4 Questions 4: Danielle Reid (Sterio.me / Capsule.fm)

Time for another 4Q4: Danielle Reid, who currently works on two startups, Sterio.me and Capsule.fm.

1) You’re originally from “Stralya”. Now you’re in Santiago, before you were in Berlin and at some time before that also in Delft/Rotterdam and Guernsey. Sterio.me, one of the startups you are involved in now got started in Zimbabwe and has Lesotho as it’s first pilot market. Do you sometimes start to think it would be nice to stay in one place for some longer time now? 😉

I think you would get along well with my mum. 😉
There are pros and cons associated with living and working in different locations. Personally, I get energy from visiting and living in new cities. I think it gives a deeper understanding of a range of cultures, behaviors and mentalities, which as a whole, form a deeper understanding of how your company can achieve product-market fit and build a relevant and beautiful solutions suited to your users. I am, however ready to stay in a place for a longer period of time, as stability provides freedom of thought to focus on solving a problem, as well as building a great team.

2) Taking both Capsule.fm, the other startup you are involved in, and Sterio.me together, you participated in quite a few accelerator programs: Hubraum and Startup Bootcamp in Berlin, the (Qatari) WISE accelerator and Startup Chile. You’re also a mentor at SBC. What makes the difference between a good accelerator and a bad one?

Whether an accelerator is good or bad (or right for your startup) depends on your current needs as an early stage company, whether they involve funding, building a network, mentorship, bringing together your team or building a reputable profile. Depending on those requirements, there are great and not as great accelerators; the best being the accelerators who listen to those defined needs and support you in achieving those specific goals. The best accelerators are the ones with diverse, reputable networks of “A-Plus Players”, who support the accelerator because they want to see you succeed, rather than enter with superficial desires to elevate their own personal or professional profile.

3) Sterio.me seems to be a big success with startup competitions, winning awards and so on. How difficult is it to “translate” that into further progress for the startup?

Translating the awards into tangible milestones can be difficult, however there is a lot of merit when you can convert the reputation into partnerships and key hires. They are also great motivators to our team and make us all determined to work even harder. They’ve helped us build out our team with amazing employees across the world, including award-winning data and computer scientists.

4) The Early Edition app by Capsule.fm already reached top positions in the rankings of paid apps in many countries, despite not having a huge marketing budget (as far as I know). What’s next for Capsule.fm?

Capsule.fm launched without any marketing budget. Because the idea is so simple and intriguing (as well as thanks to support from our networks) it picked up a lot of press, helping drive downloads. With technologies such as Natural Language Processing, Text-to-Speech and Machine Learning improving, as well as human behavior adapting to crave and expect contextually relevant and personalized content, plus the fact that wearables and the internet of things are becoming much more integrated into our lives, the landscape is paved for Capsule.fm. Our AI characters are getting smarter, funnier and learning more everyday – including even new languages. We’re also constantly working on sources to integrate so that listening is specific to tastes, as well as exploring how to make Capsule.fm follows seamlessly through the different parts of your day, from bed to work to the car and back home and beyond.

Germany’s football (soccer) team only managed to get a 2:2 draw versus Australia tonight – quite disappointing! 😛 – but anyways, thanks to Danielle for these answers!