Dominik Orfanus, Founder of Benjamin Button
Who are you?
First of all I consider myself a parent of three daughters, which became my never ending motivation to pioneer family lives together with my fellow colleagues from Benjamin Button. We are a startup that was on a mission to capture and save the most precious family memories in the most effortless way. Why the past tense? We are now reshaping our business model and WHY in order to better answer the needs of todays parents. As you might know, Google introduced its clip which is another reason to reconsider what Jobs to be Done are there to be better answered.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
The idea was formed back in 2014, when I felt homesick on a conference in Berlin. I’ve got sick and tired from the news I have got after coming home from work or business trips (I was a journalist that time) and my wife reporting me what new words or progress our daughters made when I was away… At the same time, we lost my wifes mother on a serious illness, the last thing she did away from her hospital bed was to see her grandkids…thats how powerful the love to the little ones is. That was anothyer reason why to connect families when their members can not be together. Since then we scaled up – 4 prototypes, Beta video editing software developed, growing team, some incubations (GTEC Berlin) , first investment by an electronics distributing company, crowdfunding campaign in May this year. And the feedback was that we are probably too early to the market. We took a step back, back to roots, and now we are testing new pivots in the family, meeting our target group and finetuning concepts.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
There are no failures, only lessons. Looking back in time, I think we could be much more faster and confident. We could prototype and test faster, and also stay closer to our target audience. That is probably the biggest lesson – a business can never stop talking to its customers, otherwise it turns to be a business only for the founders.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
I believe the strenght of the team. Working on something you believe in with lack of money, conditions, experience in this field… there is something that really glues the team. Spirit, growth mind, I would say.
What’s your must read business book?
4 hour work week. Not because we want to have 4 hour work weeks, but because we need for hacks and shortcuts to outsmart the status quo.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
It is fiction, but here you go: Forest Gump. Seriously – guy who achieved everything he set as a goal due to the simplicity and being bold.
And can you tell us something weird or interesting about yourself?
I run a travelling company. It is the Tripadvisor no.1 tour operator to Chernobyl (Ukraine) – https://chernobylwel.com/
It is my passion, fulfils the adventure side of mine. It is not close to what we do at Benjamin Button (where my family side of mine gets nurtured), but it is my passion and older baby ;-)