Category Archives: General

GamersGate Holiday Show Episode 1!

Today at work we published the first episode in of our Holiday Show, in connection with the December Holiday GiftGuide we currently have live. Me and Angelica recorded this yesterday, and I can’t deny that I was nervous. Don’t know if that shows :) Now we will make a new episode each week for December. Sharing tips from the Gift Guide and more. Then we have to see if there is an interested in continuing producing those shows. Now that its done, it is kinda fun.

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Unlearn your MBA

Think there really is some truth to this statement given by David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of the Ruby on Rails Web development framework at the Entrepreneur Thought Leader Lecture at Stanford (complete lecture below).  Schools and degrees are privilege many of us have to give us a boost for the success later in life, both professional and personal. Many people spend a lot of time and money to give this chance to poor people all around the world. Something many of us take for granted, to go to school. Here in Sweden its free to go to university or collage, while in the US you have to pay ahead for each term. They are discussing adapting this model here as well.

But an education can be many things, not simply an MBA. Its not always easy to get an MBA, but the more people getting them, more pressure to stand out. And often society / business evolves faster than the school text books. So basically, some educations are outdated when the students finish.Personally I felt that my real education started when I ended University.  MBA might be the start, but its not everything. The best teacher is life and learning by your self, by trying.

As David is speaking at the Entrepreneur Thought Leader Lecture he is directed to Entrepreneurs, and being that is not something you can read your way to. Not in my mind at least. I think its just part of you as a person. You might not have it from birth but it can come to you when ever. Many of the biggest Entrepreneurs of today (specially in the IT-era) were drop out. Even if they sort of finished their degrees afterwards. Like Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton. Some times the creating spirit is more important and powerful than your reading mind. Its always good to create a good foundation and basic understanding. But simply a degree won’t take you all the way. Its what you do besides that. I even got a couple of  jobs, not for my degree but because of all the things I did around by education. So I try to recommend everyone I meet to do as much as possible outside of just going to a program / class. Though its hard for many to early find their interested and what they want do and focus on it. And not all areas of work really require this type of thinking and devotion. But if you want to, push yourself to the limits and reach the skies!

Stieg Larsson to be the first “Kindle Million author”

Very interesting! I knew that the books were big sellers, and really really good books as well. When I first heard of him was in 2006-7 while working on Gotland. Everyone in the office talked about this damn Stieg Larsson and how his books messed up everyone’s sleep. They simply couldn’t stop reading. So finally I picked up his books (as audiobooks I might add) and started listening. And I was hooked immediately! I had never read (heard) anything similar before, and even when we went travelling to Tokyo, it was hard to stop listen. Also got the whole family hooked as well.

And it seems that the success continues, even increases. The third and final book just recently got release in English and I recall reading somewhere people stood in line outside of book stores in the US when it was released! In the same league as a Harry Potter release.

So it don’t seems like that a big of surprise when reading that Stieg Larsson is the first author to sell a million copies… for the Kindle! The hugely successful e-book reader from Amazon (now rivalled by the iPad) have changed about reading and getting books. And to be the first to sell 1 million copies is something big! The best part is that its a Swedish author! Kindle and similar book platforms are here to stay, and its a privilege to have the biggest seller to be Stieg Larsson. So they made him the first member of their Kindle Million Club. Feels good to be patriotic sometimes! The only sad thing about this Stiegs passing and that he isn’t here to enjoy the success.

I am kindla interested in a Kindle, as a big book consumer myself. I wouldn’t want an iPad for reading, don’t really feel that it is biggest potential. With the screen and everything.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

Never forget the basics

In recent weeks I have spent quite a lot of time watching my new favorites tv-shows The Apprentice (US) and Dragons Den (UK). “Its all about business”. Not only do I watch those cause they are entertaining, but I find them worthwhile. For the Apprentice a group of individuals is competing against each other for a job for Donald Trump. Here they have to show how great they are in a number of tasks and showing their skills.

And in Dragons Den aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the “Dragons”, successful business men and women who really are inverters. They have to prove that their business ideas and products are worth investing in. And often that they as individuals are investible.

Both these shows had made me think quite a lot of the basics in everything. How we must never forget or underestimate the basics of every business and theories. I have read many books in recent years about the development of business models, the web, new media and marketing. Everyone claim to show how things have changed and how to utilize the new tools to reach the new, hard do reach, audience. Many seems to think that we have to rethink how we work completely. But I think its more important as ever to remember the basics. Just because we shop on the web, doesn’t mean the basic retail theories doesn’t apply. They have just taken other forms. Its still about working with  the shop, products, prices, getting people in the shop and get the to purchase, and then get back. We have better tools to work with, but the basic principle still apply.

