Magnetize Your Best Instagram Pics With Picpack
At this point we’ve all seen what beautiful, beautiful images come out of Instagram. If it bums you out that they’re only really viewable online (unless you’re super old school and print them out at the photo shop… People still do that, right?), check out Picpack. This boot-strapped lean startup is aiming to get your best photos off the web and into the physical world by turning them into beautiful magnets.
Sounds like a great decorating or gift idea to me. Co-founder Jakob Fricke is super pumped about what they’re doing over there in Berlin and took some time away from his company and his full time job to share his experiences with us here at KillerStartups.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
A couple of months ago we were looking for a name that would suit our idea of selling packs of pics. If you order your pack of magnets on getpicpack.com, it would always contain twelve pics, printed on high quality magnets. Thus, it was a quite obvious pick for us to choose Picpack as the name, since it describes exactly what we do: sell pics in packs.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
I check my mail, all the new Picpack orders from the night and I try to catch up [with]what happened in the rest of the world…
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
Picpack is run and co-founded by Thomas Albrecht, Tadas Ščerbinskas and me.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
For us, since Picpack is bootstrapped and mainly developed on the weekends, it was really important to keep focus all the time. I also wrote a blogpost about our experiences and on launching a bootstrapped project successfully.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
Normally I don’t get frustrated too easily… sometimes I’m a little bit impatient… I want to move even faster, speed the development of Picpack even more up. But with only limited time I’ve to accept the growth rates which we have at the moment. Although we have a pretty good growth rate, sometimes I want to achieve even more. I think there’s still so much untouched potential.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumpin’ away to house music or is it more traditional?
Oh, we have a completely uncommon setup. We are basically a virtual company, since the three of us still have full time jobs at other companies. We communicate and organize a lot via mail and instant messaging. From time to time we meet up in one of our apartments or at a café.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
We are definitely aiming to turn Picpack into a marketplace for Packs. A pack would always contain twelve pictures and is orderabl,e e.g as a pack of magnets. We have so many friends which are artists, illustrators, photographers which are looking for ways to sell their work online, but don’t have a place to do it yet.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food? Give us the deets, dude!
I’m definitely inspired by Steve Jobs and his ultimate possesion of building great products. As of entrepreneurs I would highly recommend Jessica Livingstons interviews with a bunch of successful founders from the States. I’m also really inspired by the work from Oliver Reichenstein and his team from Information Architects.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, man?
We are 100% and proudly bootstrapped.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Shortly after we launched, I published an article about our experience launching a bootstrapped project, so most of the stuff we learned building Picpack can be found there. To sum it up, the most important lessons we learned are: (1) outsource everything which is not core, no matter if it’s business or technical stuff (2) If possible build on top of APIs and ecosystems and most important (3) focus, laser sharp focus! Do as little as you can – but if you do it, do it as good as you can. Or to put it with the words of Don Linn: “Minimum viable product is okay. Minimum viable effort is not.”
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your currently startup / projects)
Good question! Probably I would start to invest myself. Here in Berlin are so many fascinating companies and entrepreneurs and I would really love to help them make a business with my money and my experience.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
I’d let the others choose if they consider me successful or not. Actually I don’t really care. — I really care about building a kick ass product and delivering the best service to our users.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
I guess without checking Google Reader every morning, I would miss a lot of really entertaining, educating and inspiring post from the net.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
Ha, first of all — surprise — Instagram. I think what Kevin and Mike, the co-founders of Instagram, accomplished in this short period is really stunning. I also like Readmill a lot. It’s definitely the best digital reading experience for books. Another app I won’t miss is iA Writer.
Dogs or cats?
Mh, I don’t care… but I guess my girlfriend would vote for a dog, haha.
iOS or Android?
The first computer at my parents house was an Apple Cube. Since then I’m stuck to Apple, so the answer is quite obvious iOS.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website/idea?
First of all, the greatest thing about Picpack are our customers! Everyday I’m really happy about every single order which is placed.
And we are really eager to build an awesome service to justify the trust they placed in us.
Secondly, I really enjoy working together with Thomas and Tadas. They are great guys and we share the same vision…
Where can our readers get ahold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog? Any other projects you’re working on that we should check out?
Make sure you follow our blog, where we constantly post interesting articles and interviews about mobile photography and the Instagram world. Our Twitter account and our Facebook page are a great way to stay up to date. My personal Twitter account is @jakobfricke.