by Mila Nikolova
Published on 2 December 2013
2 December 2013 - We asked Ulrik Bo Larsen, Founder and CEO of Falcon Social, a few questions about his company and his view of the markets they serve.
GetApp: How would you describe your role in the company?
Ulrik Larsen: I am the Founder & CEO. I started the company in 2010 after working on several projects at the intersection of marketing and technology. At my last venture, a digital marketing agency, I was focused on creating data-driven social campaigns and that experience has served as the foundation for much of what Falcon is today.
GetApp: Can you briefly present your management team?
Ulrik Larsen: We recruit and employ the best possible talent from all over the world. This approach applies to our department heads-sales, customer success, marketing, research and development, operations-who represent a handful of our 27 combined nationalities.
GetApp: How does your solution differentiate from the products and services offered by competitors?
Ulrik Larsen: These days we see a lot of singularly focused social media products that are struggling to stay alive. They are either going bankrupt or getting acquired by the larger enterprise software players. Developing a mash-up product through acquisition usually results in what we refer to as the "frankensuite" model.
At Falcon Social, however, we're focused on creating a seamless user experience, where all the built-in features work together. This is extremely important when planning for a high adoption rate. Right now the majority of our customers come from large organizations with lots of internal departments and external partner agencies. They all rely on our platform to scale with their needs and deliver a consistent experience.
GetApp: Why do you think your customer buy from you?
Ulrik Larsen: I think we offer the most compelling package in terms of a unified, scalable platform that provides outstanding support.
Falcon Social was designed to start broad, assessing all the necessary components of successful social media management, and get tighter and more focused with each iteration. We're doing it right now with our Listening product, which is getting a major boost in terms of available data sources, custom filtering, and visual breakdowns by project and topic.
In addition to our management and listening capabilities, we also see a lot of interest in our governance model. Within large organizations social media is widely accessed by members of multiple business units, and our built-in permissions layer takes this into account. From our platform team leaders can assign tasks to different users or departments, issue approvals or feedback, manage default target settings, and know who said what, when on behalf of the brand. This detailed audit trail is becoming increasingly important as companies are looking for ways to increase collaboration, while simultaneously ensuring compliance.
And last but not least, we pay close attention to detail. Every pixel matters. Every support ticket matters. We take pride in knowing that our platform is simple and easy to use; and we're there to help customers every step of the way, from onboarding presentations to webinars and more.
GetApp: Can you mention some of your key clients?
Ulrik Larsen: We're currently working with over 200 enterprise clients, including Carlsberg, KNVB, Pandora, Orangina Schweppes, Deutsche Telekom, Warner Music, Conde Nast, First Hotel Group and many more.
GetApp: Which technology company do you most admire, and why?
Ulrik Larsen: I really admire what Elon Musk has been able to build-both Tesla and SpaceX. As an entrepreneur you have to respect his vision and drive. Technology still lives in the abstract for most people, so convincing them to believe in something that isn't tangible for several years down the road is a huge accomplishment. And doing it twice? Amazing.
GetApp: What thought leaders do you pay attention when shaping your vision for the future in cloud computing?
Ulrik Larsen: That's a tough question. Jeff Weiner and Ben Horowitz come to mind. I appreciate their candor and wisdom. Both guys have a deep understanding of technology, cloud-based or not, so I pay attention when they offer advice.
Being based in Copenhagen has a lot of perks, especially when it comes to international recruitment, but we're a long way from important ecosystems such as Silicon Valley and we have aspirations to become a global company. Same goes for New York; I keep tabs on industry activity and new product developments there too.
GetApp: What are the top three software tools you use for your business over the next year?
Ulrik Larsen: Besides our own product, which we use every day, there are a few tools that have become crucial to our business. First, we love our friends at Zendesk. They offer a really complete system for support. Second, we rely on Gnip for the majority of our data sources. And third, we've grown fond of Pipedrive as the cool kid on the CRM block; it's a very clean, sales-driven system that enables your team to focus on closing deals instead of filling out forms and doing endless clicking.
GetApp: What do you see as the key trend emerging in the industry?
Ulrik Larsen: Recently the line between enterprise software and personal software has begun to erode, at least on the surface. Employees who have experienced sleek and effective apps at home will no longer tolerate inadequate or cumbersome interfaces at work, especially with regards to social media activity. With heightened expectations the only way to stay ahead is to prioritize design, and we're doing that with every new release in the Falcon platform.
GetApp: What is THE most important message you feel you should get across to someone considering buying your solutions?
Ulrik Larsen: You can browse and assemble a specialized stack, with varying interfaces and workflows, or you can get a unified platform that grows with your company and provides premium support.