Sig's an entrepreneur, spends much time on his bike, in his running shoes, on the yoga mat, on snowboards and skis. He writes about software, business strategy and how stuff should be operated... humbly of course, but with some attitude.
Then he tries to implement the philosophy. Simply no fun just talking about it.
1. The more I hear that something is the 'truth' the more I'm convinced it is not so.
2. Tree structures are wrong, they hamper our use of resources, they limit our knowledge, they atomises any flow. Chop'em down.
3. Holistic flows beat any atomised and ad hoc process. Funny though that it's the atomised model that prevails. Shift and beat the heck out of your competition.
4. That we waste about 40% of our world's resources on manually making workflows happen as the workflows can be given a proper process framework (see Thingamy below) that would free those 40% to create value instead (which would equal to last 30 years of economic growth all by itself).
5. As a result of the above I believe that 'management' (as in making the flows flow) is a waste, hierarchies are damaging (and superfluous) and most (enterprise) software being plain wrong.
The Thingamy Project
: A clear break with how (enterprise) software is made.
Some ideas are commercial by nature, but this one started more on the philosophical level. It started off as a 'joke', being maddeningly (refreshingly I would hope... for some...) radical.
The product is already in daily use at customers and expanding fast into something the world has not seen, ever.
Its product is a One Single Complete 'Electronic Infrastructure' - and I mean complete! Bye-bye to most of current methods and systems. Including ERP, CRM, Knowledge Management, Reports and quite possible Monday morning meetings, word processors, titles and a few other useless tools and makeshift solutions...
We proudly state that its not loved by old school marketing or management. But startups and anybody who knows what "innovation" really means beyond "spray painting" old stuff or "fast food'ing" same old stuff for easier consumption (see SaaS) loves it for the simple reason that we're the only ones that can create a real agile and different business model that works.
Engstrom & Rinde
: Advice - mergers & acquisitions.
With my partner in Stockholm (Mats Engstrom, Tel:+46 8 251997), Engstrom & Rinde is active as M&A advisors, and we've been successfully at it for 20 years too. Admittingly, it's Mats on his own mostly these days!
In acquisitions or bids we have been lucky enough to advise illustrious companies like; Hershey Food Inc., Swisslog AG, Incentive AB, Offshore Accommodation Group Ltd, Marubeni, Nordisk Parkering AB and others.
Cycling: In a 'good' week about 150-200 kms up and down in the Alpes Maritimes. Used to race most week-ends, a bit less now.
My (now former) club is Antibes Velo Passion
in Antibes, France of course.
Yoga: My mother drove me to a yoga teacher every week for three years from I was 12 years young, and I'm eternally grateful for that! Alas, I was not always good at practicing over the years. A few months on the mat by myself in the mornings, then a year or two off did not give the big quantum leaps forward as I had no corrections. But it was a base at least and last summer I started going to a studio (it helped getting one's positions corrected!) and I love it.
Orienteering: My then 16 year old son, who's really good at this got me going late summer 07. And boy was that fun! Now nibbling at cycling time on Sundays. Best thing is that I get to see (really close no less) completely different nature each Sunday while racing fellow lost/not-so-lost compatriots. Gonna be more of this, but with relocation still have to find a local club though.
My club is, eh, was Mougins Orientation
Snowboarding: A favourite that I started about 15 years ago. Not much rails and pipes and big jumps though...
Skiing: Been skiing forever. Downhill racing even, and once worked as ski instructor during my time off from school. These days it's mostly cross country and now alpine touring combined with some downhill.
Running: Never on the top of my list, but have participated in some 10k races and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable pastime with iPod and Camelbak on the back.
Sailing: Once upon the time - when I had the time that is. Raced in Star class and offshore on my own boats. Highly enjoyable but time and money consuming...
Rowing: No joke. Or rather exactly that, depends. My club, Nordiska Roddforeningen
in Zurich, Switzerland was the place to burn off the beer intake during my student days. These days rowing is limited to regattas on the Zurich lake during any club or university anniversary.
Sure, always useful:
- Norwegian - and with that I can communicate with all Scandis like the Danes and the Swedes.
- English - more my first language these days, but please read my blog and judge for yourself.
- German - absolutely, but enjoying Swiss German the most!
- French - after 12 years in France I at least communicate fluently with my local cycling buddies.
- Spanish - rather so-so, spent only one year in Spain, but then I was the only foreigner among 600 employees.
Condensed history (CV)
1952: Born in Norway
1955: Started skiing.
1959: Started school.
1961-1964: Downhill ski racing.
1970: Thrown out of school. (Actually, was asked to redo a year due to extreme laziness. Declined and did my exams outside the public system despite having to do three years all over in a year. F*** the system being the driving force.)
1971: Accepted at University of Fribourg, Switzerland, to study Economics. Spent three days there and decided economics was not for me. Told parents, father not happy. Jumped into car and drove homewards. Took a right instead of left somewhere in Switzerland and ended up in Zuerich. Stayed 6 years there. Mother waited at ferry landing in Oslo for a week until she heard I was safe and sound and had stayed 1500 kms further south.
1977: Graduated as Diplomierter Chemieingenieur der ETH
. (Master in Chemical Engineering.)
1977-78: Had a job (last one working for somebody) at Dow Chemical as technical service and development engineer for low density polyethylene in Tarragona, Spain and Horgen, Switzerland.
1978-79: Did my MBA at INSEAD
, Fontainebleau, France.
1979: Had a few job interviews. No job offers. Suspect the answer to "what I want to do?" always being "not to work for anybody but myself" did me in.
1981-87: Did bootstrapping, later called LBO with a friend. All kind of companies, mostly production companies. First one bought at P/E of 1.4 and with zero equity. Good deal. Last one was given us for free as it had 17 years of losses and a 50% negative margin. Restructured, had creditors eat their losses, injected some capital. Then it burned down. Slightly uphill battle thereafter, gave that one up after two years. Good lesson, expensive though.
1992: Got myself a snowboard and sagging trousers. Found a learning curve on snow again, and had kids go "shooot, you're old!" in the lift line.
1990-today: M&A consultancy with another friend. Advised many large and small cross border deals. Good fun.
1998-today: Involved in many startups including Yacht brokerage and Games developer.
1989: Started fatherhood. Now proud father of three great boys not too different from father in attitude to life.
2000-today: Main focus on new, wacky take on enterprise software. Thingamy Ltd.
2001: Started bike racing. Great fun, results so-so.
2002: Racing better, started winning.
2002: Moved to South of France. Better weather, food more serious. Cycling great year round. Good place to be, people come visit all the time.
2007: Started running orienteering races after having been dragged into the woods by my middle son. Superb fun, and I get to see the nature of all of Provence really, really up close.
2013: The Thingamy project came out of the philosophical and development laboratory so real-world work started. Challenging, scary, but good fun - but alas a bit time consuming in regards time to write and some other activities.
2015: Moved back to my old hometown, Zürich. Total flip from the romantic, extremely pretty, but somewhat boring French Riviera and a classic French 1830 villa to total urban lifestyle in the old industrial quarter in Zürich with a view to the alps, city and main railroad (already quite up to date on international train schedules). Love it! Love this dynamic city and all aspects of it.