From failure to failure to final success

From failure to failure to final success


He hates the words risk and failure but they are very present in his day to day. "It's not something I try to do, I always want to win, I give everything, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. If you do not go out and play like the best you can not build the best company in the world, "he says. Jonas Kjellberg, entrepreneur and investor, co-founder of Skype and former president of iCloud. He has built his success story on many failures, "which is what I'm best at", and that is what he tries to convey to all those who want to be entrepreneurs. "The real success is going from failure to failure with the same enthusiasm," he says. The Swedish businessman spoke with ABC during his visit to Madrid, as a speaker at the Alumni meeting of EAE Business School, in which more than 600 alumni participated.

Great ideas have come out of his head but he insists that in order to succeed, you have to find something that is as simple as possible to use for the consumer. "We often overcomplicate things. We have to understand the users and go beyond what we know, something that people love and want to use, "says Kjellberg.

Nowadays, «It is becoming easier to innovate because technology is increasingly simple to operate and cheaper». Among the advice he gives to entrepreneurs, he begins by highlighting the importance of achieving "customer satisfaction; without it or without an adjustment of the product in the market, it does not work ». In addition to "creating the best product in the world" we must also innovate when putting zeros, "have something with less cost than the competition".

Jonas Kjellberg, during the interview with ABC
Jonas Kjellberg, during the interview with ABC – BELÉN DÍAZ

Learn to attract the customer

Once the product is found, the next step is to get customers frequency, "find ways to reach them" and a winning sales culture can not be missing. "That perspective lies in understanding how it is created, how the customer is attracted," says the co-founder of Skype. And in this context it is clear that the computer is the great ally. In addition, we must be alert to new technologies because, if you do not, "the company runs out of business". The artificial intelligence, for example, that will allow "radically change models, offers customers a better experience, you can treat each of them based on different patterns," says the entrepreneur. It also believes that it is essential to enjoy during the entire process of creating the product. See as something very positive to undertake because «Make your own decisions and drive the company where you want». It may or may not be worth it, you may fail, but "you will learn and enjoy the process," he says.

«You have to have a winning sales culture, understand how you can attract the customer»

Among the projects in which Jonas Kjellberg has participated is that of Skype, being one of the co-founders. Remember that "it took a while" to achieve success because there were many strong telecommunications companies. "We do not think he would be so successful," he admits. "The more people we had, the better everything went, and the turning point came when we decided to report the service to all the contacts of our users, so people knew, joined, wanted to call for free. The user himself recommends the service ». A simple trick that, he assures, that helped them grow. Innovation at cost 0 is the key to success, as they have done Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. And that's what Skype did, "without money in marketing" or for ads on television.

Jonas Kjellberg, during the interview with ABC
Jonas Kjellberg, during the interview with ABC – BELÉN DÍAZ

Skype and Whatsapp

From his stage on Skype he also remembers that they only recruited candidates who "had failed". It was a good idea, "a fantastic product", although later others have appeared. «Maybe they have put too much engineering on Skype and then they invent something very simple like Whatshapp and people have loved it, download it, you do not have a password, it works on your mobile, it is easy to create a group ….». There is no longer a working relationship with the company "but I still see a lot of those who were my colleagues".

Jonas Kjellberg has also written three books although the first two considers them a failure, "necessary for success to come". The third one has already been translated 14 languages. «I wrote in my own way, in a very different way, little text and a lot of image, and they did not want to publish it», tells ABC.

Other of his professional failures were the campaigns that did not work because "I did not create a disruption in the sector". He quickly understood that it was necessary to innovate in the attraction of the client: when you take it beyond what exists. In its passage through Lycos, which was the second most important search engine, there was also a failure. Google arrived and the procurement team did not advise them to buy it and they rejected the operation. And it is from these failures of what Jonas Kjellberg spoke to the alumni of EAE Business School also telling them that "to be successful it is important to have freedom".


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