From ever since he can remember, Swedish born Björn loved building things and coding. He started his career in tech with Google, where he was one of a group of 8 engineers working in the technology giant’s Paris office.
Pursuing a Masters in Science Degree in Technology Management at the National University of Singapore first brought him to Southeast Asia - he started his own app development platform business before being inspired by Antler’s mission to build great companies with great founders and joined the team as a Technology Partner.
One thing he finds essential to keep in mind when starting your own company is the core principle of pairing and finding the right co-founders.
“For me, it’s about the problems we don’t anticipate- there is a human element that has an impact on your business when you don’t hire the right people. Pairing up with the wrong co-founder is the most painful thing to do.”
So, what happens once you have formed the right team, have an idea and need to execute? How should a CTO think to succeed in building a company from scratch to scale in the long term?
Here’s what Bjorn says:
1. Tech is miniseries, not a movie
When you build your product, you want it to be perfect-- but there is so much to take into consideration. Resources, market fit and what your customer requires are just the beginning. Don’t strive for perfection on your first go- strive to prove that the business works and customers are willing to pay for it. Think of building your product as a miniseries, not as a movie.
The best way to do that is to time your product with your fundraising schedule and business outcome--getting through the first gate is key and then you build the second version of your product. You need to build first, learn from and then modify and improve.
2. Be a tech visionary
“There are two categories of people- those that understand the place of technology in our world today and others who see how it helps to shape our future.”
It’s the general mentality of how you look at things- What could be vs what presently exists?
3. Details with a helicopter view
A great CTO needs sufficient foresight to understand what matters to the business fundamentally for day-to-day operations. They also need to put the strategy hat on and look at it from a longer time horizon.
4. The Why vs The How
Know and understand the difference between the two. Why are we doing this and how is it going to fit into the future? It is important to know this to take the product into the future.
To get a better idea of the why, take a step back and welcome a different perspective.
Björn Lindfors is the Technology Partner for Antler in Southeast Asia. He oversees everything tech related for the Antler team and the Antler founders in the region to ensure we utilise technology for maximum effect and impact.