I am proud to host the seventh GeekGirlMeetup in Stockholm, Sweden on the 26+27th of May 2012. We have space for 250 women, 3 strands, Creative Business, Just epic and Social Business. As the theme Beautiful Data suggests, we will be digging into a lot of visualisations and understanding how to use graph databases and APi´s.
Startup Sweden and Originate throw a ‘Startup Weekend’ event this weekend (Dec. 2-4). They just added a grand prize of a 250000 SEK investment in the form of development time!
They would really love to have more women entrepreneurs at the event, as they’re rather underrepresented right now. Girls and women, geeks of the industry, hope to see you there! People who don’t have a team yet are welcome too!
. I´ve joined the Stockholm based startup SkrivaPå.se to internationalize the service with the new name Scrive, opening up the London Office, yet we are still a highly boot-strapped, lean start-up developing in Haskell. SkrivaPå & Scrive.com do digital signatures for contracts and legal-papers.
I first met lead-developer Gracjan Polak, while presenting my last startups RunAlong API at Disruptive Code conference in Stockholm autumn 2010 (post from Programmable web). The Startup community is Sweden is a close knitted newtork and we know eachother, and here was this new guy asking excellent questions, who was he?
Gracjan Polak, the Polish technical co-founder of SkrivaPå, introduced me to the Swedish founder and Stockholm School of Economics student Lukas Duczko. We ended up talking all evening about API´s, scrum, web-strategy, and how to manage distributed teams and other fellow founders startup-issues.
As we continued talking about business and strategy during autum 2010 and spring 2011. To make a long story short, i moved to London, the UK working on opening up the RunAlong.se API publicly, and letting go of that for a bit. Lucas was fast to ask me to join SkrivaPå, after all the discussions i knew the product well, understood the business model and had no doubt when i said yes to working with this garage startup.
The fun part that i discover what it is like working with a highly effective distrubuted team. Scrive has 3 people working in Sweden, 3 in Poland, 3 in London, one in Turkey, and one travelling. We have things like the Tibetan Patches, pieces of code that our developer Eric Normand wrote in Tibet and Xian, and pushed up to the dev server when accessing wifi in the Himalayas. How wonderful insn’t that. Let me put it this way, i feel like I work for the most modern startup i can ever imagine, giving co-workes and co-owners freedom to do what they love.
As part of my work with Scrive i can also continue my work with GeekGirlMeetup.com, an un-conferance about web, code and startups aiming to create more female role-models in tech, new networks for women in tech and active knowledge exchange. Conclusion, Scrive gives GeekGirlMeetup.com an active sponsorship, it’s the first of the organisations sort.
Nobel prize winner, Muhammad Yunus vistits Stockholm, Sweden today to give a talk om his new book “Social Entrepreneurship”. Mohammad is known for his work with Grameen Bank that he was awarded the Nobel prize in peace for. Grameen Banc loans money to female entrepreneurs, due to their capability of paying back and using the profit to invest in their kids education, and reinvesting in the company with aims to take them out of poverty. Today he gave a broader talk on Social entreprenreurship and how ideas spread.
“Social entrepreneurship isn’t taking 10% of a comapnies profit and giving it to charity or a festival you want to be closely associated with even if it could be a good idea, thats profiling. Social Entrepreneurship is is making business in a way where an idea that benefits the world, validates return on investement”, Mohammad says.
A question raised was how can Swedish companies become better att social entrepreneurship? Take a part of your % that you use for CSR and and invest them in a fond with the soul aim to develop the companies good ideas, social ideas with aims to make money.
Christian Rudolf asked me to tell my story about RunAlong and our new API at his entrepreneurial tweetup along with Jonas Lejon of Bloggy.se and Stefan Mahlstein from Wordon. Rudolph wanted to tell the stories behind us entrepreneurs, to inspire other future bright minds of tomorrow, but also to create a spot for entrepreneurs to talk amongst ourselves about the topic. We ended up re-naming it to Entrepreneur unplugged.
The first time I met the other co founder of the blog Disruptive blog Peter Sandberg, it was at 2008 Sime.nu, it was my second Sime and i had decided to continue with my idea for RunAlong.se. I met him with a few friends, an i remember not daring to tell him what the idea was. He told me to start talking about it so that i could polish it faster. Some very good advice, and that i want to keep pushing for, share your ideas faster. Its a good way to test your idea, and not only have the yes sayers tell you it´s fantastic.
