I am a born and raised Norwegian, born in Oslo (capital of Norway) in 1970 – but have lived most of my life just outside the “big” city.
Work, study and personal interests have always gone hand in hand in my life. I started to be involved in the media business early (at the age of 16), working at a local radio station in Oslo – where I worked as a script for the early morning show. After a while I was allowed on air during the late night broadcasts. I can still remember the mind-numbing terror of my first broadcast. – I like to think I improved after that.
The interest in radio/media and technology led me to seek an education as a sound engineer, and in 1989 (19 years old) I started on a two year education to become sound engineer, at Norsk Lydskole in Oslo. After the education I spent some time working freelance and looking for a steady position. At the end of my education I became involved in a small local radio project close to where I lived, and ended up becoming the editor of the radio station. It was too small to survive, but still a nice experience. And it gave me many hundreds of hours of on-air experience.
In 1993 I was hired as the technical director of the much larger radio station Radio Nero (at its peak, it was the third largest commercial radio station in Norway). Radio Nero was quite a challenge, and the first time I really got to put my education as a sound engineer to use. There I got to work with some really experienced journalists, and I think I walked away from the experience with a much deeper understanding of journalism, as well as a lot of experience from working as a technical director. The job included managing the construction of a brand new studio complex and one of the first all-computerized radio stations in Norway.
While working for Radio Nero, I discovered the Internet. And while I was working there, the first versions of Netscape was released. It was the revolution of the web – including such “advanced” features as embedded images. Fairly early I managed to convince Radio Nero that it would be worthwhile to have a presense on the web. Together with a friend (Geir Maurtvedt, that later went on to form Mediafront – a leading multimedia design company in Norway) I designed the first pages of the Radio Nero web. The work got me so fired up, I went out and bought myself an expensive Pentium 75 computer, with a 15″ screen. A computer I spent many years paying down. I had started my career as a web developer :-)
When Radio Nero started to have financial trouble in 1995, I was already doing a little freelance work – designing web pages for various companies. Through friends I was introduced to some people wanting to start a web development company, and before I knew it – I was part owner of Webmaster AS.
At Webmaster we were lucky enough to get some very interesting clients. Among them some big mail-order companies wanting to make their splash onto the web. And we cooperated on some of the projects with Schibsted Nett (the company started out as the first Internet provider in Norway, known as Oslonett, and then became the media company Scandinavia Online). I was still just a web-duh-signer – but was getting more and more involved in understanding how it all worked – it led me to study web-standards, usability etc.
Webmaster was a bit premature, and not founded well enough, so the project was ended in 1997, one of the owners was running a business based on competing with the norwegian-telco’s yellow pages, and there is where I ended up. Developing their site, and at the same time helping their customers with their first homepages on the net. At the same time I was pretty visible on the web. (having had my own homepages since 1993, and always loving to explore technologies and the web’s possibilities).
So at the end of 1997 I was approached by header hunters and asked if I would like to join the internet unit of ICL Norway (A Fujitsu owned company). The web has finally been picked up on the big corporations radar screen. As it turns out, I was the first person ICL recruited for their new intenet unit. While working for ICL, I was involved in a lot of interesting projects for state organizations and big norwegian corporation. I even managed to discover some new products and introduce them to the company.
In 2000 I got in touch again with a classmate from sound engineer school. Jens Christian Brynildsen had started his own computer company a while before, and was ready to start expanding the company. I left ICL, and joined forces with the small-independent-creative-company Netron. There I got to learn about Flash and all the cool things about it. At Netron I specialized in Flash and backend integration, and dynamic generation of Flash content. After a while at Netron I ended up becoming one of the editors of the Flash community news site Flashmagazine, doing interviews with web-big-shots such as Jeremy Allaire and attending gatherings of the greatest Flash developers a and designers.
While working at Netron we started to see the need of specialized hosting for dynamic flash sites. And the need for services ended up in Netron, myself and some other people starting a hosting company for advanced multimedia hosting – Webhead AS. Netron and Webhead have been cooperating in developing a publishing system that is among the most easy to use publishing systems available today.
In 2001 I started working freelance, and did interesting projects on my own, among those was building a complete intranet system based on eZ Publish for The Norwegian Institute of Public Health.