My business background actually started when I was 14 years old. I started a DJ-service where I did local DJ-gigs in Stockholm and rented out DJ-equipment. That financed my own expenses like records, parties and studio equipment for the next 5 years. I was loaded in comparison to all my friends.
Go straight to work without passing military or higher education
After high school I was supposed to do military service for 15 months before going to college. I got a notice 2 months before I was about to start that the money had run out and that I was free to whatever I wanted.
I’d already turned down my place at college so I had to start looking for jobs until next year. So I ended up, as many other did during that time at a telemarketing company in sales.
Telecom – the industry that taught me everything
That’s how I got into telecom. I spent about 9 months at the telemarketing company before getting recruited to the second biggest telecom operator in Sweden. I worked there for 9 years and took a diploma in Marketing and Economics during that time. I became Sales Manager at the operator after 6 years and then spent the last 3 years as manager on different levels ending up as a Senior Manager (then 27 years old) for the Business to Business Partner organisation.
Once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur
During my time at the operator I couldn’t really stop thinking about new businesses. Since I had made some music and got a few records released I got into the music industry, or the record industry actually, and started a record label. Our first release got great reviews and sold out instantly. I was ecstatic! So we, together with our distributor how handled our sales and finances, planned a even bigger second release. 2 weeks before we were deadlined to send the masters to production the distributor called and said that they, and thereby also I, were bankrupt. So I learned to never let anyone outside control something as crucial as money.
A bit scared I worked on at the operator and then again got into starting a new business a few years later. This time we designed mens accessories like watches, cufflinks and belts and produced them in China.
We launched and sold OK based on buying cheep ads in motor magazines. Later on, my partner and I, sold that business but and had laid the foundation for our next adventure.
CEO before 30
I wanted to try my own wings and see how well I could put my education into action so I started looking for my next adventure, together with my partner from the accessories business. The opportunity to take a free fall into a startup cloud service provider presented itself and I jumped ship from the operator. As a 29 year old enthusiastic CEO I started to work for a startup that just had one employee from the beginning, me. My partner worked as a Sales Manager in the sister company.
I learned everything from cash flow karate to cleaning toilettes there and built the company from 0 – 9 M EUR annual revenue, 0 – 34 employees, 0 – 45 000 cloud subscribers, 0 – 7500 mobile subscriptions and from not getting paid for the first 4 months to actually making an exit that set me of into my next adventure.
Investor and Startup CEO – again at 35
After leaving the first startup I did a few investments with a bit of my cash. Most were seed capital and most did not survive. What I learned was that I was to invest in something I had to be a major part of that team and also make it happen. So I started a project which ended up as the company hidn technology which produces a stress coach service based on a wearable sensor, a mobile application and some really computing in the background. So at 35 I’m again a startup CEO and also currently the major investor in the business.