Article translated from the Swedish original that appeared in It-finans on the 12th of May 2021.
Jonas Werner is the founder of company Crowd1, which today has just over 30 million member accounts. The company is growing at rocket speed with each passing day. He himself believes that it can reach one billion members in the foreseeable future. In town met him to talk about relationship-based marketing, lavish celebrity events and not least money.
- I really do not want to know what my day will look like when I wake up. I want to shape it myself and in the evening reflect on the result.
This is how Jonas Werner begins our meeting when we meet him in a hyper modern office a few steps from Stureplan in central Stockholm. Apparently it will be expanded. Again. Crowd1 is growing with each passing day and according to the company, there are now just over 30 million accounts around the world. However, not all members are equally active, similar to Facebook. We do not even have time to ask the first question until he continues:
- I believe in all seriousness that we can grow to one billion members. Does that sound crazy? If so, it is because we have simply created a crazy good and ingenious business concept that will benefit a great many people.
He radiates drive, vision and a touch of electrical energy. It is hard to believe that this is the same Jonas Werner, which has required close to 50 phone calls and column meters with email to gain access to. Either it has been set at the last second or the time has simply not suited.
- It has not been my intention at all to seem disrespectful. I really hope you understand that. The past year has simply been, to say the least, revolutionary.
We have been trying to get this interview for quite some time now. Why did you avoid it?
- I have in no way avoided it. It's just that I have a phone for every continent and they call constantly. I'm not complaining at all because I have put myself in this situation myself and could delegate more, but I really want to be the hub of this construction and keep track of every little detail.
Are you a control freak who wants insight into just about everything?
- Yes, that's enough. For better or worse, I'm getting better. At least if you ask me (laughs).
Jonas Werner was born in Värnamo in 1975, but grew up in Borås. He describes himself as "typical middle class" who already during high school in the social sciences realized that he was destined to be an entrepreneur. Jonas got caught up in relationship-based marketing fairly immediately and was attracted by the idea that the individual takes command of his own business.
- After high school, I made some well-meaning attempts to try the wings in other areas. I read a bit of psychology, glanced at medical professions, but the road was already paved. As I see it, all people should have the right to do business, but it can be said that most people are slaves to the big companies, which I would like to see change. Today, very many young people spend more free time in front of their phone compared to a traditional job and it is completely incomprehensible to me that they do not combine benefit with pleasure. But of course there are also brilliant exceptions. Several bloggers and influencers have found the right way in their communication with the outside world and pursue their interest as a company. They have order and order as well as a strategy. And above all, they work a lot.
Jonas Werner does not like to talk about what has been and rather look ahead. Still, we must lift the lid and take a closer look at what led to the founding of Crowd1; a company that in a short time already sees itself as a world leader in its genre. In short, Crowd1 initiates collaborations with companies from all over the world, attracts members who market these companies and their products or services, which in turn leads to commissions on sales.
- I got the opportunity early on to be part of several companies in Multilevel Marketing and it has been a very educational journey. When the internet put its claws on the market, it really took off and since then, network sales have become more accessible to the average person.
Crowd1 has been x-rayed by both authorities and the media, but Jonas Werner believes that the reporting has been skewed and in some respects ignorant. It is notable that the company has not been convicted in any instances and that the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate has not had anything to act against.
- I can understand that the media is interested in us given that we have grown rapidly in an extremely short time. There are also black sheep in this industry who have abused their position and engaged in purely criminal activities. At the same time, it is very sad when journalists with a pre-written agenda choose not to see the whole of a story and listen to the sender. I see us as a catalyst for those who want to control their own life, career and combine benefit with pleasure. You choose at what level you want to go and how much time you can set aside. In some cases, it can serve as an extra income and others lead to a full-time job in-house. We therefore want to be the hub of a huge business movement that involves taking responsibility for oneself.
Jonas Werner's future revolves, according to himself, only around Crowd1 and related projects. For the company to continue to grow, it will be necessary to continuously develop the range of global online products and to continue to tackle the influx of members in an efficient way globally.
- Considering that we operate all over the world, a large part of the challenge lies in understanding and managing different countries' and business cultures and regulations. We must also deliver systems and be scalable and provide effective support. Like very many other industries, we have been hit hard by Covid-19 in the sense that many necessary meetings with prospective suppliers and partners have been postponed to the future. Even though I love the digital world, face-to-face meetings are sometimes a must. That's how it is.
30 million member accounts worldwide - how rich has it made you?
- Enough, but everything is relative and I am still passionate about my job, or rather cold, as an entrepreneur. If you are good in this area, success and money will come. And we are very good.
Your events have been visited by an impressive artist elite such as Loreen, Måns Zelmerlöw, Icona Pop just to name a few. What exactly is the idea behind these?
- The explanation is very simple; we want to mix information with high-quality entertainment. It is easier to reach the recipient of the message then and also it has been really fun to be able to offer a platform to many artists who during the current pandemic have been forced to cancel large parts of their business.
What are you most proud of?
- Short and concise question that is easy to answer… that I dared to follow my heart and was able to realize my dreams.
What do you remember from your first deal?
- It was a sale about 25 years ago when I managed to make a really good deal. Luckily for me, a couple of less successful deals followed afterwards, but with the first one in mind, I was able to remind myself that it is possible to succeed. The feeling of doing something really good for the first time I will always carry with me.
Your new CEO has a military background. Has it affected the company?
- We are more structured and better organized now and it is of utmost importance given the explosive pace of expansion that we have.
Why is it difficult to get an idea of how Crowd1 is structured. Conscious strategy?
- No, no conscious strategy, but we are building a global company in a way that no one has done before and created a completely new industry and this is not entirely straightforward.
Your biggest adversity?
- I think I have my biggest adversity every week but it always resolves itself.
Our planned hour-long meeting has almost doubled in length. Jonas Werner seems to thrive when he gets space to share his business philosophy and talk about future plans. He has another surprise on his mind before we part:
- Have you thought of one thing? If you dissect our business model and our pathos of justice and really draw it to its peak, we are in fact a successful example of a democratic distribution economy. If you do not realize it now, you will do it in the future.
About Jonas Werner
• Name: Jonas Eric Andreas Werner
• Age: 46 years (born 1975)
• Family: Yes
• Lives: central Stockholm
• Interests: Fishing, tennis, skiing and adventure sports
• Favorite series: Suits and documentaries
• Last read book: I often read several books at the same time and right now it is these three; Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the hunt for a fantastic future, Petter Stordalen: My secret and Barack Obama: An engaged country
• Favorite food: Seafood
• Wishful travel: The moon
• Number of devices: Four mobile phones, two computers and an iPad. And it's disturbing.
Facts about Crowd1
Crowd1 is about creating and offering opportunities to those who want to build a sustainable online business no matter who you are or where in the world you are. Much like Airbnb and Uber, Crowd1 does not have its own products, but Crowd1 markets and recommends third-party companies' products, primarily digital. ICT Group is the company that finds and signs agreements with the product companies on behalf of Crowd1. Based on different types of activities within Crowd1, members qualify for different bonus categories. Crowd1 is registered in the UAE.