Every human being should be aware that you cannot solve or do everything yourself! You need skilled and nice people around you... It’s those people that keeps you going.
My name is Bjarne Christensen. I'm an experienced creative with my strengths in digital design and online concepts. With more than nine years of professional experience in both design and technical development, as well as creative leadership for the past three years, I'm the guarantor of lasting solutions with high relevance.
What do you do for inspiration?
It’s very different from one time to another. I see myself as a ‘thinker’. Often inspiration just comes by after a while with a certain project in my mind. So I think the short answer is; from life itself and the stuff and people that surrounds us.
But if time is short, I use the more traditional online platforms such as Pinterest, Behance, FWA, and other web galleries and creative blogs, or discussing the project with colleagues.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.Google.com (I know it’s obvious, but on a daily basis I get amazed of how big impact Google has on the way we work. Everything and everyone can be found!)
Smashing Magazine (a lot of great articles on both technical and creative stuff
Pinterest (it’s amazing how much inspiration you can get on everything in just 10 minutes)
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
What I’m doing at the moment. The past 2-3 years with Stupid are by far the most intense, exiting, enriching and crazy years in my career so far. But we’re constantly improving and people want what we can deliver. That’s a big satisfaction. I don’t know when the right time is for saying “we did it!”, but I feel like we’re on the right way!
How many hours do you work each week?
It depends on a lot of things. As every creative knows, there are not a lot of weeks that are close to similar. Some weeks it’s almost “normal” according to Danish standards; 40-45 hours, and for other weeks I’m working 70 hours. I think an average is around 50 hours.
How do you relax or unwind?
I do something that has no connection to my work whatsoever. Spending time with friends and family, mountain-biking, going for a walk with some rock music in my ears. I’m not very good at doing nothing. You know, just to lie down and stare into the sky. But I think it’s important to get a break from your professional life now and then, if you want to perform when it’s needed.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Probably an astronaut traveling around in the space from planet to planet, eating cheese sandwiches. Or...
At the moment I’m very much into mountain-biking, so something with a relation to that. I don’t know really, but I think it would be something totally different than I do now.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
I’m getting challenged every day. I’m meeting new people all the time. Being part of the greatest team we ever had at Stupid. When I sometimes look at what we’re doing at the moment, I’m getting both proud and in some way touched. Everything together makes it all worth the hard work.
The hardest part for me personally is when I feel the full potential of a project isn’t redeemed. When something not turns out the way we had planned and when my own ambitions are not met.
When I get stuck I need to change the environment I’m stuck in. Go for a walk, leave the project for a day or two, and come back to discus the issue with people at the office.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
26 hours. The first launch of Denmarks biggest portal for rock music, royalbeer.tv was a killer! But it turned out to be a great success with around 7 times more band signups than expected. On that note, sleep is secondary.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
When I partnered up with Daniel (founder of Stupid). It was a big decision, but we haven’t looked back ever since. I know it sounds a bit like a love story. Maybe it is...
Every human being should be aware that you cannot solve or do everything yourself! You need skilled and nice people people around you... It’s those people that keeps you going.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
What area of web design lacks the most?
In terms of which businesses, my answer would be airlines and real estate websites.
Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?
I still remember North Kingdom’s ‘Get The Glass’ website as one of the most exciting projects, not at least if you keep in mind that it was designed and developed 5-6 years ago or so. It really showed us how engaging web can be.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Tables and frames, very blue, Times New Roman! If it even was online you couldn’t make me tell you the URL
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
With the MyBoat project for Greenpeace we introduced the idea of inviting your friends to your fleet, when you had created a digital paper-boat. You invited people to your fleet through Facebook or Twitter. We managed to create 48% of the signups that way, and the biggest fleet counted 138 digital paper-boats. The social media strategy here worked as planned.
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
We as creatives need to think in other ways than just digital! The last 3-5 years everyone has been focusing a lot on digital platforms. Now we see a counter-reaction where we need to be able to connect the real life with the digital world. We can’t create something digital for real people, if we don’t relate it to the real world.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
The web will continue to be our most important medium. I think websites will evolve to be more and more as tools and apps where the users can interact with the brand/platform.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Work hard, stay nice to people
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Staying up late!
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
The website for the FIFA World Cup. There is so much interesting data and infos to be told, and elements to be designed.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
Everything is going quite fast at the moment. So let me do it short; good stuff!
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
My favorite quote from Mr. Jobs; “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you Rob!