Life is a long story.
The short version is this: I'm a young Stockholmer, born in the early 90s, with a dual citizenship and two languages. I like to write, code and do interesting stuff. You can read about the stuff that I've written, the websites I've coded, and the interesting stuff that I've done by hitting the menu items above. For the long story, scroll...
Raised mostly in Södertälje, south of Stockholm, Sweden, I grew up in a very boring town. In retrospect, I regret spending so much time in front of my computer screen, but I will say that learning how to write code at 12 may have been one of the best moves in my life.
I swore off code a few years later. Instead, I chose to specialise in Business Studies in my upper secondary school. I was not going to be a programmer, I decided. I would write or run a company, not spend my life hunched in front of another screen. (It later occurred to me that most of us are hunching these days, whatever we wind up doing.)
2. The epiphany
For a while, that approach really worked. I started blogging in 2008, one year into my Business studies, receiving invitations for press screenings and writing film reviews. Later, I joined the team of Nukem.se soon after launch as an editor, an immensely rewarding experience. I was a writer, and it was a blast.
Strictly speaking, there wasn't an epiphany. But as I was planning my third year practical project, I wanted to make a multiplayer computer game that was going to simulate economics. This was to be "New Stockholm". For that purpose, I read a library e-book about PHP programming and MySQL databases over the summer. Knowing C++, and having a bit of a knack for it, I learnt pretty quickly.
My third year project had nothing to do with programming - instead, I first designed, then researched travel social networks. But I subtly practiced my PHP and started working on websites.
Ted Valentin, hardcore Swedish IT entrepreneur, spoke at an entrepreneurship conference I attended once. He asked the audience, "How many of you code?" I raised my hand. "Good. The rest of you - either learn it, or become very good friends with someone who does."
I started programming New Stockholm in the end, in January 2011. I was a lone developer, but the friends I pitched and the testers I recruited eagerly gave me feedback and ideas. After months of work and a run of alpha testing, during which I learnt incredibly much, I found that the project was simply too extensive and too hard to do on my own. Partly that... but actually, I also realised other projects were more rewarding. I started on new things just as I was about to graduate from Business Studies.
4. Finding a market
I created a Mac website first, www.merurminmac.se. I based it on an existing CMS, sNews, but built my own design and made custom plugins. By now quite an experienced net writer, I also wrote dozens of articles and had the chance to practice my photograpy. The site was a practice website first and foremost, and that purpose was well served.
At about the same time I was hired at the IT company behind www.whaam.com, I had a new idea. This time, it was for real. The initial design draft called it "workshops" and focused on listing coffeeshops well suited to people who, like me, work and study a lot in coffeeshops.
My sister, a web designer, liked the idea. She started designing a better look, I started writing code and reviews, and we started drifting from a niche coffeeshop reviewer to a complete registry of the best coffeeshops in Stockholm. We recruited graphic designers and writers in August, and ordered the business cards in September.
On Whaam, I started working as a marketing manager and a copywriter, a few weeks before starting my Bachelor's Degree in Economics at Uppsala University. There, I met AIESEC, where I was selected to be on the organisation's brand new marketing team.
Meanwhile, work on Kafékultur was progressing. I was learning jQuery and decided to rebuild this website with these new skills. It turned out pretty nifty, I think.
6. The future - are you part of it?
If you like me, I probably like you, too. Let's get along. Get in touch @sighmoan_says, email@example.com or at +46706178373 (CET office hours please).