Micael Widell's blog

Micael Widell

Hello! I am Micael Widell, based in Stockholm. I am CTO and co-founder of Fyndiq, Swedish one stop bargain shop on the web. This blog is mainly about entrepreneurship and my life in general.

Other places where you can find me: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, Facebook and Readmill.

It is time to start writing again

This blog has been kinda dead for a long time now. I've been thinking about why I stopped writing. I mean, I really enjoy writing blog posts. I enjoy writing and communicating thoughts in general.

Every time I have been about to write a post but decided not to do it, it has been because a thought along the lines of "is this really an original post? is this valuable to a reader? isn't this just me repeating obvious and/or already known advice for startup founders?" etc.

This thinking is deeply rooted in one of my personal values, which is to not contribute to the ocean of useless opinionated babble that makes up a lot of blogs, social media, and the internet in general. I want to produce quality stuff, even if it is my own little blog that not that many people besides myself care about.

I don't want to write opinions just because it is a good way to get attention and an easy way to build a blog post. I as a person do not have very strong opinions about things. I have strong values. Not strong opinions. People who are too die hard on an opinion usually suffer from that. Their strong stance prohibits them from changing their mind and using the "best" opinions in their daily work to create the best possible product or impact. By communicating strong opinions to others you cement them in yourself.

So anyways, I want to start writing again. My tactic to get that to happen will be to lower my own bar for quality and originality of blog posts. Because I have also realized that the trick to writing a few really good and valuable blog posts each year is to write a lot of blog posts in general.

Also, I think I will start writing a little bit more broadly than just about entrepreneurship. I'll allow myself to write about whatever I am thinking about at the moment (but sure, that usually involves entrepreneurship anyway :).

The Secret - 50% bullshit, 50% brilliance

The premise of the film called The Secret is that you just have to visualize your goals very clearly every day, and then they will automagically materialize. The explanation model they use is some kind of new age pseudoscience interpretation of quantum physics, which has lead to a lot of ridicule of the film.

I watched the film a few years ago, but I think have always used this way of planning my life. I visualize very concretely where I want to be a few years from now, and so far most of it has become true. Then it is probably mostly pure luck, hard work, or a mixture of both that got me there. I do not believe in the explanations they give in the film.

So why does it seem to work?

For me, when I visualize a goal I have very clearly every day, it starts to change something in me after a while. I start to connect my own identity with the goal. When it has come that far, I will experience anxiety and a feeling that something is wrong if I am not actively working towards it. After a couple of years of "brainwashing" myself by visualizing it, I will have a very hard time not working my ass off to get there. That anxiety will get stronger and stronger, and I will work harder and harder. All that hard work and dedication compounded over time will make me reach the goal. That's my theory at least.

So I recommend everyone to see the movie, and to start doing what they suggest, but I would not believe in their explanations of why it (may) work :)

How to deal with assholes

There are lots of hard problems in this life. Problems that everyone must find their own way of dealing with. One such problem is all the assholes around us. Assholes exist in all lines of business, all ages, all social groups.

What is an asshole then, you might ask?

An asshole is a person who treats other people unfairly or disrespectfully. Often by misuse of power or privilege. The asshole takes advantage of or just plainly messes around with other people. A lot of times they don't even realize that they are doing it. An asshole could be the bully in school who is much stronger than you. It could also be your boss, who has power over your current work environment.

I have found most ways of dealing with assholes that involve trying to interact with them will only make it worse. An asshole is an asshole. Even if you "win" you are a loser because you spent valuable time and energy dealing with an asshole.

My way of dealing with assholes is to always try to cut my contact with them, if I don't have to deal with them in some way. This may sound simple enough, if not for the second part of the last sentence.

To be able to ignore and cut contact with all assholes, you will soon discover that you need to be a truly independent person. Basically, you must be able to cut contact with anyone in your life and be able to get on with it without being hindered.

The only way to get to that kind of independence is to rule over your own life. That means a lot of things mentally, but maybe first and foremost it means that you have to be the ruler of your work and income situation.

So this brings me to my point with this blog post... which is that starting your own company and becoming an entrepreneur with total control over your own destiny, is actually also one of the best ways ever to be able to deal with assholes! Your life will be so much better without them :)

The things not taught in school

It is funny that most of the knowledge I need in my daily life as an entrepreneur is stuff that I had to learn myself because it was never taught or even mentioned in school. Not only did I have to learn this stuff myself – before that I first had to learn that this stuff actually is important.

  • Salesmanship
  • Networking with people
  • Programming
  • Negotiations
  • Marketing
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone
  • Making a living without a "job"

I totally understand that things like learning languages, math and history are immensely important and should be prioritized. But so are the things above. If anything, knowing the importance of these things is important.

People are told all through their upbringing by parents and school that the only possible path in life is to get a good education and then a good job in order to get a good life. One of the main reasons so few people are inclined to think of trying entrepreneurship as a possible way of life, is because they do not see it as a possible way of life.

What if we created a new subject in school called entrepreneurship?

Orient kids about it, so that they know that "yes, some people do this, it is a great way of life, and I can do it too". Not all of the kids would become entrepreneurs, but that is fine. These skills are useful no matter what you do. And even if you are not using sales or marketing tactics yourself, it is quite useful to know when somebody else is using them against you.

I think this new subject would benefit the society of today greatly.

The story of Fyndiq's API

I did a talk the other day at Internetdagarna, on the Nordic APIs track. I talk a little about Fyndiq's API, how it has evolved and what we have learned from building our B2B API.