Mikkel Svane From Zendesk On Industry Megatrends And Practical Startup Advice

Here is a story and startup advice from Zendesk, a “startup” from Denmark that has over 25 000 enterprise customers, serving over 100 million people which has raised over $85 million dollars in VC money and has possible plans for IPO this year.

At this years Arctic15, organized by ArcticStartup, Mikkel Svane shared an amazing story of how the company was started over wine and cigarettes The presentation is filled with inspiration from the Zendesk journey that also aims to provide you with some insight of how to build your own startup. Svane also shares his thoughts on the megatrends in the industry as well as the key principles that you can apply to your startup. Without further adieu here is the video:

If you have by now realized that we are going to release every Arctic15 speaker video on our Youtube channel (Feel free to subscribe), then you were definitely waiting for this one. 

Svane talks about how they made the choice to start Zendesk and how each of the founders was at the point of their lives where if they did not do something then, they would never do it. So if you are thinking about bringing your idea to life, the only way to find out what that it is like is to put away your fears and jump straight in. 


The presentation also talks about how difficult the first couple of months or years can be and how important it is to keep at it, while trying to keep the team together. The story talks about the pitfalls and hardships of looking for funding and how the company was started thanks to an FFF round (Friends, Family and Other Fools).

Zendesk is not only shaped by the idea but also by the megatrends in the industry such as the consumerization of IT, the move to the cloud, new pricing models, availability of devices and the social media paradigm. In the video, these are addressed in detail.

Finally we get an insight into the principles behind Zendesk that you can apply to your company. The core value, philosophy and principle was coined by one of the founders of Zendesk - Alexander Aghassipour (Now the Chief Product Officer) and is known in the company as “Beautifully Simple”.

The discussion around this concept leads to a realization how this can be applied to any part of the company and any action within it. From talking to customers to putting together presentation slides to designing the working space.

This video of a speech given by Mikkel Svane from Zendesk is a part of a part of a series of videos from last years Arctic15. The other videos that we have already published are: 


From Forgery To Success: Speaker Video with Niklas Adalberth of Klarna

Confessions And Advice Of Venture Capitalists: Accel Partners, Creandum And Rubylight

Don't Be An Entrepreneur - Interview with Phil Libin From Evernote

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