Questionmark on who I am

About

Who are you?

I am Roy-Andre Tollefsen (40), born and still living on the beautiful westcoast of Norway, where I have worked within most diciplines related to technology for the last 25 years or so.

As a now professional nerd, I have been using computers since long before the internet (yes it is actually possible to use a computer without the internet).

Later in life I became a relatively successful serial-entrepreneur.

What do you do for a living?

I somewhat retired at the age of 39, after succeeding in the world of business.

I've founded several companies, with the most successful to date being Trollweb Solutions, which got acquired by Visma, Europe's largest software company, back in 2017, making me in principle not having to work every again (yey).

Today I help companies and organizations navigating and surviving on the technology super highway in various ways, from being on the board of directors or leading efficient advisory boards to simply being hired by the hour for short-term navy seal missions.

I am also a very passionate entrepreneur, inventing new exciting stuff for a better world, and one of my next startups is nothing smaller than a potential Facebook-killer. OfflinePal, served both as a native app and web-version, collects and structures tens of thousands of activities, ranging from concerts to mountain hiking to personal hangouts with friends, with the simple goal to get more people offline and out into the real (?) world, plus helt organizers market their events and arrangements more efficiently. Launched in Norway in 2019, the masterplan is to conquer country-by-country starting in 2020.

I am also an investor through my own investment company Troll Ventures, where I primarily invest in tech companies, from startups to companies moving over to the Series A/B/C funding rounds, all the way up to the lucky ones going for an IPO or already listed on a stock exchange somewhere.

Any education?

I am a best-in-class examined computer engineer from the late 90s, having worked with everything related to computers and internet technology ever since I learned to walk.

My most important education however has been the school of life, where I have had long-time hands-on experience with tons of various topics for hundreds of fantastic and demanding customers over the past 25 or so years.

Job positions you have covered?

As a serial-entrepreneur I have covered most positions; R&D. Development. Infrastructure. Consultancy. Advisory. Strategy. UX/UI/design. Sales. Customer service. Accounting. Heck, even some HR.

Naturally, I have also been a CEO [for 8 years], CTO, and had similar leadership roles over many years.

My business card titles has been ranging from Systems Engineer to CEO to CTO to Head of R&D to Troll in Chief, though I stopped wearning business cards long time ago, and so should you.

Interests, business-wise?

Most definitely. One of my absolute favorites is conducting great and brilliant developers and designers to make amazing and useful products and services.

I am also extremely curious, and love R&D, deep-diving into the abyss of possibilities, most often with too little air to complete the dive, which is what R&D is very much about.

I love usability and UX, and basically have my best periods when sitting in Sketch or some other UX/drawing software being creative and drawing up useful stuff.

I am also very much into topics like SEO, and I working on writing an SEO book in-between.

And so, I also love to write. All kinds of things, from business-related meeting rules to technically-oriented stuff, to the stuff that matter the most. I even have on my todo to write some fiction and children's books later in life (if you are great at drawing monsters and other crazy things, please let me know).

And, I am super-interested in improving everything related to business, both as a leader and not least as an employer (recommend all leaders- or coming leaders to take the Masterclass with Bob Iger, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Disney). I also read pretty much all that comes to my direction from Harvard Business Review.

And private hobbies?

Other than computer stuff? Uhm, a few, I guess.

I am an airplane nerd, and I'm most likely the only one on-board having a great time during rough turbulence (no, the wings won't snap of).
Ultimate goal: To one day sit in a real cockpit 30.000 feet up in the air, being in some sort of control of the airplane.

I am also a combined Don Rosa- and Scrooge McDuck fan, having read all of his brilliant and into-the-details stories tons of times, with most of his books signed and all that.
Ultimate goal: To one day be part of a real Don Rosa story. Alternatively just to meet him..

As part of being a Scrooge McDuck fan, I too love money. Not for the richness of it, but for the love for the actual, physical money. And so I too have tons (well, not as litterally as with Scrooge McDuck) of beautiful coins and notes.
Ultimate goal: 1 cubic meter of real, physical money.

As for collecting stuff I am also collecting beautiful retro tech stuff, like old computers, old typewriters, pinball machines, and other things which has been an important part of the incredible technology journey we as humans are in the middle of as we speak.
Ultimate goal: To get my hands on a real Enigma machine (be sure to watch the Imitation Game movie), eventually a replica, and to open a free of charge tech museum .

I also try to do some physical stuff, like playing squash in a somewhat serious squash league (at least I pay for playing + someone maintains online results lists). I play football (with alike in the same physical condition). I try to run some half-marathons and such. I am teaching myself playing piano, making music and stuff like that. I coach kids in football and volleyball. I enjoy working with wood, making all kinds of wood'ish things for our cabin. I love travelling, visiting great places around the world. And, most importantly, I love being with my family and our three amazing kids.

Any favorite movies? Music?

My definition of "favorite" is when I've done the exact same thing 10 times. I have watched Office Space > 30 times. Boondock Saints 1 > 30 times. Terminator 2 > 50 times. The Intouchables > 15 times. So, guess they are kinda favorites.

As for music I listen to most that comes around, from anything rock to Martin Garrix to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. When I run I listen to my more psychedelic playlist. Jazz, blues and such genres still doesn't sound natural to me, however that might evolve as I age.

How do you get the time for all you do?

It would be fun to say I am a super-talented multi-disiplin juggler with dozens of brains working simultaneously in parallell dimensions. Unfortunately, the human brain is terrible at multi-tasking, and my brain is very much like yours, working for the most in serial mode.

An important part of being able to do lots of stuff however is to prioritize, hard. For example, my hours of watching TV-related stuff (series, movies, news, etc) per week is really pathetic. Like, 2-3 hours, I guess. My Netflix- and HBO backlog of series to watch is just.. long.

Secondly, most of what I do I do because I love to, not because I have to, and I think we as humans are 18x more efficient when doing stuff we love to do. So, be sure your employees are working on tasks they love to do, and get to engage with.

Do you give talks at conferences?

No. I am still that super-nerd with more introvert- than extrovert cells, and so I let others handle that part.

What are your limitations and weaknesses?

Unless you are insanely hungry, don't ever ask me to cook you dinner, as a first. Really.

Left-side driving is also something that doesn't come natural to me.

Overly dressed-up sales staff is also something my brain struggle hard to handle.

I am also a perfectionist in most I do, yet still "great is better than perfect" trumphs the former.

And, oh, I have no patience. Zero.

And lastly, definitely do not invite me into meetings with no agenda pre-meeting, or no conclusions post-meeting (and be sure to read my Meeting Rules of Engagement).

Have you ever been burned out?

Still waiting for it. Fasten the seatbelt. Guess it's gonna be a rough landing.

If there was no computers or internet, what would you do?

Most likely working on helping inventing it. I ran a few BBS'es (Bulletin Board Systems) back in the very early 90s, with people dialing in to my "local internet", waiting for the internet to arrive a couple of years later.

Do you read?

A lot. Every day. Tech. Business. Politics. Strategy. Comics.

How do you structure your days?

I would call it a semi-controlled chaos. Good thing I usually don't forget things, though some tasks might take months or even years to complete.

More questions? Feel free to drop me a line and I'll see if I post it here.

Roy-Andre Tollefsen