onsdag, november 25, 2015

Meet Karl Lillrud of Pricelizer

Karl Lillrud, Pricelizer.
During one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) engages millions of people in an active celebration of entrepreneurship. ESBRI is the country host for the Swedish GEW efforts. As part of our work with GEW, we asked some profiled Swedish entrepreneurs, and a couple of our GEW partners to answer a few questions – about their entrepreneurial journey and about GEW. So far, we’ve talked with Alan Mamedi, Sanna Nilsson, Caroline Walerud, Nils Nilsson and Michaela Holtz. Now it’s time for Karl Lillrud, the founder and CEO of Pricelizer. PriceLizer’s web service, RevaLizer, enables e-commerce merchants to reacquire customers who have abandoned their online shopping carts. Last week, Pricelizer was listed among GEW’s top 50 startups in the Startup Open, a global competition to find some of the most promising new startups in the world. In addition to this, Pricelizer has also been shortlisted as one of the world’s 20 hottest startups in 2015 by CNBC. Karl Lillrud is on Twitter: @karllillrud

Hi Karl, what is your definition of an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a modern name for an inventor, a person who sees possibilities where others see problems or challenges. Entrepreneurs have learned that what others believe to be the laws of nature might not be true. They are prepared to challenge them to prove that there are alternative solutions to everything.

Where did you draw most inspiration from while starting up your business?
I would say that I have been inspired by several things. Firstly, from my previous startup, an early e-commerce website that was translated into 11 languages and had 200 suppliers in 18 countries. I never learn as much as I do when I run these new business ideas.

Secondly, I would say logic, as there is always logical behaviour behind any decision and sometimes it can be totally different from the expected one. But if you dig down deep enough you will see the connection to the logic for the person in question and it might be different from your own logic. By building solutions based on logical behaviour instead of trying to force the user to the logic that you created in your product, you will be far more successful.

Thirdly, I would say research. As an entrepreneur, you have to know what research studies say. You don’t need to follow and believe them, but you should definitely study, understand and learn them. If you don’t agree, then make sure you can motivate your difference in opinion and understand why the research studies are wrong.

What personal strengths have been critical for your success?
Energy, productivity, multitasking and belief. I have a different type of energy, I don’t need to sleep 8 hours and during my office hours I am productive every single second of the day. I have been optimizing these things for many years and found many small things I can do to improve my delivery capacity.

Working is good, but working without being productive is worth far less than working on the right things at the right time, prioritizing everything and changing priorities wherever needed. Things change all the time and you need to be able to change fast and firmly. For example, when we were shortlisted by CNBC as one of the world’s 20 hottest startups, we had to tell our entire team to throw all the previous priorities away and focus on the most prioritized tasks, based on this incredible news and the current situation.

Everything has loading time, even your brain, so I multitask a lot. Yes, there are studies that show that you should not multitask too much but there are also studies saying that you should. There are movements like mindfulness and so on. I am not against mindfulness, I actually think that it’s great, but not all the time. You just need to know when to use which method.

As an entrepreneur you will be questioned, you will be challenged, and you will be asked stupid and smart questions. If you don’t believe in what you do and how you do it, then it’s basically no point in doing it. People who are not entrepreneurs will only see problems and not possibilites. There will be challenges for sure, but they will only make you stronger in the long run, and make you learn a lot.

The Pricelizer team at Internet Discovery Day 2015. 
What is the greatest challenge that you have experienced in your entrepreneurial career so far?
To have to close down a business. A business for an entrepreneur is a baby, it really is something that you love and that you put so much energy into. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you planned and you can find yourself at the point where you have to close down your business.

It’s not something you will be happy about, but you will again learn a lot, which will be of great value to you in your future challenges. Learning to make the tough decision to close down your business is also a great power for the future.

What is your view on Global Entrepreneurship Week? Do you think an initiative like this can boost entrepreneurship worldwide?
I believe that this is of great value to the entrepreneurial community, but also to raise awareness and interest of others. There are many wantrepreneurs who need that extra kick to get started. Initiatives like this are a great way to encourage that.

Entrepreneurs are always in a game of balance. How much should I spend on the product and how much on product exposure? By attending events like GEW, Pricelizer gains a lot of good exposure and gets to meet press, consumers, partners, investors and potential customers.


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