fredag 22 juni 2007

Happy Midsummer

Happy Midsummer!! Sitting at my cubicle at work thinking nostalgic about the long and fair nights, potatos and sour cream, vodka and folkmusic. It is true that you become extra Swedish when living abroad. However I find it rather difficult to explain this traditions to my dear collegues - it sounds excentric when you describe how everyone abandons the office to have picnic on a field, dance around a maypool, put flowers in their hair AND pretend that they are small frogs (without ears and tails)...
But tomorrow we're going to a big Swedish midsummer celebration here in California together with Emma, our beloved nanny, who just arrived!

måndag 18 juni 2007

The importance of Dreaming

Some time ago I interviewed Max Samuels, a friend and a great personal coach, when he passed through San Francisco.
When we meet, Max and I always have great conversations on life, havingness (i e appreciating what you have) and the importance of having a dream. Since I'm now at PodTech I also spoke with him about the wild mind of the entrepreneur.
In these days I seem to constantly be reminded about the importance of dreaming - I guess life is trying to say something...

måndag 11 juni 2007

Is Palo Alto really America?

Palo Alto and Menlo Park where I live and work are the sweetest little towns. Trees filled with small lamps on the main avenue, sofisticated restaurants, professor bungalows, cool art shops, several yoga studios, nice coffee shops and - of course - TWO Apple stores (Steve Jobs lives kind of close) . They make Wisteria Lane seem barbaric. It´s a very nice and balanced quality of life.
But in a way, it doesn´t feel like America. Where´s the melting pot and the energy that comes from mixing different people from different levels with lots of willpower? Its all very established. Even the begging man (one of two I´ve seen in the whole city) outside Wholefoods is rather well dressed, polite and talks about the weather.
Maybe this is what you get when you mix brains (many of them coming out of Stanford university) with money and entrepreneurship (this is the heart of Silicon Valley) with liberalism (its still California), sunshine and extremly beautiful nature. It´s great in many ways, but I kind of miss the type of passion you notice on the streets of NY or even Washington. Maybe I just haven´t looked enough...
This weekend however, we went to Big Sur with Leo and Nicola, who was visiting. Talk about passion. High, powerfull Redwood-trees and dramatic cliffs steeping down to the sea and rather genuine lodges. I hope to be able to sneek away for a weekend there soon!

lördag 2 juni 2007

Geeks in progress

During this four day trip to Washington DC and New York I have recieved the sweetest e-mails from my soon to be seven years old daughter Sun. I can see that she´s been struggeling with the spelling, but she manages to say exactly what she wants. It goes right into my heart.
At home in Palo Alto she throws herself on the computor whenever she has a chance. She has not been in school during our time here - but she has managed to figure out how to e-mail and how to play all the games at PBS Kids (in english) on her own. We sometimes smile at her and call her "Geek in progress". On a more serious level, this gives a whole differend perspective on the 100 dollar computor. Making sure that cheap but workable computors reaches kids in development countries (soon!) is more than important for future education, peace, democracy and dreams.
Love to you Sun (read her blog here).

New York, New York

Sitting in the JFK airport about to leave for SF, feeling absolutly uplifted after having spent three days here. I dont think I´ll ever get over my love to New York. It´s something with the energy in the city, the fact that people and events are simply so much - well - more. People are more creative, smarter, richer, crazier, more excentric, bigger, smaller, more passionate etc than any where else. I could watch New Yorkers for ever - the chic women, the arty girls, the business people in power suits, the dogs... I know its dirty and ugly but I even love the smells and the noice and I actually think it is beautiful.

I was here on a study trip with my fellow Stanfordians. We have visited magazines Spectrum and Fortune as well as Bloomberg. It was really interesting. What strikes me is the fact that few of the bigger magazines have any strategies for new media and their future online life (something I also noticed last summer when I visited Vanity Fair and New York Times Magazine among others). "If I knew that I wouldn´t be working here," was the answer from the editor of Fortune International...
On the other hand, I liked the fact that she stressed the storytelling part - that her magazine is about telling strong stories - and that she revieled that she sometimes uses her intuition in combinaion with observations of people when she tracks down a trend. I do the same when working with Tendens, a series of articles on trends, in Stockholm for TT Spektra.
Bloomberg was felt like something type-casted from the future of media. No walls only transparent glass. Busy, busy. Hi-tech. However they dont really have a strategy for innovation coverage...

On a personal level I got to have lunch with my dear friend Paul (who is one of few native New Yorkers and who knows how to play the saxophone) and to go to dinner and barhopping with his lovely girlfriend Giselle (I felt like 21 when standing on a roof top bar with a cosmopolitan and NY the skyline in front of me...). I also got to do some shopping (strong colours coming now), some strolling, have a great dinner at NY hang out Indochine with the fellows and a group of NY-based journalists, spend the night at my hard working reporter-friend Gunilla's house in Harlem and to go to mysore yoga at a beautiful studio called Yoga Sutra. Today I´ve interviewed a great Swedish designer called Lotta Jansdotter. Visiting her studio in Brooklyn was inspiring and made me think of the importance of having beauty and esthetics in the objects we use in our everyday life.