Jonas Elgquist thinks it is great to become CEO of Rebel & Bird. He has worked at a consulting firm for 20 years, and this feels like a new challenge for him, despite having worked as CEO before. Much of what he has tried to create in previous workplaces, Rebel & Bird is already doing today. We work with advanced development projects instead of resource consulting with CV sales. Thanks in large part to the fact that we have many great digital strategists, UX people, and developers, which are difficult to find.
“I am so proud of what we do and feel great security in knowing that we make good deliveries, ”says Jonas.
Jonas Elgquist has worked at a variety of consulting companies, large and small. In 2012 he started at B3 (then called B3IT) and launched the company today called B3 Connexions. The journey to Rebel & Bird began in 2017 when he started B3 Digital Xperience to work more commitment-driven. In the same year, Rebel & Bird became part of the B3 group after working together with the joint customer SF Bio, and they realised that they complemented each other very well.
As good as we at B3 Digital Xperience were in technology and development, Rebel & Bird was in strategy and design. They had the same level of ambition as we had. We were a cruel combo together, and it was just right to merge ourselves together.
Benjamin Glaser, previous CEO of Rebel & Bird is one of the few people I know that really challenges me and at the same time, says, "Yes, let's own it". 100% focus forward with gigantic visions. It is so incredibly fun. When I tell Benjamin that we are going to build something that stands out in space, he replies "Yes, of course, we should," without any irony. Great minds think alike, says Jonas with enthusiasm.
The goal is obvious, according to Jonas. Rebel & Bird will be out in space. We are going to build digital products that contribute to human travel from this planet. People will go there, and we at Rebel & Bird will definitely join, he says.
To get there, we need to be a much bigger company than we are today. We must be in more places in the world than just in Stockholm to reach the companies and organizations that work with space, such as NASA, Tesla, Blue Origin, and the like.
To become a more prominent company, says Jonas, we need to continue to make sure that we have competent people who work with us and continue to create fantastic solutions for our customers, says Jonas with pride.
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One of the customers Rebel & Bird is working with right now is Parks & Resorts (which owns Gröna Lund, Vildmarkshotellet and Furuviksparken, among others). A fun assignment, Jonas thinks, because it is something that affects everyone you meet, both at work and in private life. Everyone has a need to have fun and to go to amusement parks. Getting involved and making that experience even better is very inspiring, he says. To create digital experiences such as webs and apps, but also to make the park experience even more fun.
Another customer we have worked with for many years and who also does something that most people are interested in is SF Bio. SF Bio operates cinemas in 22 locations in Sweden with over 32,000 armchairs in 264 salons, but we have also worked with SF Bio's sister companies in Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Jonas is hugely proud to have been able to develop their web, which this year was named the best entertainment site of the year.
Jonas Elgquist says he got his first computer, a Commodore 64 when he was six years old. Every now and then, his interest in computers started, and he learned how to program his dad when he was 12 years old. Throughout his childhood, he played and programmed, but in his teens, the interest changed, and the music became the great passion instead. As a 19-year-old, he moved to the United States and attended music school in Hollywood intending to become a rock star.
When I was in Hollywood, it was so evident that I was not good enough at this, unfortunately. There were so many who were as good or better. It was a little hard work. If you are to succeed in that industry, it is too much luck for me. I realised that this rock star life is not going to be as good as I might have thought and gone home with the tail between my legs, says Jonas.
After realising that he will not become a rock star, he moved back to Sweden and started to study. When the studies were complete, Jonas was looking for a job in the hope of getting a job and also getting paid for something he liked since he was little, namely development. He got two positions on the same day.
“It was a fantastic feeling, getting paid to do what you love. I love what I do, ”says Jonas.
Jonas is very honest about what he has learned during his years as a manager. A valuable experience that took him many years to come to is to dare to be himself at work.
For many years you try to be what is expected of you. You make decisions according to what others hope you to decide. But when you have gained enough experience, you dare to choose more on what you actually wholeheartedly think is the best decision. That is the great lesson for me to dare to be myself. When I believe in things, I must dare to stand for it. It may not always be right, it can be super-stupid decisions. But you learn from it, and you have to move on and do better next time, ”says Jonas.
“Everything you do about the days isn't always right, and it doesn't have to be. It's like going a round of golf, not every beat is perfect, but it's the end result that counts.”
Then when it comes to leadership, running a business, and being a manager, he says that the most important lesson has been to treat others the way he wants to be treated himself. Not to be a manager, a manager who just sits and points. To be a leader and try to make sure that his employees have a fun and content-rich working time. To try to meet the needs of his employees and respect that everyone actually has different needs.
An important lesson for me there is being able to say, "Okay, I was wrong" and being able to apologise and change. That there is no prestige in being right. An essential part of leadership is not to go around seeing yourself as a manager, but to see yourself as one of the team.
Follow Jonas and his work as he takes over Rebel & Bird's Instagram next week starting Monday, September 3rd.
I drum wild air drum solos a little everywhere.
I like to listen a lot of things. But if I can decide for myself, it will almost always be hard rock. Right now, Amon Amarth is the favourit. Otherwise, Pink Floyd and especially old hard rock from the 70s and 80s.
What do you prefer most when you are completely free?
The most fun thing to do is to play drums, but I can't do that often. I have always had a preference for a computer or video game, especially CS, and I love to dive.
What we do here is one of the funniest things I know. To create smart, stylish, excellent, and useful digital services and products. It is so fun to hear my colleagues talk about all the things they do here. Learning from those around me is my skill development. It is very inspiring to work with extremely awesome people.