Sky is not the limit

The Sky is the starting point some say. And the limit exists only in our mind. Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of Spaceport Sweden surely belongs to that category where she tries to challenge that limit every day.

The Space Race

The race to mankind’s ultimate destination started in the height of the cold war, when the former Soviet Union and the United States were going neck to neck, or a Sputnik to Apollo for a very long time. From the first dog in space to the first man on the moon, it was an exciting time for space. The generation in their current 40’s and 50’s grew up watching TV of men and women scaling great heights to reach mankind’s ultimate conquest.

And then it stopped…

It stopped getting people’s attention unless there was a tragedy like the Challenger or the Columbia disaster in 2003, which quite sadly undermines the feat of mankind. Apollo 13 movie with Tom Hanks had a great interview where he explains there is nothing regular about going to the moon.

Privatisation of tomorrow’s space

With the reduction in the space budgets especially in the United States, it seems like innovation is shifting onto the private sector. Elon Musk with Space X, XCOR, Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance with Boeing, amongst many others are taking what used to be the sole property of government into an unchartered territory.

While Elon Musk just bagged the NASA contract to build future NASA space ships, other companies are catching up. From the genius PR behind Mars One to Boeing that has been in the industry for so many years, the race for space is as hot as it used to be in the 60’s and 70’s, just that it promises to advance technology more than a chip on the shoulder for countries.


20 years to ma(s)rs market?

Mars One


While its still early days, with commercial space flights not leaving too far beyond the Earth’s orbit (but promising zero gravity experience), it is not unrealistic to think that we are about 20 years away from private space market being open to more of the general public. It is not unrealistic to expect that our next vacation would be in space with our grand-kids (needless to say, you better be fit then).


Do not miss: the simulation project in Hawaii where 3 astronauts spend about 30 months (6 months journey to Mars, 6 months journey back and 500 days in the actual red planet). Read the coverage from New York Times.

Innovation catching up around the world

Indian Mars Mission

Funnily, India sent an unmanned space craft to Mars with a budget less than it took to make the movie Gravity, the only difference being one was real life, while the other was a fantastic movie. With other countries catching up, the innovation game is going to a different league with technology powering our advancement.

Love your Space?

For all those space fanatics, SIME Stockholm this year is going to be a treat. We have Karin Nilsdotter from Spaceport Sweden as one of the speakers where she is going to talk about how the space industry will fuel innovation in more industries, and how fun it is to do a strategy workshop with no gravity.


As always, get your ticket for SIME here, with 2 weeks to go, very few spots left!  

Press Ctrl+M / Apple+M = Commerce is changing forever

First, we begin with an epic Rant

We human beings are quite awesome and special. For a world that has existed for over 10B years, we have been on it for a blip of that time, but come a far way since then. First we somehow found life in a universe seemingly undesigned for life. From pretty much inconsequential beginnings, where we existed as humans without any language, we have now advanced to Facebook poke and send funny emojis in a blink of an eye. Yay to that. But there have been few events that have changed the course of our entire understanding of this world. From the discovery of Newton’s laws of gravity, Einstein’s relativity to the Industrial revolution, these events have changed the world.

Second, we have the 3 Revolutions

  1. The industrial revolution set into motion the growth of the middle class in the West, set population soaring and almost made it feel like the world was very uneventful till then.
  2. Then came the internet which has changed the world forever. Replacing traditional publishing to blogs to changing how we consume music, travel, watch TV and entertain ourselves forever.
  3. But now comes the third revolution. One that you should have heard of by now if you are especially in the retail business. The Makers revolution.

Makers Revolution. What the hell is that?

Well, in simple terms, it means anyone with a decent computer, some money to buy a 3D printer and not to mention some design skills can start creating actual real life products that can be sold. You know that print button on your computer (Apple-P or Ctrl-P?), imagine something like Apple-M or Ctrl-M and out comes a real 3D design of something you just designed, something as small as a robot for your 3 year old or something as complex as a gun.

Apple M = Make

The Era of Creators is here

Remember the time when the print industry went ballistic about bloggers? How could bloggers replace journalists? How can citizens be a voice for the world events? It is the job of the media. Well, as we know, while bloggers didn’t fully replace journalists, no one can operate in this world without involving the citizen journalists, as experienced first hand in the Arab Spring or as recent in the Hong Kong demonstration.

It is something similar with the Makers revolution. Now, making products is not limited to someone with experienced supply chain or troves of cash to set up a corner shop. It is as easy as taking your design skills, making your prototypes, selling it online with a service like tictail or Shopify and seeing how the market responds.

Opposite of globalisation

If this pans out as projected, this could potentially give rise to an interesting phenomenon. The opposite of globalisation. As Chris Anderson calls it, it would be the start of a new trend called “locovore” where closer is faster, since the costs have now come down drastically. Designers can literally sit next to robots, make changes in real-time and get large batch orders shipped in no time (delivered by drones?). This changes everything as you can tell. For starters, large entrenched retail businesses need to change rapidly. Having both flexibility and scale is challenging and thats the dilemma they would face.

Minecraft becomes the starting point for kids

Interestingly, more and more kids are starting to play Minecraft and familiarising themselves with polygons and shapes, training their brains to adapt to the new design reality of creating and customising products one wants to create.