Im still struggeling with seeing myself on film, i dont know if its ever going to feel completely comfortable, but its ok, i had an audiance, i got the message across, and the intresting dialogue afterwods was all worth it. IVA thought so to.
Hello Henriette, author if the book “Return on involvement“, rock n roll avantgarde queen of social media + thinker of Denmark + filosopher, how are things in Copenhagen? Well, I am not in CPH right now – Im working from my big black working chair in Helsingør as we speak. Anyway I still have my office in there… Denmark is rolling these days, it’s great =)
So whats up in Denmark? When I look at it is has taken the business environment here to start to embrace the more social parts of the web – but we are getting there. The geeks are starting to take over =) it’s fantastic on one hand on the other it’s getting to be such a hypefest so everybody down here is becoming a social media consultant or “insert your own hip title here”… A part of me is really happy and fond of it – and a part of me is really worried. The good thing is that I get to do stuff like social media club Copenhagen and Geek girl meetup copenhagen and there’s more than 5 people showing up =) it hasn’t always been like that…
Its not easy being an original :). I really liked you book, Return on Involvement, a nifty take on soulful business, or as you would say, business unusual. Now that everyone is on social media, where are the geeks going? Where are the boundries being pushed?
I can see several different things out there, First of all my hope is that social media is staying around for a while so we can start getting really good at it, and it’s not just having a facebook page or a twitter account and then you are doing it. my ambition for social media is, and has always been, that it can make the world better in the eyes of the beholder, and at the same time make companies cooler and sell more. But we need to get from tool-focused to substance, that’s really important to me. You need to put it in context instead of standing on a stage and showing one casestudy after another. So I think that social media will go deeper. I hope so.
Secondly there’s the location based services that people are expecting a lot from, but it’s still real early days. Services like Gowalla and foursquare that makes me feel nostalgic because it reminds me of good-old Plazes (was bought by Nokia a couple of years ago) which in it’s essence was the same, but you had to define your whereabouts yourself (there was no geo-location thing on the phone back then)…
Then there’s augmented reality that I know a lot of phone producers are looking into. I guess the first real step we’re seeing in the real world is the scan codes everywhere..
…and then, my favorite, the game layer on top of everything… it would be awesome if business would be about gaming=)
but – when everything comes together, there’s also the notion of, that we are just making digital convinient and getting back to basics in 1950s style, just in a digital way, I dig that =)
Haha, yeah, i like your perspective. So we know what happned with lovli Plazes (my best experiance with it was at Dansih Reboot in 2008) it went to Nokia, aka, “where good ideas go to die”. (Quote from the Guardian) How do you think big companies and start-ups can avoid this trap, so to say? What responsability do companies have, and how do you think they work to lead the way?
I think that both Plazes (two of my friends from Berlin) and Jaiku (former client of mine+ friends) where bought for the talent pool and not for the service, You have to look into the motives for the acquisition. I think both Plazes and Jaiku was aware that the services was not going to stay in it’s original format when they where purchased. The Jaiku acquirement by google, was to me as a consultant, priceless, it looks good on a CV. But personally I was so sad that we didn’t stay and became the cooler european alternative to twitter. Everyone I have talked to liked Jaiku best. they where fun to work with and a great team. I think start-ups needs to think about the motives for existing, is it because you want to say something important, or is it because you want to be purchased or funded by a big company ? I think we all have our own personal agenda on this (aka. personal happiness, money, creativity) – but is it adding to, or subtracting from the point you want to make ?
If I had made a startup that had a proposal to be bought up by a bigger company, I would do it if I thought it would make my personal mission on earth easier. I think the only responsability they have is not to let the community down and not ignore people that are passionate about the startup purchased. And then, in some ways, be clear on the motives… so people are not disappointed.
