Check out an interesting interview with Thor Ernstsson, the visionary behind Strata’s creation.
Thor's journey unfolds from his roots in Iceland to his pivotal role in tech startups. With a focus on bridging the gap in relationship management, Thor dives into the establishment of Strata and the evolution of his perspective on human interaction, technology, and hardships, as he says: ‘’I realized that many of the challenges I encountered were more about understanding human behavior at scale than just technical hurdles.’’
The conversation navigates through the principles of prioritization, the alignment of objectives, and the implementation of the OKR system for both personal and organizational productivity.
Explore unique business growth journeys, from brand building to revenue growth and team nurturing.
Gregg: Welcome to ''Success at Scale'', where we explore business stories from entrepreneurs, leaders, and founders, sharing insights on how to translate business ideas into business results. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Thor Ernstsson, the founder of Strata, a relationship intelligence company. Thor, thank you for joining me on this episode of "Success at Scale." It's a pleasure to have you here, and I'm eager to learn more about your journey. Since this is our first meeting, I'm excited to dive into the conversation. Let's jump right in. Could you please introduce yourself?
Thor: Absolutely, Gregg. Thank you for having me. I'm Thor Ernstsson, and if I were, to sum up my professional journey, I'd say I'm a startup enthusiast with a tech background. Originally from Iceland, when I talk to my family about my work, it's not easy to convey what tech and startups mean, beyond fixing printers. Over the past two decades, my focus has revolved around building relationships with others, whether it's co-workers, friends, or partners. Unfortunately, there have been limited tools to maintain and nurture these connections. Platforms like LinkedIn scratched the surface, but I often found myself realizing that I hadn't talked to someone for years when I needed their expertise. This led me to establish Stratta, where we aim to bridge this gap in relationship management.
Gregg: That's fascinating, Thor. Your journey has been deeply rooted in the world of startups and technology, and it's clear how your experiences have shaped your current venture, Strata. Let's backtrack a bit and explore how you got started in this field. How did you first enter the realm of startups and technology?
Thor: It's an interesting story, Gregg. My entry into the tech world began through contract work as a software developer. Due to certain visa constraints, I couldn't work for a large company, but I was allowed to establish an LLC. This unique situation led me to collaborate with startups and engage in various tech-related projects. This was around two decades ago, and from that point on, I never looked back. My initial interest in technology and problem-solving evolved over time, and I realized that many of the challenges I encountered were more about understanding human behavior at scale than just technical hurdles. This perspective shifted my focus toward relationship dynamics and how to use technology to enhance human interactions.
Gregg: It's intriguing how your path evolved from technical problem-solving to recognizing the significance of human relationships in the technology landscape. Your experiences highlight the crucial role that relationships play in various aspects of business. Now, as you transitioned through your career, what have you found to be the most effective approach for maintaining productivity and managing your responsibilities?
Thor: One of the key principles I follow is prioritization – understanding what tasks to focus on and what not to. This applies to both work-related goals and personal pursuits. We've implemented a modified OKR (Objectives and Key Results) system at Strata, which helps us set clear goals and measure outcomes. It's about setting specific objectives, breaking them down into measurable key results, and aligning teams around these goals. Personally, I follow a similar process, identifying what needs to be accomplished, aligning tasks with my objectives, and saying no to distractions. This helps me remain focused and productive, both in my role at Stratta and in other ventures.
Gregg: Prioritization and aligning tasks with objectives are indeed critical for productivity. It's impressive how you've implemented these principles not only in your company but also in your personal approach. Speaking of Stratta, let's dive into your current venture. The concept of relationship intelligence is central to your company's mission. Can you elaborate on how Strata addresses this aspect of relationship management?
Thor: Absolutely, Gregg. At Strata, we recognize that relationships are at the core of almost everything we do – whether in business, personal life, or other areas. Our platform focuses on helping individuals and organizations understand and manage their relationships effectively. We've identified different layers of relationships, ranging from transient connections to deep, long-term bonds. Our goal is to provide tools and insights that enable users to elevate the quality of these connections. By measuring the strength of relationships, identifying opportunities for growth, and facilitating meaningful interactions, we aim to empower people to make the most of their networks.
Gregg: Thank you for joining us today, Thor. It's been a fantastic conversation. As we wrap up, I have one final question for you. Can you let our listeners know where they can connect with you?
Thor: Absolutely. Well, Thor might not be a common name, except for the Hollywood Thor, of course. So, I'm fairly easy to find. My last name, Ernstsson, can be a bit tricky to spell, but it's derived from my father's name, Ernst. You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and various other platforms. Feel free to reach out to me at Thor@strata.cc if you need assistance. I believe that anyone tuning in to this podcast is precisely the type of person we aim to assist. So, visit the website, strata.cc, and sign up. I'll do my best to connect with you.
Gregg: Thor, I genuinely appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. It has been a pleasure to have you. For our listeners, make sure to explore strata.cc. To our followers - thank you and until next time! Stay tuned for more exciting content coming your way!
Read more about Success at Scale podcast with Triple G Ventures here and watch the original podcast episode up on the Youtube link!
This podcast covers business stories from experienced entrepreneurs, business leaders, and startup founders on how to translate business ideas into business results.
In each episode, Gregg shows how companies grow from seed to scale, testing his theories with successful business leaders.
Success at Scale is hosted by Gregg Stein, Founding Partner and CEO of Triple G Ventures. Dynamic, forward-thinking visionary, dedicated to unlocking the potential of great people, great ideas, and emerging technologies. 20+ years of experience building, leading, and scaling connected IoT consumer electronics, ed-tech, audio/music tech, and content businesses to $500m+ with several exits. Specifically recognized for scaling ION Audio, ROLI, and Kano Computing, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2018 and 2019, just behind Apple.