Makers today = Personal computer 1970’s

While its still early days, probably compared to how PC’s were in the early 70’s and 80’s, the trend is going to hit us faster than the PC trend, as demonstrated in the mobile revolution.

Personal commerce becomes de-facto.

Join us to make the future at SIME (R)etail summit

Needless to say, commerce then becomes personal, designed, delivered and worked with on an individual level. With such interesting times, where is your commerce business on this value chain? Are you ready to look into this future with us? Join us to make this future at the SIME (r)etail summit.

You can apply for an invite here. It is going to be inspiring, guaranteed!

Hey Head of HR, are you up to date?

HR and recruitment has changed significantly the last decade. From the way new jobs are being distributed (imagine traditional classifieds in newspapers once a week) to the way companies hire, HR industry has undergone a subtle transformation. While smarter applicants get in with good connections, a lot of us still trust the invisible process of sending in a resume and hoping there is a bullet point in the resume that would land you the job.

Unfortunately those times are slowly dwindling away.

8 things recruiters should notice about a resume

The subtle changes digital brings to recruitment is showcased in 8 Things Recruiters Notice About Your Resume at First Glance in which Ambra Benjamin, engineering recruiter at Facebook, previously LivingSocial, Google and Expedia shares his personal opinion on candidate resumes. It’s a clear example of how application preference has shifted from hard to soft copy resumes, text convertible documents, and increased access to online profiles and portfolios.

But resumes, do they belong in the future?

More hard-hitting impacts, as Jason Fried of 37 signals explains in his “Never Read Another Resume” are that recruiters today can in fact hire without resumes altogether. In fact, why not. Resumes summarise individuals with a wide array of experience and skills to a one-page bullet point sheet. And with enough exaggerations (or sometimes outright lies), anyone can look good in bullets. We all have made some bad hires in the past.

That’s the picture that emerges from SHL’s recent Global Assessment Trends Report, which surveyed up to 500 HR professionals across 37 different countries. 86% of organisations now conduct personality tests, and 76% ask prospective employees to take job-fitness tests. Culture-fit tests are also growing in popularity in recent years. And of course as we are aware, social media checks are on the rise. Checking candidates’ life history, experiences and values has also become popular. While some may err on how much is too much information and where personal privacy blurs onto professional competency judgment (read Facebook photos after one too many drinks), organisations definitely do want to make their job of hiring from an unknown group of candidates easier – successful hiring after all is key in a company’s growth and development.

Nurture leadership from inside: Intrapreneurship

Another popular trend, which we’re big supporters of, is hiring internally. As new roles emerge, and employee talent shifts and develop, companies spend up to $3 million a year in cultivating future leaders and keeping employees engaged in the company.  It is quite obvious that if you find an internal rock star, you want to nurture the person to take your company forward.

Intrapreneurship rocks. A leap from employee to an owner, all without the most risk taking first step, is such a reward for companies as much for employees. Are you just throwing around innovation as a buzz word within your company or are you actually doing something tangible?

We don’t have all the answers, but there is a place where you can seek them.

If you’re looking to understand how to hire better – smarter – and most importantly motivate your folks to stay with you for longer, then SIME’s HR Summit, exclusively organised for HR directors and business leaders. While we don’t know all the answers, we are bringing together people that together we think can help get to the right place.

Register for your invite here.

Why We’re Excited to Introduce Spotify’s Rochelle King at SIME Stockholm

We’ve come a long way from a one way static medium that used to be our websites and web applications to platforms providing rich and interactive experiences, with each day getting more complex as our technologies progress. And of course, as we make things more exciting, it has gotten easier to be a consumer, always with choices that are abundant. However for someone working to delight and keep consumers, the landscape has got a little more complex with all the data, usage behaviour and the business decisions that go with it. So what is the secret to unlocking this value to make our product consistently satisfying for the end user?

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Absolut branding and the concept of onödigt bra!

In 1979, when a small group of daring design spirits in Stockholm, Sweden, designed the Absolut bottle they were inspired by an apothecary bottle from the 18th century, a classic Swedish functional design, combined with influences from American car design and pop art that was on the edge of contemporary culture at that time. Absolut is “Swedish vodka, onödigt bra in product and design”, and the brand idea is transformation. So, fundamentally, the design is Swedish, and “onödigt bra”. Their look is artistic, bold and stylish – and transformative There are very few brands that match in recognition and recall to Absolut in the spirit world or otherwise. From their iconic designs to mastering the art of finding subcultures to be a part of, they are second to none.

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SIME 101 for dummies

Today, I had someone ask me, if we’re celebrating advancement of all things digital in the world, surely there is a more tech-savvy way of sharing knowledge than to hold a conference, gathering thousands of folks and holding class.

Sure. As is the thought of using Facebook to message a friend rather than meeting friends for dinner.

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SIME 2014: All about celebrating the Internet and Scandinavia

SIME 2014 this year is on November 11-12. As always 2 days of riveting talks, inspiring panels, workshops, parallel summits, fun parties and a gala await. SIME started a long time ago when the Scandinavian internet scene was just beginning, and 2 decades on, the place is at the forefront of leading innovation, pulling its weight in creating massive dollar companies, leading the charge in building an innovative hot spot that has transformed industries.

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