2014 in review

2014 in review

I’ve never done this kind of year in review before but I was inspired both by Björn Jeffery who’s review I read every year, and by the automated Facebook year review that has passed through my facebook feed.

When I looked at my own it just didn’t seem right. That was not how my year was. So I decided to make a not-so-animated and cute version. Algorithms, and number of likes on a photo just doesn't make it. There's no reflection, no analysis, no thought. I wanted to make my own hand crafted review to actually reflect on the year and what happend, so here we go.

Emotional roller coaster

So 2014. What happened really? As usual I was left with a feeling I didn’t do that much. I had a picture that it was pretty much just work, and not much more. Then I had a look at my timelines and realised quite a lot happened actually. On many levels.

The year started on an emotional very unstable ground. I was in mourning mode, of things that happened in 2013. I went to Stockholm to clear my mind during the christmas and stayed until the beginning of January. There was some very intense and hard times professionally as well, and it felt like everything was falling apart.

A New Chapter

At the same time I tried to move on to a new chapter and I met M that helped me in that process, at the same as she became a part of the process. We were open and honest about it, but it was hard to see things clearly. We got closer and the relationship grew deeper.

I spent much of the spring in Stockholm for a variety of reasons. I really love the city; the atmosphere, the people I know there, the urbanity, scenery and diversity. I also needed to get away from Malmö and get get perspective on things, and I had to rent out my apartment to keep me afloat. And to see her of course.

During the late month of the year I rented it out again I stayed with friends and in the boat I bought together with a couple of friends. I’m deeply grateful for all the support I’ve got, and open doors and bed offers during the year. Without that I don’t know what I would have done.

Debt

The year started with a personal debt with an extremely steep payback rate that has lasted for the full year. It’s thankfully almost over and I’ll be past the bootstrap life that I’ve had for the past few years.

I don’t think it’s made my life worse to have extremely limited resources, because if I look back I’ve made so many things and experienced so much despite that. You can live bootstrapped for a while and I think I did it longer than most people would cope which also had a price on a personal level. It caused extreme tension and lots of fights, because it was an extreme situation, for an extreme amount of time. I don’t want to be in that situation again, if I can avoid it. Been there, done that.

Biking Vätternrundan

2013 was a running year. I was running a couple of times a week until I injured my knee at the end of the summer. I started to bike instead and André talked me into biking Vätternrundan, a 300km race. I didn’t know why I accepted the challenged but I did probably because it sounded so far off and unimaginable. And I wanted to push myself with new things, and oh boy was it a push.

I’d never really biked longer than the usual city distances. My knee wasn’t well and I didn’t know if I would even start, but we spent late spring and the beginning of the summer to get kilometers on the road. The recommendation is to have at least 800km before doing the race and I think I manage to get 600.

We did the race and I finished at 12.51h, the medium time among the participants. My goal was to reach goal, so I was happy and satisfied. My knee was fine until the last 40km but it took me past the finish line though I couldn’t walk properly the next day.

It’s amazing what you can push yourself to, when you have made up your mind. I was determined to cross the finish line. I had decided that I would, unless there was a risk of permanent damage on my knee, which the doctors said there wouldn’t be. It’s by far the toughest mental and physical challenge I’ve undertaken. So thanks André for pushing me to do it.

It’s also amazing what physical exercise does to your mental strength. The more I biked, the better I felt. By the end of May I was past the worst roller coaster rides and things got smoother again but I remember that I was in such a bad shape on my birthday that I didn’t even want to celebrate it, at all. I was crying half of the day. André and Jessica pulled me up from my down and invited me for a dinner at their place. It felt like the best gift anyone could ever give.

#Brygghäng

The summer felt like an American highschool movie that had no end. We were a loosely knit group hanging out at the board walk in Västra Hamnen. We did pretty much nothing, and maybe that’s why it was so good. Lack of plans, lack of todo’s. Just be with people you like, eating, relaxing, talking, singing, dancing, swimming. Repeat. The weather and climate really does make a difference of what we do, how we are, and what is possible. When it got cold, those relaxed meetups were gone.

