Alexander Lind of Radinn: “People tell you over and over that failing is part of the journey; Well, it is true”

Failing is part of the deal — people tell you over and over that failing is part of the journey. Well, it is true, but even though you know it is coming it is painful. Keeping your perspective is hard but absolutely necessary. It is your vision and your dream that keeps you going. Remember why you […]

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Failing is part of the deal — people tell you over and over that failing is part of the journey. Well, it is true, but even though you know it is coming it is painful. Keeping your perspective is hard but absolutely necessary. It is your vision and your dream that keeps you going. Remember why you started in the first place.

As part of my series about the leadership lesson of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexander Lind. Alexander is the founder of the Swedish jetboard manufacturer Radinn. Back in 2013, Radinn started as a project by Alexander, who, at the time, was studying Economics at Lund University. The Malmö based company introduced the first jet-propelled wakeboard, the Wakejet Cruise, in 2016. After three years of development, Radinn launched its second generation and one of the World’s first commercially available electric jetboard, the Radinn G2X.

Thank you so much for joining us Alexander! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m often asked ’How did you come up with the idea of creating this board?’. The short answer is that it wasn’t really my idea; in fact, people have been trying to achieve this with varying results since the 1950s. But in spite of my predecessors’ troubles, my idea — or rather my strong belief — has always been that it must be possible to not only make cool and powerful jetboards but to also create something larger — a community of jetboarders! I even imagine a way of Life, as so many board sports have grown into and inspired before us.

Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

I could probably fill entire evenings with entertaining stories about the challenges with faced and sill face, but I want to share my favorite one so far: Back when we just have had started, we managed to get our first investment. Half of the respective money was dedicated to content production in order to create awareness for our product. However, when we started the battery pack wasn’t just one battery, it rather was composed of 24 individual serial connected smaller batteries. These smaller batteries all needed to be charged individually. So, if you want to charge 24 individual batteries with three chargers in one night, you need to set an alarm way too many times. But despite serious sleep deprivation, we produced a movie that received 650.000 views resulting in a 500.000€ investment. That was absolutely fantastic!

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Of course, the line between ingenuity and insanity is incredibly thin, but I think most entrepreneurs have a special drive that keeps them going to win over those challenges. At least it is like that for me. It goes without saying that you also need a good team that carries you and creates that positive energy. I have been very fortunate to have that too!

So, how are things going today? How did Grit lead to your eventual success?

For missions like the first content shoot you need equally radical and passionate people and I think that is exactly what brought us so incredibly far already. Within the last months exceptional people with a lot of experience joined our team. People for whom giving up has never and will never be an option. And I think that again attracts a lot of talents. You can never do it alone and a strong team is the foundation for everything you do.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

650.000 views were the proof of concept we needed to again utilizes another 1/5 of the new investment for content production. This time we wanted to do it more professional, more efficient and with less getting up during the night. The plan was to fly to Necker Island with a team of dedicated content producers. The day has come, the team was on Necker just waiting for me. The board, however, wasn’t working at all. We tried everything but we couldn’t fix it. We had to cancel the whole trip. What can I say, at least they had a few nice days on Necker Island…

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

For us as the Radinn team the product is king. It is the epicenter for everything we do. We believe in and thrive for radical innovation. This belief forms our platform to think and to act as radical as possible. You are allowed to fail; you are allowed to mess up and no one should be afraid of it.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Listen to your body and mind. Be open and talk to your colleagues about your work load.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Magnus Wide — Radinn’s chairman. A few years ago, in very early stage, we were offered 3Mio€ from in investor. The company was in a really bad shape and while we would have benefited enormously from so much money, I took the difficult decision to pass on that money. The reason for that was that this investor did not share our vision. Instead, I decided to take in 1/10 of that amount from Magnus as he was a better fit personally. He shared our goal, our vision and because of him we got in contact with a lot of people that are now working for Radinn. I would even go so far and say that he saved the company.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We are thriving to revolutionize the world of action and water sports by bringing a pollution free option on the market. All our previous efforts went into creating Radinn, but we want to use this voice now to protect our oceans. We want to give back to the world, but we also know that it takes time and we want to do it right. There are already plans for creating our very own approach.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)

Stick to your vision, uncompromisingly — I turned down 3Mio€, which was a hard and painful decision, but it is not worth any money in the world to sell your soul and vision.

Take advice from experienced people — trust your team. It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit that someone else can take care of your “baby” even better than you can. Building a product is one thing, building a company is another. For me it has been extremely valuable to get advice from experienced people in regard to building a company.

You can’t do everything at the same time — in the beginning it seems like everything is on fire and you don’t want to miss out on anything. Prioritizing is something that I had to learn and to internalize. Sometimes doing the right things is more important than doing things right (??).

Failing is part of the deal — people tell you over and over that failing is part of the journey. Well, it is true, but even though you know it is coming it is painful. Keeping your perspective is hard but absolutely necessary. It is your vision and your dream that keeps you going. Remember why you started in the first place.

Enjoy — fulfilling your dream is a magical journey and if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you’re are doing something wrong. Despite endless sleepless nights, countless hours in the workshop and (too) many days testing the board in cold Swedish water, I loved every moment of it. I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved, and I think the key is to not only enjoy the wins, but to also love overcoming the obstacles.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That is easy: we need to protect our nature — that would be the best for people around the world. We need a healthy earth and clean oceans to breath.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can’t. But they can follow @radinnoffical, which is way better!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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