In the Apprentice it often seems like the candidates complicate thinks in their task, ignoring the basics. And therefore fail in some of their task, sometimes there i just lucky and it works out for them either way.

The same can be said about the entrepreneurs in Dragons Den. They have really good time to prepare for their, not to mention working on their core business. And yet, when they come to the Den they often fall flat under the interrogation from the Dragons. They don’t know their number, their markets or the basic fundamentals of how to run a business. Not to mention, lacking some common sense. And this have made me even more interested in the basic of business.  To start with, then I can always expand my knowledge. As my new vision is to eventually be a Dragon.

Even as new business theories and areas is introduced, the basic is still true in everything. Its just that they have evolved. Even though I work with E-retail on GamersGate, I still bought a book in regular retail basic theories and practices. To not forget the basics.

Drop in webtrafic due to Ipred

From the 1th of April 2009 a new anti-piracy law became active in Sweden call Ipred. This law enable record labels, book authors and publishers as well as movie companies to legally hunt people who pirate copyrighted material online. Its been a big debate here in Sweden regarding this law aswell as the FRA law

Now the Ipred law is in place, and the first thing some book publishers did was to sue some people who had enabled a collection of audiobooks for illegal file sharing. A more interesting effect of this new law was the overall drop in web traffic here in Sweden from the 1th April. We at GamersGate noticed a 20 % increase in both traffic and sales from Sweden the same day. It give some perspective on how much of internet traffic due to piracy. Even services as video and music streaming have increased the amount of overall web traffic, piracy still holds a big part.

It will be interesting to see if steaming games services like OnLive will affect web traffic if they reach out to the mass-market. The company behind this service claim it will work even if you don’t have a top of the line broadband connection. It can’t be more than streaming video, but the real problem to solve is all the computer power required to host this kind of service.

Over all, I think services like this which enable you to work, despite the hardware performance of the computer you use, as long as you have an internet connection will increase. There is only a couple of issues that have to be resolved first. Security and high quality among others.

Go offline, BE creative

I have often concluded again and again, that my creative mind starts to really work when I get alot of new input. When I read, surf the web, talk to people about interesting subjects and, unfortunately before sleeping. Its very easy once all influences start pouring in to let the creativity accelerate even more. The problem is to utilise the creative toughs, writing them down and focus on them.

Recently it hit me that the best way to really work through all the creative toughs is not to be connected online, or be surrounded with people. Its hard, for many people including me, to be focused and concentrated when you have a lot of noises and buzz. In todays work environment we are required to be on top all the time, creative on demand and very concentrated. For many its very hard to focus when we´re constantly connected, Emailing, Instant Messaging and meetings.

I recenlty had a great idea at work and haven’t let the though go away, quite the opposite. Its been nagging in the back of my head for some weeks now. But yesterday when we went to England for a parter meeting I had some time on the flight without internet, working off-line. And then I could focus all my thoughts on this and started documenting my thoughts and ideas. And it all started just flowing out of me. Not getting interrupted by anything I really could get all my ideas down on paper.

Then it hit me, that we should more often go online to get some inspirations and get the creative mind start working. And after a while go offline to get all ideas down on paper, do something concrete. Not only talking and thinking, but puting it on print.

Greedy king, call in an Entrepreneur

One of the biggest news (or farytales for those who prefer) here in Sweden right now is the upcoming wedding between our royal princess Victoria and her fiancé Daniel. Most of the Swedish people were very delited  to hear the engagement, thou I have to say i really don’t care that much. I was mostly annyod cause it took to much media space. According to me the royal family get to much media attention the rest of the time, but now they get even more. So next year there will be a big wedding, and discussions have already began to fire up.

Just a week after the wedding was announced the King Karl Gustav, wrote a letter to the state, asking for money to finance the wedding. This made many Swedish heads spin! The royal family already have a big fortune, and with regards to the latest finance problem in the world and Sweden were many many people have lost their jobs, this is a real insult. And it have began a debate whether the peopel should pay for their wedding, or them self.

Many of those who are for the state playing, argue over the PR value and exposure this is for Sweden as a country. How this will result in extra income from tourism, media and export industry. I’m not that convinced. I only think this is big in Sweden, and why should other countries bother with our small royal house? Also, in our neighbouring states the royal weddings were paid for with there own money, so why shouldn’t our do the same? I joined a Facebook group for those who don’t care about the wedding, and also don’t want to pay for the wedding, and the number of member today is about 43 000!