Sales Got Done

In September we finalised a first version of a sellable product at Pinmeto and started to reach out to companies we thought would be interested to try our thesis. I took the lead in sales since Daniel was heading the financing & investment.

To my (and others) surprise I found so much energy in the selling process. Meeting people, learning about their needs, travel got me on a high. I think it’s the most fun phase since we started. I started to travel to Stockholm a lot again, since pretty much all major chains has their HQs there.

The reception has been over all expectation, and pretty much every meeting ended with a request to send an offer. But we’re working with large enterprise and the sales process is slow, I’ve learned. That’s probably been the most frustrating part of selling.

More Stockholm

After the summer I started to spend more time in Stockholm again and reconnected with M. Apparently we couldn’t stay away from each other, and I’m happier than anyone about it. She’s really made this year to what it is, and helped me through so much. And the amount of music and texts we’ve ping ponged is nothing but insane. She’s the best kind of inspiration anyone can imagine and makes me laugh so hard it hurts.

Barbados

At the beginning of the year we decided to move the office offshore for two months this winter, to Barbados. For waves, heat and sun - not for tax reasons as some people thought. First I was sceptic, not going away, but the location.

I had quite a negative picture of the island - being a #whitetrash place like Mallorca. Then I remembered that Mallorca made me change that picture completely when I actually went there. You just have to stay away from the touristic traps and swamps. Another reason I was sceptic was the size of the island. It’s smaller than Bornholm, with only 277.000 inhabitants. I like to travel to cities preferably of 5 million people and above.

But it’s been great and I’m very happy we moved here. I don’t envy the friends back home having to deal with the eternal darkness and bitter cold windy weather. But I envy the internet speed they have. Here, it’s like being back in the 90’s. All syncing & backup services needs to be shut of to be able to do anything at all. It makes you reflect on the importance of infrastructure and specifically internet access. It makes all the difference.

New challenges

I’m so ready for a new year, with new challenges. The first and obvious one is staying apart from someone you hold dear. As in so fucking far apart. I don’t know what the others are yet, but I know they’ll come. And I’ll try to embrace them with open arms. 2014 was a year of letting go, and listening more to the inner feelings and needs. I will continue on that track, and be even more me, a better me. To give more of myself, and to go all in on things I believe in. No holding back.

Behold, here's my 2014 in bullet points!

January

  • Started of the year with #TLNYP, The Last New Years Party by Studio Total. I decided to go last minute, on my own despite having no idea who was going or what it was going to be. Or maybe just because of that. Turned out to be a 1000 people masquerade. Amazing start of the year.
  • Hitchhiked from Stockholm to Malmö with a girl who’s hobby was dressing out as a Middle Age woman, drinking alcohol and crowning the next King and Queen in their society. A refreshing and fun car ride.
  • Watched From $0 - 100 Million With No Sales People and took notes of the most important notes of the talk.
  • Started to work out for Vätternrundan, the race I’d decided to do with my dear friend André.
  • Wrote about believing, mentorship, simple answers, honesty, a recurring dream I’ve had and about being yourself.
  • Launched the first version of malmostartups.com with Joel
  • Got mentioned in Computer Sweden for PinMeTo.
  • Went to see Suli Breaks in Entreprenörskyrkan in Stockholm, which was followed by a totally unexpected dinner with Robert, Karin, Molly, Jacob & Emil. A special occasion for many reasons.
  • Had one of the most intense and difficult professional discussions so far. What came out of it was good, for all parts I think. But it wasn’t fun.
  • Went to Glenn Miller Cafe for the first time ever. Dinner with Helene and later Emil turned up.
  • Started a friendship that’s come to impact me more than anything this year.

