Andrus dubs himself serial marketer, being a co-founder or advisor to several startups. Prior to startup life he spent almost five years at Skype in various marketing roles. He co-founded KnickerMail together with promising London-based lingerie designer Kriss Soonik in November last year ‘to balance all this message crafting, product marketing, customer developing, technology stuff.
What are you working on right now?
We’re testing the wings of KnickerMail to see how far it can fly. It was meant to be a fun small side project, but it broke through the symbolic first €1000 of revenues very quickly and its success means we have to treat it as a fun but very real start-up. There’s day-to-day stuff like answering emails from customers and experimenting with marketing channels. We’re also spending serious time on plans for the future. KnickerMail is not just sending lingerie via post, though that’s what technically happens today. It’s a cheeky way to say hello, and you can have a lot of fun with that proposition.
In addition to that I support Posterbee (www.posterbee.com) and Pipedrive (www.pipedrive.com) with marketing, am a co-founder in Talentag (www.talentag.com), organise stand-up comedy nights, work on a couple of new startup ideas, write, do a bit of consulting, mentor a team in a youth entrepreneurship program and kind of enjoy the fact I don’t have to worry about planning my free time too much.
3 trends that excite you?
First and foremost I like the way the technology is getting simpler, more accessible and more human almost by day. If you have an idea for a book or a boutique then money or technology are no longer a barrier. You can just grab a couple of free or affordable tools, use free or cheap marketing and distribution channels and crete whatever you wanted to create. Good ideas win, the Snowcalypse T-shirt shop ) is a recent example I liked.
Not sure if you can call it a trend but I also like the way more companies and people think about sustainability, and act accordingly.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In a team. Having more than one person working means the execution will be better, motivation is bigger and it’s just more fun.
What inspires you?
Lots of things do. Anything from people around me accomplishing something big to a beautiful day in the nature to TED talks can make me go wow! and add a bit of a nudge.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I quite like mistakes. When I go kitesurfing I always try to have at least one bad crash before coming off the water. Otherwise you stop learning. Of course, you have to learn from mistakes, repeating the same mistakes over and over again is no joy.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If someone wants to do a Restaurant of Last Meals, I think that’d be a fun concept. Even better if your details would be taken down and you could only go there once.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
I think that book would be my MacBook. I read quite a bit but I don’t have a favourite to point out. I also don’t have a favourite place, movie, song, brand etc.
The one tool that’s proven invaluable with KnickerMail is Shopify. It’s such a great way to create an online store with power features built in, responsive support and elegance and simplicity all around. The other powerful tool I use is my to do list, previously in a basic text file, now in Evernote.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Investor and entrepreneur Vinod Khosla. I’m inspired by his ability to constantly see the forest behind the trees (as well as gallons of fuel behind fields).
You seem to be dealing with quite a few things. Is there a limit to how many things one can deal with?
Certainly, and I can show you exactly where it is as I’ve crossed it a couple of times. However, currently I’m on the “other side” on purpose. After quitting my day job last year I wanted to try different roles in different teams for a period. I’ve learned so much it’s ridiculous, made a good number of mistakes in the process and have had lots of fun but I think I won’t be juggling with so many things forever.
What’s next with KnickerMail?
We’re looking to partner with distributors and companies interested in co-and cross-branding. We’re also preparing the launch of KnickerMail as a platform where independent lingerie designers can market their wares.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.