Holger Sindbaek of Online Solitaire tells us about how to play solitaire online.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Online Solitaire.
Holger Sindbaek: I’m a designer-turned-programmer from Copenhagen, Denmark. More than ten years ago, I first created a solitaire app for the Mac App Store. Since then, I’ve created an online version of it called online-solitaire.com, where people can play solitaire games online for free.
So I’ve had my solitaire game as a side hustle for more than a decade. I’ve had a career in the startup world, first as a designer and later as a programmer and co-founder. I ended up feeling burned out and losing my enthusiasm for the startup world. That’s when I turned to my solitaire games, and I decided to take them more seriously. Since that decision, I’ve managed to get my games to a point where I can make a living from them, and it’s not my full-time job.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Holger Sindbaek: Earlier in my life, I tended to work a lot, which made me feel like I was very productive. I often ended up being less effective, though, and I had a hard time sleeping at night. Since then, I’ve started to take my sleep more seriously, and I now sleep eight solid hours every night. The crazy thing is that I’m just as productive even though I spend fewer hours working. Sleeping really works wonders!
How does Online Solitaire market its product/services online?
Holger Sindbaek: My acquisition strategy is super focused on SEO. For the last 12 months or so, I’ve been working a lot on improving the SEO on my site, and I’m finally starting to see some results from all that work.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Holger Sindbaek: I’m 100% a one-man operation, and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I possibly can. Having co-workers can be nice, but hiring and managing people can be really difficult.
How are you funding your growth?
Holger Sindbaek: I’m 100% bootstrapped, which is great for a site like mine. It also has the great benefit that there isn’t a big pressure on the site’s growth.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Holger Sindbaek: There are a lot of solitaire websites out there. Some of them are good, and others are not that good. I’ve tried to make my site unique by focusing a lot on usability and design, and I think it has worked out nicely. I often get emails from people saying how much they like my games. In the future, I’ll keep doing what I’m already doing, which is to listen to my users and keep improving the site.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Holger Sindbaek: I don’t know if I recall a particular successful customer story, but I’ve had a lot of success with turning customer complaints into positive interactions. Once in a while, people have a hard time figuring out something on the site. They might even have found a bug. That’s when they tend to email me, and often, they’re not in the best of moods. But when they receive back an email addressing their issue and helping them, most of them change their tone. I’ve had a lot of success listening to people’s feedback this way.