Magic of Sweden

Magic in sweden
DLD conference

The winner takes it all - what could fit better to describe Sweden's success, not only in music.


But let's start with a legend in music - Bjoern Ulvaeus, music producer and former member of ABBA.

DLD17 Conference Day 2

• Swedish music is now an export hit

• but it was not always like that

• ABBA changed it, put Sweden on the map

• had success as they changed from Swedish to singing and writing in English instead

• everything was dropped in a garbage bin what come from Sweden

• only Swedish were listen to them

• Eurovision and strange clothing were a way to stand out

• after winning ESC back in the 70’s everything changed and people realized Sweden is worth a look

• being based in Stockholm made a difference - is a culture where you easily can stand with 2 feet on the ground, in England, USA, and even Germany it would be different

• could act like normal people - he and his now ex-wife: "the blonde one“

• they were recognized, but they were not special, this helped a lot

• Sweden was an ideal platform to grow from


Mikael Schiller, Acne Studios

• Swedish design is a success as well now - Acne Studio stands for it, Scandinavian design is now a design on its own

• showed some images what we now interpret as Scandinavian, and especially Swedish design

• e.g. Store in Munich, Maximilianplatz and New York and a house built in Seoul, Korea

• minimal design


Carl Walderkanz, Tictail

DLD17 Conference Day 2

• started in Sweden, moved to US

• goal: world most e-commerce platform

• only possible at Silicon Valley? but access of people was better in Sweden etc., good education, free university

• but going international for success, both offices still exists (Stockholm, NYC)


Conni Jonsson, EQT Partners

• Sweden's success? - friends all over the world

• manage to leverage their contacts for the success of our companies

• that’s key

• earlier success: H&M, Nobel prize winners, IKEA, Ericsson, softer factors hard to replicate

• special Swedish mindsets? - level of hierarchy, slow in making decisions, but everyone is standing behind it (it’s the time to implement the idea), this approach is welcome all over the world ("the Germans and even the Finns are laughing at us")


Mikael Schiller

• all the best schools is for free, health care is for free

• you don’t really have to care for your parents, your kids - the state is doing it

• not really religious

• secure state, secure companies, employees are willing to stay, ...

• core values of Sweden


Carl Waldekranz

• very small country, you can’t afford not being global

• access to good employees

• wealth care system

• no one is better than anyone else - value of the country

• quite different to the US for example

"We value what we do through our actions, not our talks"


"What makes Sweden so successful? We remove so much risks from people's life, make them feeling secure.“

"The more the state gets involved, the worse it gets“

"In Sweden the best idea wins because it is not important who's the boss." (Mikael Schiller)


• but why staying in Stockholm if you can earn 2-3 times more in Silicon Valley, but Sweden is successful because of its routes and access to free university, free education, the wealth fare system

• last statement of Bjoern about successful musicians: copyright is important and people often don’t realize what it means for an artist

• back as Bjoern wrote songs in a basement (together with Benny), he literally wrote songs for supper, later he was able to concentrate on his craft and getting better as a stable income was established