Recession: threat or opportunity?

The world as we know it is in turmoil financially. Everybody is lying low and avoiding all expenses, which further increases the crisis. I have given up on trying to understand the underlying mechanism of this, realizing that it is not logical but based on group psychology. I just have to suffer it through, right?

I have been hit with this before:

In 1994 the Swedish Krona was under attack and the Swedish central bank tried in vain to protect it by raising the interest rate to 500%. Back then I had large loans on my flat, so it was quite though.

In 2000 I lived in Los Angeles, building an internet ineractive elearning portal on parenting, how to raise kids using modern psychology. This was at the apex of the internet hype curve so we of course tried to raise venture capital. Unfortunately, being Swedish,  we were a bit too serious and worked hard for a long time to produce excellent scripts, marketing plans, business models etc.
It was all ready to be presented in a state-of-the-art form the week after NASDAQ took a nose dive in April 2000…
Suddenly everything with .com at the end was poison to everybody. But I learned many very useful things and had lots of fun, so I chose to not regret anything and go forward.

I then moved back to Stockholm and was asked to start a research lab at the Interactive Institute, focussing on elearning methods and interfaces. The lab was financed by corporate sponsors like Ericsson. Well, 6 months after our bold start the financial crisis hit Sweden and all sponsors suddenly evaporated so I had to lay off the staff I had just hired and put the projects on idle. Being a very result-oriented person I quickly left to discover that it took 2 years before companies wanted to hire consultants at all. But in that time I developed a number of business ideas, increased my network and learned many new things.

So this time, instead of hiding under a rock like everybody else I prefer to see this crisis as an opportunity!

I am now focussing on all the new exciting possibilities with online video:
Never before has the gap been greater between the available technology and our much lower ability and creativity to make business use of it!

When I started my first interactive media company, Ahead Multimedia in 1988 I first had to educate the customers on what interactive media was, then persuade them to buy both our services and all the Mac computers and other hardware that they needed. Now everybody has powerful computers and wireless broadband, but mostly using it only to write reports in Word…

So it has never been easier and cheaper to develop and try out new digital business models, so lets use this crisis to exploit this!

There are others thinking along the same lines:
Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy
: well written by Paul Graham, an American investor/entrepreneur.

I am writing this post together with a bunch of blog friends during a “Blog Saturday”:

If you are into our old Viking language, don´t miss to check out their views on the recession: (from the left)

Jesper Åström from Online-PR
Christian Rudolf and Peter Sandberg from Disruptive
Judith Wolst from Internetionalisering
Erik Starck from Opportunity Cloud
Simon Winter from Infontology
Per Gustafsson from Webmoney

+ remote bloggers Carl-Johan Sveningsson from The emigrant Blog
and Martin Sandberg from Martin Spanar

Steve Jobs is wrong!

I don’t want to own my music!

Steve Jobs said last year that he did not see that the successful iTunes business model of selling individual music tracks would be threathened by subscription models where you pay a fixed fee to access all the music you want.

I am convinced that Steve Jobs now realizes that he was wrong (and probably work hard to catch up). The reason people like iTunes is that it is very easy to use and the pricing seems very moderate compared to what people were accustomed to: buying CDs with lots of unwanted tracks.

But that is just because people have not yet tested the upcoming alternatives such as Spotify and other new services. They offer unlimited listening to music without downloading files, and they are faster and just as easy to use as iTunes.

, an upcoming topnotch Swedish streaming music service. It will be free to use with ads, a premium version without ads will also be available.

Downloading media files will soon be a thing of the past!

I am quite certain that in a few years time we will laugh at this period of time when we downloaded all these media files and struggled with copy-protection and backups and not being able to play them on certain devices etc.

Why? Well, I love my iTunes but…:

  1. I don’t want to own files or CDs, I want to listen to my favorite music and find new music easily.
  2. I don’t want to fill up my hard drive with Gigabytes of media files that can vanish in a hard drive crash.
  3. I want to listen to my music library on multiple computers and on my iPhone mobile.
  4. I want to be able to share my music easily with friends and family.

There are two key factors that will drive this revolution:

  1. Ubiquitous wireless internet. We are almost there now in many places.
  2. The music industry realizing that this is also a way of solving the piracy problem. If you don’t need to download any files to listen to music, why bother with pirated files?

So the only reason for downloading music will be when you want to play it in locations without internet, such as when jogging in the forest etc. But that is also a temporary problem as new wireless fixed-rate broadband services will soon cover entire countries.

Launching Internet Video Advisory Group

Corporate internet video is growing!

  1. Millions of people are watching video clips, instructional videos and TV shows on internet every day.
  2. The production costs of professional video has decreased significantly due to new, inexpensive technology.
  3. There are numerous new internet-based video distribution channels, for free or at a low cost.
  4. There are many ways for companies to use video for marketing, communication and training. Both externally and internally.

But it is now easy to follow this rapid development and knowing what is best for my company of organisation. And most voices about this in the media are connected to various supplies of technology or production companies.

So for these reasons we see a great need among corporations and organsiation for an independent group that offers continuously updated inspiration and strategic advice on internet video as a tool for marketing, communciation and training.

I am launching this together with Mattias Vahlne, he also has an extensive experience of corporate video and a large network among all sorts of suppliers.

See our web site: (in Swedish)