Hi, I’m Tor Grønsund. I’m the director of new media agency Lingo, a lecturer of entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo and BI Norwegian Business School, and blogger cited by Harvard Business School, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, among others for musing on tech startups and innovation. Common to all is, I believe in spreading the knowledge and stories of innovators.
This is me at 5 years old on an IBM 5150, the first PC.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial home in the south of Norway and was fortunate enough to be exposed to the world of computers at an early age.
My true school wouldn’t be the classroom but rather the World Wide Web. Caught by the dot-com boom and intrigued by how the Internet put the world at my feet, however, I’d go on to study Information Science–at the intersection of Informatics and Media Studies–to learn about how people search, use, and share information. I never had a big knack for writing code (although I keep enough to prototype ideas). Instead, I’d develop a thing for bringing that technology to human kind. Design thinking.
Design Thinking is matching people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and viable as a business strategy. –Tim Brown, IDEO
While still a grad student I ran my own market research practice, writing reports and analysis for management consulting, venture capital, and private equity firms. Following a few internships in tech startups, and investing most of my student loans in a dorm room WiFi startup, I had a couple of stints in market research at leading Internet search and media companies.
I then joined as one of the first employees at an Internet investment and advisory company, where I had the opportunity to work with everyone from garage entrepreneurs to Internet executives and leading politicians. Essentially, that led me to start my own company. Our first product, an Internet-based desktop environment for netbooks (remember those?), hit millions of downloads but not quite a business model.
Ironically I had started giving lectures on business model design and failure as a means of learning at universities and startup conferences across Europe. I found that traditional business management books weren’t too useful in the world of entrepreneurship. Neither did computer science teach aspiring entrepreneurs much about marketing. So in 2010 I launched this blog to share my thoughts on bridging engineering and marketing in early-stage innovation, and have been fortunate enough to be picked up by Harvard Business School, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, INSEAD, among others.
Today I put those ideas into practice teaching entrepreneurship at BI Norwegian Business School and the University of Oslo, where I design and teach courses based on lean startup, business model innovation, desgin thinking. I’m also the founding director of Lingo Labs, a new media agency and incubator, where I’m focused on bringing these new entrepreneurship practices to the world of media and publishing.
Common to all is, I spread the knowledge and stories of innovators. Because I believe innovators who aspire to change the world around them deserve to have their stories told like any other. They deserve a discussion as ambitious as their own endeavors. And their stories, when told, help aspiring entrepreneurs–and intrapreneurs–take action and find inspiration in role models.
So currently I’m writing the Startup Vikings book. Through interviews with Nordic tech entrepreneurs about their personal stories and secrets to leadership and building products, the book is the closest you come to being behind-the-scenes at a startup, and to learn how it’s done the Nordic way.
Right, but what is a meth·od·ol·o·gist?
A methodologist is one who studies methodology. A methodology is the system of methods and principles used in a particular discipline. My discipline happens to technology innovation and entrepreneurship.
Creator of the first lean startup and business model framework.
Editor of Vevens Gang, a notebook dedicated to profiling the tech startup scene in Norway, in Norwegian.
Board member at betaFACTORY, the first tech startup accelerator in Norway.
Curator of the Norwegian Startup List.