It was truly a huge achievement. What is your goal right now?
“Clearly it’s to understand Objectivity, the people, the process, the customers. During the first 3 months, I will be asking stupid questions. If I continue to ask stupid questions after that period, people should be worried.”
Why did you choose the IT industry?
“You get to work with very clever people. That is challenging and fun. Selling software is intangible.”
The software is intangible because it is a means to an end. The end should be concrete, then we can deliver the right tools to achieve it.
We value long-term relationships and we know they’re important to you as well. Where do you start building a good business relationship?
“I’ve only worked in B2B. Never in B2C, I’m not excited about toothpaste. My approach is very simple – something I took out of Six Sigma training. You start with your customer’s problem and you define it. Then you measure variables crucial for the success. You analyse what you gathered, design potential solutions, pick the best one, and verify the design.”
Per adds: “Selling is about listening. Listen before you talk.”
What does success look like to you?
“Success is a lot of people heading into the same direction. It’s my navy heritage speaking. A company is like a body. Success means all people are trying to accomplish the same thing. If you have more people, you can achieve greater success. Success also means more customers with more problems. I have a huge drive due to curiosity. I want to learn new things. I’m always asking myself: »how does it work«? And I’m always mindful of the quality. During my engineering studies, I learned that to have an output, you have to have an input. As I confirmed later in life – the better the input, the better the output. It is a well-kept secret in engineering, and this dependency is not well known in finance for example. They find it hard to understand.”
What do you hope to achieve as CEO of Objectivity?
“My mandate is to double the size of the company in 3 years. Meaning the number of customers, markets, employees, and financials.”
We’ve discussed business and your vision. Please tell us more about yourself. What excites you about Mondays?
“I love to work. I was made to work. I love Monday. It’s very energising to see the whole week in front of you. So many possibilities. When I was young, someone once told me: »Per, there are two groups of people. First, which is 80% of people, work to live. But the second, 20%, live to work. And, Per, you are in the latter.«”
In your opinion, what is the biggest technological achievement in human history?
“The discovery and the mastery of fire, because we spent only 2 hours daily preparing food and eating. That gave us more time to do other things. When humans mastered fire, our brains started to develop.”
You’ve got a good point here! Now let’s look into our future. How do you think AI will change the world in the next 5 years?
“5 years is the right time to consider because the change is happening now and is accelerating. AI will automate boring activities that humans do. We are prone to error, so the quality of our efforts is not constant. AI can see patterns that humans can’t. I’m not afraid of AI like everyone else is. It’s like every revolution. It will create new jobs, driving our economy to a higher level. People will not be unemployed but will move elsewhere. Like before – from farms to factories, from factories to computer screens.”
We’ve noticed that you’re not using a smartphone. Why do you prefer a feature phone and a notepad instead of a smartphone?
“I believe that you should have one device for every activity. One device for everything is suboptimal and I don’t like a compromise. That pulls down performance.
One thing at the time – that’s how my brain works. Multitasking is suboptimal.”
The very last one, very important question: dogs or cats?
“Dogs. Cats are impossible, you cannot control a cat. They run away. I have never had a dog because we have 4 children and we are quite busy with them. But when our neighbours travel, we take care of their animals (parrots, hamsters, dogs and cats).”