A client needed a CD with work before flying to an important meeting early next morning. So I was working late and really struggling to meet the deadline. Finally I am done but realize I got no cash and it's about 4 in the morning. So, I actually ran across Stockholm about 10 km to get the CD to the client in time.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I am 35 years old. I've been working at Farfar for about 8 years now. I come from a small town in Sweden where people talk funny. I work at Farfar as a senior creative/creative director.
What do you do for inspiration?
Too little to be honest. I wish I could spend more time looking for inspiration. But I do see many things/trends online through friends, colleagues, newsletters, blogs and such. I guess I get most my inspiration from everyday things that I am interested in.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Winning the Swedish Advertising Competion...in golf! And I do pride myself on being a loyal, hard worker.
How many hours do you work each week?
Too many! At the same time - the best part of the job is being in a small group, eating junkfood, having a few beers during the graveyard shift when you know you got good ideas!
How do you relax or unwind?
I am set to become a dad in about two months so I imagine things will change. Otherwise I like to golf, watch MMA, hockey or football. Have a few beers or enjoy a good movie.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Wow. Not a clue. I've held many, many jobs - including what's been called the "worst job ever" by shocked co-workers here at Farfar. NSFW.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
My favourite part is when you're trying to come up with an idea. It starts out the same way and you're all serious, going through briefs and stuff. After a while you find yourself talking about movies, tv shows, a thing you saw on Youtube, the weather and what not - when it suddenly hits you. I like those 'Murder, She Wrote' moments. Eureka!
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
I've slept at the office a few times and worked many, many late nights, weekends and holidays - part of the job I guess. But the weirdest thing I ever did was a few years ago. A client needed a CD with work before flying to an important meeting early next morning. So I was working late and really struggling to meet the deadline. Finally I am done but realize I got no cash and it's about 4 in the morning. So, I actually ran across Stockholm about 10 km to get the CD to the client in time.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
Hm... I was actually hired to Farfar when speeding in a convertible. I was an intern and the company was in Barcelona on a trip. Our boss, Matias, leaned back from the driver's seat and screamed: 'When we get back to Stockholm I am gonna give you an offer you cannot refuse!!!' That changed everything for me and now I am giving FWA interviews.
Obviously the things you learn from being around talented people is also something that is extremely valuable.
What software could you not live without?
Keynote. Working with bigger and more diverse clients makes it more important to present stuff in a fashion that makes the client trust and ultimately buy whatever crazy stuff you are proposing. Oh, and Air Video for the iPhone.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
Totally non-work related: Jdownloader, Air Video, Transmission and SVT Play.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Winning FWA awards are awesome. Also, it obviously confirmation of a job well done. It also boosts and starts the conversations about campaigns/sites.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
It can be quite difficult. Mainly because wide audiences makes the client want to say a lot of things at the same time. But it is also a challenge! You just have to find an idea that is appealing to 'everybody' without losing edge. Obviously easier said than done...
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I have not. Like to though. I've studied cinema and script development and such and I, like many others I am sure, feel I can tell much better stories myself. Problem is, most people who write the very crap I am referring to, probably think the same thing. But they actually have the guts to do it!
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
Not really. But as much as possible I try to switch off whenever possible. A good night out, an away game following my favorite team, working out or a trip to my girlfriend's cabin in the north of Sweden are all good things for me in order to recharge my batteries. Quite often - that's when the best ideas are born.
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?
I feel like I wanna question social media in advertising - or rather the extreme need for it. Because before they were a place for advertisers - they were just social, and not media. There's a few smart ideas out there that's really pushed the envelope like Whopper Sacrifice. But I've also seen to many half-assed social media solutions that feels extremely shoehorned.
A good idea is a good idea. And the channel is usually a big part of the solution. Whatever the channel depends on the idea and not the other way around.
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?
Idea first. Say one thing and say it clear. Tell the truth - only in a better way than others. Digital, analogue or a smoke signals - I say whatever suits the idea. But obviously I have a digital background and believe in its power!
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
Difficult to say. The only thing I am sure about is that something we did not expect now will totally change the playing field.
But when it comes to pure production we got some of the best companies right here in Sweden. Perfect Fools, B-Reel, North Kingdom. I'd expect them to continue to push the envelope.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
I am very proud of much of the work we have done here at Farfar. But the readers of FWA are all well informed and have probably seen most of the digital campaigns out there. I'd like to take this opportunity to salute a few, very old sites that we also created that didn't get the recognition (or traffic) but from which we learned a lot!
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I do. I hope! They need to fix the flash bug in Chrome though and obviously the lack of Flash on the iPhone is annoying.
There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?
Absolutely true. We still see many ideas that require heavy Flash sites and other ideas that takes place in a physical environment and so on. It all depends, again, on the idea. But as a whole I agree that both advertisers and agencies are looking more towards improving services/products which seems to lead to less use of the Flash sites you mention above.
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
It can be quite difficult to find the right people. The biggest talent is the willingness to learn/work.
How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?
We got some awesome guys here at Farfar that keep us all updated. Thomas, Robert, Bjorn to name a few and of course the former Farfar employee Per aka The Fimp. Respect!
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
My red Volvo. Unstoppable.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Our fresh approach. We did things we liked and for that reason. If I like it - I am sure others will!
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I just recently passed some Flash books and stuff to the younger guys here at the office. They will and have surpassed me on every level when it comes to Flash.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Most by sharing info among friends and people within the industry. Blogs and the usual stuff.
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
Can't tell you! But there's a few awesome ideas here still floating around that is yet to be realized...
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
Hopefully good things for all!
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
An Espresso machine (and I do not even drink coffee).
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you, Rob! Keep up the good work.