Do you love reading on the go, on the subway, at a soccer match, or in your favourite cafe? Mobile apps make it easy with all the issues of your favourite digital magazine at your fingertips on your phone or tablet. But it used to be that only the biggest magazine publishers with deep pockets could afford to provide this option to readers. Thanks to Bali-based Nick Martin and MagLoft, that’s changing.
Digital Magazine Apps for Everyone
Parvati Magazine: MagLoft is levelling the publishing playing field by making mobile app distribution possible for small digital magazine publishers and bloggers. Why is this good for the industry and the reading public?
Nick Martin: It helps small publishers and bloggers get the word out, and helps the readers connect with their content creators that they love, the niche content creators.
People want to have relevant content today and not wait weeks or months for it to arrive. For the industry, it’s opening up different ways to distribute content, create content, present content, both interactive and more responsive, than you could with a PDF.
Parvati Magazine: You were raised in Denmark. How did you end up in Bali, and why have you stayed?
Nick Martin: I was working at a bank in Copenhagen, Denmark. A colleague said, “Hey Nick, you should see this.” It was something called Project Getaway, a group of entrepreneurs that came together in a luxury setting in Bali, where all they had to do was work on their business, but together with like-minded people. I thought that was absolutely brilliant and created a video application. In February 2012, I was in Bali, working on a game development project.
I stayed because I love everything about Bali. Bali is an amazing place for a balanced work and life. Lots of things are cheaper here. Running a startup, you can have a longer runway.
Parvati Magazine: A common thread through your business projects is providing opportunities to others, be they magazine publishers, early-stage entrepreneurs or young people seeking their first job after college. What influence or event in your life helped motivate you in this direction?
Nick Martin: My mother has always been incredibly helpful no matter who needed help or support, and that has definitely rubbed off on me. I’ve always had that mindset to treat others the same way you would want them to treat you and help where you can.
It’s definitely in my upbringing, but also [there were] other events. Early in my internet marketing career, I was doing some shady things which I didn’t know, like spam. Someone was kind enough to point out to me, instead of just degrade me or make fun of me, that there’s this thing called permission-based marketing. You need people to tell you or give you permission to send them emails.
Thriving in a Coworking Space in Bali
Parvati Magazine: What lessons have you learned at MagLoft on keeping a strong team spirit within remote teams? How have you dealt with potential pitfalls such as reduced engagement and not getting the chance to celebrate successes together?
Nick Martin: We include everybody in everything. We don’t hide any data or numbers or stats or KPIs. We make it clear that this is not us, Toby [Streitzer, the CEO] and myself, running the business. This is everyone. [I tell my team,] “This is our project. We are building this together and we absolutely need … We don’t just want, we absolutely need, their inputs, their feedback, their thoughts, their ideas to make this a better product and service for everyone.”
We do daily stand-ups on Skype, so everybody hears everybody every day. We do hackathons as well, flying everyone to Bali once or twice a year and get together and have a lot of fun in social events and also at work. We’re connected with the team, and everybody knows our values.
Parvati Magazine: MagLoft has joined forces with Parvati.org to deliver Parvati Magazine to the world in support of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Why is MAPS important to you and your team?
Nick Martin: Any way to bring more attention to what’s happening to the world is good. I think we can all agree that polluting our oceans and cutting down trees just for the sake of profit is not the best way to take care of our Earth.
If you’re in a position where you can help someone with what they are passionate about, you should do it because only good can come out of that.
Nick Martin is the CEO of MagLoft and Director of Operations at Liv.it in Bali. MagLoft simplifies and makes digital magazine publishing available for the masses. Nick is a slightly geeky and adventurous experimentalist with a passion for golf, beaches and Internet technologies, involved in Internet Marketing projects since 2000.