Swedish Startup Space

Rock on – What startups can learn from heavy metal

Written by on March 10, 2013

What do heavy metal and startups have in common? Apparently quite a lot. Pär-Jörgen Pärson, a prominent Swedish VC and Hans-Olov Öberg (banker turned author) have written a book entitled Heavy Metal Management, which aims to draw a parallel between running a successful startup and running a successful rock band. Weird right? Well, not really. Pärson and Öberg argue that to be successful in either venture, the members must keep 5 things in mind:

  1. Strategic positioning
  2. Branding
  3. Client management
  4. Organisation
  5. Perseverance

In many ways, product evangelists and die-hard fans are quite similar – but you’ve got to keep them happy. In the startup world, a ‘pivot’ can be just the trick, but be careful not to piss off your fans as Metallica did by cutting off their hair in the early 90’s.

All in all, an interesting book, definitely a breath of fresh air when it comes to business strategy theory. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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