arnklint Challenges, overcomings, thoughts and inspiration.

The Nine Month Entrepreneur

Today exactly one year ago I was on the same flight as I am now, meeting up with the same friend down in Stockholm as I was then, on the same trip to Chamonix, France as I was then. There is only two major differences from one year ago. I’m staying in Chamonix and my friend has just made his first exit.

The bet (exit before 30)

There is this Jazz bar in central Chamonix, France where me and my very good friend just had had a couple of beers and sat down talking about life and the future. We were there on a much needed vacation from work and every day life. On friday, this was exactly one year ago.

One year ago

Since I started consulting five years ago, I’ve always had ideas and a hard time not thinking about them. I’ve had my own company since 2004 and think of myself as one who solves problems and make life easier for other people. I was constantly on hacker news, or reading about startups, tech and opportunities to do just that. Solve problems. Even during vacation. Because I loved it.

My friend was completely the other way around. He never thought about the latest javascript framework or tools that could help you solve problems. He had ideas, but no urge to execute them. He had always been an employee but was a bit tired of being one. I don’t know how many times during that week he told me to chill out, stop browsing Hacker News and read a book…

The local beer in chamonix is a lighter one with a taste that my friend loves. After a day in the slopes those taste just great.

There is a jazz/funk bar in central chamonix where we went one night drinking a couple of those white beers. A common theme of discussion for this trip was our future lives and entrepreneurship. I had just had a life changer and my friend was just about to get over his. I remember how we spoke jokingly about how great it would be to live in Chamonix and how your quality of life would increase. How you would wake up in the morning looking out from the balcony into a horizon filled with mountains and peaks. We could ski during daytime only on days when the weather conditions were perfect and the snow was of highest quality. And during the rest of the days and during night time, we could work from a small office in central Chamonix. Hacking away on our next big saas-app. What a way to live your life!

That evening in the bar we also made jokes about who was going to be the first one of us doing an exit. We asked ourselves how our lives would be different in just one year.

And here we are, exactly one year later. My friend is in the middle of making his first exit, which in total has taken him nine months from an idea to a product used by numerous client mainly in Scandinavia. His team has not only executed beautifully and built the product, they are actually selling it already!

I’m living in a chalet on top of that very same jazz/funk bar in Chamonix. Hacking away during night time and skiing during the day. I’ve incorporated a startup around e-commerce and web analytics which has just seen some of its first traction!

Sometimes you have got to take one step back, to get a clear view of life from another perspective than you always look through and make bigger decisions about how you really want to live it. Say no, don’t be afraid of variation because usually that is only healthy. Don’t be afraid to combine life style with your startup because if you want to continue doing the things you love, health, motivation and fun will be key.

Update: I got their press release which you’ll read here.