Henrik Berggren is co founder of Readmill, a slickly designed social reading platform for iPad and iPhone.
1. What convinced you that future of reading should be social?
I actually never felt that I was convinced. It felt very natural that books, just like music & photos would be very powerful in a social context. Books has always connected people together and now that reading goes digital there is an opportunity to do this in new, effective and more fun ways.
2. The most noticeable feature of the Readmill platform is the focus on user experience and design – has design always come first?
I take no credit for this at all. My co-founder David is one of the best designers i’ve ever met and he knew what we wanted to do from the start. I think that books deserve a great experience and it makes sense also, the better the experience the more people read. Which is exactly what we want to accomplish.
3. Earlier this year you brought out an iPhone version – I gather you hadn’t expected there to be such a need for this at the outset, are you happy with the reaction to it? And are you looking at other platforms?
Its astonishing how fast the world has changed in terms of being comfortable to read on small devices. We started with the iPad because we were sure that it was the primary way people would read in the future. And to some extent it still is but we had no idea that so many people would read so much on their phones.
We want to bring Readmill to all devices going forward. The growth of Android has been surprising to all of us and we are working hard to bring Readmill to more platforms than just iOS.
4. You’re part of a thriving bookish startup scene in Berlin, what do you think of the city as your base of operations?
We could not have chosen a better place then Berlin to do this. It has a unique mix of creatives, great engineering talent and lots of space which makes it a great place to grow a company in. And it seems like more and more startups around reading & books are gathering which we couldn’t be happier about.
5. Craig Mod wrote recently on GigaOM about a his dream parallel universe reality where rather than join Amazon, Goodreads hooked up with yourselves – do you see partnerships as being important as Readmill grows?
Craig only missed one thing in that article, we’re not for sale. Our goal with Readmill is to build a sustainable company that is being used by millions of people every day. When people think about reading they should think Readmill.
But yes, partnerships are very important, for us that means working with as many book stores possible all around the world. We now support over 60 book stores that consumers are using every week and our Send to Readmill button is shown to over 1M book buyers a month. We’re extremely proud to be working with the people behind these great brands.