2011 in review

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Years in review

Last year I went through what I had been doing for the past year. It was a bit of an eye-opener seeing it all listed in that way, but this year has been even better. So this is along listing of all the fun stuff that I’ve been doing during 2011. There were a few less exciting things too of course, but I don’t want to remember or share most of them. Here we go:

January

Paris - the Palais de Tokyo
Palais de Tokyo and Nomiya on top, where I proposed.

Put an elephant on my desk to start the year.

Started making digital toys with Toca Boca. A full team in place in the office, and a lot of suspense in the air. A big day! And I knew that I had good colleagues when someone had written “JELLY TIME!” on the Peanut Butter jar.

Took my friend Robert out for a Birthday dinner and drank one of best (and the most expensive) wines I have had in a restaurant. Made a note of the name of the wine, and subsequently lost the note. Then found it again!

Went to Finland to discuss the pitch for upcoming Angry Birds books. Bonnier Kirjat later released this Finnish cookbook after winning it.  Hosted Anna and Hans from Oslo for a nice weekend.

Had dinner with a few talented colleagues to discuss the upcoming relaunch of DN.se.

Got a knitted scarf for my iPad from my favourite 10-year old.

Surprised Miriam by taking her to Paris for the weekend. We stayed at Hotel Particulier Montmartre which was amazing, and I proposed to her on the roof of Palais de Tokyo. She said yes and I gave her a temporary glass ring that I had bought at the Stockholm Natural History Museum a few months earlier (for this occasion). Called our parents while walking in the sun next to the Seine. Not unlike a film, although that wasn’t quite the intention.

February

Helicopter Taxi
The Helicopter Taxi crew.

Got interviewed on TV4 about in-app purchases for kids, a cause that we would be making a bigger case of later that year.

Celebrated Tomas´ 30th birthday with his family and friends at Yasuragi for a spa weekend. Felt that I should have held a speech but never did for some reason.

Sat in on one of my first public affairs meetings, which was very interesting. They became more frequent during the year.

Spent a lot of time with my two intern students Andrea and Ashley that were making significant progress on our strategy document.

Went to a breakfast seminar about China’s new 5-year plan. Very interesting, but complex.

Went to Nedre Manilla to hear our CEO present FY2010. Marcus Forsell lent my iPhone with a prototype of Helicopter Taxi and entertained his whole table with it. A good sign.

Came home for a weekend to celebrate my grandmothers 85th birthday. Well done so far.

Had a management meeting that took a strange turn when we were all placed on a bus and went to the cinema together. Apparently it was important that we took the time to consume the media that we were selling, so we got to watch The Black Swan or The Kings Speech. I chose latter, which was excellent.

Started discussions about a few potential acquisitions. One of which was Tailsweep that I’m now on the board of.

Attended Sorosh and Sefaat’s moving-to-the-UK-party which was awesome. The neighbours felt differently about the matter.

March

First milestone
The final ticket for Helicopter Taxi, and the bubbly to go.

Became a Bonnier poster boy in the annual report for 2010. Managed to get in Toca Boca as an illustration, and republished an old trend piece about Playfulness too.

Had an Apple nerd night at the office and got excited about iPad 2.

Interviewed for the Swedish magazine Mobil Business. The first real story about what Toca Boca was intending to do.

Released our two first products! Helicopter Taxi and Toca Tea Party. A great relief in many ways. We had a launch party to celebrate with a dedicated play area for the kids.

Spoke at the Gothenburg unconference Webcoast about “Kids, Play and Tech”. Shared some of the research that we had been doing prior to development of Toca Boca.

Bruce Sterling wrote about Toca Boca which was big.

Contracted two App Marketing partners that turned out to be a complete joke, both of them. The lack of good marketing options for apps apparently brings out the worst in people.

April


Friends at my surprise party.

Went to a fabulous birthday party in an 11-room apartment. One room was the “grand piano room”. Brilliant.

Guest lectured at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Flew to New York and met a few PR-agencies and some other good people that could help me get Toca Boca out in the world. Had one particularly interesting breakfast with @werdelin at Soho House.

