Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.
Every week we publish an interview with a start-up. We ask five questions, hoping the answers will give you inspiration and new views. Well, actually six questions, since we also ask the start-up to who he or she is passing the mic to.
This week we’re interviewing Kristoffer Lawson from Scred. Our UK WebTipr David Petherick met him during start-upcamp in London. Scred is a Finnish start-up that helps people to manage expenses and make sure everybody spend the same amount on e.g. a trip. Or as they put it themselves, a ‘community-oriented cost balancing tool aimed as a ‘street credit’ between trusted people’. Check out an example about a surfing trip here.
How did you come up with the idea of Scred?
“Scred is actually something that we have used for years. I believe the first version dates back to dark ages. 1997 or 1998. We used it to track unhealthy geek substances that we bought to be shared at the office. Soft drinks, chocolate and similar. Then we started using it for other things too. Then we rewrote it. And rewrote it again. At some point we realized more and more of our friends were starting to use our system and our trips would usually start with the question, “So which laptop are we going to be running Scred on?”. That is when we accepted that we weren’t unique and that other people had similar needs, so we finally decided to unleash Scred to the public.”
What was your biggest challenge during the development process?
“To prioritize what we wanted to do in limited time, to stay focused and to keep the ball rolling at the huge pace it was doing, even when everyone was tired, stressed and exhausted. A huge amount of work has gone into Scred so far, and we are only at the very beginning.”
Can you describe Finland’s start-up culture compared to Silicon Valley?
“Having never been to Silicon Valley I don’t have first-hand experience, but as you can imagine the scene in Finland is smaller, closer and more friendly. Finland also has a natural tendency towards the mobile phone market, although you shouldn’t assume that’s all there is here. The great strength is that Finnish programmers are extremely skilled at what they do. One theory is that the long, dark winter months help. However, matching those skills with the investment they need can be trickier.”
What will be the influence of your start-up on the next web?
“Our first influence will simply be to save friendships and relationships. No more bickering and hassle when traveling, sharing costs at home and tracking debts. Our next influence will be to build up a whole new ecosystem around communities and commerce. To localise and (to use a 90s term) tribalise the global market. Our third influence will be to make many functions of a normal bank irrelevant. And no, I’m not joking.”
You can make up this question yourself!
What would you like to do in the future?
“Invent the warp drive, a TARDIS and/or meet an alien species. Been a personal dream of mine since I was four. Oh, and to become a Jedi Knight.”
As an artist at heart I’ll point you to WebCanvas . Nice, friendly guys with a fun idea.
Glad you mention them Kristoffer, as we wrote about them just this month. Read the article here.
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