I truly hate searching around on the Internet regarding content that I hold dear, be it on ground of hatred or utter devotion (often it’s hard to tell the difference between the two, but it’s INTENSE AS NIFLHEIM).
So I did not Google this manifesto of a book, called the Viking Manifesto, or The Viking Manifesto (I am not overly concerned about articles of the English language), thus, I have no idea if I might end up repeating something overly obvious to a blissfully better-informed part of the Internet.
Disclaimer: Whatever is written here, is to be taken with a grain of salt, and read with a shot of tequila.
But who cares, this is my corner, you go pee in the other one.
Anyway, this post is going to be a rather appreciative one, as opposed to the tone of my other, more personal blog (which drops a considerable amount of F-bombs, or maybe it’s just in my head).
So, without further ado…The Viking Manifesto, or the Scandinavian Approach to Business and Blasphemy (in Business, that is).
We had a good run, this book and I, for two reasons:
1. It was telling me something new.
I made the strange and possibly most self-aware realization recently, that I am still going through a culture shock. In a way, even though I have been living in a different yet similar culture (Western, but I guess we can argue about that, anyway, blissfully ignorant white people doing white stuff, I guess – and yes, this is the most ignorant and generalizing statement of them all) for almost 2 years now, I still feel out of place relatively often. However, I also confess not to be a good point of reference for any question of being culturally aware, since I often feel out of place in my native country, too, so let this be my problem, until next time when I get drunk enough in front of the computer to be completely honest about this.
Anyway, being an awkward international should NOT deter anyone to succeed in business life, as long as you keep in mind…
No, wait, that’s not right.
After having studied theories of organizational management and entrepreneurship for some time now (among other things of course but who cares), it was refreshing that Mr Strid and Mr Andréasson had the balls to, in true Viking style, disregard theories, I mean, noone ever pillaged and burnt a village down by planning for months.
The first step of the Viking method is deciding what you really want and accepting the risk that comes with it.
Okay, that is one part of the story. Certainly, the case stories they introduce, such as IKEA or Absolut vodka prove at least some board meetings unnecessary. However, it’s also helpful to realize, that it’s not really about defying gravity, so much as providing the jet set for people to fly – in other words, as it has been said before and will be said again, people have no clue what they want, that stands for either goods or services. If you show them. If you make it easy enough for them to use your product, you can bet your skinny ass that they will. (otherwise you can brainwash all of them to start buying smartwatches, because THAT WAS TRULY INNOVATIVE, but I must admit, I would like one just for the sake of feeling like a spy when I try talking through it in a half-assed attempt to fully utilize it and thus justify spending more than I should have, or for that case, more than anyone ever should have).
Where was I? Oh, yeah.
2. It was entertaining (and relatively short, which made it a good read for my daily bus trips).
On a qualified assumption, I have a feeling that this second point is also related to the fact that people these days, and that includes me, happier with “chewable” tidbits of information, something which I intend to write about in the near future (I mean, about the constant struggle to keep reportedly decreasing attention span to a desired level, and not feeling content after having read two articles in the newspaper, without glancing on Facebook).
So, it was entertaining, because it was honest, about how it is important that, even if you’re the “underdog”, you can still have ideas. What? I know right?? Also, if you’re lucky, and live in a country which actively seeks to support students to study, and does not discriminate based on gender or sexual preferences, you might be able to make those dreams come TRUUUEE. #cynicismoff
Being genuine, and perhaps a bit weird, is a quality I appreciate, and I think should be appreciated more often, be it a company or just among friends. #berserkers
It is also a good reminder, that too often do we accept the way things are, when everything is created by us. It is not like things are carved into stone.
If I want to succeed with whatever good idea I have, I should not be a hel pudel, but take stand, consider all figures, listen to my insticts….
Expectations are high, when one aims to be a good Viking.
So, what can we learn from the Vikings for business?
- Tell good stories
- Give a shit about other people
- Don’t necessarily give that much shit about money
- If you burn the wrong village, go and find the right one
So, in the end, it’s all up to taking the risk and setting sail, and I applaud the book for making it a point. I think I should also nominate it as the best book to unteach you about basic marketing practices, and seeing some Danish companies’ websites (or lack of it), I have to agree, that the #vikingzen is as strong as ever.
Because, what is more important than money?
Love & Lust and a good book
Next time I’m probably writing about some Swedish philosopher lady who thinks about time – A LOT.