Hello, I'm Tor Grønsund. Welcome to my home on the web.
First and foremost, I'm an early adopter. I take pride in discovering and taking new disruptive ideas for a ride. This is where I share my experiences.
I'm also the founder of Lingo Labs; a lecturer of entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo and BI Norwegian Business School; chairman of the Digital technology group at Tekna - Norway's largest trade union for technology and science professionals; and an occasional blogger cited by Harvard Business School, Stanford University, among others, for musing on lean startups and innovation; and I currently take part in the Nordic Council of Ministers' vision group on innovative digital solutions.
Common to all is, I believe in spreading the knowledge and stories of innovators to inspire action and help aspiring entrepreneurs find inspiration in role models.
Feel free to say hello at @tor
A little more about me
This is me at 5 years old on pop's 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 with how Internet search put the world at my feet, I'd study Information Science to learn about how people search, use, and share information.
I never had a big knack for writing code, though (although I try to keep enough to prototype ideas). Instead, I'd develop a thing for bringing that technology to human kind. That led me to pursue a degree in Innovation and entrepreneurship, concentrating in Informatics and Human-Computer Interaction.
While still a grad student I ran my own market research practice, using disruptive innovation methodologies to write reports and analysis for management consulting, venture finance, and private equity firms.
Following, as an intern I had the opportunity to experience two soon-to-be-acquired tech startups from within, as well as couple of stints in venture finance and M&A at one of the leading media companies in the Nordics.
Listening to my own entrepreneurial vocation, I soon joined as one of the first employees at an online media investment and advisory company, where I had the opportunity to work hands-on with everyone from garage entrepreneurs and executives at global Internet companies to leading politicians.
Essentially, that inspired me to start my own company - Lingo Labs. Our first venture, an Internet-enabled desktop environment for netbooks (remember those?), was selected as Lean Startup company for Web 2.o Expo in San Francisco in 2010. It made millions of downloads and users in over 160 countries but not quite a revenue model. By making it open source, however, we learned a lot about co-creation and sharing culture, which remain company's core ethos as of today.
Ironically I had began giving lectures on business model design and lean startup techniques at universities and tech events across the continent. What I found was, traditional management books weren't too useful in the world of entrepreneurship. Neither did computer science schools teach aspiring entrepreneurs much about marketing.
So in early 2010, I launched this blog to share my thoughts on applying design thinking not only to product development but also marketing. Fortunate enough, my pieces on bridging the business model canvas and lean startup methodologies were soon picked up by Stanford University followed by leading business schools and startup programmes.
At 28 years old I joined the University of Oslo as a part-time lecturer, being responsible for developing a real world entrepreneurship course based on design thinking, lean startup, and business model principles. Since then I've been trying to change how entrepreneurship is taught. My teaching philosophy is "learn to learn", which I've found to be the true value of higher education.
Perhaps entrepreneurship cannot be taught. But just like many of the greatest artists of time went to art school, or many of the most inspiring leaders went to B-school, I believe in democratizing the ideas to inspire action. Whether it is through teaching or writing, I believe entrepreneurs who aspire to change the world around them deserve to have their stories told like any other.
So, currently I'm also spending my evenings and weekends writing an interview collection - Startup Vikings. 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?
The Methodologist is the former title of this blog. More concretely, a methodologist is one who studies methodology. And a methodology is the system of methods and principles used in a particular discipline. My discipline happens to be systems and design thinking into entrepreneurship and innovation.
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.