As a part of the strategy project I had been working with, Bonnier announced a clearer focus on Asia. The actual office is yet to open, but the ideas live on in another form.

Saw The Black Swan and became very fond of it.

Went to London for a long weekend with Miriam and fell back in love with the city again. Looked at an expensive wedding dress from Alexander McQueen that didn’t quite fit, which was good from a budget perspective.

Was interviewed over lunch by Patrik from Made By Many

Turned 30! Was expecting a quiet evening with Miriam but instead she had organized a surprise party for me! <3 to all of you – I’ll never forget my own surprise when I walked in that room.

May


Part of my bachelor party, in Kämpinge.

Was a mentor at Seedcamp Stockholm for the second time. Felt like I could equally have been sitting on the other side of the table asking the questions instead of trying to produce answers.

Ended up in a panel on Stockholm Media Week talking about… something. I was too busy talking to someone behind the scenes so once I was called up and asked of my opinion about what had just been said, I of course had no idea what we were talking about. A bit of an awkward moment.

Got tricked by my own CEO that scared me into thinking that I had done some sort of trademark infringement. I had to meet him at the airport. It turned out to be my own bachelor party. I flew to Malmö with Robert and Jonas where a happy gang met me for basketball, swimming, dj-ing and laughing. Absolutely loved it.

Flew back to New York again with Emil to start up our PR project. Met a few inspiring entrepreneurs while I was there.

Presented at the central Bonnier Union meeting together with @stroemberg. The only thing they wanted to know was how much money Toca Boca had spent. Rude and ignorant.

Went to Malmö to have a bachelor party for Gustav. A wet day and night led us to do a dance performance of “Living La Vida Loca” at a very seedy bar in a rough part of Malmö. None of the locals seemed to think anything of it.

Started thinking about having “a third room” – something between an office and a home. I still dream about it from time to time, but never got round to getting one.

Was treated to Swedish Wagyu beef by @trendymagnus. Delightful and delicious.

Starbucks featured Helicopter Taxi as their app pick of the week. Unfortunately, nothing really happened.

June

Storedal på Læsø
Læsø.

Wrote a piece for Media Evolution about launching in multiple markets.

Made a 14-hour train-ferry-ferry-trip to the Danish island of Læsø for a wedding. Fantastic weather made for a nice stay, including a visit to the local brewery.

Was interviewed in The Guardian in a piece that gives a very honest and good view of what we do.

Took the car up to Rättvik for the three day wedding of Gustav and Anja. Loads of friends in one small place. Held a speech about Gustav always looking for the best thing and that he now had found it.

Went to Denmark for a strategy day with Good Old. Started to form a new direction for the company with the board.

Started to get seriously stressed out that we weren’t selling enough apps.

Ended the month by having a holiday and flying to San Francisco.

July


Miriam is cooling me down after we had forgotten our passports, and I had to run to our apartment and get them before the ceremony. Just about made it.

Got married! At City Hall in San Francisco, together with friends and family. Had the wedding dinner at our favourite restaurant, The House. Seeing all these people blending in our fave city was the best feeling.

We should have gone on a honeymoon straight away but we thought that being in SF would be sufficient. Now we have one to look forward too instead.

Learned to love fresh Smitten ice cream.

Lived with an Android phone for three weeks to get used to it. Hated it all the time.

Found my new favourite beer: Racer 5 IPA.

Bought a Kindle, and liked it. Still do – even if it’s e-ink.

Flew Air Canada for the first time and was underwhelmed.

Got interviewed in Wired´s GeekDad.

Finished reading The Big Short which was brilliant.

August


@Olof chillin’ at SSWC.

Declared war on my inbox and started to unsubscribe aggressively to everything. Paired that with using Active Inbox and Taskforce and my workflow changed quite a lot.

Started using Instagram, finally.

Went to SSWC and held two sessions since I was disappointed in myself last year when I didn’t do any. This time I held one about Toca Boca’s work process, and one about media and why it is the way it is. I tried to debunk a few myths which seemed to be appreciated.

