Tag: Odd Alice

  • It’s time to Divide & Conquer

    It’s time to Divide & Conquer

    I sold my web agency, Odd Alice, one year ago, with a clear goal in mind. Things didn’t turn out the way we – meaning the new owners and I – planned, which meant that I took on a much more active role at 24HR than initially planned. Fast forward to today, and I’m happy to announce a new digital agency based in Stockholm. We’re calling ourselves Divide & Conquer, and it’s going to be great!

    But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

    Preparing for the next step

    I never meant to run the Odd Alice web agency for as long as I did. There were others that were supposed to take over, but life and illness held me there. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t resisting as much as I perhaps should have, because working with people, brilliant and fun people, that you can call your friends is a gift.

    Sometime in 2016 things got a bit too messy for me personally. I’m not quite sure what made me look for prospective buyers, and it’s beside the point, but I did start to shop around. There were interested parties, mainly consulting firms and agencies, which just wouldn’t jive with the Odd Alice culture. And then there was 24HR, with grand plans and an idea of non-operative owners.

    It took two years to finalize the deal, but we moved in to the 24HR office in Stockholm (there’s also a Malmö office) on August 1st, 2017. Some shareholders got paid in cash, others (well, me) in shares in the 24HR parent company, as part of the deal. I was looking forward to merging with a fully functional business, with an extensive administrative apparatus in place. There was also a talented COO running the office, and whatever doors this would open for my team, and myself. There were grand plans and expectations, as I said.

    We, being me and Malin of Odd Alice founder fame, sold the apartment in Stockholm, and moved to Österlen in the south of Sweden. The idea was for me to be an asset when needed, for concepts and special projects. Our initial goal was me at the Stockholm office a few days every other week.

    That didn’t happen.


    Moving operations to a new team and management structure is tricky. It gets infinitely more challenging if the person meant to be in charge decides to quit. There’s obviously more to that story, but let’s leave it at that.

    We were left with a Stockholm office without a leader. That’s not good for business, nor morale. The obvious choice was for me to step in temporarily, and that’s what happened. So from bi-weekly visits to the Stockholm office, flying back and forth, I went to weekly visits, then to being there Monday to Friday. Finally it became bi-weekly visits to my home and family, rather than the other way around. Add some administrative turmoil to this and you get the exact opposite to what was planned. We, as owners, all agreed that this was an issue, and we were going to work on solving it.

    Thing is, work is fun. It was a great team, and I didn’t do it all by myself. I had my team, and I had Helena Waern. It became obvious pretty early that she and I brought different things to the table, so we sat down and figured out how we could make the office work. Then we took it from there, sorted things out, and turned business around during a hectic couple of months.

    We had plans, of rebranding and bringing focus to the Stockholm branch. Lots of energy, plenty of ideas, and many late nights writing quotes and offers. It was fun, rewarding, and utterly exhausting for us both. Add the travel, and it’s not hard to figure out that we were running out of time.


    As it turns out, my idea or how a business should be run, and what’s important, didn’t match with the owners of 24HR. The owners at this point in time included myself, but since the idea was for owners to not be operational, I felt I couldn’t both represent the people working at the office, and the owners. And thus I didn’t, I kept out of the loop, mostly focusing on running the office with Helena.

    To make a long story short, both me and Helena worked way too much. We didn’t get the support we needed, and that’s not a good place to be in. So we started talking about how we should work together in the future. At this moment in time, it was obvious to us that we should continue to work as a team.

    There was talks and negotiations about a sale, of both offices and just the Stockholm one. I’m not going to go into that. Suffice to say, it didn’t work out, and sooner or later enough’s enough.

    I did my last day at the end of June, and left after that. Helena went on vacation.

    I no longer own any shares in 24HR. That would be unseemly. I wish the remaining owners all the best, and we might help each other out with remaining client work. We’ll see.


    I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to the great people I’ve had the pleasure of working with the past year.

    Mattias Ekendahl, Ellen Nordenskjöld, Mikael Hornaeus, Mark Ellis, and Marco Hyyryläinen. You’ve all been great. I’ve enjoyed working with you. We’ve had fun, I think. Circumstances could’ve been better, but such is life, right? I wish you all the best on your future endeavors. I’m sure we’ll meet down the road.

    And yes, that list is not complete. You know where this is going.

    The team

    I’ve founded Divide & Conquer with Helena. We’re doing this thing with our fellow superstars Emma Fresk and Anders Norén. I couldn’t be more happy with this team. We’re bound to do some great things together.

