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Spotlight of the week - Didrik Svendsen

Hello Didrik, what are you thinking right now?

Answering this question with something witty as it feels like the sensible thing to do. But sensibility isn’t my strongest side, so instead, here is a soundtrack to this interview.


You are one of the founders of Tailify. In short, tell us how and why you decided to start Tailify?

Curiosity.


Ok, that might be a bit too short of an answer. I’ll expand. As a curious individual, I tend to gravitate toward curious people. So I gravitated towards my co-founders at university. Our curiosity started noticing how the emergence of Tumblr and Instagram allowed anyone to put their creativity out into the world, and thus inspire, entertain, educate (read: influence). And if what they were putting out was good, people started gravitating towards them and following them. We believed this simple mechanic, a decentralised network where we choose who to follow, was the beginning of something big. Something that would change the world of media, commerce and brands. And more importantly, change the way we as people influence ourselves and others.


What do you believe in today that you didn’t believe in before you started Tailify?

People are everything. I’ve come to understand that behind anything extraordinary is simply extraordinary people.


Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

Good question, and one that I’ve been trying to figure out for a while. Nature vs nature and all that jazz. Most likely my parents have had the largest influence on me by default. However, looking at myself now, I can retrace every good trait (the few that there are) back to a myriad of different people that I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter along the journey of life.


It serves as a good reminder of the fact that the people around me, online and offline, are the ones who are shaping who I become.


What is your superpower?

Optimism.

I’ve always had an unwavering sense of it. For which I’m incredibly grateful. Probably because I’ve been lucky to not face any hardship strong enough to overwhelm it.

I now ended up googling the word optimism to dig a bit deeper, and found a decent quote from Churchill - "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."


A bit cliche quoting Churchill, but hey, who cares.


What does the word “Influence” mean to you?

In its simplest form, influence is having an impact on someone else’s thoughts, feelings or behaviour.


But to go a bit deeper, I personally view influence as energy, as a force. And actually, my view on it flipped recently. From thinking of influence as an applied force to thinking about it as a gravitational force. We as people gravitate towards what gives us energy. The more value you create, the more people want to listen. A bit like a tree extending its roots towards water and minerals.


On this one, I’ll leave you with two questions. What type of people do you gravitate towards? And what type of people gravitate towards you?


What’s the difference between influence and influencer?

Influencers are people telling stories. Influence is the impact of those stories


To use an analogy, influencers are the grid network, while Influence is electricity.


My mother works for the Norwegian National Grid, so maybe this analogy will allow her to finally understand what I actually do.


Describe the ‘Typical Talifyer’

We are a bunch of cold headed and warm-hearted human beings that want to influence positively on ourselves and everyone around. We believe that with the right people and the right attitude, anything is possible. We believe in doing better every day. And we believe in doing the right thing, for the long term. And while doing so, have the vulnerability to admit when we’re wrong, which we often are, and have the courage to change. We fall, fail, laugh, learn and grow on our shared and individual journeys towards our full potentials.


What is your motto in life?

The sun always shines behind the clouds - my grandfather (he actually reads every blog post, so hey👋. Who said 90-year-olds are not on social media?)

But, as proud member number 53,403 of the cloud appreciation society, I find clouds fascinating and beautiful. And thus wouldn’t want to see them being used in a negative context. So, I’m modifying his quote - “the sun always shines”.


Where do you go/what do you do when you need to find new inspiration? A balance of online and offline. Of people and solitude. Online and people for planting seeds in the brain. And offline and solitude to let it grow. I need both to thrive.


There is also something magical about sitting on a plane. Being still and offline a few thousand meters up in the air, watching fluffy clouds roll by. Realising that you are in motion, about to embark on a new adventure. Unfortunately though, this isn’t the most eco-friendly solution to getting inspiration, nor covid friendly.


But, nothing beats a whiteboard, some markers and a handful of Tailifyers. Fireworks for the brain.


Adding one more point here. I actually don’t think where or who I go to to find new inspiration. I believe the most important thing is to keep the mind open to inspiration. Be present. Pay attention. This way you end up stumbling upon a lot more inspiration, wherever you go or whoever you speak with.


What does influencer marketing, data and psychology have in common?

Psychology is the understanding of why we do what we do.

Influencer marketing is a series of human experiments influencing what people do.

Data is what people did.


Merge these three nice things and you got yourself a tasty cocktail. 🍹


Last question, If you were an influencer - what type of influencer would you be and why?

Well, the greatest influencer is the sun. Her radiant sunshine positively influences all life on this spinning planet.


But, as she is doing that job formidably herself, I’ll instead choose to be myself. And try to become the best version of that to ensure that I can influence positively.


Because trying to be someone else just doesn’t make sense.



Want to see more of Didrik, here's a link to his LinkedIn profile.

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