Thursday, September 13, 2012

My talk at #webbdagarna 2012

Last tuesday I did a talk at Webbdagarna in Gothenburg. The talk is mostly about Google and Facebook - and why I think the window of opportunity for web entrepreneurs 2012 is more about "thinking Facebook" than "thinking Google". The talk is in Swedish.

Would be fun if anyone has some comments! And here are some of the other talks from Webbdagarna.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tripbirds 2.0 - give it a spin!

Two days ago we launched the "new" Tripbirds. It is now a hotel booking site based on Facebook and Instagram. I think the focus is a lot clearer this time. And the site is instantaneously useful.

I had my first "Tripbirds AHA moment" a week ago. I am one of the speakers at a conference in Gothenburg called "Webbdagarna", and I wanted  to book a fun and kind of happening hotel for the conference. I actually checked out and my own first. I got some ideas, but could not decide.

Then I gave Tripbirds a spin. And the differences were obvious. On Tripbirds you see directly which hotels are happening, both among your own friends and among people in general.

It's been a hypothesis of ours that Instagram images from hotels could give a different, perhaps richer, picture of hotels. And I think it really works.

Checking out Instagram images adds a lot of real flavor. The big difference, compared to all other hotel images, is that these images show real people. That makes the the whole experience a lot more fun, and I really think you get a different sense of the atmosphere at the different hotels.

We have more things in the pipeline. Hope you give Tripbirds a spin, and tell us what you think!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Social apps with wow-growth

Here is my latest comparison of social apps, and how many monthly active users they have on Facebook. I have been a bit too busy lately - so the latest comparison was three months ago. So what is "wow" this time...?

Gogobot is seeing good growth - now at 500.000 monthly users. Instagram has more than tripled in three months. OMG! Swedish Wrapp has also almost doubled since last time we checked. Good work!

Previous comparisons in jan 2012 and mar 2012.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My favourite hacks from 24HBC

Two days ago, 90 tired web developers got back from 24 Hour Business Camp - the hackathon I founded in 2009. This was the fourth version of Sweden's largest hackathon - and perhaps the best camp yet! The nice weather didn't hurt. You can check out all the project pitches here. One minute each!

Here are my favorite projects:
  • - Create and sign simple contracts on the fly. The official 24HBC "winner", and for a good reason. Great use case, and the service worked great 24 hours later!
  • - Find and sublet apartments through your social contacts. Great idea. Not really finished within 24 hours, but still nice. 
  • - Create infographics on the fly. Fun idea, and the prototype worked well after 24 hours.
  • - Write a story together with your twitter friends. Yes - it's a prototype, but it works, and it's a fun idea.
  • - YES, its MY OWN project. "Pinterest for swedish hotels". A simple and very visual hotel site, in Swedish. Lots of images. Log in with Facebook to see hotels your friends' want to visit. Try it. :)
  • - Create collector cards of yourself, and trade them with your friends. Lovely, creative idea. It's not a complete project yet, but it's a working prototype.
  • - "Spotify for news articles". It looked really nice, but after some controversy they took it down in less than 24 hours. That's a pitty! I would have loved for you all to check it out.
  • - Share the really good articles you find on the web. Simple, yet feels strangely powerful. Love the simplicity. It's a prototype and I want more. So really hope they spend another 24 hours on it!
  • - Rent or let desks (in an office) by the week. I love the idea, and look forward to using it. It's a really meaningful service, with a real revenue potential. The prototype isn't live on the web yet, though. Get it up there, Arvid
  • - Instagram for words. Created by 15 year old David Gabor, one of this year's youngest participants!
  • LOL Security - Hide encrypted secret messages in images of cats! Inspired by the Arab spring. Cool technology and awesome quirky messaging. Check out their philosophy page. 
And... some of the most promising projects were apps. Here are my favourites in a separate list. Hopefully they will all be in the App Store soon:
  • (app) Find flight tickets at great prices. Looks amazing, and I love the simplicity in the value proposition. Awesome! Disclaimer: Created by my colleagues at Tripbirds. 
  • Hitchi (app) A hitchhiking app. Turning hitchhiking into a trusted and working way to travel is actually a really big "problem" in need of a solution. And it looks great. 
  • Syllable (app). A word game that lets you compete with yourself by spelling words on time. Created by the Hyperisland student team. Great design.
  • (app). An app to give live feedback from an audience to a speaker. Created by the KTH student team. Show some screenshots - the app looked great.
I probably forgot a bunch of great projects... This was a subjective list, put together very quickly. You can check out the complete list of projects here. What do you think, some awesome projects I forgot?

I did a similar list of my favourite projects last year

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stockholm Startup Hack

Before the crowds arrived this morning...