    Emma is a bright shining star. She’ll amaze us all, I have no doubt.

    Anders is an amazing developer and designer, and a good friend. This was bound to happen, buddy.

    And Helena is the perfect co-founder for this digital agency. We’re such a good team that it’s almost embarrassing.

    Together we’ll build and design websites, APIs, apps, concepts, and strategy. We’ll also continue my work as an advisor and business developer for startups. In fact, we’re already doing this.

    What’s next?

    As of today, August 1st, 2018, Divide & Conquer is in business. We’ve technically been in business for a while, but today is the first day when we’re all officially employed, working full time with Divide & Conquer. It feels great.

    We’ve already been in the news with Bark Bar, a watering hole for dogs outside of our studio at Tomtebogatan 18 in Vasastan, Stockholm. And we have some clients, with more to come. Meetings, ideas, community projects, conferences, and then some – there’s a lot we want to do.

    It’s back to basics for me, but with new ideas and concepts for making things work. Tools and strategies, all those things that makes an agency work, there are ideas for how that should or could work. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience, because it’s rare to be able to try something from the beginning like this, with no history whatsoever. Well, plenty of history, but a blank slate.

    So there you have it. If you want to work with me, check out Divide & Conquer for contact information. There’ll be a proper site down the line, but for now we’re focusing on client work. We’re documenting #barkbar and other things on our Instagram, and there’s obviously pages on Facebook and Linkedin as well.

    I can’t wait to see where this leads. It’s going to be a great adventure.

  • So I sold a company

    So I sold a company

    I started the Odd Alice web agency in 2010, as a spin-off to another company. The idea was to not say no to so many gigs, because it turns out that writing books about WordPress is a great way to get work. Malin joined as a founder, and we ran and owned the company up until August 1st this year, when the deal reached the point of merging offices.

    Odd Alice has joined 24HR, and a new chapter begins.

    Personally, I’ve stepped in as interim boss person at the Stockholm office. There you’ll also find most of the team, alongside the fine folks already at the 24HR Stockholm office. I’m also involved in the overarching scheme of things, which means that I’m looking forward to figure out what we can do with 24HR and its two offices (Malmö and Stockholm). I’m sure it’ll be an interesting ride. There are plenty of things to do.

    I’d like to thank my fellow co-workers at Odd Alice for getting us this far. This was never a solo show, it’s been a team effort all along.

    Alexander, David, Mikael, Rickard, Jesper, and Maria, you’re all bloody great, it’s been awesome having you on this trip for a little while.

    Mark, Mattias, Anders, and Marco, I’m delighted to get to keep working and hanging out with you guys. Together we’ll make it even further, climb even higher, and drink even better whisky.

    And finally, Malin. This wouldn’t have happened without you. The odd little Alice-being has grown up to something new. That’s a good thing we did, isn’t it?

    It’s been a hell of a ride, and it’s not over yet. Onwards!

  • The agency dictionary

    Information Architects have released their dictionary. From the launch post:

    The result is a growing dictionary of our internal talk enriched with a few raw diamonds that explain playfully how we see things. It is useful as a documentation of our normal madness. It’s helpful for new staff to understand us older uncles. It is interesting for old, new and prospective clients, and we certainly hope it gets interesting enough for colleagues at other agencies that they feel incited to create something similar, so we can learn how they speak.

    The dictionary can be found here.

    I love this, it’s a brilliant idea, useful and potentially powerful. My agency, Odd Alice, have added five people the past year, and we would’ve benefitted from having a dictionary of our own in the process. In the longer run, I think clients might appreciate it even further, because it’s never fun to ask what something means. I believe clients might feel more secure knowing there’s a way to look something up, instead of relying on a fuzzy explanation from someone who might not actually grasp the full extent of the term, technology, or whatever it is. I for one will definitely consider doing something similar for OA.

  • Odd Alice söker backend-utvecklare

    Odd Alice fortsätter växa. Den här gången är det en backend-utvecklare vi behöver, helst i Stockholm men det är inget krav. Läs jobbannonsen på OA:s sajt, och om det inte är för dig så tipsa dina vänner vetja.

  • Odd Alice fortsätter växa

    Det händer mycket på Odd Alice. Förutom balla projekt, så har vi även vuxit med hela tre personer sedan i juni. Maria Sjöberg är junior webbutvecklare, Mattias Ekendahl vår nya CTO, och Anders Norén – som börjar idag – kommer ombord som webbutvecklare. Det blir en spännande höst, med många roliga projekt.