Glenn Miller Cafe

February

  • Went to F3. Fotografiska turned into a night club. A pretty cool setting but a pretty bad club.
  • Drove a BMW X3 from Stockholm to Malmö while listening to Drive Like You Stole It - though I hadn’t.
  • Went to Copenhagen with Helena to test drive a Tesla. We also drank Champagne, as you do with her. Tip, don’t drive it if you can’t buy it. It’s amazing and addictive.
  • Worked on a prototype to an iPhone/iPad holder for Macs. That project, as so many others halted in that stage. I wanted it in aluminum, but the reality required plastics of some sort and I defeated. Time was another factor. I didn’t want it to take focus of PinMeTo, which it would have if I would complete it.
  • Went to Sonar Stockholm and saw Naomi Pilgrim. One of the best concerts in recent times.
  • Started a raw food diet. It didn’t last for all that long, but I felt so much better while it lasted.
  • We closed a first round of financing for PinMeTo with Wingefors Invest, something that’d been in the works for some months. It got official first in May for various reasons.
  • Found out about The Most Relaxing Tune Ever, Weightless by Marconi Union - which has been the most played song of 2014 according to Spotify.
  • Downloaded and obsessed about Facebook Paper, one of the most beautifully crafted apps ever.
  • Read Life is a game. This is your strategy guide, noted and reflected upon this:

The odds of anyone being born in their optimal location are virtually zero, so research your options, and consider moving early. Location is a multiplier to all of your skills and states.

Prototype of iPhone mount

March

  • Went to Copenhagen for the Nordic Startup Conference, where PinMeTo was representing Sweden in the startup competition Battle of the Vikings.
  • Wrote about Open Map Data, and how that could impact cities.
  • Was speaking at the conference Internet i Fokus about how you can understand customers through location apps.
  • Made a promo movie for pinmeto.com, starring Alex Esser.
  • Watched Her, the movie. Mind was blown.

On stage @ Internet i Fokus

April

  • Went to the April edition of Molly’s Music dinner, a monthly recurring dinner where people bring three songs that meant something special to them.
  • Went to Lunch Beat at Inkonst in Malmö. More lunch breaks should include beats. You get filled with so much energy to continue the rest of the day.
  • Was asked to become God father to my friends André & Jessicas daughter. I was so humbled & touched, because they mean so much to me.
  • Was invited to speak at the World Values Day - about values and leadership. Humbling.
  • Was speaking at the conference ‘It’s All About Location arranged by Media Evolution. Video of all speakers here.
  • Wrote an article for Media Evolution on how to explore the world through location data and about that Moves got acquired by Facebook.
  • Was speaking at the conference Malmös historia i framtiden about how we write history through various digital platforms by everything we share.
  • Commuted Malmö - Stockholm - Åhus for various reasons.

On stage @ It's all about location

May

  • Celebrated my birthday with Kajsa, Christin, Erik, Alex, Charlotte & Jenny dancing at Lunch Beat and a dinner with André, Jessica & Esther.
  • Went to Falsterbo for my cousin’s wedding and had lunch with family.
  • Was speaking at Social Media Lunch in Helsingborg
  • Witnessed the quickest arranged conference in history - Independence Day, organised by Hampus & Joel. From idea to conf in 10 days. I thought I was optimistic arranging Location Day in 30 days last year.
  • Started together with Linus what would become this year’s best recurring event: #brygghäng
  • Won Internet Discovery Day which gave us 25K SEK and tickets + accommodation to Internetdagarna ftw :)
  • Did my first bike race ever - 137km @ Eslöv Gran Fondo. Was one of the last one over the finish line. Gears broke down half way so could only bike in lowest gear. But I finished!