Many Swedes believe its important with a royal family. Obviously I don’t! I stongly believe we should change the structure, and make the royal family into a registered company! Let people who care for them, buy shares. Also the family have to think and work more like a real business. Instead of just getting money for the state and other more diffuse incomes, they have to work like the rest of us. For example, instead of just getting money for the wedding, Victoria and the King should think as an real Entrepreneur. Call in a entrepreneur consultant that can help them to find new ways to finance the wedding.

If they truly would like to promote Sweden and all our good companies, they should look to attract sponsors! Volvo could sponsor the transportation, TV4 pay to send the event on tv and get the rights to sell it worldwide, ICA can provide the food and H&M could do a special Royal wedding cloth collection! There are endless openings to do smart collaborations and sponsor deals to fund the wedding. Sad that the royal family can come out of their shell and start thinking business wise.

"They begin to become costy!"

"They begin to become costy!"

Emotional cities – the mood of the city

About a week ago I learned about something we have outside our office. There were a big lamp that lit up each of the five big buildings in the middle of Stockholm. The lamps change colors all the time. And a co-worker told me about them, that they reflex the mood of the city. Something called Emotional Cities, were the people of Stockholm can enter a website and chose how they feel, and the lamp will then change to correspond with the most popular mood. So by just looking at the colour we can find out who the people of Stockholm feels.

Go in and check it out at Emotional Cities!

“Winners” and “Losers”

At the moment the financial world is in a bit of Shock. Much thanks to the problems to US banks, Wall Street and the American housing market. We see how it affect all parts of the world, much here in Sweden too. I’ve never been much interested in the financial market or the economical world, but the Shock Doctrine have made me more perceptive to this complex net. And while this crisis affect many people in negative ways, there will always be “winners”. Every match have winners and losers. If we ignore the moral or ethical aspect, dispite how big the crisis become, some people or companies can use it to their to their advantage. Its horrible to see it that way, but its the sad truth.

A small personal example:

The company I soon will work for focus most on the American market, therby is dependent by the US curency. The higher value on dollar the bigger profit we will make, and this is true for all Swedish companies who export gods and services to the US.

On the other hand… If the dollar is low, I can save much money if I would like to buy or import products from say Amazon (which I do sometimes).

I want the dollar to be high so my new employer earn good money, at the same time I personally want it to be low if I import stuff. This is nothing new, but in the current darkness we must not forget that for some this open up great possiblities. In every situation, someone will always get a opportunity. I don’t believe in the old saying: “Everybody loses”. There is always two sides of a coin.

Christianity vs Spore

Now, religion is a very tricky subject, due to the fact that some people take it way to seriously. They often view themselves to highly and right in every question. Christianity as the biggest religion in the west is a great example of this. Way to often I hear about Christians (Also include people of other faiths) that doesn’t respect people for believing in other gods, religions or simply not believing at all. I have a simple rule: if religions people respect my atheism, i will respect their choice to have faith in something.

In recent years a “war” have bloomed in the US between Evolution theory and Creationism. And on this one I stand on the Evolutions side. Creationism, just a word to  make religion sound more like a science and less like the bullshit it really is. Especially when there are Christian fundamentalists in the White House, controlling the most corrupt country in the world.

Anyway… now Christians have a new nominee for the “Satan of the year” award, Will Wright and his new game Spore. A new site, dedicated to raise the question and point out all the “evil” Spore stands for, AntiSpore.com have been launched by a anonymous Christian American woman as a part of her crusade against Will Wright, Electronic Arts and Spore. I read all her posts and wasn’t surprised really, only still fascinated by her ignorance and disrespect for freedom of expression, Evolution and peoples right to have different opinions. I get really mad by such idiots justification of their own believes. Her complaint and main issue seems to be that this game will teach kids a non-religious way of viewing the world and its birth, aka Evolution! Christians have protested that schools teach Evolution to kids, and claimed that the Bible should be the only source to explain our origin, which is very very wrong! Its important to learn kids to hear many versions and then let them decide which they want to believe. And learn kids to be more natural critical.

Whats even more interesting is to see all the comments she received for each of her few posts. Many not so good comments, but it sure show how engaged people are in this question. Like I said, religion is a secure way to stir up some provocation and reactions. And I think this is just the beginning for the Cristianity against Spore.

[Update] Games that legitimately have to be baned or criticized are those who intentionally want to provoke people with faith. Like Muslim Massacre. I think it would have been more appropriate if they had called the game Taliban Massacre.

Comic Spore Will

Just a personal note; I’m furious that our Norse mythology have such a bad reputation in Sweden. Here we have a problem that many Nazi and new-Nazi are being associated with Norse mythology, since those people often wear cloth and jewelry linked to our Viking gods and heritage. I’m very angry for this, cause its our heritage and we should be proud of it!