Continuing with our series of Twingly Team Interviews, we this time spoke to Niclas Wiström who is one of the founders of Twingly. He describes the early days of Twingly and why he thinks that it was an advantage that all the founders have a technical background.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Niclas, 37 years old and one of the founders of Twingly. I’m the oldest person at the office which the rest of the team doesn’t get tired of pointing out…
How did you meet the other Twingly co-founders?
I have worked together with Martin since 2001 or 2002 at Allt om Bostad, a Swedish website for house owners. We then decided to quit and to start our own consulting company. A few years later Martin and I together with Björn and Figge launched Primelabs, which was the company behind Twingly (in 2008 we changed the company name to Twingly AB). Twingly was from the beginning one of our main projects.
You have a background as a developer, but you also enjoy the spirit of entrepreneurship…
Yes! I started my first company together with 7 other people in 1996. But I have always enjoyed working with the technical parts as well. From the early Twingly days on I was the one in charge of the hardware. In the beginning we only had 4-5 servers, but that was good since we all did consulting as side projects to earn money that we could invest into Twingly. Then over time, the work load got bigger.
All four of you who started Twingly have a technical background. None of you had deep knowledge on the business side. Do you think that was an advantage or disadvantage?
Things worked out pretty good for us, also from the sales-perspective. In our case I would say it was an advantage, since we all understood the technical challenges of the service we created. And early on we signed up SvD and DN, two of the biggest newspapers in Sweden, as clients for our Blogstream service, which websites can use to show incoming blog links from the blogosphere.
What was the goal when you launched Twingly four years ago? Did you adjust that goal over time?
In the beginning we thought the blog search engine itself would be our main product. Later we realized that from a commercial point of view Blogstream and other B2B services worked the best, and we also broadened our spectrum by launching several tools focusing on microblogs and the real time web.
What was the most exciting that happened during the years with Twingly?
I think the early days were especially exciting – the time when we launched Twingly without knowing how everything we had planned would work out. Or when we made a road-trip to a conference in Vienna to promote Twingly and meet newspaper executives at out very own little booth.
Was there a moment when you regretted that you didn’t do something else instead of creating a startup?
Nope, never. I always have enjoyed working with Twingly. And even though I’m a late riser I look forward to go the office almost every morning.
Since hardware is a passion of you: Which of the latest technologies and developments in the it sector do you personally appreciate the most?
In fact Solid-state drives (SSD), the new kind of storage solution that are better than traditional harddisk. They don’t break as often as harddisks, are calmer and faster. We are using SSD in a few of our servers and we’ll probably make some more upgrades in the future.