Yesterday I worked with three entrepreneurs, Carolina, Iben and Sophie, at Republikken in Copenhagen. Since the class was so small I really got to know everyone which was fun for me.
Carolina recently left Philips and is looking for a new job in Denmark. She used her product line from Philips to work through the class though, so I got to learn a lot about shaving devices. Iben is a freelancer and focused on the marketing needs of one of her clients, a Danish “professional lighting” manufacturer. Sophie is a freelance translator and is working on a project to publish French literature translated into Danish.
To Do Tomorrow “action items”
Sophie’s first course of action is to look at online conversations. There are most likely forums or user groups where Danish people talk about foreign literature specifically or foreign culture more generally. Since she is a professional translator she should be able to contribute to the conversations in these groups and then start using them to decide which books she should translate into Danish to make available to the Danish market. Becoming active in these groups will have the additional benefit of creating a market for her work. She is also attracted to curation and making “Top 5” lists about French literature, traveling in France, and generally everything French. She wants to start a Facebook group around these interests and a website to host her blog.
Carolina, based on her previous experience at Philips, got a little fancy and started integrating many of the different concepts from class. She wanted to host an event where she could introduce people to a new line of shavers. Models at the event would wear dresses with different “typical” facial profiles. Guests could enter a contest for the best facial hair and the winner would get a new shaver. She would also partner with a famous photographer to bring some cred to the photos she would post later on Facebook.
Iben went with one of the best ideas from class. Professional lighting is often very hot and her company makes lighting from LEDs which reduces the heat omitted to almost nothing. She wants to have an event at a trade show where she gets two ice sculptures and put one under her light and one under one of her competitors’ light. During the day, as the sculptures melt at different rates, attendees at the show can see quite viscerally one of her company’s main selling points (low heat emission). She also wants to focus on improving the electronic newsletter the company sends out their customers, perhaps by including some humorous Top 5 lists.
Thinking about writing
My takeaway from class is that curation was very popular (in my limited sample size Danish population). I also got good feedback on what was missing from the course. I’m going to spend some time thinking about how to teach “Writing for the Web”. My first thoughts are you need personality, brevity, and humor to make the writing interesting and effective. I think I’ll try and build a case study from the demeanors of ConstantContact and MailChimp, two competing email companies, to show two different and effective communications styles.
Thanks again to all the great professional, companies and entrepreneurs I met in Denmark and Paris these past couple weeks. It was great working with you!