Right now, there is a certain cultural fascination with fast growth, IPOs and so on, but I want to go slow, really slow and think long-term. It takes time to do good things. You see, this cultural phenomenon of speed and growth at all costs is displayed in every startup, they all look the same, it’s like fast food: it looks good, its taste it’s consistent but then you feel horrible afterwards.
At Teenage Engineering now we are about 60 and I understand that if you are involved in every little part of the business, it destroys you. So a few years ago I started to rebuild the organisation to essentially shoot me out of daily operations so now I can work on my own projects, and try to stay focused on the things I want to do.
I try not to share a vision but work on what may inspire people and teach them values to live a life they are happy with. If you’re not happy working with a specific subject, experiment, do something else, that’s why a lot of people in our company have moved within the organisation. I’m always pushing people to find a way to be happier going to work. And I’ve always questioned why people have hobbies, why can’t life just be one entity, why do you have to separate family from work? It’s very common that you go to work doing something you don’t like, that’s why you need to have hobbies as a substitute to make you happy.
I don’t stop, I bring the family into the process, as much as I can when I travel. When our daughter Ivana was little I brought her with me into meetings, on film sets, and when that happened in the u.s. back then I could see such a big difference in approaches, where culturally, perhaps they never experienced something like it, having a kid in a meeting sitting in the background colouring with pen and paper, so it was a learning experience for each other for sure.