Swedish Startup Space

What can startups learn about mastering conflicts? #ExpertNight wrap up

Written by on September 29, 2014

The startup community of Stockholm gathered at SUP46 last night for the next installment of #ExpertNight, a monthly event series organised by Elance-oDesk which aims to help entrepreneurs tackle complex topics, with the help of a panel of ‘experts’.

The theme for last night’s event was “Mastering Conflicts”, which personally I feel was a great topic to bring up. Startups are full of conflicts. You’re in a tiny room together, riding every up and down together – and it often boils over into conflicts. Whether it’s sales, product development or cash-flow – conflicts are a part of startup life, so handling them becomes a crucial part of the entrepreneur’s toolbox.

In order to explore this issue more, I sat down with Nils-Erik Jansson – someone in the Swedish tech scene who knows a thing or two about conflicts. Together with partner Johan Norin, he founded the legal firm Jansson & Norin (Note: who are for the record, a great partner of this site) and is now working on a new legal-tech startup himself.

Firstly, why did you participate in this event and panel?

I really liked the theme and when Steffen contacted us I saw that we could share some insights from a legal perspective as well as a founder/entrepreneurial perspective. We do deals, have disputes in court and have experiences similar to most people running startups as we have done it and are doing it ourselves.

As someone who spends a lot of time dealing with conflict what did you get out of the event?

It got me thinking long before the event took place and made me realize how my attitude towards conflicts has evolved during the years. That became even more obvious during on the panel when one of the key takeaways for me was the feedback from a psychiatrist in the audience who emphasized that conflicts are a natural part of life and of course that also applies to running a company.

What you hope people learned?

I hope founders see and understand the advantage of aligning visions and goals together on an early stage and take the time to meet an communicate in an open environment. Remember, never let a fear of conflicts get in the way of doing good deals!


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