Success-in-progress

I have a fondness for paradoxes. I find them interesting, intriguing and sometimes even amusing. One of the paradoxes is the one about working agile and lean while at the same time lamenting the lack of progress. Why is it that we often judge something that is work-in-progress as a failure because it’s not the…

Put yourself on the other side

Years ago I worked at Microsoft in an international role. I had a lot of dealings with US colleagues, and one thing that always puzzled me was how resistant they were to change or doing something differently. That lasted until someone explained to me that in the US, the time is takes from a boss…

Burning the Midnight Oil

“I work all the time.” It is one of the things, you most often hear from entrepreneurs trying to succeed with whatever their venture may be. And while in no way surprising, to me it has always been kind of puzzling. I am a guy who likes to picture things in my mind. And I…

Who’s your debriefer?

The documentary “The Mole” by Danish documentarist Mads Br├╝gger about North Koreas dodging of UN sanctions is not only brilliant and important in its own newsworthy self. It also has an important lesson for entepreneurs. In the documentary the importance of the debrief is touted; when you have been undercover and alone for years, you…

Balance your foresight

When you build new products, you need to be a bit ahead of your time. You need to be on the lookout for trends that may emerge and have an impact on your product. What are the signals that suggest opportunities for you, and what are the signals that could put your product in jeopardy…

When love becomes fatal

One of the things we’re constantly looking for, when we’re talking to potential co-founders, is the ability to fall in love with the problem, we’re looking to solve. Either straight off the bat – much preferred but rare – or as something to grow easily into. But is love of the problem always that great?…

Roadmap of experiments

When trying to understand a problem, it’s potential solutions and what you should build in the end, it is so easy to loose the big picture of what you’re doing and how that translates down to experiment by experiment that moves your product closer to something desirable. But it doesn’t have to be that way….

Talk code as non-coder

For quite a while I have been deeply fascinated with no-code platform Bubble. It’s immensely powerful in itself, and it allows no-coders like me the opportunity to dabble a bit into it and try to get an understanding for how code structure actually works. But it also presents another huge advantage: An improved ability to…

Customer loyalty during a crisis

A lot of people say that there is never a time as good to start a new venture as in a time of crisis. Maybe it’s true. I don’t know. But lets assume it is. What are the things that makes it different and perhaps even better? Normally, most would suggest that the reason it…

Trello and OKR

When trying to build a startup ground up, there are a ton of different tasks that need to get done. And keeping track of it all is essential. But how do you do that efficiently? For me I have resorted to using a combination of Trello and OKR. We use OKR’s to define our objectives….

Idea or execution?

Rocket Internet, the famous German copycats of popular digital services, is delisting from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. This has prompted some to claim that their time is up, and that their model of copying others successful ideas was never a viable one to begin with. But that’s totally not true. Zalando alone is amble proof….

The ‘why’ on paper

One of the really interesting things you come across when you’re trying to build what hopefully becomes a great and enduring company from scratch is how much of your initial belief system, values and ambition actually makes it through the immense exercise of making it all happen? While it should be pretty straight forward to…

The tough bet on ‘less’

It is not uncommon to see new products launch with a lot of features. Too many features, perhaps. The rationale is fully understandable; there is an urge to get a ‘finished’ product out, and you quickly form your own opinions about what that means in terms of feature set. The underlying rationale behind it is…

Always create value

One of the hardest things when building new products and services is to deliver real value to your customers. I know, it sounds stupid. But it’s true. And there are two reasons for it: First of all, you’re not the judge of what brings value to your customers. They are. That’s a frightening prospect, because…

Control the effort

The world is such a complex place with a gazillion moving parts that you cannot ever claim that you have got things under control. Because how things turn out will per definition be outside of your control and sometimes for the most odd reasons. This makes your job as the one who has to get…

Falling in love

One of the things I have learned when working to build a startup team is that if you run a recruitment process trying to find the right co-founders, there is a huge risk you will eventually get to talk to people basically looking for a job. Like in a normal recruitment process? Duuh! Saying this…

Destroy the problem

During the summer I have become involved in a couple of product management communities in order to built network and get insights and inspiration for tools and methods that we can use in our new MedTech startup. Sifting through a couple of discussions in the forums, I came across a discussion on attitudes towards building…

Interview more, not less

Hiring for a key role in a new startup is both interesting and frightening. You get the opportunity to meet great people, who have invested time and interest in what you’re going to do, and you really need to make sure you end up with the right one. It can be tempting to just interview…

Test your candidates

I am not only in the process of recruiting a Head of Product for our new MedTech X. I am also trying to find a new experienced UX/Designer for our inQvation Studio team. The approach around recruiting is the same: Ditch the traditional job ad and application process and instead allow interested candidates to book…

WFH? Not so fast

A movement is forming around the future of work; saying goodbye to the office in return for unrestricted flexibility to work from wherever whenever and however you might choose. It’s the future, damn it! First of all, I will always be very reluctant to base any long term strategy on a short term experience of…

Don’t fall out of windows

When somebody “accidentally” falls out of a window at a hospital or any ofter building after criticizing the government and their policy, actions – or lack thereof – you could argue that it could be seen as a ‘clever’ way of removing an opposing voice for good. It is a tactic. A morbid but…eehhm…efficient one….

Get the outside view

If you’re stuck in whatever you’re doing or trying to accomplish, look outside your team and get an outside view on what you’re doing and where you should be taking things. True, the person you approach may not be a subject matter expert like yourself. But on the other hand the person is also not…

Roadmap as a journey

It is often fairly easy to describe what the ambition of your idea or startup is; where is it that you strive to be in, say, 5 years time? What is the outcome you are looking for? The dent in the universe you are looking to shape? What is often neglected on a planning level…

Doing interviews

When I conduct interviews with potential customers I like to do it in two rounds. The first round is an online questionaire that establishes the base and provides context for the interview. Customers agree to filling it out and are usually very good at it. What it does is that it helps me understand them…

Relative numbers

When you start something out it is super easy to get caught in absolute numbers. How many visitors do you have to your website? How many downloads does your app get? 1, 100, 10.000? But absolute numbers are not that important. More often than not they are a function of the effort and investment to…

Getting into the head

You can have the best idea or the best product out there but still get a resounding ‘No’ from your stakeholders. When that happens it is always hugely frustrating, and it is only naturel to ponder what the heck went wrong. But instead of guessing try to understand by getting into the decision makers head….

Ongoing learning

It is fairly easy to meet founders who think they know it all. Founders who are so sure of their own success and the trajectory that they are on that they almost excude overconfidence. But are they overconfident, or are they just pretending out of fear of losing face, credibility, mojo or something else? Probably….

Get the mandate

Whenever you take on an opportunity, make sure you have understood the mandate and you have it in a way that you can follow through on the ambition, you are trying to bring to life. Why? Because it is dead easy to be flattered, take in all the kind words and accept a role, where…

Work-in-progress

Yesterday at inQvation we were honoured to get a visit from the brand new Incubation Studio team from LEGO Ventures. They are just setting out with some really cool people onboard, and they had asked if they could come and learn from our experiences, and of course they could. We are always willing to share…

Stay nimble when you need to

One of the easiest things is to get carried away by your great idea. For many aspiring entrepreneurs it just happens straight out of the gate. But even for those who have learned and accepted that getting to product/market-fit is an experimental process, it can be tricky to stay the course and be true to…