The 49-year old Swedish entrepreneur and keen investor grabbed the EAE Alumni Community’s interest with his presentation entitled “Social and creative innovation: new business models for a new generation”. “My life has all been about changing the rules of the game” was how he chose to start his dynamic presentation focusing on the lessons he had learned through his professional failures.
During his presentation, the entrepreneur who also founded Campuz Mobile analysed aspects such as innovation in customer acquisition to make the company grow, as well as the importance of doing so while thinking of the tomorrow’s delight. To do this, he created a drawing of an iceberg that represented customer satisfaction. The part of this great hunk of ice that is beneath the water contains concepts such as functionality and efficiency, with delight poking out above the waves. Kjellberg went on to use Google, Facebook and Uber as examples of zero-cost innovation, highlighting the value of ethical limits when it comes to succeeding in the market. With this in mind, he finished his presentation by advising the Alumni community to embrace honesty when innovating.
Entrepreneurship and failure
With respect to entrepreneurship and the fear of failure, the Swedish investor encouraged entrepreneurs to fall and get back up again because “what we see as a failure today could be a success tomorrow”. In the Skype co-founder’s opinion, being an entrepreneur means accumulating failures: "if you don’t dare to leap, you’ll never be able to fly ", adding that “we have to strive to be authentic. If we are not prepared to lose, we’re never going to win”.
Jonas explained that Swedish culture is far more open to failure than in Spain, before going on to set out a set of skills for entrepreneurs: “It is important to get up in the morning striving to be constant and improve every day, trying to resolve a problem (and putting forward other perspectives if it doesn’t work)”.
The founder of Player.io added that, on many occasions, we undervalue the activity of the entrepreneur “who is swimming against the current, convincing other people that their idea is the best”. As far as Jonas is concerned, there are many challenges for entrepreneurship related to digitization and new technologies. “The change is going to be huge and companies that don’t adapt will fall by the wayside”, he explained. In fact, the health sector offers lots of opportunities for growth, for example, to understand and detect cancerous tumours better. The investor also observed disruption in the world of education, in which there is going to be a clear difference between two academic models (exclusive-massive).
In terms of market niches and launching new products or services, the Swedish engineer thinks that “the ideal approach is to look for the fit between the product and the market. You have to create something that people love and which is everywhere ". Sometimes companies have to redesign their whole business model and try to rethink what the consumer really needs. The secret as far as Jonas is concerned is “being able to anticipate what people may demand in the future, creating a great product that reaches everybody”.
As far as this keen investor is concerned, it has been a great pleasure to come to Madrid and take part in the EAE Alumni Reunion 2018 with top-level speakers and extremely interesting debates. Within this educational framework, Jonas Kjellberg advised the EAE students “to live their own life and do whatever they enjoy. We only have one life and we have to try and do different things”.
Technology and people, present and future
Machines and people will have to coexist and become increasingly integrated. “There is a really interesting path within our reach and our relationship with technology will change in a way we have never seen before, whether we like it or not” explained the co-creator of Skype, adding that “this transformation is an opportunity for entrepreneurs who are able to create new projects”.
Jonas Kjellberg sees it as perfectly normal that new jobs are emerging that will be destroyed and created with the onslaught of digitization “Lots of people have recycled their skills. We have to evolve constantly because we are witnessing a new way of doing business in which the winners will be the people who can best adapt to change”. He added that “many of the jobs that will exist ten years from now have not yet been created”.