Friday, September 11, 2020

Lisa Thorén on BabyBjörn's Bootstrap Journey - Sep 3, 2020

Live at Heart 2020 was a virtual affair (thanks COVID). But it didn't stop us from having a conversation between Örebro, Stockholm and Austin on bootstrap entrepreneurship (thanks ZOOM). The audio is on the BootRap ATX Podcast with video in the pictures below. 

Lisa Thorén, daughter of Björn Jacobsen, who started BabyBjörn in 1961 with his sister-in-law, Elsa. Lisa's arrival was an inspiration for a product! Lisa's mom, Lillemor joined the company in the 80s and Lisa joined the company in 1994. It's been a real family affair which continues to the present day. Lisa's involvement as a team member (7:38) came at a critical time, both in the company's history and during a shift in how countries outside Sweden were changing with shared parenting duties. While BabyBjörn 1.0 (pre-Lisa) was about its products, 2.0 ushered a sharing of Swedish parenting practices.  

Lisa shares how the company proceeded through the stages of the Bootstrap Map (14:25), with a description of the stages by Bijoy. The early inspiration came from Björn babysitting (21:50) his nephews and nieces and a baby bouncer purchased in the US. The first customer came about in a very special way. 

BabyBjörn Bootstrap Map

Parallels with LEGO (29:55) and Apple (35:30) emerged. Lisa explains her metaphor of climbing a mountain and identifying what/who are needed to make the ascent. What are the roles, especially for founders, as the company evolves? And the importance of complementary skills and maintaining a continuous connection with customers. 

Swedish bootstrap entrepreneurs, please join the Bootstrap Sweden Community on facebook!  

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