I have always been focused on what can be done to meet more people in a persons life that could mean something valuable. We all meet people and some are more life changing to us than others. I want with Wonderloop to create technology where it does not matter where you live in the world. You can meet the people you find interesting. Not only the people you have acces to depending on where you live, work or what social circles you’re in. Taking up a huge lone financially and travelling to Silicon Valley is one of the hardest things I have done. I knew I would not be able to have a salary while I was over there learning how to build the product and I knew it would take months to find team members who would do the coding, if finding them at all. To be there and not have any idea how you are going to pay the money back and that you have taken this huge risk just because you have an idea and a vision to change the world was mentally a big challenge. To be there alone and to be away from my grandmother in Norway who is personally my closest at 87 years old did of course not help! So while I was having awesome interactions with some high profile people and founders I was there on a mission to also have results that I could bring to start the company with. This is of course something they can sense and probably why they liked me. I think being too affected or focused on it will take away the energy where it should be: on building your own company and visions. That said, being with other entrepreneurs who truly understand what it is to sacrifice your normal life and that also has crazy visions and maybe even done it successfully is a big inspiration. I had some moments in Silicon Valley that where aha moments for purpose of life and entrepreneurship that I only fantasized about in my head in Norway and all of a sudden I was in my own fantasy. That´s always a cool moment.
It´s hard to give advise as to not having lived in the situation myself, only in some ways the last 1,5 years with not having an income. The stress factor is so big that sometimes at least for me helps to think how short life is as then it´s easier to really focus and pick what´s important. After finding that out I would if possible do shorter trips to where the people are that can make it happen. I would never have been able to do Wonderloop had it not been for me leaving Norway. It´s the richest country in the world in many sense but it didn´t matter. If the right type of resources of people isn´t there then all the money in the world does not matter. As for wishing to work in a start-up or wishing to work in a specific company, I would not care about titles or what I would do in the beginning. Just get in. Once you know the leadership and you have a good relationship with them, then you can always ask to do the work later that you really want to do. Putting up the good energy up front before there might be a reason to have it is very hard but it makes a huge difference in getting to the next step what ever the next step is. Since I´m half Greek by DNA I do think a lot about the situation that Greece is in and I have friends who are effected by the situation in the economy pretty badly. Sometimes I think it´s a lost case to try to change the now, but to just focus on changing the future. There are some extremely good business people in Greece, especially on getting deals done, doing sales as you just are so much more charming and good looking than most average people. Use it !So, what’s next?
I hope Wonderloop can make a difference in all people´s lives when it comes to the people we meet. I have met some the last years that have changed mine so I know it can happen and to think there can be a technology that can do it for us is maybe a hairy goal but I will do everything I can to at least test it out in the market. That´s what entrepreneurs do, success or failure. But of people I would like to meet it´s actually more Greek people since I´m half Greek by blood I should get more in touch with that side of the world and what better way to do it than thru new friendships? So if there is one user-base I personally would love to see in Wonderloop it´s you guys. I might even do a Greek version before some other languages. Sometimes the founder should be allowed personal preferences in his own product development.
Thank you very much for this interview Hanna !