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“I quit school and recruited the professor,” Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, said on the Skavlan talk show this weekend. He continued, “When I saw that the record company director didn’t have a computer and went to his secretary to get a printed mail, I understood this would take somewhat more than 2-3 months.”

Just over twenty years old, sitting in his apartment with his friend (in their underpants because it is 30 degrees thanks to the servers everywhere), his dream had just begun. Now he is friends with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he rides shotgun in vintage cars with Neil Young and exchanges texts with Bono. My simple conclusion is that all great ideas start small.

Being a Swede myself, I am, of course, both proud, impressed and inspired by how fast a youngster, driven by his passion can create such business success. The story of how Daniel Ek, starting with two empty hands, developed Spotify into a major player in the online streaming music industry is truly inspiring. Thanks to him, you have (legal!) access to 15 million songs from your desktop for free, or from your phone for $ 10 per month.

So, what’s your dream?

If you want more inspiration, read the interview with Daniel Ek in Forbes:

Another amazing example of a famous trendsetting product is Skype, founded (and sold twice) by the Swede Niklas Zennström for a ridiculous amount of money. Looking back some 30 years, IFS was founded by five committed guys from Linköping University in Sweden. They had the same eagerness to create something new and make their dreams come true. They set up a tent outside their client’s site (a nuclear power plant) to be able to respond quickly to any situation during a project. Today, IFS is recognized as a global market leader within a wide range of industries, all thanks to the passion of a few youngsters in the early 80s.

The epic battle between passion and patience

Turning innovations into reality is a war between the two arch-enemies Passion and Patience, who are locked in mortal combat. The passion and the bright vision you had in the early stage of the innovation process must survive the insidious attacks of impatience and setbacks. To win that battle, you have to surround yourself with people who dream the same dream as you. Only when you work together will you be able to realize your innovation, come hell or high water. That’s the only way to get through to the other side.

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