And the "Hello and welcome" by Javve, Jocke and Martina:

The hacking has now begun. Follow #sthlmstartuphack on twitter!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Proud sponsor of Stockholm Startup Hack

I am really happy to announce that I am sponsoring Stockholm Startup Hack with a really cool venue for Saturday's hack! The previous venue was amazing too but since more than a hundred people applied, the hack really needed a bigger venue.

click for larger image

So... I'm super happy to sponsor the hack with "Lägenheten". It's a huge, charming, Berlin-style apartment right by Mariatorget. I have such a great feeling for this place. I'm thinking it might be the mother of all hacker-venues.

Haven't heard about Stockholm Startup Hack? Well, you should have. It's a full day event taking place tomorrow (Saturday 12/5 2012). Participants in teams of one to three will get 12 hours to create something amazing, using their hacking skills alone. The event itself is a real grass roots hacker initiative, co-organized by three great individuals; Martina of Tripbirds, Jocke of Wrapp and Javve of Mynewsdesk. A bunch of other startups are sponsoring with things like snacks (iZettle) breakfast (TicTail) and venue (um, me)!

Here is the schedule:
  • 08.00 Breakfast
  • 08.45 Welcome and hello
  • 09.00 Hack begins
  • 12.00 Lunch
  • 18.00 Dinner
  • 21.00 Hack ends
  • 21.15 Presentations – each team gets 90 seconds to pitch and show their hack.
  • 23:00 Let’s head out!
If you are participating, please bring:

I had no idea, but with so many hackers in one place the actual Wi-Fi frequency band might get clogged up. The solution is to A) use a network cable to one of the 4G modems or B) use your phone's 3G connection with a cable. Got it?

If you are a journalist or have some other purpose to hang around, contact Martina Elm for press  accreditation. :)

If you think this sounds amazing, you should totally apply fo 24 Hour Business Camp, 10-12 June at Hasseludden Yasuragi. The last day to apply to 24hbc is TODAY. (friday 11/5).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tripbirds + Facebook = ♥

Facebook Developer Garage is coming to Stockholm. This is an event organized by the folks at Facebook and co-hosted by... (yes, you heard it right)... Tripbirds.

Learn more about building sites with a great Facebook integration, and mingle with people from Facebook. May 23 at Färgfabriken. It will probably fill up quickly, so sign up here.

Fun people coming to 24HBC

On friday 11/5 is the last day to apply for 24 Hour Business Camp, the hackathon that I founded in 2009.  I have written more about the camp here. 24HBC is organized by .SE this year. (Check out the 24hbc blog.) 

My role this year is as an advisor (and a participant!) so I have not seen the applications we have gotten so far. But still, here are some fun and really nice people that I know have applied...

  • Jonas Lejon. One of Sweden's most well-known hacker/entrepreneurs? Built more than 20 sites in his spare time - though he actually has a day job. An advocate for open data and NoSQL. Blogs at Utvbloggen.
  • Susanne Jarl. Enjoys life when she is deploying code in the middle of the night. Runs, one of Sweden's largest recipe websites. She also builds apps. Blogs at
  • Arvid Janson. Founder and CTO of Hoa's Tool Shop and arranger of Health Hack Day. Does front end design, HTML5/CSS3, PHP, JavaScript, and iOS development. The whole package. Also, check out his latest amazing project, Streetheart. Blogs at
  • Andrey Zhukov. Developer at Toca Boca. In 1999 he started one of the earliest software companies in Ukraine. Worked at Valtech, studied at KTH and SSES. Blogs at
  • Raiha Buchanan. Digital marketing manager at House of Radon. Studied e-commerce at Hyper Island, where she founded the e-commerce site Swedish Fresh. Also been head of marketing for Young Entrepreneurs of Sweden, and much much more. Portfolio and blog at
  • Erik Pettersson. Designer, front end and back end developer. Currently at Improove. Has created Tå and last week he created Pingalytics - a mashup of Pingdom and Google Analytics. (Have to check that out.) Blogs at
  • Popdevelop. An awesome developer team from Malmö. Just created Popfaktura - a sleek invoice payment solution. Have also created, a webshop with customizable skins for tech devices. Blogs at

Yupp, that was just some of the people I know are coming. Sounds like fun, right? I have no idea what people are planning to build. But it doesn't really matter. My experience is that great people is the most important ingredient for a great hack!

This is not the complete list - just some people I know have applied. It is not too late to apply - you can also apply for 24hbc here. The deadline is on friday 11/5.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fireside chat about startups in Sweden

Sat down for a "fireside chat" with Annika Lidne of Disruptive Media. If you have 35 minutes make a big cup of tea and tune in. If you have less time you can skip to

1.59 - about "porridge" entrepreneurs!
26.30 - about the need for 24 hour business camp
35.00 - about the current startup climate in Sweden

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

24HBC strikes back. Again!

Nu har anmälan öppnat till årets 24 Hour Business Camp! På Hasseludden Yasuragi utanför Stockholm, 10-12 juni.

Det viktigaste för att det ska bli ett grymt HACK i år är helt att det kommer dit riktigt kreativt webb-folk. Är du en duktig hacker/kodare/designer, känn dig kallad.

