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Bootstrapping Using Services From Sweden: Dapresy Founder Tobi Andersson and CEO Rudy Nadilo (Part 3)

Posted on Saturday, Aug 20th 2016

Sramana Mitra: What changes did you make? How did you move to the next phase of the journey?

Tobi Andersson: I decided two things. One is that I’m going to be an international company, which means I should have an offering that can help grow the company outside Sweden. Sweden is a great market. It’s an early adopter market, but it’s a small market. I decided that I had to create a foundation here in terms of our offering.

I also needed to create a scalable company without adding lots of people. I decided that I was going to create a foundation to scale revenue faster than fixed cost. Today, a lot of companies bring in external capital very early and use this capital to burn money and to create something that is not fully meeting the market demand. I decided I will create a company that is driven by cash flow operations and where it’s profitable. I want to build a long-term company where the fixed cost is covered by existing agreements. As an old school entrepreneur, I would advise young entrepreneurs not to get money too early until they have a good offering in the market. Magic happens in the company when you have resource constraints.

When you’re under pressure, you’re forced to find ways that no one else is finding. I can tell you. I went all in at this stage because I had just bought my first house. I moved with my wife. We were expecting our first child. I will take all the money that I have earned so far, all the assets in my house and tell the bank, “Here are my assets. Use this money to give me this credit line.” I believe in the company and I make sure that the company is taken to the next level.

Sramana Mitra: What you’re saying about your philosophy is very much in tune with the philosophy that we believe in One Million by One Million. We deeply believe that we need to work with bootstrapping methodologies. If you want to raise money, bootstrap first and then raise money later. We wouldn’t ever advise an entrepreneur to go chase financing too early because we simply don’t believe in that methodology. We don’t think you build robust companies by doing that.

Tobi Andersson: That’s great. You’re acting bad towards young entrepreneurs by giving them money because you’re not giving them the right foundation to develop themselves as entrepreneurs. The only way to develop yourself as a business leader is that you need to work under pressure.

Sramana Mitra: Talk me through the process of how you rationalize all these different customers and different code bases. How did you rationalize that to a product or a common platform? How did you work that out?

Tobi Andersson: I would say this transition was the toughest part in my life. Looking back, I’m amazed that we’re able to cross that fine line. With limited money, I needed to do something really fast because we’re not keeping up with the revenue goals to cover the fixed costs. I basically went back to all my existing customers.

When you are doing big changes in your offering, that’s when you really need your customers to work with you and not against you. You need to spend a lot of time talking to them and building trust. I met all of them and told them about my plan, “I will take the best experience from each of you and I will consolidate that into one software. That is the software that I will offer to everyone in the market.” The immediate reaction I received is, “Tobi, this is not good because you have created a software that is unique for us. A generic software based on experience will never meet our demands. We are really doubting that we can continue.”

That was basically the message from all of my customers. I told them, “You need to look long term here. At the end of the day, this will become good for you. You will benefit, long term, from all the good inputs from everyone else. You will be part of an ecosystem that will give you much better advantages compared to today. Short term, this will be bad for you.”

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services From Sweden: Dapresy Founder Tobi Andersson and CEO Rudy Nadilo
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