Cousin Teresia & her husband Mikael

June

  • Got mentioned in the travel magazine tnooz.com
  • Biked Vätternrundan, a 300km bike race. It was the biggest mental and physical challenge I’ve ever made. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’ve decided to do something. I finished at 12h51m and was surprised I even survived. Log 1 & 2.
  • Spent a lot of time at Sundspromenaden in good weather and good company
  • Became God father to Esther

Vätternrundan medal

July

  • Bought a bike and started to bike again after a year of walking the streets of Malmö. The good side of not having a bike was that I got to listen to so much good podcasts, something I’ve completely stopped with again. I don’t have the natural time to do it anymore.
  • Biked Malmö - Åhus, Åhus - Ryd, Ryd - Malmö - a total distance of 362km.
  • Biked RAAS - Race Across Skåne. Malmö - Kivik, Kivik - Malmö - a total distance of 192km. After that race I decided to discontinue biking for a while. It just hurts my right knee too much.
  • Was featured as Brett Connors on Fake Stories / Real People by my friend Linus Bohman.
  • Went to Österlen and tried surf for the first time. It was cold like hell but I enjoyed the scenery of Knäbäckshusen & Vik. Amazing place in Southern Sweden.
  • Watched the World Cup
  • Hit a car while biking home from work. Did a front flip over the car and landed on the other side. Miraculously I manage to make it without a scratch. The new bike was trash. :(
  • Spent even more time at Sundspromenadens #brygghäng. This summer (weather) was probably the best for as long as I can remember.
  • Released a new version of pinmeto.com with a free tool to check how a business look on various location services.
  • Was sailing the east coast of Skåne with dad
  • Got featured in Swedish Startup Space.
  • Spent an all-day with Tomas & Emma, Jessica & Andre at the beach in Höllviken, followed by BBQ. Lost my keys on the bus to one surprise.
  • Was considering selling Studio01 and buying a yacht to live on instead. It partly stayed a thought experiment.

Knäbäckshusen. A Swedish paradise.

August

  • Continued with #brygghäng. It was the summer that didn’t want to end. We all cheered.
  • Bought a sailboat together with Michael, Mikael & Marcus. A Hallberg Rassy Missill II from -74. A dream came true.
  • Moved out of Studio01 and into the sailboat, so the thought experiment became a real experiment, if only temporarily.
  • Went to a Kräftskiva at my friends Petter & Annas summer cottage outside Norrköping. Missed the train back home. No one surprised.
  • Tried dancing Lindy Hop for the first time. Fun dance, but it didn’t stick apparently.
  • Saw Naomi Pilgrim on Malmöfestivalen. Not as good gig as in Stockholm, for various reasons.
  • Went to Popaganda and saw London Grammar. One of my favourite discoveries this year. She’s got an amazing voice.
  • Spent a rainy Sunday with Veronika trying to figure out who she was, the owner of a suitcase from the beginning of 1920’s filled with photographs and chemistry literature.
  • Went to Mölle. Colleagues went surfing and I had a long walk through the town. One of my favourite spots in Skåne.
  • Co-arranged Startup & Music Wednesday during The Conference & Malmö Festivalen week. Fabulous Ida Mahrs was behind the mixer table.
  • Went to another Kräftskiva, this time at Eva & Jens summer cottage. A smoke machine, disco lighting & lots of energy turned the dinner into a summer rave party.
  • Celebrated Robert on his 40th birthday. Wicked party with lots of confetti.

Asti, our new sail boat

September

  • Celebrated 1 year of Pinmeto’ing.
  • #brygghäng continued.
  • Arranged Apple vaka @ Minc. We made Apple cakes, based on a micro wave recipe which people seemed to like :)
  • Sailed every moment there was wind and we had time. I tried solo sail for the first time ever too. A scary first, but has become routine now.
  • Laughed to this laugh
  • Got a new title as Head of Sales at Pinmeto. Not really, but we started to push our product to the market and did an insane sale push the last couple of months which was very successful. We reached out to about 200 of the largest Swedish retail chails, hotels & banks.
  • Met up with old time friend Sara Higley and her boyfriend in Copenhagen who’s visiting from Cali.
  • Co-arranged #StartupÖL with Minc.
  • Sailed Malmö - Copenhagen - Malmö, and did the first night sail ever. We hit ground for unknown reasons but it was a wicked experience. Michael’s promised me more to come, but from now on we’ll make sure to navigate straight.
  • Started to grow hair to get a new haircut for the first time since 2005. #lastchance

