Samuel Garlöv and Anders Pålsson – Creators of Screen Donor

Nothing is impossible to build or produce. Nike got it right when they said ”Just do it”.

Samuel Garlöv is Creative Director and Partner at the PR and communications firm JMW in Stockholm. He has a bachelors degree in policital science and communications from Lund University and University of Californa Santa Barbara. During the five years Samuel has been with the firm he has created campaigns together with brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Orkla, Absolut Vodka, Unicef, UPS, The Free Dawit Isaak Organisation and Doctors of the World.

Anders Pålsson is an Art Director with JMW in Stockholm. In 2012 he was nominated for “The big Swedish PR-award” for his own recruitment campaign “Got Work? Get Burger?”. Anders is a digital specialist educated at Mittuniversitetet and Berghs School of Communication. Prior to joining JMW Anders worked at Avantime and Oriflame. Today Anders works with brands like Max hamburgers, Orkla, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Doctors of the World.

Where did the idea for Screen Donor come from?

Samuel: I was in a meeting together with Anders and he had is phone in front of him on the desk. He kept getting notifications from WhatsApp. Everytime his phone lit up my eyes where drawn to it. I thought ”This is a very attractive ad space. Maybe we could use it to communicate something important”. We also noticed that placing your smart phone in front of you when you sit down for a coffee or a meeting wa almost a universal behavior.

After the meeting we started working on an idea with an app that could project ads on unused space on peoples smart phones. We came up with Screen Donor. An app that lets the user donate free ad space on their smart phones to charity organizations and NGO’s. If a lot of people donate ads charity organizations can use their money where it is most needed, to help people, instead of having to spend it on expensive ad buys.

Anders: We at JMW then worked together with digital agency IVEO Stockholm in order to build Screen Donor. What the app does is that it stops your phone from going in to sleep mode. Normally the phone screen turns dark when you are not using it but when Screen Donor is turned on it instead projects an informative ad on a very visable space; your smart phone screen.

Samuel: We then launched a beta version together with Doctors of the World, an NGO that offers free health care to vulnerable populations. The were in need of more publicity in order to reach new potential donors for financial aid.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Samuel: I like to get an early start. To be the first one in at the office and get ahead of the email storm. Usually I do my best work in the early hours of the day when the office is pretty quiet and the coffee is hot.

Anders: The fun part with our job is that every single day looks different. But there’s usally a couple of meetings and a lot of emails. So to get into the zone and produce I usally try to listen to loud and heavy techno music.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Samuel: I read magazines and books of all varieties. Then I watch TV, movies, listen to music, play games and reasearch other people’s work. I pretty much stick my nose in any material I can get my hands on. It is very important to stay up to date and learn different disciplines. Becuase when your are presented with a task you have to finish the puzzele with the different pieces you have collected. I think it is very dangerous to stay locked up in an office staring at a white board trying to come up with an idea all by yourself.

Anders: When I get an idea I’m usally quite quick to make a mock-up or sketch. I like to see it and get a feel for it. For me it’s the quickest way to see if an idea works and which parts need improvement. I don’t like to make mood boards and stuff, I think that’s just a bunch of bull shit.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Anders: It’s been a ”trend” for a while now, but the focus on usability and simplicity in digital design is something I really like.

Samuel: I’m very in excited about all the work done in wearable tech right now. I recently got back from SXSW in Austin where a lot of new companies presented smart solutions for fashion in tech. It is great to see that many brands are trying to come up with really useful solutions that actually can help people and not just become gimmicks.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Samuel: Hard one to answer. I don’t really see myself as an entrepreneur. But working as a creative in a PR/communications firm I think it is important to keep an entrepreneurial-mindset in order to be light footed and fast moving.

Anders: Always seeing solutions and a way forward. Nothing is impossible to build or produce. Nike got it right when they said ”Just do it”.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Samuel: I worked as a bartender for a couple of years. It was very stressful and the hours long. But I learned a lot about food and drinks and at the same time trained my abilities to stay organized under pressure.

Anders: I’ve never had a ”worst job”. I’ve always chosen them myself. And I never ever make a bad decision 😉

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Anders: I would not have bought the first iPhone and committed to the apple ecosystem. I would have chosen Android. The rest I’m quite happy with.

Samuel: I spend a year on a scholarship studying at University of California Santa Barbara. It was a great year but if I could do it again I would spend less time studying in the library and more time traveling around the different states.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Samuel: Collaborate with others.

Anders: Use other people. You’re not a specialist in all fields. So collaborate.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Samuel: Screen Donor is not really a businiess as it is a pro-bono campaign. But what I think people like about the app is that is pretty straight forward and easy to understand.

Anders: Easy to use.

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

Samuel: Someone should really look in to making razors more beautiful and affordable in Europe. Gillette has a monopoly and Harry’s doesn’t deliver to Europe from the US.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Samuel: I actually bought a new credit for the iTunes store so I could rent more movies and watch TV-series. For me that is research and relaxation at the same time.

Anders: Candy. You get a crazy amout of candy for 100 bucks. On a more serious note I gave money to Doctors of the World (in Sweden) so everyone can get free healthcare. I did something good for the community and I feel great about it.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Samuel: We used AirBnb in Austin and it was great. The house we rented was beautiful and the host very friendly. Their app is easy to use and filled with useful information. I also like streaming services like Netflix and HBO.

Anders: I could not live without the Adobe Suite. It’s like an extension of my body. And LittleIpsum, quickest way to get som lorem ipsum when your copywriter is to slow.

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

Samuel: Juicing the orange from the guys at Fallon ad agency is great. Filled with great case studies and learnings. Also read Nightfilm by Marisha Pessl. The best crime novel I have read in years. It has some fun interactive elements for the reader.

Anders: It’s a swedish book called ”Typografisk handbok”, translates to ”typographic manual”. It goes through all the rules of typography. An art that I feel is lost in this digital age. And words needs a designer love if they are to be read.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Samuel: I like the website PSFK. A great combination of branding, communication and modern technology. I’m also a new reader to Bloomberg Businessweek. A great weekly magazine. And do not miss out on the hilarious Twitteraccount @seinfeldtoday.

Anders: I read a lot of news. That’s where ideas come from, I think it’s in the movie Robots they say ”see a need, fill a need”. I also like the site, where you can see awesome ux design. And to get some design inspiration. Everything needs to be beautiful to be used.

JMW on Facebook:
JMW on Twitter: @jmwkom