Did the 4 Hour Body diet for a month, and stuck with it thanks to Fredrik (that also did it). Lost about 5 kg and felt a lot better. But it was so boring that I couldn’t see myself living that way.

Started taking driving lessons as the situations where I needed a license started getting for frequent.

Did a successful marketing campaign and Toca Hair Salon made #4 on the US App Store Chart.

Went to The Conference in Malmö which was brilliant. Even more brilliant when you consider that it was held in a small Swedish city. Got my shoes polished by Bill Drummond (without knowing that it was him) and loved Paola Antonelli’s keynote. Unfortunately it ended sour with an (unrelated) meeting which was the low point of 2011. Left very disappointed.

@millsustwo was kind enough to write about us on It’s Nice That.

Guest lectured at Berghs, which was fun.

Passed 2 million downloads with Toca Boca and I started to see the light of hope shine stronger.

September


The outfit of the day.

Hosted our wedding party at the art studio Hammarby Art Port together with the performance group Glimpse. Everyone had to dress up with the clothes that were provided which was a great ice breaker. An unforgettable evening.

Spoke at GRID, Bonnier’s big inspirational conference.  A quote from Hagai Levi stuck with me: “At some point in time, you have to become a better person – not just a happier person”.

Went to New York for a week to participate in an executive training course organized by Duke CE. Apart from the corporate gossip, Marty Anderson was the highlight.

Saw “Talk to Me” at MoMA which was incredibly good and suggestive. Bought the book for Jonas and Alicia because I kept thinking about them when I was there.

Got on the bus to Flemington, New Jersey, and met with Warren Buckleitner at the CTR office. It became this video interview.

Continued driving and started to actually get somewhere.

Went to London for meeting and stayed over the weekend. Had brunch with Alfred, tea with Sorosh and dinner with a whole bunch. Loved it.

October


A San Francisco pier.

Got my drivers license! 12 years overdue, but still.

Waited in vain for iPhone 5 and more importantly – the cheap, prepaid iPhone Nano(?). 

Spoke at Creative Mornings in Stockholm.

Went back to San Francisco for ten days. Met with Apple, Disney Mobile, Launchpad Toys and loads of other great people. Miriam came along to and worked from there. Airbnb-stayed in a great apartment with hummingbirds outside our window.

Was introduced to Oakland by Jake and Julie over brunch. Thanks.

Flew straight to London to see Emil speak at Playful. Finished off with a weekend there together with Frida, Emil and Miriam. Major shopping.

My premiere flight with Virgin Atlantic was most disappointing. The second one too.

Made a few semi-educated guesses in Excel about next year. Some called it a budget.

Had a fantastic dinner at Gastrologik, two days after opening, together with Caroline and Gustav. Never knew broccoli could taste so good.

November


London primary school typography.

Spent a week i London again, for the second part of the Duke CE program. Did my first Leadership Versatility Test and found out that I was much harder on myself than both my superiors and employees were.

Went to Malmö to celebrate Martin’s 30th birthday. He’s a great friend.

Quick stop to Finland again. And two friendly weekends in Småland.

Discovered Frank Ocean about a hundred years after everyone else. Listened to him a lot.

First board meeting with Tailsweep.

Obsessed a bit about well-designed, prefabricated houses.

Went to Oslo, wore a suit, and brought home the Telenor Digital Prize 2011 for Toca Boca. A proud moment.

December


A view from my parents house.

Went to IDG’s Christmas party where Miriam was awarded “Journalist of the Year”. Well earned after a lot of hard work.

Released Toca Kitchen – our 10th app this year.

Got slightly obsessed with this video. Not sure why.

Hired Paulina as a community manager which will be a big step up for all of us.

Was interviewed in Venture Beat.

Started selling really well and got completely addicted to the daily release cycle of yesterday´s iTunes sales.

Christmas lunch with the team at Moderna Museet that morphed into a relaxed and great day.

My eye started blinking in a weird way which sort of signaled that it was time for a Christmas holiday. And that’s where I am right now. Resting and looking back on a busy year.

– –

Quite a year. Thanks to all of you that made it so great.

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