Dave Lukas Chats with Heini Zachariassen
126: The Advantage of Being an Outsider with Vivino Founder, Heini Zachariassen
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Heini Zachariassen. Heini is the creator and founder of the widely popular app, Vivino, which provides users with any wine's rating, review and average price. It is also the world’s largest wine community, claiming more than 31 million users.
Vivino’s been featured, well, just about everywhere and in every publication from Entrepreneur to Forbes to INC and on and on.
The interesting thing is that Heini started Vivino with no experience at all in the wine business. He has a varied background in software development and mobile innovation and as an entrepreneur, had had success in a few other ventures, but as he says he was a total outsider.
And that is one of the major topics I want to discuss with him today – how being an outsider can actually be the best thing for your business and success.
Heini's Youtube Channel on Startups
Heini was born in the Farrow Islands in the North Atlantic. Basically in the middle of nowhere. He grew up there and moved to Denmark when it was time for college. Heini says that he was always entrepreneurial, and his father was a “super-nerd,” so the whole family was into technology.
When he left college, he wanted to start a business. He found success after a few small enterprises with a software security company. The company did well and still exists, but he wanted to create something more fun. So, about 10 years ago, he noticed that there was no way to judge wine. There was no rating, no information, etc. He started building something really for himself and the idea was to create a web-database for wine.
One thing Heini notes is timing. They hit it right on for timing with smart phones coming online and giving people the ability to take a picture of a label and get instant info and a rating. A few years earlier and that would not have been possible, so timing was huge in the success of Vivino.
Talk to us about how being an outsider can help you in succeeding as a business…
Talk about launching the product…
Over 30 million users, what can you teach us about how to grow and build an online community?
What ways did you market and gain visibility as you began to grow?
Are there any mediums that you promote through that work better than others?
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about growing and scaling a business?
Talk about replacing yourself in the business….
At the 24 min mark, Heini talks about what he looked for when he wanted to replace himself and find a CEO to take the company into the future.
What have you learned from raising capital?
Do you have any critical habits that you practice and contribute to your success?
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