Combining creativity and entrepreneurial spirit is second nature to Johan Baettig. As a founder of two startups (Wingle and Rushcast) and as Creative Lead at Emerging Experiences, SapientRazorfish, he has a unique perspective into the startup scene, the world of creatives, and the digital technologies that bridge them together. In his current role, Johan helps clients use new VR/AR technologies in their digital business transformation and also help them explore other emerging technologies.
Over the course of his career, Johan has worked and lived in London and Hamburg, but he’s happy to call Stockholm his home. Johan’s current office is in the iconic Nordstedt building, in the historic center of town.
How does workplace culture differ between Stockholm, Hamburg, and London?
–Hamburg and Stockholm have a much better work life balance. In London, people are expected to work incredibly long hours, including weekends. I prefer the more Swedish mentality of work life balance and flexibility, nobody gives you a dirty look when you leave at 3 o’clock to pick up your kids.
Which city is your favorite?
–London was an amazing place to live, but could be very stressful. Stockholm is my favorite city. For sure.
How does the advertising world compare to the startup world?
–Advertising companies could learn a lot from startups about operating efficiently. For example, as much as possible, get rid of the unnecessary meetings and managers. So much of what we do can be streamlined and made more effective.
–There’s also a lot many startups that could learn from advertising companies. Coming up with good names for the product or services, the branding and how to pack and sell their ideas.
What’s your advice for a successful pitch to investors?
–It depends on the situation. But generally, in earlier stages of investment, trim down your pitch to its core point and put that first. Assume the attention span is very limited; make it super simple to understand. Avoid buzzwords, long texts, and complicated graphs. Keep it simple: here’s the problem, here’s the solution.
–However, in later investment stages, investors will want to see more of the details, proof points that the idea is going to make money. But, even in that part – keep it simple and easy to understand.
What advice do you have for people considering a startup idea?
–Just do it: there are so many people out there with an awesome idea in their drawer that, with just a few minutes discussion with the right person, could easily be turned into a business plan and lead to an investor taking interest. When that happens, suddenly you have a startup that is working on perhaps “making the world better” by solving a problem in a new and interesting way. It will most likely be uncomfortable to take that first step, but no matter the success or failure afterwards – it’ll be an interesting journey.
What makes a great office?
–It all comes down to people. It doesn’t really matter where you sit as long as it’s with good people around you. When you’re not comfortable with your colleagues, even the world’s greatest space won’t seem good at all.
What do you think about Workaround and Stayaround?
–Workaround is an interesting platform that contributes to the greater good by putting people to work in all those unused office spaces out there.
–I like that Stayaround creates its own interesting and flexible work spaces, like your Tegelbacken office. I love the opportunities for Stayaround to create events and education which are beneficial to everybody in the office space, especially catering to clusters of types of business who have certain needs, such as VR companies. And the possibility for collaboration between tenants is a huge benefit: the connections and networks that get built are immediately beneficial and long lasting. From my end I also see great collaboration opportunities connecting with the companies in knowledge sharing or business opportunities.