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Collection: Oslomet, Velferdsteknologi, LØRNBIZ

Some lessons from leading an organization in a new world

Gjest: Pär Stigenberg

CTO

Blocket


Med Vert: Silvija Seres

In this episode of #LØRN, Silvija talks to CTO in Blocket, Pär Stigenberg. Blocket.se is one of Sweden's most successful internet businesses, where individuals and businesses can buy and sell services and products. Blocket is the Swedes' answer on Finn.no, and as of today, more than 7 out of 10 Swedes have bought or sold something on Blocket.
In the conversation, Pär talks about his international perspectives on technology in Norway, as well as about how Blocket as a company has handled the Corona crisis in the form of, among other things, changes in the work situation.
- I believe that the way we consume must change, and I believe that companies such as Blocket and Finn play an important role here, Pär explains.

Who are you, personally and professionally? 
I am 45 years old and I'm leading the technology department on Blocket, the largest and by far best marketplace in Sweden. My background is engineering and software development but I have spent the last 15 years leading teams or organizations within the IT sector. I’m also a football coach, a passionate fisher, a decent tennis player and I love to do home “improvements” together with my wife.   
 
What does your organization sell, and why do people buy from you? 
Blocket is a marketplace and mostly known for being a place where people buy & sell second-hand things. I guess everyone in Norway knows Finn.no and Blocket is the Swedish version. We also have marketplaces for job openings, cars, and for real estate rental.  
 
What exactly motivates you in this assignment? 
I think the last 7 months have been challenging, scary, interesting, surrealistic and we have learned a lot about a lot of stuff we didn’t know before. From one day to the next we went from being a company working mainly from the office to a company where everyone works from home. Rapid change and hard dilemmas motivate me. 
 
Are there any interesting dilemmas? 
A lot. How does working from home change things? 
What changes do we need in our way of working? 
How do overcome the distance and all the good side effects being at an office have? 
 
3 best growth tips for other similar companies? 
Think big, start small, and ship often.  

Who inspires you? 
The people that inspire me are passionate people. And they can probably be passionate about anything. 
Passionate about architecture, machine learning, software engineering, or cocking 
 
What is relevant knowledge for the future? 
Engineering skills will be super relevant for a long long time. It’s hard to point at certain areas but if forced I would say, cloud engineering, security, and machine learning. 
 
3 best management tips? 
- Stay true to your values  
- Be transparent and open 
- Train yourself in the art of giving and receiving feedback 
 
Any important sustainability perspectives? 
It’s super mega important. And I think how we consume stuff has to change.  And here I think products like Finn and Blocket have an important role to play. Try it out if you haven’t. I think we all have lots of stuff we don’t need and don’t use. Give them a second chance. There’s almost always someone out there that needs the old table you have in storage. 
 

Dette LØRNER du:

Management
Strategy
Digitization

Anbefalt litteratur:

Clean Code av Robert Cecil Martin
Domain-Driven Design av Eric Evans

Hold your strong opinions weakly.

Pär Stigenberg

Dette er Blocket

Blocket is Sweden's largest marketplace with over 5 million available goods and services.