Monday, June 26, 2023

What I have been working on recently

When people ask me what I am working with, nowadays, I find it a little hard to answer. We went to a wedding recently. When I got the question from one of the other guests I told him that I am an "internet entrepreneur". The person, who was in his 30-ies, looked at me somewhat perplexed... 

A glasses of wine later, he told me he thought I was a little crazy, to say a thing like that. Who, in 2023, says they are "internet entrepreneurs"? It's kind of like saying you have "dot com company". It makes you sound like you have been travelling in a time machine from the year 2000.

The whole experience is kind of similar to how I felt in 2003 - but now it has gone full circle. When I started my first business around that time, and told people I was an "entrepreneur", people my age were also perplexed. The word entrepreneur was not widely used among young people in Sweden and some people thought it meant I had some kind of construction company. It was not any easier to explain that I was working just with a laptop, sitting at different cafes that had wifi. 

These days in Stockholm, almost everyone is working in "tech" and, of course, at various startups like Klarna, Spotify, Epidemic, Voi, Tink or Sana Labs. Or even better, and more preferably, at newly started "venture-backed" and "purpose-driven" startups, often with female-sounding company-names like Ingrid, Sigrid, Greta, or Hedvig. 

When meeting these people, I guess it's fun to say that I myself is the proud founder of The world's BIGGEST service for finding hotels with ping-pong tables. 

Up until recently I used to say I was the founder of the coworking space Knackeriet. The best coworking space in Stockholm according to external sources - and actually the initial first offices of both "Greta" and "Sana Labs" (which is now on it's way to become another Swedish unicorn).

But I can not really tell people I work with Knackeriet now, since nowadays I am just a member among many - and Jenny Barck is the COO and fully in charge of member companies, activities and everything else. 

A friend of mine told me in that in San Francisco, people don't ask "What are you working with?" - rather they ask "What are you working ON?" 

So... what am I working on, actually? Well, apart from helping to build sites for spa hotels, nature hotels, golf hotels and eco-friendly hotels... I have actually been quite busy.

What I have really been working on, in the last few months, is building things on top of OpenAI, specifically on building a travel-related AI chat, called TravelTalk. If you think this sounds interesting, let me know and I will tell you more.

I also work with great developers and designers both here in Stockholm - and in Kyiv, and Kharkiv and a few other places. Great people like Pavlo and his team. It has been very rewarding. Stockholm is wonderful, but it's also fun and interesting to work with people from other parts of the world, with other perspectives.