Rik Heijmen – Founder of Alphabeth Group

[quote style=”boxed”]Only do what you are best at – outsource everything else.[/quote]

Rik Heijmen is an accomplished Dutch entrepreneur having founded and creatively led ad agencies in Amsterdam. After he sold his interactive ad agency he found his calling in a new concept for personalizing jewelry online. The first concept is live and is called Typerings.com. Design a ring with text or design on the outside, using of of eight divergent fonts.

What are you working on right now?

I’m getting the first round of investments together to further grow Typerings.com. With this first round of investments we’re expanding our offer (bring the App to tablets), intensifying our marketing efforts and will prepare a second round of investments for a new website that is to be released in 2013.

What does your typical day look like?

My wife Tanja and kids eat breakfast together and mostly we bring them to school. My office is situated in ‘De Pijp’ in Amsterdam, a vibrant area with a lot of creative companies and bars. It’s a short bike ride to the office and I will work as long as I can, making sure the 1000’s of things get done.

3 trends that excite you?

In a big fan of innovations that change society for the better.

  • ‘Internet’ in general is the foundation for change, connecting people and democratizing information. It makes a lot of things possible that weren’t before.
  • A physical revolution of immense magnitude is 3D printing. This will change the way we produce – and ship – our products entirely.
  • Sustainability. Despite of greenwashing and the misuse of this and related concepts, the awareness for the ecological impact is here to stay and has changed the options offered to the consumer dramatically. It is becoming a part of the normal course of business and terms like ‘eco’ and ‘green’ will be obsolete in only a few years time.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I follow my gut feeling and try to get those feelings and assumptions affirmed in statistics and talking to people. Then I start working hard and not stopping until it’s done.

What inspires you?

Visionary business leadership inspires me. I think it is truly astonishing that one man or woman can lead a company into success, having seen how hard it can be to get everybody on board, even when you are a the head of a company. It takes vision, and the ability to transfer this vision to other people’s hearts and minds.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

I have one mistake that keeps coming back: I forget the solution to a mistake I made before, only realizing this when it has already too late 🙂

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I want to invite all readers to take the business concept www.Typerings.com, make it better and compete with us. This will grow this market as a whole and we will all benefit.

What do you read every day, and why?

I read the headlines on my iPhone for entertainment. I don’t know why, because I avoid other news sources like daily newspapers and tv news broadcasts.

I have a number of blogs I like and read for inspiration, mostly design related. Sometimes, I will post the things regarding Typefaces on the company page on Facebook.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?

I don’t read much books. I’m a bit dyslectic and it’s no fun to read large portions of text. I did read Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra. If you are interested in spirituality, this is a must-read. And a great story.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

Google Maps on my iPhone. Couldn’t live without it. OK, that’s not true: I would find my way around without it.

Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?

I’m just not that into twitter. Tried it, but it’s not for me.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

James Veenhoff, a dear friend and innovative thought leader. Founder of Fronteer Strategy.

When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it

Kung Fu Panda. The movie I watched with the kids on our weekly ‘movie-night’. Loved it.

What advice would you give to a fellow entrepreneur?

Only do what you are best at – outsource everything else.

What is the most important thing in life?

I think we are here to learn. If you learn, you live.


Alphabet.com on Facebook –  www.facebook.com/alphabethcom

Rik Heijmen on LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/rikheijmen