Johan Carlsson – Founder of Boomslang Instruments

[quote]”Just do it”! My philosophy is to try many ideas and then chose the best one, if there is a best one, of course.[/quote]

Johan Carlsson is the Founder and CEO of Boomslang Instruments, designers and developers of avant-garde Location Based Technology solutions focused on precision, reliability, function and form. Their mission is to enable people to live safer lives, and their ’fashionista’ brand PFO aims this mission specifically towards women.

Carlsson, 45, grew up in Linköping, Sweden. He played professional tennis for eleven years before moving to Hawaii in 1994 to work as a trainee for a small broker dealer. In 1997 that post brought him to New York and Wall Street, and two years later he started his own broker dealer, Lexit Capital, providing an electronic trading platform to European institutions and banks. In 2001 he moved to London and opened Lexit’s European office. Lexit was acquired by Sweden’s NeoNet AB, a listed company on Stockholm Stock Exchange, in 2003 for which he became Head of Trading. In 2009 Johan started his latest venture, Boomslang Instruments.

Johan lives in London with his wife and three girls.

What are you working on right now?

Well, I’m constantly, right now, working on my own personal development, Project JC, which is probably the most important project for my ”success”  both privately and professionally. I started to work on Project JC in a very structured way two years ago when I met one of the most important people in my life, Arne Tollefors. Arne is my mentor and guru that got me realising the importance of building good habits and routines in all areas of my life.

”Professionally” I’m working on ”making the world safer for women” at PFO AB. PFO is a Protective Fashion Object. It’s a designer bracelet and a GPS tracking device, connected to friends or a security firm.

Right now we are getting ready for our launch in Sweden in the next couple of weeks, we have also started to work intensively on the next version of our product. The focus is mainly the design of the bracelet but also improvements on the functionality, especially implementing a new indoor positioning solution.

What does your typical day look like?

I get up at 5.45, hit the gym at 6.30 for a one-hour workout. I work out most mornings including weekends. 8.00 at office breakfast and plan the day. Mornings are often dedicated to updates within the team, conference calls with our suppliers and factories in Asia. Lunch at 12 if not business lunch with potential clients, investors than in front of my mac scanning the Internet. I work at the office until 6.30. Dinner at home and then back on my mac. 22:30 a short stretch and meditation. 23:00 write diary and evaluate day – what did I do well today, what can I learn and do better tomorrow? Hit the sack 23:30.

3 trends that excite you?

People all over the world is becoming more environmentally conscious.

The world is becoming more open and transparent.

Access to TV/media over the Internet anywhere, anytime.

How do you bring ideas to life?

”Just do it”! My philosophy is to try many ideas and then chose the best one, if there is a best one, of course.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by people that are emerged and passionate about what they are doing. Whether in work or as a hobby. Good looking and functional design also inspires me a lot.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

Not realising the importance of goals, a plan and structure. In one part of my life when I was too young and immature I wish I had realised the opportunity I had and how close I was to realise my own dream. When I was 17 I was one of Sweden’s most promising tennis players. I quickly reached a ranking of 100 in the world but then never really developed from there. Why? Looking back I think its quite simple in that I didn’t have the structure and organisation.  I ”trained” with a too short-term vision and didn’t have a long-term plan how to become a better player. There was never a question of me working hard enough but I realised now that I didn’t train effectively and had a clearly defined plan. Preparation and planning is so important to reach your goals and ”personal potential”.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Someone should develop and design a website / portal for building and renovating homes including approved builders, architects and designers. I know so many people having had issues with building and renovating their homes and the ”building world”, whether in the UK, Sweden or the US.

What do you read every day, and why?

I think iGoogle is the best thing ever for reading and scanning news and staying up to date. It’s so easy to follow so many different publications. I have my financial news from Financial Times and Dagens Industri, my world news from BBC and Svenska Dagbladet, my industry news from GPS Business News, Wired, and OSM.

To stay awake (being here and now ….. or at least trying to) I read something on buddhism or similar daily. My all time favourite book is Siddharta by Hesse.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?

“The inner side of greatness” by Peter Kostenbaum. Koestenbaum’s book gives anyone great tools to succeed in business as well in life.

”How to influence people and make friends” by Dale Carnegie. Great book that inspires to build better relationships with people in general.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

My iPad and my Amazon Kindle where I can carry all the books I would ever want or need.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

I personally would love to read an interview with Mark Zuckeberg but for other readers I think Arne Tollefors, founder of Tollefors Consulting, would be great. He would be someone that can help a lot of young entrepreneurs reach their goals.

What do you think is the most important factor to succeed in business?

In my experience I have found a person’s attitude the most important factor in succeeding. Whether in sports, business, arts and life the a positive attitude with an open mind is differentiates the top performers more than anything else in my mind.


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