Ted Persson is one of the most interesting and creative thinkers in the Nordic tech scene. Currently a Design Partner with Swedish private equity group, EQT, he previously founded digital agency Great Works, as well as Our/Vodka, a global vodka made by local people in cities around the world run by Pernod Ricard. We met a few years back while I was working on the board of his agency’s parent company, the North Alliance. Reconnecting in Stockholm, we talked about the secrets of Swedish startup success, how brands are changing the way they think about data, and the broader impact of AI on the creative professional.
Juan Senor is somewhat of an international man of mystery. We met in Guayaquil in Ecuador, but it was in the more salubrious settings of the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London that we re-connected most recently. A former foreign affairs reporter and business program host, conversant in six languages, and a partner in a consulting firm that helps newspapers reinvent themselves, Juan had just returned from an expedition in Antartica to study climate change. An appropriate context, perhaps, for our discussion about what the ailing print media industry might do to also save itself.
Do you give 100% at work, at school, and at home? Some people probably think of giving 100% this way: 12% for Monday, 23% for Tuesday, 40% for Wednesday, 20% for Thursday, 5% for Friday = 100%. Too many people coast through life, only doing what is required to get by. Giving 100%, 100% of the time is the effort required to stop getting by and start getting ahead. It is the difference between playing not to lose and playing to win.
Living by design and not default. Giving 100% will separate you from the rest. It will build your integrity and your results.
John Wooden was one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach. John used to tell his players, “Give 100% today, because you can’t make up for it by giving 110% tomorrow. You don’t have 110%, you only have 100%, and that’s what I want from you right now.”
Giving 100%, 100% of the time builds a reputation of dependability. It allows you to build your character and your capacity. It is an investment in integrity that will transform your results. Patricia Aburdene, author of “Megatrends 2010” said, “Transcendent values like trust and integrity, literally translate into revenue, profits and prosperity.”
Give 100%, 100% of the time and you will gain respect and a reputation for getting things done.
Nikolaj Nyholm is one of the most prolific European entrepreneurs and investors. When I first met him many years ago, he was on the verge of selling his pioneering image recognition company, Polar Rose, to Apple. Previously, he also founded Speednames/Ascio (acquired by Group NBT) and Imity (acquired by Zyb/Vodafone). Nikolaj’s new passion is gaming. His latest venture is RFRSH, an esports marketing and media rights company working with a growing number of the best player-owned esports teams including Astralis, Godsent, Heroic, and Norse. I caught up with Nikolaj at his brand new elite, training facility in Copenhagen to talk about the future of professional gaming, digital branding and the art of avoiding tilting.
I met Kjell Nordström a number of years ago in Oslo. He and his colleague Jonas Ridderstrale, had together written the international bestselling book, ‘Funky Business’, and were the undisputedly bald, brilliant rockstars of Swedish innovation. Fortunately, I was able to catch Kjell once more, while I was visiting Norway last week. Currently a Professor at the Institute of International Business (IIB) at the Stockholm School of Economics, Kjell is an expert on global markets, big ideas and creativity. We spoke about his latest book, ‘Urban Express’, co-authored with Per Schlingmann, which details why the future belongs to cities, women and new types of global organizations.