Inspiration from reading a wonderful book or even a succinct passage can change your life. That’s why so many of us underline, scribble notes, and mark the elements of a book that most affect us. Ebooks allow you to do this of course, but there hasn’t been a way to share thoughts, these personal notes, or underlined passages before. That is, until now.
Berlin based startup Readmill is a social platform for readers whereby users can share passages with each other, see what other users are reading, and share notes. It also allows readers to share all of this via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Founder and CEO Henrik Berggren is a passionate individual who has been working hard at making the Readmill experience an awesome one.
It’s a really cool idea and I, for one, love that something like this exists. Finally!
We had a chance to speak to Berggren about Readmill recently and he’s what he shared with us.
What specific impact do you think Readmill will have on readers?
Readmill makes the whole reading experience more connected, streamlined and enjoyable. Readmill is a place to store all of your books and the highlights you make inside of them, as well as a list of books that you want to read in the future. You can connect with likeminded readers and share the books you’re reading, discover new books and start conversations around highlights. Readmill creates a great reading experience which is not only digital but also social.
How do you think the social element of Readmill impacts the users and community?
The great thing about Readmill is that you can connect to friends through your existing social networks, as well as like minded readers within the Readmill community. We also enable readers to connect with authors and other influencers, to extend their amount of social activity. These things help you discuss and discover books you love and get the most out of your reading experience.
How did your experience at SoundCloud affect how you’re approaching Readmill?
In a lot of ways. Working alongside Eric & Alex so early in the SoundCloud days taught me how to run a product team in a good way, how to get traction for a platform that didn’t have any users and how to get people excited about what we are doing. They both have a unique way of approaching these challenges and that has surely contributed to their success.
What’s the demographic of a typical Readmill user?
Anyone can read via Readmill as it’s both simple and enjoyable to use -anyone you loves reading basically!
Why do you think Berlin is such an attractive location for startups?
It’s got a great energy and creative vibe, plus culturally it’s very diverse, which is a great mix.
What’s the best thing about Berlin that most people don’t know about or have yet to understand?
That people from all over the world wants to live here. This means that relocating great talent is easier than anywhere else.
If you only had 48 hours in Berlin, what would you do and where would you go?
Oh wow. I would start by having breakfast at Sankt Oberholz, it’s a great way of catching the vibe of the city. Then I would bike all the way to Teufelsberg which is an abandoned Nazi spy station built by Albert Speer.
In the afternoon I would hang out at Tempelhof before grabbing a Döner in Kreuzberg on my way back to Mitte. Rest for a few hours before grabbing a drink at Odessa Bar and then, of course, go down to Friedrichshain and try and get in to the best club in the world, The Berghain.
What has been the most challenging aspect of Readmill that you didn’t anticipate at launch?
Solving discovery. We’re still not there but I think the Send to Readmill button that we now have at over 30 stores all around the web is a great step forward.
What’s the worst piece of advice someone gave you when you were in the process of preparing Readmill for launch?
“Don’t raise too much money.”
Do you think Germany provides an ideal environment for launching a startup?
Absolutely not. But our presence here hopefully helps to improve the climate.
How do you like to relax and unwind when you’re able to step away from Readmill?
Read a great book of course!
Are there any new developments with Readmill that you could share with our readers?
We’re super excited to be launching support for lots of new formats this week. For our users this means that can now shop in many new stores and send those books straight to Readmill.
Our network of readers and retailers is becoming very powerful.
How can our readers get in touch with you?
Our Twitter is the best way!