Nicolas Granatino-interview

Interview: Nicolas Granatino On Freelancing And The Future Of Work

Freelancing is not the same as it was 10 years ago. Today, we have tons of great apps that help us make our work easier than ever.

Much like most other freelancers, I constantly experiment with new apps to find ways to save time and better manage my work.

I recently discovered a new app called Cronycle. The app is mainly a collaboration tool for content. I saw great potential in this tool, especially when researching for projects and working with freelance clients.

Nicolas GranatinoSo, I reached out to its founder Nicolas Granatino to talk about the app and his thoughts on the freelancing industry.

Nicolas is the co-founder of Andurance Ventures and Managing Director of Cronycle with years of experience investing and working on startups. I think you’ll find his thoughts to be much valuable.

Before we get to the questions, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re up to these days?

Nicolas: I am really passionate about media and education technology, and have taken a recent interest in blockchain. I set up Andurance Ventures in June 2012 to invest in early stage startups in these fields with no geographical constraint.

You’ve been investing and building startups for quite a long time. So, what exactly made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Nicolas: I had the first taste of venture investing in 2000 at LabMorgan, the FinTech incubator of JP Morgan, and also getting involved with a biotech startup in Canada. However, I think that my PhD in Chemical Biology at Oxford is really what crystallized my decision to become an entrepreneur.

During a PhD you are confronted with a blank sheet of paper on several occasions, and your task is to select the path to discovery.   It is very similar to the skill required for a successful entrepreneur. It is no surprise, the US values both PhD students and entrepreneurship.  Europe still has to catch up but I am optimistic.

You must have worked with plenty of freelancers when building your startups. How would compare them with full-time employees?

Nicolas: Freelancers are very similar in their mindset and attitude to entrepreneurs. I enjoy working with them. I believe that platforms like Upwork and TopTal have made it easier for developers to freelance and will have a meaningful impact on work culture.  I also believe Cronycle will play a similar role in the media and research space.

What kind of freelancers do you mostly work with?

Nicolas: I have mainly worked with developers. However, we are looking at how we work with an increasing number of freelance domain experts in a variety of subjects with Cronycle.

Do you use any apps or services to communicate with your team remotely?

Nicolas: We use Slack at most of my startups. Atlassian also offers a phenomenal suite of products. We also use Cronycle to dive into complicated topics and work on their strategy.

Let’s talk about Cronycle. What does it do and what kind of problems are you trying to  solve with it?

Nicolas: Cronycle’s main objective is to help individuals and businesses explore a subject and quickly derive actionable intelligence. Given the exponentially abundant information on the web, it has been hard to do this productively for many years.

Whether you are a content marketer, an academic or a financial analyst, we believe that many have use for this platform.  We believe that collaboration in a team is a key accelerator in deriving this intelligence. It is also useful software for freelancers who are communicating with their clients and consulting them on projects.

What kind of uses Cronycle has in store for freelancers?

Nicolas: Cronycle is a unique platform for freelancers with a particular domain expertise. It allows them to surface relevant information for their clients quickly and then interact with their clients on the information surfaced.

Freelancers offer a service, and with Cronycle you can create another layer of knowledge on top of articles with annotations and metadata – so you can easily present and unpack your service. It will allow freelancers to emerge as editors, which is a role that was historically bundled in a media house.

What do you think about the future of work and entrepreneurship? What kind of careers do you see taking off in the next 20 years?

Nicolas: Collaboration and freelance platforms will augment the appeal of freelancing and consequently make the workforce more entrepreneurial. I also expect productivity gains from digital innovation, AI and robotics.

I do not believe that as a society we have decided how we want to leverage these changes.  I believe it will reward creativity and entrepreneurship. If it fails to do so and only increases unemployment, it will lead to social unrest. Mankind has been there before. I am optimistic.

In conclusion, is there anything else you would like to add?

Nicolas: Thanks for your time. We’re looking forward to welcoming more freelancers onto Cronycle.


I’d like to thank Nicolas for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview. And also, thank you Alice Thwaite for arranging it.