Me, Kajsa, Sebastian, Veronika & Joel @ #startupÖL

October

  • Went to the #workhack conference, organised by Anders Mildner. A good day that will happen in January again, you should go.
  • Moved out of the sailboat, when we had to take it up on land. And yes, it got really cold the last few weeks.
  • Wrote a long piece on how to get customers to your store front
  • Lost my wallet with all cards in it between Minc and Dockan, but a kind guy found me on Facebook and later called me up and gave it back. Good people!
  • Got two tickets to James Vincent McMorrow concert in Copenhagen from Kajsa (thank you so much). It’s one of my other absolute favourite music discoveries this year, so I was so happy to get a chance to see him live.
  • Watched cat videos
  • Watched the Paul G episode of How To Start a Startup at the Lund university and gave some advice to entrepreneurs-to-be.
  • Managed to book a seat in the pet section of the train from Stockholm to Malmö. 20 dogs yelling in different frequencies. A stupid mistake.
  • Married princess Madeleine

Working from Bar Italia

November

  • Sailed Copenhagen - Malmö in thick fogg. That was a first, but not as scary as it sounds. Two ship collided not far from us so I guess ship can happen.
  • Dressed out as a hipster for Halloween. No, I was just kidding around in a dressing room at Åhlens.
  • Launched malmostartups.com/startups, a list of all startups in Malmö.
  • Challenged myself and my friends to not complain for 24 hours. It went pretty well until Micael asked how it was going in 23rd hour. I don’t think of myself as one who complains a lot, but it was harder than I though not to complain about anything.
  • Said hello to the first snow
  • Got reminded that assumption is the mother of all fuckups. Missed an important meeting because I didn’t get confirmed location.
  • Read about why successful people wear the same thing every day.
  • Arranged Meet Malmö Startups - Hemlis, a first in a series of many events where the community get to know each other better
  • Represented Minc at #CPHFTW Town Hall #4, the biggest tech event ever in Copenhagen. The moments before entering stage was the worst I’ve had going on a stage. Imagine a pepp talk, but the opposite. That was weird.
  • Saw a man faint just in front of my eyes, while talking to him.
  • Linus & Jessica threw a Glögg party and we made ginger bread and drank glögg until we were all high on sugar.
  • Had lunch with #MalmöStartups & Jasenko Hadzic from #CPHFTW to see what we can do together and leverage each other’s communities.
  • Went to Internetdagarna and slept with the most awesome view one could possibly have.
  • 8till5.se, Sydsvenskan.se & hd.se’s mutual blog focused on economy wrote a piece on #MalmöStartups
  • Moved the office offshore to Barbados. A Daniel initiative that I’m very grateful for. It’s fucking amazing here.
  • Started surfning. As in paddling like a turtle & getting hit by waves.

The OMG view from my room @ Radisson

December

  • Saw lots of sunsets, road tripped around the island, got hit by many more waves, reef and the board.
  • Wrote about what can get me up in the morning, about my first impression of Barbados, the frustration of poor internet and how Internet has changed our society.
  • Went to, and obsessed about Bathsheba, a paradise town.
  • Had strategy meeting in a pool.
  • Found out that someone else also had designed an iPhone mount for your Mac. So now I don’t have to complete my project.
  • Contrary to common belief, we actually do work at the office in Barbados. Internet is completely and utterly useless which makes it very frustrating and hard to do anything efficiently.
  • Went to a cool New Years Eve party in a converted, open car park in central Bridgetown.

chilling at Drill Hall