“The Danish startup ecosystem is pretty unique in the way that events like Nordic Growth Hackers gather us all and feed the ecosystem with even more value. These takeaways could take years for us to discover on our own, and being open about our growth successes and failures benefits all of us,” says Geniebelt CTO Nikolaj Berntsen.

Read below exactly how the construction project management tool Geniebelt will use the inspiration that CTO Nikolaj Berntsen got from each of the speakers at NGH#7. It’s about Geniebelt’s pricing model – and much more.

David Helgason, Founder, Unity

A lot of perseverance and luck regarding timing allowed them to launch a game engine for iPhone as the first and they owned that blue ocean (puddle, really) long enough to become the shark in the red ocean it became. They started as a game company and succeeded as a game engine company.

Takeaway: Keep an open mind and watchful eye on opportunities

We are strong on perseverance, our “lucky timing” seems to be not too far off, we need to be open-minded about the opportunities.

Asbjoern Soendergaard, Founder, Tactile Entertainment:

Gaining experience from the ads in their own games they saw an opportunity to make ad tech for mobile.

Takeaway: An even more open mind

Be extremely open-minded about what opportunities we sense while working with construction on planning. For us, portfolio’s might be one such thing. Mobile Gantt or Mobile Location-based planning might be other such opportunities.

Janek Borgmann, CEO, Penneo

Switching from having the customer paying per signature (friction of use) to subscriptions (perceived value after buy) created more usage of the product.

Take away: Been there, done that

I think we already have identified same tactics.

Morten Ebbesen, Founder, Siteimprove

Admirable self-funded growth based on cold calling alone. No clients perceive they need their solution, so no inbound sales.

Growth technique is establishing independent companies as subsidiaries (100% owned by mother company) and optimizing that process.

A subsidiary usually returns investment after 7 months. To realise the consistent impressive growth they set ambitious 5 year goals (e.g. $100 mln. revenue) and invest all their revenue in growth.

Takeaway: Let’s talk to that recruiter

Subsidiaries in other countries are liked by public customers since they pay local tax, have local info on invoices. Inhibitory to growth was their bad sales hunters hires (had to fire 3 out of 4).

Solution was hiring a recruiter which doubled also trained the new hires in sales and product.

The recruiter found that testing for the “competitive personality” improved hit rate on recruiting. Probably not a bad person for us to hook up with and share experiences.

Martin Leblanc, Founder, Iconfinder

Beautiful story about how finding the right sales model, changing from a staircase growth cycle (little improvement lifts revenue, but it stagnates until next innovation on product or marketing effort) to a continuous (linear) growth phase.

They went from an old fashioned model of depositing money with them to get credits to download icons, to – first – a subscription model with plans that simultanuously scaled both users and download rate – and then – to two very simple plans:

One so cheap ($9/month) that designers often even did not bother to get the money from the bosses, but paid themselves, and a slightly more expensive one ($29/month) with unlimited downloads.

Anecdotally they once doubled the price per icon and saw no downside of that doubling, but they did not pursue it further since they moved to subscriptions.

It sounds like a simple decision to make, but they went through an extensive phase of gathering input from customers in order to realise that they had not one, but three different customer archetypes who have different pains for payments.

Takeaway: Inspiration for our next pricing model

We’re likely to iterate our payment model. Can we make a “cheap” plan that can drive viral growth?

Gert Sylvest, Co-founder, Tradeshift

Initially they sold a digital invoice integration solution and directed attention towards CPO’s (P=procurement).

Their ambition was much bigger – a platform/network for companies to make business through, so they needed to move up the value chain to CEO level.

They now have have 50% of Fortune 100 companies on their network, and the big companies that have joined have forced their suppliers to join the network as well.

Fortune 500 CEOs can be hard to reach so they used physical network events (a few big conferences) to network and get within reach. Of course being profiled in huge magazines like Time helped a lot as well.

Takeaway: How to target top CEO’s

Very interesting company and sales cycle and journey very similar to our own.

I have hooked up with Gert – who used to be CTO as well – and I think it might be a good idea to also move closer to their CEO to see if we can find synergies – though they do not have that many construction companies presently in their network.

With the CEO angle, our marketing should pursue getting into big magazines, and have a significant presence at huge conferences.

Nordic Growth Hackers