    För egen del betyder det förändrade och mer fokuserade uppgifter, eftersom Mattias och Rickard överlappar med mig. Helt enligt plan, ska tilläggas – det kan helt enkelt bara bli bra.

  • TkJ skriver om Tech Troopers

    Tommy k Johansson, mer känd som TkJ, skriver om Tech Troopers och möjligheten att tjäna pengar på tjänsten för teknik-kunniga. Det är en bra vinkel, för här finns det faktiskt en möjlighet att dra in en hacka genom att agera support, något många av oss gör vare sig vi vill det eller ej redan.

    För tydlighetens skull: Odd Alice är delägare i Tech Troopers, och jag sitter i styrelsen för ägandebolaget.

  • Odd Alice släpper Daily Crowdfunder

    Odd Alice har vi något som vi kallar satellitprojekt. Det är projekt som drivs av en eller flera anställda, med företaget som partner och investerare. En sorts intern inkubator, typ. Hittills har såväl BlankPage som Tech Troopers sprungit ur det här upplägget, om än på lite olika vis.

    Idag släpper vi ett satellitprojekt till: Daily Crowdfunder.


  • Daily Crowdfunder

    Daily Crowdfunder

    If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s that Daily Crowdfunder has launched. It’s your crowdfunding savior, making sure you don’t miss out on the best campaigns, by featuring one campaign every day. If that’s too much for you then there’s also a weekly newsletter. Can’t go wrong with that.

    Or, in the words of the site’s own description:

    We’ve all been there, noticing an exciting crowdfunding campaign way too late. Our friends are showing off their latest smartwatch, game fitness band, book, album, or whatever it is they were a part of thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, and we’re left out. Or rather, we’re left behind, because the deals aren’t as sweet when these remarkable products hits the shelves and become available for the rest of us.

    Our idea is simple. We find the best and most interesting crowdfunding campaigns, and feature one every day. That way you won’t miss out.

    That was the important parts. Now, let’s dig deeper, shall we?

    At Odd Alice, the agency where I’m the founder and CEO, we’ve got something called satellite programs. This is an incentive that helps our employees to launch projects, while Odd Alice has their backs. There’s an ownership split between the project owner(s) and Odd Alice, and a letter of intent that’s signed when the project begins. It’s all very friendly, very enabling.


  • The best startups are side projects

    Paul Graham writes about startups:

    This is not only possible, it’s how Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all got started. None of these companies were even meant to be companies at first. They were all just side projects. The best startups almost have to start as side projects, because great ideas tend to be such outliers that your conscious mind would reject them as ideas for companies.

    We embrace this at Odd Alice by rolling our own internal incubator-thingy, called satellite programs. I think it’s a good idea. The first graduate, Tech Troopers, is an anomaly though since there are outside founders, but BlankPage is built under these principles.

  • WordPress sustainability

    Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, thinks we, who make money off the open source publishing platform, should contribute more. 5% of our time, actually.

    It’s a big commitment, but I can’t think of a better long-term investment in the health of WordPress overall. I think it will look incredibly modest in hindsight. This ratio is probably the bare minimum for a sustainable ecosystem, avoiding the tragedy of the commons. I think the 5% rule is one that all open source projects and companies should follow, at least if they want to be vibrant a decade from now.

    The relevance of WordPress is in our hands, and although I’m not so sure about the numbers (5% might nit be the sweet-spot), I do believe that we need to amp up the contributions from the commercial side of things. We’ll definitely be talking about this at Odd Alice, where we already have contributions and core patches to be proud of, but we can no doubt do more.

  • Så ber du om en praktikplats

    Det är tydligen så att elever uppmanas börja bearbeta arbetsplatser rörande höstens praktikperioder, i alla fall av min inkorg att döma. Inget ont om det, men genomförandet på många av dessa mejl från eleverna är under all kritik.


  • Odd Alice vill (kanske) ha dig

    Det går bra för Odd Alice, webbyrån som jag driver med andra briljanta typer. Vi har roliga kunder och meningsfulla projekt, och en arbetsmiljö så långt från stelbent du kan komma. Just nu är vi sju personer som jobbar med Odd Alice på heltid; fem anställda och två med långtidskontrakt.

