Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Why you should be drinking tap water




I’m on a mission and this time it’s not about mobile apps or technology. My mission is to half the consumption of bottled water waste in the home in 10 years. This means a reduction of over 4 billion plastic bottle waste per year and about €1.2Bn in money saved in Spain alone. 

Every mission has a story and mine begins in beautiful Barcelona where I moved 10 years ago. A couple of years ago I started questioning why I and so many people buy bottled water in Spain and other Mediterranean countries. I’m from Sweden where we are used to drinking tap water and I was tired of carrying home the bottles and seeing the plastic waste build up every day. I had tried out the Brita carafe but didn’t think the taste was good enough and thought the filtering process took too long. There must be a better solution. As an entrepreneur I see opportunities with every problem and here was a huge problem to solve.

So I started researching and realised three important things:
1. The tap water in Spain is generally of very high quality but simply just tastes bad due to chlorine
2. There is great existing technology in the form of granular activated carbon to filter out chlorine from tap water
3. Plastic bottles are a huge burden on the environment and completely unnecessary for most homes


So why should you switch to tap water?

It’s healthier for you
Don’t take my word for this. The World Health Organization, water institutes around the world and doctors frequently publish reports stating that tap water is safer or as safe as bottled water for your health. Read more about the facts of tap water in my next blog..

Better for the environment
It takes about 2-3 liters of water to produce every liter of bottled water. Although PET is an improvement from previous plastics, most bottles never get recycled and end up in landfills or the oceans. Add to that transportation and it gets even worse.

Taste
Yes, the tap water in large parts of Spain and other Mediterranean countries tastes bad. However, the bad taste can easily be removed through several methods including filters, tablets and adding citrus fruits. According to several blind tests 9 out of 10 people cannot taste the difference between filtered and bottled water. And if you prefer sparkling water just buy a soda streamer or similar product.

Convenience
Unlimited fresh water from the tap whenever you need it for drinking, cooking, coffee, tea or watering of sensitive plants. With Tapp Water you get reminded whenever you need to replace the filter. And just buy a nice refillable bottle and you will have tap water with you anywhere.

Save money
The cost of tap water is usually less than 1/300 of bottled water. The cost of filtered water when taking into account the cost of the filter and replacements throughout the year is less than 1/20 of bottled water depending on the volume of consumption.






What kind of filter should I get?

The Brita carafe is the most popular water filter in Spain followed by reverse osmosis filters installed under the sink. I wanted to see if there was a simpler alternative though and after 2 years of testing and product development we launched TAPP 1 in the spring of 2016 as the first home filter focused on taste and convenience. It’s not the only product on the market but we think it’s one of the best based on cost and water quality. The filter uses granular active carbon, works on at least 90% of all faucets and is replaced every 2-3 months. Find out more and buy from http://tappwater.co


Now the next big challenge is convincing other people to shift from bottles to tap water. This won't be easy but few missions are. I need your help. Whether you use TAPP or another filter, help reduce plastic waste and save money.



Fore more facts about drinking water see Facts and insights about tap water.

Job Opening: Online Marketing, Tapp Water

Tapp Water Job Opening, 2016-12-28, Barcelona, Spain

Role: Online Marketing Assistant

Description
We are looking for a Marketing Assistant for our start-up in stealth mode, located in Barcelona. We are developing and selling tap water filters that save money, offer convenience and have a big positive impact on the environment. The company has been founded by two successful international entrepreneurs.

Come and join us and create something big from day 1.


Main responsibilities
You will be part of the marketing team responsible for driving online sales through advertising, social, eCommerce partners (e.g. Amazon) and supporting direct retail sales through markets, retail stores, hairdressers, beauty stores, pop-up stores and other partners.
  • Create content for the website, newsletters, social media and campaigns
  • Be the expert of our customers. Learn and spread the knowledge about tap water and water filters.
  • Provide feedback to the product team about the products and marketing material

Requirements
We’re looking for a person that loves marketing, creating content and constantly optimising the content based on results and data. As with any start-up we all do a bit of everything and we learn along the way but you need to know the basic which means:
  • Experience of selling products and marketing of consumer products online
  • Writing professional website content, newsletters and blogs
  • Creating adverts and campaigns
  • Basic knowledge of design tools
  • Knowledge of marketing through Facebook, Google, Instagram and other online channels
  • Ability to quickly learn about new products and services and find the best way of selling them online
  • Culture fit: fast paced, good communicator, problem solver, self-starter, analytical
  • Native/Fluent Spanish. Advanced English

It is a plus, if you bring the following
  • Experience of sales through amazon
  • Optimisation of ecommerce websites
  • Video content creation
Benefits
Beside of basic salary, we offer
  • Be part of something that will make the world a better place
  • A real impact on company performance and growth
  • Great and friendly start-up culture and work environment
  • Possibility to work remotely from time to time

Location
Barcelona

About Tapp Water
TAPP Water is a company proving solutions to make tap water clean, tasty and good for your thirst, skin and hair. Our goal is to provide customers with clean and safe water. The filters remove about 99% of bacterial contaminants and gradients from tap water, providing fresh, clean and pure water. They also provide better tasting and better smelling water. The company based in Barcelona, Spain was started September 2015 and launched the first product in June 2016.

Contact: info@tappwater.co

Job Opening - Market & Retail Sales, Tapp Water

Tapp Water Job Opening, 2016-12-28, Barcelona, Spain

Role: Direct Sales

Description
We are looking for a sales person to join our start-up in stealth mode, located in Barcelona. Tapp Water develops and sells tap water filters that save money, offer convenience and have a big positive impact on the environment. The company has been founded by two successful international entrepreneurs.

