The Secret Scandinavian Ingredient That Makes Their Tech Good For The World

In putting together this conference i always knew I would find some great prior art. This 2012 post by Sarayu Srinivasan caught my eye for obvious reasons.

As a venture capitalist, I naturally spend large amounts of time thinking about business and technology models and their evolution and propagation. I also happen to be interested in culture and history. In the course of my reflections, I noticed a curious trend among many technology businesses that either materialized directly out of the Scandinavian region or were created by entrepreneurs of Scandinavian origin that had had exposure to their cultures in a meaningful way, even if they no longer lived in the region.

This trend consisted of a particular flavor of tech innovation, what I call “equitable technologies.” These are technologies that level social, technological, and commercial playing fields by decentralizing control and redistributing it to individuals. The businesses built on this innovation were articulated in many forms and industries but at their core operated on these same principles of distributed decentralization.

The underlying technologies making up this trend all echoed some of the same spirit of the early Internet: they began (and aimed to stay) free of charge; they were universally accessible and shared; they were driven and built by the larger community; were easily improved upon; and they were deeply divisive to existing businesses and models, weakening entire traditional industries as they gained momentum.

The fact that this technology phenomenon seemed to manifest itself in Scandanavia is not a coincidence. Nordic innovators and inventors were culturally predisposed to develop such technologies

Food for thought!

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