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Interview With Jan-Joost Rueb – Founder of Ebuddy.com

By:     Topics: Entrepreneur Interviews

14 million people in each and every country in the world use eBuddy online or on there phone to use there messenger and it all started with a bet. Paulo one of the founders made MSN work on his phone and the business grew from there.

First off – can we have a little background information – Where you live? How old you are? What motivates you? Inspires you? 

> Live in Amsterdam (before ebuddy lived in US for 6 years)
> 36 years old. Living together with Else , 1 babyboy: Hein (5 months)
> Motivation: freedom of entrepreneurship. Working lots of hours, but deciding myself what to do
> Inspiration: smart entrepreneurs

1) Tell us about your main project, Ebuddy? Why did you launch Ebuddy? Where are you at now with Ebuddy?

Actually it all stated with a bet. Paulo one of the founders made MSN work on his phone. He is a super programmer, Onno and myself (more business people) joined him and made it to the success today (14M+ uniques a month)

2) On launch of Ebuddy, you went straight to rank in the top 5000 websites in the world! How did you manged to gain such exposure and growth so quickly?


Earlier we were called e-messenger.net , we changed names in June 2005, and came in as newcomer rank 500  (easy one J)


3) Over 1,500,000 people in each and every country in the world use Ebuddy on there mobile every month, how did you achieve such success?

We developed 2 versions: xHTML (simple works on any phone) and J2ME (advanced download for top 600 phones) . This has been a huge success, gaining 25.000 users a day.  See m.ebuddy.com

4) What would you say is the number one skill that you possess that you believe had the biggest effect on Ebuddy?


I learnt from several start-ups while living in NY. Energy, persistence and keep facing reality.

5) If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started,  what business related advice would you give yourself?


I could have focused better from day one, sometimes I am too opportunistic, afraid to miss out on other things

6) Do you think that entrepreneurialism is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?


You need to have some of it. I always had small companies, even in school/university.


7) Is there anyone that you look up to and model yourself on?


Difficult…I look up to a lot of people, in and outside the business.

8) Do you have any favourite business related, webmaster or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?


The Google story is great. Also I like web 1.0 DVD’s : start-up.com , kozmo.com etc. I was part of it in 1999 in NY, funny to see how naïve I was (and everyone else J)   


9) What is the best advice you have ever been given?

– Focus

– Eat the cookies when they are served, not when you are hungry
( take funding when you can, not when you need it)

10) What advice would you give to a Young Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Don’t be afraid to share your plans with some experienced people in the field.

Take in some money when you can to accelerate…


11) How many hours do you work daily and what are your daily tasks for your sites?

10-12 hours a day, except Tuesday when I work a short day and take care of my babyson after 5


12) If the Internet had not existed – what do you think you would be doing?

Interesting, think I am happy to be born at the right time. Probably would working on a market

13) What do you like best about the Internet?

Speed of development, opportunities with little resources.

14) What do you like least about the Internet?

I am always online, too much communication (actually am on a flight to NY now, offline, finally time to catch up with emails like this)

15) Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?

My personal plan is to move to SF, either for eBuddy in the future or another career. Would be great to live with my family in such a great city / environment.

(while business is more challenging for me)

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