Come and join us and create something big from day 1.

Main responsibilities
You will be responsible for sales through markets, retail stores, hairdressers, beauty stores, pop-up stores and other partners. Basically face-to-face sales.
  • Create, plan and manage direct sales in Spain and potentially later for other European markets
  • Spend at least 3-4 days per week with face to face sales in markets, retail stores, pop-up stores, finding retail partners and other direct sales activities
  • Be the expert of our customers. Learn and spread the knowledge about tap water and water filters.
  • Provide feedback to the product team about the products and marketing material
Requirements
We’re looking for a person that loves selling, talking to people and closing deals. As with any start-up we all do a bit of everything and we learn along the way but you need to know the basic which means:
  • Experience of selling consumer products in markets, street sales, retail stores, pop-up stores and more
  • Ability to quickly learn about new products and services and find the best way of selling them face to face
  • Culture fit: fast paced, good communicator, problem solver, self-starter, analytical
  • Native/Fluent Spanish. Basic English

It is a plus, if you bring the following
  • Planning and setting up market stands
  • Channel sales
  • Water knowledge product and experience
Benefits
Beside of basic salary and sales commission, we offer
  • Be part of something that will make the world a better place
  • A real impact on company performance and growth
  • Great and friendly start-up culture and work environment
  • Possibility to work remotely from time to time

Location
Barcelona, Spain

About Tapp Water
TAPP Water is a company proving solutions to make tap water clean, tasty and good for your thirst, skin and hair. Our goal is to provide customers with clean and safe water. The filters remove about 99% of bacterial contaminants and gradients from tap water, providing fresh, clean and pure water. They also provide better tasting and better smelling water. The company based in Barcelona, Spain was started September 2015 and launched the first product in June 2016.

Contact: Info@tappwater.co

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The sharepreneur




Over the past 18 years I've been fortunate enough to be part of starting at least 8 companies whereof some pretty successful. I've also published well over 200 articles and blogs on behalf of myself, Golden Gekko and DMI sharing insights and learnings during this time.

This blog is my attempt to give back, share thoughts and ideas for feedback and to present some of my latest ventures. I've republished some of my older blogs and topics here as well.

Enjoy and please give me feedback.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Survey of Tapp Water website

Tapp water strives to reduce plastic waste by replacing bottled water with simple to use, convenient and cost-saving water filters.

We are working on improving the conversion rate for visitors to our website. The survey is available on Survey Monkey (to be published soon) and includes the following ads and images.









Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Recruitment strategy for start-ups



It's been a few years since the last blog update but as I was responding to a question from a friend about recruitment strategies I thought this could be interesting to share.

The recruitment strategy for a startup depends a lot on the role and your conditions (location, salary, industry, etc) but simply put every startup with more than 20 employees really needs to focus on employing the best people available for each job. This means going through 100s of CVs, interviewing lots of candidates and finally narrow it down to a few top candidates. The hiring criteria then comes down to a combination of the following:

1. Skills and experience for the job - CV, references, test the skills
2. Ability to grow / develop in the role - This is almost always a top criteria and probably where I've done the most mistakes when recruiting
3. Will this person love the job - this is one of my top criteria as we want people that are passionate about the job and company
4. Cost / location - who can we hire for the budget that we have and the location Other than this, it's a matter of having a great mix of people that complement each other. So it's that easy? Not at all, I've made huge mistakes in the past:
* Hired people too fast because we needed more people and they happened to be available
* Hired people without having enough candidates to a job
* Waited too long to hire more senior people both in commercial and development (which was partially due to budget constraints)
* Hired lots of junior people in sales to complement the more senior people which completely failed what we actually needed was more independent people
* In some instances we focused on quantity rather than quality which was a huge mistake in retrospect. 

In summary we are constantly learning and I think this is the most important thing in the end.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Hiring the people that will outsmart us

The second person I ever hired was an alcoholic
In my first job as a manager at the age of 25 I hired about 20 people in one year. At the time it was all about filling headcounts with nice people that could sell themselves to me. As long as they had great social skills I was less worried about qualifications, background checks and actual ability to do the job. I ended up hiring alcoholics, mentally ill and people that simply lacked any ability to do the job. After this experience I took a break from management and worked as a consultant for 3 years. During this time I learned the value of working with truly great people. A great programmer could produce 10 times as much in the same time as the average person and one single great sales person could mean the difference between success and total failure for a smaller company.

Who are the best people?
My ambition since then has always been to find the truly best people I can get for any particular job. Best to me doesn't mean the most renown university education, highest paid, most work experience or that everyone has previously worked at McKinsey. Best simply means that the person has one or more skills where they exceed everyone else in the company and most people in their own area of expertise. I want people that are brighter, faster, more quality conscious, better leaders, more socially skilled, better negotiators, have bigger networks, smarter engineers or more innovative than myself, our existing team and our competitors. It's all about building a team that will together contribute to making the companies the best and most innovative at what they do.

Managing people that are smarter than you
But how can you manage people that are better and smarter than yourselves? This is certainly a challenge in many ways. The first couple of times employees criticised my decisions for being stupid, the company strategy for being wrong or the work I produced for lacking quality or edge I got really upset and tried to defend myself even if I knew that the criticism was spot on. I figured that the only way I could remain the leader and role model was if the perception was that everything I did was great and always the best for the company.

Soon I realised however that getting constructive criticism and feedback from the team was the best thing I could wish for. It should be encouraged and being a role model is not about always being right but rather about taking advice from other people that are smarter than you.

The next challenge is to get the smartest people to work together as a team but that's a story for another day...