A Week in My Life: Peter Mühlmann, Founder and CEO of Trustpilot
Peter Mühlmann, Founder and CEO of Trustpilot, one of the world’s largest and most powerful reviews platforms, takes us through a week in his working life.
I run (or try to!) as much as possible. It’s a good way to start a Monday, especially when I’m in Copenhagen - the air is a little colder and crisper than when I’m in London. What a wake-up call.
I always start the week by speaking to my top team of ‘Trusties’. We call all our people (now over 700 globally) Trusties - it is they who make Trustpilot tick. The top team are global, sitting in their positions from Melbourne through London and Copenhagen to New York. We discuss the pressing topics for that week. It’s great to have a truly global leadership team and video conferencing technology really helps cut through any geographic siloes.
We’re in the process of discussing the practicalities of moving walls and opening new areas of our Copenhagen office, as well as new office locations for our team in London. Steve, our CTO reminds me of the complexities of deciding where people should sit, having the right IT set-up to work instantly and the need for everyone to have the right environment. I never thought about it when I first started the business - four laptops and four people in a tiny one-room office is all we had back then.
I catch a super-early flight from Copenhagen to London Gatwick. It’s not my usual style, as I like to get enough sleep and have a good work-travel-life balance, but today is a very important day. I’m met by the buzz, liveliness and even a few high-fives as I walk into the office. I have a morning of interviews lined up with key national and financial publications to discuss our recent Series E funding round of $55 Million. I’m so proud of what the team have achieved so far and still hugely excited about where we’re going next.
During my flight, it got me thinking about the difference between when I started the business 11 years ago and now. Back then, Trustpilot was created as a place to solve two simple problems. Firstly, how could my Mum purchase something from an unknown online business and not have her credit card details pinched? Secondly, how could I as a very small electronics business owner (it was just me and my best friend) show the online world that others had used my business, had found it reliable, and had enjoyed their experience? We came up with a simple destination for consumers to have a voice and for businesses to listen, learn and improve from it.
I’m still in London today, meeting with our SVP of Legal, Quality and Compliance, Stine. We're continually using more Artificial Intelligence to understand user behaviours on the platform and to ensure its integrity. Our specialist technology combines with a 50-strong team of experts, who help investigate any anomalies and changes when reviews are being posted.
I get a briefing on the next steps and an understanding of where our machine learning capabilities are headed. We also discuss our continued ambition to be the most transparent reviews platform in the world. We recently launched our ‘Transparent Flagging’ feature, which was a big leap in the right direction. Both consumers and businesses can report reviews should they think they don’t adhere to our guidelines and we’re giving more insight into how businesses are ‘flagging’ their reviews. The more transparent businesses are, the more they’ll be able to establish and maintain trust and this additional information is helpful for consumers when deciding to use or buy from any online business.
The meeting takes up most of my day and I decide to go for a run to clear my head before hopping on the short flight back to Copenhagen.
I meet with our Chief Product Officer, Ramin, today and we discuss the latest product innovations in the pipeline. Part of our discussion is on the interesting world of our Review Insights tool. As well as using our platform to improve SEO, gain Google seller ratings, and collaborate openly with your customers, we also offer the ability for businesses to learn more about what’s being said within the content of the reviews. The tool provides a simple snapshot across all reviews and provides a sentiment score and graphic for keywords mentioned in the reviews.
So, if you’re having problems with your website, you can see how the sentiment score has dropped. This might be compared to delivery or in-store experience which has got even better. It’s real-time data that businesses can use to really help them change and improve the service for everyone.
I grab an early lunch in the canteen before an afternoon filled with meetings. All of our offices have perks including some free meals, fruit, drinks and snacks. In Copenhagen, our canteen staff always look out for me by making me a plate for dinner, so I can quickly grab it if I have a later meeting, or event I need to dash off to.
I decide to work from home today, as I’m flying to New York to see the team there next week. It’s a chance to have some peace and quiet and get to the part of my to-do list where I need to really think, and problem solve. In fact, rather than go for a run this morning, I tap into one of the latest mindfulness apps on my phone. I know, it sounds like a cliché, but it really works.
Looking forward to spending time with my girlfriend, going for a bike ride and maybe even playing some squash over the weekend.