Only The Paranoid Survive

 

When I first read this sentence I was instantly fascinated by this bold and provocative statement – the title of a book I have returned to several times since.

Well, it’s no shame to admit that the title also reveals that I have a couple of centuries of work experience under my belt. The bestseller-book I referenced earlier was published by the late CEO of Intel Andrew Grove in 1996 and came to my attention while I was trying to succeed as an entrepreneur in the media and Internet industry. Previously I had tried to get into The Danish School of Media and Journalism in the late 80’s, but after 3 failed attempts I decided to start a newspaper myself and that move later turned out to be the right one. Moreover, I realized that my writing was rather lousy, – I was actually much better at selling and doing business!

 

Only The Paranoid Survive?

 

So, slightly scared and somewhat paranoid I co-founded the monthly free newspaper Nat&Dag (“Night&Day”) with assistance from the Swedish parent company Nöjesguiden. The newspaper was a city guide to Copenhagen which was eventually published in all major cities in Scandinavia. This venture led to a number of other ventures and expeditions in the early days of the Internet. After co-founding Denmark’s biggest daily, the free-sheet metroXpress, I was hired by the parent company Metro International in London as global VP Marketing & Research. After some very fascinating and hectic years challenging the global media industry, travelling the globe and visiting Metro papers in more than 20 countries I returned to Denmark and the tech startup scene once again.

Grove’s much talked about book on the birth and history of Intel (as founder but also businessman, engineer and pioneer of the semiconductor industry which changed IT and computing forever plus Silicon Valley) was focused not only on being paranoid but how you use your fears to create momentum for progress and development to get ahead of your competitors, not rest on one’s laurels and keep exploring new ways to work and conduct your business. By the way, Grove also coined OKR (Objectives and Key Results) which later became an operating mantra in Google, LinkedIn, Twitter among other prominent tech companies, a critical framework thinking ensuring teams work together on measurable results.

And now?
We are on the path to conquer the world!


When I met CanopyLAB co-founder Sahra-Josephine New Year 2017 I was intrigued by her vision for CanopyLAB and the fact that we shared many comparable principles (and Grove’s) combined with an urgent mission to change the way we learn that convinced me yet again to join a promising startup. I have taken the role as COO and the responsibility for sales and marketing. And now? We are on the path to conquer the world! 


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