A solution to what problem? I don’t think there’s a problem. I think there’s a huge opportunity However I do see that a game layer could mean a cool addition to a lot of companies. A game is one of the most involving things and one of the places you would spend a lot of time. I’ve researched stuff like farmville and frontierville by Zynga since last time we’ve spoken, and I can see why people are returning, however it’s too fragmented in my mind, you can’t really play and really get into it, because then you have to bug your friends on facebook or purchase coins to get a barn or whatever. I love games that you can completely indulge in – like WoW or Sims 3. then I can be gone for 8 hours and then return to the world. Farmville and Frontierville you have to return several times a day – and if I have to do that I have no time to read perezhilton =)
I think the “game layer” can be added in different means. I am always talking about storyliving, if you can change your communication + your content production so it becomes more fun, I think that’s a game layer. Play/fun is more important to me as a curly creative who digs champagne. thinking out of the box can be a gamelayer. I have a client these days that sells natural stones for terraces. people think im crazy when I tell them that I have taken on a client like that. The reason I said yes, was because the people behind Lithos (coming soon to a garden center near you) was so committed to changing the stone business in Scandinavia that they where willing to look outside the box and play. So how do you play with stones ? Either you let a geek stand and tell you about the different shapes and sizes and why you need natural stones for your terrace, OR you take all the old stones, that can’t be used for anything else and you turn it into a ninja-stone smashing thing.. That’s a game layer to me that works especially well with boys – young and old =) (the first video will be up soon)
Thats a wonderful example, thanks for perspective.
Im so happy because we actually have a got a location now. it took us a while. We are also talking to sponsors. I met up with the fabulous Annika Lidne last time she was in copenhagen and she told me about the geek girl academy. Basically we are going to do three things at geek girl copenhagen (please note it’s my ambition and it might not work out that way – but it’s in the sponsor material as well)
1. the un-conference
2. the academy – technical and business know-how
3. the showroom. where we are talking things like a geekgirl clothes swap, a stylist, an upcycling booth and general hang out and have fun. After doing several bar and social media camps I want to demystify it all a bit so it has a broader perspective, especially in Denmark where geekgirls aren’t “cool” – not like in Sweden… So we are turning it into a celebration of cool. the word of the day is going to be reYOUse.. I’m really excited about it. And Heidi I think you should start seeing it as an income instead of a hobbyproject. Geek girl could totally make you enough money so you could get by, im so sure of that. if you don’t know how – call me =)
Ok, cool. I kind of feel ambivalent on that point, as i want it to be lust and passion driven, the results turn out to be something else than if people are doing it for money, inclusive of myself. But mayeb ai should re think that. Anyway. So the topic will be reYOUse? I think all geekgirls i’ve met in CPH/ Denmark have been radfully cool. I might just have to come down to my darling CPH and hang out with you, when is it? How many days? Free?
It’s on the 6th of november. Oh and all geekgirls I’ve met have been cool as well, there’s just some ladies in Denmark who can’t relate to the world “nørd” or “geek” because they don’t see it as being passionate, but someone who eats pizza and sits in front of the computer all the time. It’s one day, and it will be free, and it’s going to be amazing.
Sounds wonderful! I think we have to wrap up this interview, or it might just turn into a book. Could you give me a take on three people i should interview in the future, and why.
sure thing… I might aim high now, but one of the people I think you should talk to is Danielle Laporte, she so rad. Another person I think you should talk to, is Francesca Birks from Arup (I can connect you) oh and Benja Stig Fagerland up in Norway, Im doing some work with her on rocking a business board (an ebook) it’s going to be rad… maybe we should turn this into a book ? =)
Social Swedish Webcamp is held yearly at Tjärö, an island outside Karlshamn i Sweden, where 404 (!) participants gathered this year to talk about the future of the internet, how we can use it as a tool to create a better society. Here are a few clips, rants and raves from an epic weekend that i have been a part of for the second time around. What I love about it most its like an eco system of its own, talks and camping, never has the startup and tech/media elite been so domestically downsized – and we liked it.
A standing ovation and kudos for making this happen again to the founders Kristin Heionen and Tomas Wennströms, and their dog Jaiku + everyonewho helped out.
I missed #mrkrax
This is an uncomplete list, there are a few more things that fit in here.
If i was to complete my wishlist for next year, it goes like this:
more detalied tech talks, preferably on Ruby on Rails or Sinatra.
A two day conf (i think we can agree on that to squeese out as much time for valuble thought, talks and sessions)
Al respect to the grid. It has its beauty, but when you reach over 300 people, a need for overview steps in. I suggest people sending in talks in advance, and then being ablt to show intrest for talks. This way also enables people to discower that if two peopl are talking about A, maybe one of then can go for thet slim and niched talk B, instead of using up airtime, giving another A talk. Check out Reboot for another way of doing it, solution in drupal. At GeekGirlMeetup.com we have used this way of working, with out the “showing intrest” talk, where @mariasoderberg has had the guidning role of handling contributions to the scheme and grid, guidning poeple with their talks and putting together a wonderful program.