TheeBlog Q&A Sessions: NALDEN/WeTransfer

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We’ve all been there. Client asks you to email files so they can share it with their spouses and cats. Problem is, your files are too large to be emailed and you need to send them stat! Worry not friends, there’s an easy, sexy, cool and free way to get this done! It’s called WeTransfer and it rocks! To put it simple, it’s a file transfer site that allows you to email up to 2GB files FREE while providing a sweet dose of eye candy. I had the pleasure of virtually meeting Nalden, creator of WeTransfer not too long ago and because I LOVE his product so much and I recommend it to everyone I meet, I thought it would be a good idea to invite him and chat a bit about the inspiration behind the site, how it all works and why not, his world-domination goals and future projects.

Check out Nalden’s interview below and if you’re still not using WeTransfer, I strongly suggest you switch, test it, love it and share it :) You’ll thank me later!

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Allow me to begin by thanking you for accepting my invitation and taking the time to chat and answer a few questions about WeTransfer. Welcome!
Yeah! Let’s do this! 

Could you please introduce yourself? Tell us a little about your background?
I guess it all started with my blog, nalden.net, which is my playground since I was 16. 10 years ago I built the blog and started sharing my enthusiasm on stuff I like. Over the years the blog evolved to an alternative platform for creative people, artists and brands to be seen & heard. All on the premise of my positive enthusiasm and sharing the stories that excites me. 

Because I didn’t like banner advertising, I started experimenting with full screen advertising via Wallpapers. Challenging brands to be visually creative and make sure people actually like the ‘ads’. This worked out pretty well and within 6 months I was able to make a living with doing the blog. It’s non-obtrusive advertising exactly the way I like it. I love branding, so the right brands can get in and show what their made of. My visitors, who I consider future friends, are like me and love to download these wallpapers to put them on their desktop of whatever device they carry. To me, that’s about connecting brands with fans. And this is where my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in haha. 

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Another great effect of the blog was the fact it automatically attracts like-minded people. A lot of my new friends I know because of this. Based on postive thoughts and the same interest this resulted also in new businesses. While I was slowly becoming my own ‘brand’ I started a simple file transfer service with a friend of mine. We scaled the full screen business model of my blog, and made the service as easy as possible, so my dad was able to use it. 1,5 years later we have 6 million unique people using WeTransfer. What’s even more interesting, is the fact the advertising model got noticed by the big brands and agencies. Slowly it’s becoming the model is maturing and at one point even an IAB standard haha. That would be rad. 

Either way, that’s the mission of my next startup called Kuvva. To turn dead space into creative space and remove the banner from the internet. We think we are able to provide in an alternative way to provide people with relevant ads they start to like. Being independent, it’s a long bumpy road, but that’s the only way to find out if you’re a true entrepreneur right? 

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In your own words, describe WeTransfer?
It’s the easies way to send files. No sign up, no bull shit banner ads, no subscription. It’s free & easy to use.

How or when did you decide to launch this project? What inspired it?
It was launched in the winter of 2009. Me and my friend Bas Beerens wanted to make file transferring easy and sexy. He liked the business model of my blog, so we started from here. Inspriation came from the fact there was no decent file transfer service. I mean, Yousendit isn’t really consired a good option right?

WeTransfer’s fresh emphasis on design, photography and pleasant aesthetics has made a difference in a corporate-dominated file transfer field and given users a newer, cooler way to send and receive documents. Was this the idea from the start?
Yes haha. That was exactly the idea. Plus the fact it’s so easy to use. It’s build for my dad. 

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How hard/easy was to have advertisers comply with a clean, simple ‘ad’ (background) when most companies try to fit their entire timeline, services and products in a single banner?
It’s an educational process we’re not finished with. But more & more brands understand the value of a good full screen ad. It’s like a billboard. And when they see the results in CTR they are more than happy haha. 

At first, it seemed mostly designers and people in creative fields were using the service, but now more and more people and companies have adopted WeTransfer as THEE way to send files. In fact, I’ve been on business meetings and clients/partners have said ‘WeTransfer me the presentation’. Did you ever think your project would become so popular that people would adopt the name as part of their business dialect?
Haha we never expected that. It’s really cool when your service becomes a verb. I’m really happy so many people prefer to use WeTransfer and we’ll keep innovating to keep the service stable and easy to use. It’s hard not to come up with too many features and keep the service as simple as it is. Many startups loose their focus that way. 

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So, for those out there who might not be too familiar with the process, how does it all work?
You go to www.wetransfer.com, select the files you want to send, insert the emails of your contacts and if neccesary start writing a note. When you’re done you click transfer and while you transfer your files into the cloud, we’ll serve you great wallpaper ads to look at. And when you like it, you’ll click on them. We’ll also send you a notification via mail when your contact has downloaded the files you’ve send them. 

Why 2GB when other sites only offer 100MB or less? (THANK YOU for this btw!)
Most browsers are limited to 2GB otherwise it would have been more. 

Speaking of other sites, how has the competition handled the site’s successful rise?
We’ve had some scaling issues, but since we’re running on Amazon Web Service, it’s been stable. Internally we are growing too as a company which is a great experience. It’s all about tweaking, improving and experimenting with different sides of the business, whether it’s sales, product development or PR. 

Are there any new features, plans or additions in the works?
Yeah, we are working on WeTransfer Plus. We are looking into offering new features for premium account adding value. Think about hosting your files the easy way. The WeTransfer way. We also finally get rid of Flash. Hopefully the new version will be live before 2012 ;)

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What’s your goal for WeTransfer?

Become the no1 file transfer service in the world 

Thank you again for your time Mr. Nalden (and for saving me hours of uploading & editing when sending files) It’s been a treat and I hope to have you back soon – perhaps launching a new site? THANK YOU!
Mos’definetely. Checkout www.kuvva.com

It’s a new project based on the experiences learned from both my blog and WeTransfer. With Kuvva we want to turn dead space into creative / media space. It’s a long tail strategy with in the end a trustworhy alternative for Google Adwords :) 

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One comment
  1. LOL it’s like you can read our minds. I use and abuse this site daily and it’s great to learn about it from the source :P Thanks

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