I get up early and do a work out. Then I work, perhaps watch a movie, visit friends or my girlfriend. Typically when I´m travelling, I walk around the cities exploring stuff and then go to the beach. Pretty standard.
Elen: Which countries did you like most and why during your trips? Kasper:
- USA (California and Miami). I like the American mentality towards entrepreneurship. They are much more positive when I talk with them about ideas compared to Danes. I also like the weather and laid-back mentality in California. And you can buy anything anywhere.
- Australia. Really cool laid back mentality. Nice weather, great beaches. Lots of stuff to see.
- South Africa (Cape town). Nice weather. Great food, nice prices and nice people. Now they have more and more start-ups. There are a lot of businesses to be done here for new entrepreneurs. I’m actually going there for 6 months or more in October 2014.
Elen: If you had to start again from scratch, what would you definitely do differently?
Kasper: I would spend more money on marketing and I would spend more time on the project in the beginning. It took me like 5 years before I really started earning money with it.
Elen: What’s your next step for your business now?
Kasper: I’ve created the same site in Poland and Germany. Now I want to take the idea to South Africa, Colombia and Spain. I would also like to create an app for the sites.
Elen: What can you recommend to those who want to start their own business and live the life of their dreams?
Kasper: Believe in yourself. Yep, sounds corny, but especially in the beginning . I faced lots of people who didn´t believe in their idea. And yeah, quit your job.
Elen: I´d like to share your awesome websites here so that everybody can check them. Kasper:
- onlinecasting.dk – site in Denmark
- mycasting.pl – Polish site
- online-castings.de – German site
- maleribasen.dk – Danish gallery, sales platform
Elen: Could you, please, tell me a little bit more about your site in Poland and in Germany, and about your casting website?
Kasper: The German and the Polish sites were launched like 9 months ago. I’m working on both sites with a partner, in Poland – with a Polish guy and in Germany – with a German guy. The Polish site has 3000 users, which is actually pretty good, since we haven´t spent much money on marketing. We have hired a girl to do all the support and run the site. The German site has around 1500 people and there is more competition there, so it´s still hard to say how it will work out in the long run.
Elen: Have you outsourced people to help you with any of your projects, or was it only so called “one-man project”?
Kasper: I started out programming the sites myself. But today I have people who run all the sites for me. I’ve also outsourced programmers on temporary basis to get more advanced features on the sites. Thank you very much Kasper for an awesome and very interesting interview! Next week you can see our video interview with Christian Michaelis. Already curious? It´s great, short and so informative! Hope you are looking forward to it? More interesting video interviews are coming very soon on our blog. Sunny Office Team would love to see your comments. Thank you!