A serial entrepreneur’s take on how to build change-making companies from scratch
Let’s be clear: I’d rather build companies than write stuff for the internet. I’m not much into doing interviews or presentations, either. My whole life has been about starting new ventures. What I really love is digging into the actual work of curating first-rate ideas and creating robust and scalable companies together with sharp and determined people. That’s why I became a founder in the first place.
Still, I'm happy to welcome you to The Meaningful Tech Blog. Keep scrolling and I'll tell you why.
I believe strongly in openness and sharing. I also believe in the distinctive model we have built at Norselab, and in the great expertise of the individuals on our kickass team. That’s why I had to let my anti-blogging instincts rest, grab my keyboard and give you a sneak peek into what we wish to share with you.
Four years ago - after years exploring opportunities out of Switzerland, Silicon Valley and Oslo – my partners and I structured our entrepreneurial activity into Norselab. Gathering a team of serial founders and prime experts from various business areas, we set out to co-found meaningful technology startups.
I love building companies, but not just any kind. My colleagues tend to think I’m opinionated, and I’m willing to accept that they are right. It is true that I have my own view on what makes great companies, and on what it takes to build them.
Although our team is a collection of highly different (and a tad eccentric) personalities, we all fervently adhere to the framework that defines everything that we do at Norselab.
These are our 3 core beliefs:
#1 Only build companies that are meaningful.
Contributing to something good, something meaningful, is becoming a prerequisite for success. When I talk about meaningfulness, I include sustainability, but I also believe that meaningfulness goes beyond sustainability. Building meaningful companies means providing the world with solutions that are better for people or planet – or even better; both.
At Norselab, we build startups that bring technology into traditional industries and helps them become more efficient, transparent, compliant and environmental-friendly. They have a meaningful purpose. This also contributes to building workplaces where people can thrive at work because they find meaningfulness in what they do. We all need a sense of direction in our everyday lives. Having purpose makes us happier and healthier.
Meaningfulness is our north. If it’s not meaningful, we won’t do it.
#2 Industrial technology has the power to change our world for the better.
Technology is maybe our time’s most powerful tool to impact the direction our world is taking. To create real impact, we need to solve the important challenges our traditional industries are facing. Most of them are still lagging on digitalization. They miss out on the opportunity to become more competitive and to reduce their environmental footprint.
Industry is massive. If you can change the way entire industries work, you can create impact in big chunks. Building technology companies that have the ability to transform industries is my approach to making a difference.
#3 Co-founding is the way to go.
Through my fails and successes, I’ve retained one thing: if the business case is good, co-founding will give a startup higher speed off the starting blocks. Together, we are stronger. It’s as simple as that.
Ask anyone in the startup ecosystem and they will tell you that your chances of success rely almost exclusively on getting the right people on board. Co-founding provides the privilege of building from scratch, handpicking the team that you believe will make the company fly.
At Norselab, we believe in teaming up with seasoned industry professionals – people that have years of experience from the business we are aiming to enter. Our team is small but diverse and covers all critical areas that we need to complete the experience and skills of our co-founders. Founding companies together makes it possible for everyone to focus on what they do best, and to give the company higher speed, faster.
That is our secret sauce.
Building on these beliefs, my team and I will use The Meaningful Tech Blog to share our insights on how to build change-making companies from scratch.
My team and I particularly enjoy when we disagree on something, and we encourage free speech and debate. We think it’s the essence of both innovative thinking and excellent culture. This means that we will not be afraid to let everyone the fruit of these disagreements, the results of our confronting ideas.
We’ll aim for thought-provoking and fresh perspectives, and hope you will feel compelled to agree, disagree, comment or ask questions.