A bridge near my home in Stockholm.
A bridge near my home in Stockholm.

Post NodeOne and the road ahead

By June it was clear, NodeOne, the well-renowned and highly respected Drupal company I'd founded together with Thomas, Fabian and Matts, was becoming Wunderkraut. In the minds of the majority of the owners this was a step in the right direction for them personally, and for the company. This cast in stark light the differences in what motivates us five as entrepreneurs, founders and business owners and prompted me to act with that in mind.

For me, founding and building a business have always and fundamentally been about freedom and self-realization. In effect, owning a business allows you to do and try things you otherwise wouldn't be able to. It lets you crack your head against the proverbial wall of reality and try to make a dent in the universe. It lets you rev your engine to the max and push for something with full force joined by a team of likeminded. To me this is the key to feeling happy and knowing that I am contributing in a meaningful way. The price for that freedom is massive commitment and sometimes risk. But for some of us this is what it takes to truly feel alive.

This doesn't apply to everyone and it's something that became clear as the pro's and con's of Wunderkraut were discussed. For the majority of the owners, Wunderkraut offered an opportunity. For me, going along with it meant compromising with values I hold very dear and which deep down motivate and drive me.

In light of that I decided to leave NodeOne. It was hard and it was a realization that took time to surface. Your own business is an integral part of you and it is shaped according to your vision and ideals. Walking away is therefore a big step and it means severing a deep emotional bond. But I had come to insight that it was necessary. As of September 21st, I was a free agent again.

I haven't yet decided what to make of things or exactly where my life is heading now. And that's intentional. I've decided not to plan too much and instead let things surface by themselves. I believe we often bury our deepest needs and wishes under layers of thoughts that comprise of what we think we're expected to want. The result being we do what we think we want to do but down the line we realize we've spent our lives doing anything but what we needed to do to be happy.

In order to lend myself to spontaneous introspection (and extraspection too for that matter), I've decided not to stay in known territory. I've decided to go and travel and I've got some destinations I've always wanted to experience.

I intend to keep blogging and post about my insights and discoveries during this exciting new phase of my life. Even though a step like this brings its cut of dread, it also brings opportunities and leads to a crossroads. A remarkable chance to look ahead and forward. While standing here, I intend to take a good look at the old tracks and gaze at the horizon to find the road best traveled.

I will write about other things as well such as thoughts and lessons from and on business and customers, growing, exploring and developing your offer and going about it with a designer's mind. If you want to get updates, you can subscribe by RSS or follow me on Twitter (see the column to the right for details).

Thanks for reading. See you down the road.

This article was updated on 2020-03-02

Jakob Persson

Your host. A founder and entrepreneur since 20 years. Having worked as a freelancer, consultant and co-founder of a successful digital agency has shaped his skills in and insights into business. Jakob blogs at blog.bondsai.io, speaks at events and consults with agencies and freelancers in growing and developing their companies. He holds degrees in media technology and cognitive science.