Prepr

Where it all started: an interview with Prepr-founder Tim Hanssen

Nearly ten years ago, Tim Hanssen founded Prepr. He lives and breathes Prepr, young and innovative, he is everything that the company represents. He is committed to the company 24/7 for almost a decade now, we wanted to give our community insight into who the person behind Prepr is. Time to ask our founder some questions.

Welcome Tim, and thank you for taking the time to give us a peek into who you are. First off, could you please introduce yourself?

“My name is Tim Hanssen, I am the founder, CTO, and tech lead at Prepr. I am 33 years old, born and raised in The Netherlands, currently living in Amsterdam.”

Could you explain what Prepr is, and what you do within the company?

“Prepr is a headless CMS, build on graph technology, that you can use to personalize content experiences. Within the company, I manage the development team and I take care of the daily operations. Make sure everything runs smoothly.”

How did Prepr start and where did you gain the experience running a company like Prepr?

“It all started as a hobby project for a company I was working for at that time. We needed a CMS that was completely connected from the front-end, fully API-based. That’s when we developed the first version of Prepr CMS. We didn’t have any knowledge about this kind of CMS yet, as it didn’t exist. It was such new technology there wasn’t much information about it, the only way to develop and improve was through trial and error. But we learned a lot along the way.”

If you had to explain Prepr to someone outside of the industry, in simple words, how would you describe it?

“I always say: ‘if you open an app, everything you see, all the data you see, it comes from our systems. Most people won’t know content comes from Prepr, as we’re more behind the scenes. But if I wanted to explain it to my grandparents, I would probably tell them that if they wanted to watch something back on an app, then it’s probably through Prepr.”

What about Prepr are you most proud of?

“It’s extremely interesting to see how this technology develops. How an idea, what we thought could change the content management industry, came to life. And work exactly as we imagined it. Now it’s a real product with a lot of customers that are really happy with all our personalization and recommendation features that are driven by this technology. I’m happy to see you can really make a difference by choosing the right stack, which is very interesting to me. When we started we didn’t know if this was possible, and it was quite scary to go all-in. Nobody did this before, we are the only CMS that is running on these types of data stores. It was really forward-thinking, and I am very proud to see it all come to life.”

Where do you see the company going?

“I think the company will exceptionally grow worldwide. Currently, most of our customers are coming out of western Europe, but we want to expand to the rest of Europe and beyond. I hope in five years we will have a much larger team with even more happy customers. There is still a lot to learn on our product side as well, and I see Prepr developing on every level.”

What do you find hardest to do within your job description? And what do you find most fun?

“Prioritizing is something that I find difficult, I often think everything is important which makes it hard to choose. I really enjoy seeing new customers get familiar with Prepr, how they experience how it works, and see how easy it is for them to implement. And to see them use Prepr to build amazing sites and applications. It’s great to see people building something on the Prepr foundation.”

Would you stop working if you won the lottery?

(Laughing): “No.”

We know you really like working at the office in Utrecht but what is your favorite place to work remotely?

“Canggu, Bali. I used to work there for a few months each year. It is such a great place because you’re surrounded by other individuals doing similar things within their own industry. It creates an environment of like-minded people. It’s incredible to have that combination of being fully devoted to working and five minutes later you can be on the beach surfing, and then after get straight back to working again. And the weather is a huge bonus of course.”

What do you do outside of work? Hobbies?

“I really enjoy riding my motorcycle and good vegetarian food. I travel a lot, I especially enjoy visiting my sisters who both are professional winter sports athletes, so I try to visit them in the mountains whenever I get the chance to.”

How do you experience the work environment at Prepr?

“At the moment our team is expanding quickly, but we started with a small and close team. We have been working together for quite a long time, so everything runs smoothly. I would consider this team as friends and that makes it easy to communicate and work together. It creates a very pleasant and easygoing environment.”

Whatever the subject, you like to join the discussion. Is there anything you have zero knowledge about?

“Hahaha, zero knowledge? I’m not sure. Maybe marketing but if someone asked me about it, I would still have an opinion on it. I have zero knowledge about a lot of things, for example, biology or chemistry, or any expertise that isn’t in my field of knowledge. But when I participate in a common knowledge quiz, I usually do pretty well. I know a lot about ‘random’ subjects. I enjoy reading Wikipedia pages in my free time, you can add that to the hobbies list.”

Famous last words?

“I hope that Prepr will inspire people to rethink their content experience. That is the reason why we started this company. We want to make people aware they shouldn’t just push content because they think it’s the right content for an audience, but that they should let technology help them to check and validate if that is indeed the right content. Prepr is here to bring your content to the right audience and allow you to increase engagement.”

Thank you so much, Tim, for showing us a bit more of the person behind the company.

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