I år är det .SE (Internetstiftelsen) som anordnar. Själva anmälan är lite "stiff" men låt dig inte avskräckas av det. Det viktigaste är att du (eller ditt team, max 3 pers) kan skapa en första prototyp av en webbtjänst på 24 timmar.

I priset (2000 kr ink moms) ingår ALLT. Båt till campet, två nätters övernattning, bad i varma källor, sushi och teppanyaki, tofflor och yutaka. Förmodligen världens lyxigaste hack-event.

Mitt tips angående idén: Keep it simple. Helst inte mer än tre ord. Saknar du idé kan du använda denna tjänst (halvt på allvar, halvt på skämt) eller kolla in någon av alla 1000-tals startups på Angellist (mer seriöst). 

Själv ska jag hacka ihop en Pinterest för ______.

OBS. Sista dag att anmäla sig till är fredagen den 11:e maj.  Anmäl dig här.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Internet users in the world

Still growing. These numbers also don't say anything about the speed of the internet connections.

via Google public data.

Friday, April 20, 2012


The hackathon culture is spreading like wildfire! There are some great hacks coming up in Stockholm. Here are the events you should not miss. I'm also including a few other startup related events.
  • Startup Day 2012 (april 21) in Stockholm. Not a hack, but perhaps Sweden's best networking event for startups! Link
  • Meet and Eat (april 22). A 24 Hour Business Camp "warmup" event. Get some ideas and inspiration for 24 Hour Business Camp. And free brunch. Link
  • Stockholm Nightowls (april 24). Like to code at night? Hang out with the other Nightowls. Link
  • Stockholm Startup Hack (may 12). A 12 hour grass roots hackathon co-organized by Martina of Tripbirds, Jocke of Wrapp and Jonny of Mynewsdesk. This will be lovely. Link
  • Health Hack Day (may 19-20). Hack health. Build a prototype for a health related mobile or web app in 24 hours. Ambitious lineup and a cool site! Link
  • Match n' Hack (may 25). "Hack with startups!" A startup matchmaking and hack event at KTH.  Link
  • Geek Girl Meetup 2012 (may 26-27). Women only, unconference. Theme: "Beautiful data." Link
  • 24 Hour Business Camp (june 10-12). The hackathon I founded. Stay for two nights at Hasseludden Yasuragi, the epic japanese spa outside Stockholm. Hack for 24 hours while being treated to sushi, teppanyaki and hot baths. The mother of all hackathons if you ask me! Link
The Facebook campus, image by Justin Shaffer.

A few other things worth checking out: 
  • Turisthack in Gothenburg (may 26-27). Link.
  • Open Stockholm Award. Hack competition by the city of Stockholm. (last day to submit, may 13) Link
  • Sollos Price 2012. Before (april 25), nominate some person in Sweden who inspires entrepreneurs and helps combine entrepreneurship and business with having fun. Link 
Did I miss something important? Let me know in the comments. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Social apps that are growing

I think doing this comparison of social apps is so much fun I'll keep doing it on a bi-monthly basis. The data is from Facebook, where "monthly users" is based on the number of connections to Facebook. 

The data is for nov 2011  --->  jan 2012  --->  mar 2012

News in the travel category: Tripadvisor is growing. Wanderfly included on my list after their re-launch. Everplaces just launched. 

News in the "other" category: Pinterest doubled in last two months! Instagram almost, as well. Gowall and Oink have been killed. 

News in the Swedish category: Spotify added 4,5 million users in 2 months. Soundcloud and Wrapp still growing strongly. 

Previous updates: here and here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SXSW on Tripbirds

I'm using this awesome new service to see what my friends are doing at SXSW in Austin.

It's called...  Tripbirds. :)

About ten of my friends are in Austin at the moment, which gives me a very nice feed. The pieces of the Tripbirds puzzle are really beginning to come together!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The state of social services

In the last post I wrote about social apps that are showing growth on Facebook. This time I thought it would be fun comparing what people are searching for on Google.

1. Am I the last person blogging?

When I launched my maps websites a few years ago, blogs was all I thought about. My feeling today is that wouldn't really work. 

This is data for Sweden. It seems like general interest in blogs peaked a few years ago. Now let's compare blogging tools (this time for the world):

Tumblr is clearly the new kid on the block.

2. Has Facebook peaked? 

Looks a lot like it.

3. Has Twitter peaked? 

Doesn't look like it at all!

4. What is Pinterest?

Comparing Tumblr and Pinterest. No idea what the latter is - but it is growing like crazy! ;)

And all of this interest is in the US, so there is a lot of growth potential.

5. Instagram, Gowalla, Foursquare?

Gowalla was huge in Sweden and Norway, but is now dead. Foursquare has peaked (might need revitalization by things like Tripbirds). Instagram is growing like crazy.

If there are some interesting things I've missed, plese tell me in a blog post of your own. Or, uh... on Instagram or Pinterest! Confusing world we're living in.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Social apps that are growing (or not)

I wrote a blog post over at the Tripbirds blog about social apps and their growth in the last two months. Check out the image or read the entire post here.