    Vi behöver förstärkning. Frilansare är bra, vi har en hel del fina sådana relationer, men nu känner vi att ytterligare en anställd hade varit att föredra för att ta oss vidare. Odd Alice har aldrig varit tänkt att bli en storbyrå, faktum är att jag hade en shortlist på personer när vi startade och de jobbar nu i företaget. Verkligheten har dock gjort sig påmind, intressen och inriktningar, samt inte minst behov, har förändrats, så nu står vi här.


  • Shrtnws Redux

    Shrtnws was a small project that I built along with my Odd Alice friends at an event called 24 Hour Business Camp. It was great fun to build, and the end result was pretty cool. Basically, it was short news delivered to you through the site, or on Twitter and/or Facebook. There were several (five or six) topics that you could follow, and you got the very most important news in each of these.

    We ran Shrtnws for a month or so, with paying sponsors I might add, but then decided to call it quits. There just wasn’t time enough, and due to changes with APIs, along with a publishing method that took a little bit too much tinkering when you were mobile, we shelved the project.

    I was never comfortable with dropping the project, but reality is what it is. Much like I had to shelve the Appricorn project due to the ongoing changes within the App Store, we had to do the same with Shrtnws at the time. (more…)

  • Livet just nu i en punktlista

    Det är väldigt tyst här just nu. Jag ska prata mer om hur jag tänker kring just det längre fram, men kort kan vi väl konstatera att jag just nu skriver desto mer på engelska, på TDH.me som är min engelskspråkiga sajt, samt förlägger en hel del av skrivtiden utöver det till triviala saker som böcker och tweets.

    Nog om det just nu. Här är livet just nu, i en punktlista så att alla hänger med.

    • Låt oss börja med bokskrivandet. Den fjärde utgåvan av Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog kommer i vinter, förhoppningsvis på den här sidan årsskiftet men det beror på WordPress-versionernas faktiska lanseringstempo och publiceringsapparaten. Jag lovar inget.
    • Det blir en uppdaterad utgåva av eboken The Writer’s iPad med, gratis för alla som köpt den första från mig förstås (så köp om du inte redan gjort det). Skulle tro att det blir slutet av november för den här.
    • Odd Alice, webbyrån som jag driver, växer så det knakar och har roliga kunder. Bland annat slänger vi ut Episerver på ännu en plats, och bygger API:er, appar, samt filar på en podcast. Mer om sådant allt eftersom det händer och blir officiellt, och då på hemsidan snarare än här.
    • Internetdagarna tar en hel del tid för mig nu, jag driver nämligen två spår/dagar: En dag med WordPress samt Det är innehållet som räknas respektive. Missa absolut inte att köpa biljett till dessa (begränsat med platser) för det är oklart hur det blir med livesändning tyvärr. Boka med koden IND13 så får du 20% rabatt, och gör du det bums får du en t-shirt, tror jag bestämt.
    • Ja, det börjar bli dags för en #wpbar i Stockholm. Jobbar på’t.
    • Jag länk-kommenterar ganska friskt just nu, och har gjort de senaste månaderna. Följ @tdh på Twitter, eller om du så föredrar så följer du Tumblr-bloggen TDHFTW, som får alla länkarna med. Fast just nu, i skrivande stund, så är kopplingarna trasiga så klart. Ironiskt.
    • E-posttidningen Appmagasinet har utkommit med fyra nummer så här långt. Från och med nästa nummer blir det lite mer innehåll per nummer, men vi håller kvar vid torsdag eftermiddag som publiceringsdag (en gång i veckan alltså), och naturligtvis är Appmagasinet helt gratis och spamfritt. Teckna en prenumeration på hemsidan, och/eller läs äldre nummer via länkarna på bloggen.

    Och som alltid, prata gärna med mig, helst på Twitter men övriga kanaler fungerar med.

  • Livet utan bredband

    I dag tar många av oss bredbandsuppkoppling för givet. Webbutvecklare designar flashiga sajter med okomprimerade bilder och struntar i att optimera koden – alla har ju bredband så varför ska de bry sig? Det krävs wifi för att ladda hem stora filer från App Store, och storspel som Diablo 3 kräver att du är uppkopplad hela tiden.

    Men vet ni, det går inte att ta bredbandsuppkoppling för givet, nu mindre än någonsin. Dels är det för att de mobila bredbandsuppkopplingarna har tagit över, vilket vi talat om tidigare, och dels är det för att alla faktiskt inte har bredband.