Interview With Listnerd

by Nathan W. Burke on December 18, 2012

I am addicted to lists. In fact, “write Listnerd blog post” is on a list. I’m not joking.

I make lists every time I go grocery shopping, at the beginning and end of every work week, and at 7:00 am when I first get to work. I have lists on paper, in Google Sheets, in Asana, and in emails.

So when I received an email from a founder of Listnerd a few days ago, I was immediately interested. Here’s what he had to say:

We just launched a site called The URL is:
Listnerd is a new social media website based around crowdsourced lists. Users can create, share and explore interesting lists about the things in their life they care about. Like Pinterest and Formspring, the site is deeply integrated with Facebook, Twitter and Reddit and gives users the opportunity to list and rank everything.

I immediately had a dozen questions, so I conducted a short interview with a founder, Erling Andersen. Here’s the interview:

Marketing Startups:  The idea – Where did the idea come from?

Erling Andersen: The idea for Listnerd came when I was considering doing a website dedicated to beers. I’m a beer enthusiast myself, and I love belgian beers – especially Chimay Bleue. Anyway, I originally wanted to create a website called “Top 100 beers of the world” and just let people add and vote on the different beers on that list. When I started work on the initial design, an intriguing thought occurred: what if I could create a platform for collaborate lists instead? That way other people who were interested in rating the top wines, best cities to visit or even the best video games could take advantage of the work I was putting into making my “Top 100 beers”-list perfect. So that was the start of it really. 10 months later we launched

MS: What is different about your product than anything else that is out there currently?

EA: There are a few other list websites out there; like and In my opinion, they’ve got lists all messed up. On, the users can’t actually submit list items – they have to select from pre-defined entires – and on, the ratings of each item on the list doesn’t influence the position of the item. It’s basicly just an article, disguised as a list. Listnerd changes all that; users can create lists, add items freely and invite their friends to influence the list. It’s a democratic approach to list making.

MS: What (if any) is your revenue model?

EA: Right now we’re still in public beta, but with time, we might introduce a number of methods of monetization. The obvious one is advertising, which we know well, having sold online ads since 2005. The second is affiliate marketing. Once you have a list with a thousand visitors per day telling which bank to prefer or which online store has the best customer service, well, that brings a lot of interesting options.

MS: What stage are you in?

EA: We launched the site in a public beta on the 15th of November 2012.

MS: How do you plan on acquiring new users?

EA: We employ a number of ways to attract new users. In short, it’s divided between doing traditional PR (we have a PR rep on our payroll), search engine optimization and focusing on relevant link partners that drives real traffic to the site.

MS: How many people are on your team?

EA: We’re two founders – myself and Jesper Thogersen. In addition to that, we’re currently two programmers and one project manager. So five in total; although not all are full time.

MS: What are some specific metrics that you pay attention to in order to determine success?

EA: We measure success in unique visitors, members and lists. The more unique visitors, the more members – and the more members, the more lists. At least that’s our theory.

MS: Who is your target audience?

EA: For Listnerd, we’re aiming quite wide. We call the site “Pinterest for lists”, just to give people an understanding of the opportunity that lists represent. They’ve never been done well enough; just like image collections until Pinterest.

MS: How did you arrive at your company/product name?

EA: We used a really cool domain name generator called Impossibility. We typed in “List” and it combined the word with thousands of postfixes. “Nerd” was one of them, and we figured it was a good enough name as any. Overall, I think people put too much time and effort into naming their startup. I mean, look at some of the biggest websites out there: Ebay? Craig’s List? Reddit? YTMND? Formspring? There is absolutely nothing about these names that say success. Yet they still prosper. I think the user experience creates the value attributed with the name; not the other way around.

MS: What is your team working on now? Improving existing functionality? Adding new features? What will we see in the near future?

EA: We’re primarily working on our responsive mobile version. We should have gone mobile first, and now we’re paying the price – having to adjust a huge website to small screens. It should be ready soon though – and hopefully in time for 2013.

MS: How do you combat spam? I could see this site being a big target for spammers, and was wondering if you have head to deal with that already, and how you plan on combatting those that would like to benefit from being linked from lists on the site.

EA: That’s actually a great question…

Spam is always going to a be a problem, no matter how you look at it. So for us, it’s not so much about trying to stop spam – we’re more focused on how we can control it. We’re fortunate to have written all of our own software, so there are no standarized spam bots that can attack us – and because we require either Facebook or Twitter login, the problem is limited to manual spam. In addition to all other measures, we have a team of 10-12 moderators who are trained to recognize and eliminate spam. We hope that’ll do the trick in keeping the spammers and so-called “SEO experts” away from Listnerd.


As is stated above, Listnerd is in public beta, and can be found at

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