I’m Vidar @blacktar Andersen and I don’t talk about myself in the third person. I’m a Norwegian entrepreneur with over 16 years of professional experience creating Internet-based software, currently living in Cologne, Germany.
[...] Vidar is what some would call “a hustler.” He runs several local meetups in Cologne and works tirelessly. Easily someone I’d count among the people I’d start a company with, given the opportunity. [...] – Liam Boogar, Editor of The Rude Baguette
I like taking stuff apart to see how it works. I like to reassemble stuff in different ways and see how that works. I like to question the how and why of the now. I have a compulsion to make stuff suck less.
At around the ripe old age of nine I started my first entrepreneurial venture; putting on a magic show and charging the neighborhood kids for admission. Not very novel perhaps, but in retrospect it probably says something about my urge to
fleece my friends create and manipulate people tell stories.
I think it was around that age I promised my mother to buy her a house with a swimming pool for her retirement. I guess I’m still working on making good on that.
When I grow up I want to fund YOUR big ideas to make the world suck less. For now I do my best helping people like you with connecting the dots and sharing my mistakes and experiences in the hope that it will help you go further faster.
“Most of the time I think of myself as a failure.
When I’m optimistic, I think maybe I’m just a late bloomer.”
- Dave McClure
For years growing up, I thought that getting a university degree and graduate at a film school of some repute would be my railroad express to fortune, fame and changing the world. I thought that was how I would be sharing my ideas and thoughts with the world. Then
reality set in the commercial Internet happened and in 1996 I dropped out.
I founded blacktar.com in 1997, co-founded the Plone CMS, together with Alan Runyan and Alexander Limi in and around 2000 and in 2010 the Social Media Lunch Cologne, 2011 the already 165+ members strong and growing Hacker News Cologne Meetup, 2012 I co-founded Startup Weekend Cologne and decided to become the facilitator for Startup Weekend NEXT Cologne.
Since 1996 I’ve perpetrated a ridiculous amount of hours making software and processes suck less behind NDAs and corporate firewalls
prostituting contracting for governments, national companies and global corporations. I am guilty of doing work for big telcos, big oil and big publishers. (The latter probably being the bigger evil if you’d ask me).
I probably have over 20.000 hours of flight time in software development; making software work for people and not the other way around. It’s a sad little fact. I know. Yes, I’m still looking into getting a real life™.
Somehow I survived the roller coaster Internet bubble ride v1.0 unscathed and without ever receiving a dotcom cent. There were some obligatory options, and of course they went bankrupt. Yes, I’m not bitter.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be told by others what to do – especially by empty, dispassionate, meritless shells. I don’t take orders and I take issue with rules, so early in my professional career I thought I’d be happier becoming a a suit in management telling others what to do instead of being stuck with executing their politicalized, compromising soulless agendas.
Thus I climbed the proverbial well-lubricated salaryman pole and became “the man” – and realized that I hated it. Not so much for telling people what to do – I still
love that find that a useful application of my energy and skills – but for the shift of focus and responsibility from innovating and creating something new in the world to just manage and optimize the status quo and minimizing risks. Not so much for the pay – it was awesome – but it sure wasn’t FU money and it didn’t make me more happy after a certain threshold. Nor did it help me change the world.
In hindsight, staying an employee for so long and just playing along in the rat race game is probably the biggest mistake I’ve made so far. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have been where I am – who I am today – if it hadn’t been for those experiences and the opportunities given to me along the way to work on big projects for big customers together with great people.
Somebody told me “just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that you should be doing it”. So in 2010 I decided to stop.
“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”
I’ve since returned to my entrepreneurial self.
“I am down to 10 US dollars but have developed a theory which will go down as Thompson’s law of travel economics. To wit: Full speed ahead and damn the cost; It will all come out in the wash.”
I have no agenda other than participating in the global village, the global conversation. Actually, this
blog soap box is more about you than it is about me. I’m sincerely interested in getting to know what’s on your mind. Don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch! I’m convinced you have some great stories to tell and I’m super excited to hear them! Say hi on twitter (@blacktar). Say hello on Skype (blacktar). Let’s grab a coffee or a beer if you’re around (e.g. “blacktar” on Foursquare and Untappd).
In further trivia, I don’t have a landline telephone since 1994, I haven’t owned a TV since 2004, I’m a shareholder in the Aston Villa Supporter’s Foundation and a member of the ACLU, although I’m a paternalistic libertarian in the sense of the authors of Nudge and not a liberal. I am a sceptic, an atheist, a supporter of separation of church and state, KBHC supporter, member of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and a card carrying member of EFF.
I’m into entrepreneurship, people, making a dent, changing the world – even if it’s just a little bit and just for you, removing gatekeepers, anything disruptive, behavioural economics, cinema, storytelling, knowledge, science, reading, photography, design, MUSIC!, Open Source, the global village (you know, the Marshall McLuhan kind), innovation, usability, Squash, inline skating, swimming and you. Yes, YOU – so let’s talk.
“I don’t care if you’re a billionaire. If you haven’t started a company, really gambled your resume and your money and maybe even your marriage to just go crazy and try something on your own, you’re no pirate and you aren’t in the club.”
I owe whatever streak of creativity you think I might possess to my father’s genes and every single entrepreneurial one to my mother. My biggest pride and joy in life is my sister, the graduate in the family and the most wonderful mother to the most fabulous nephew ever.
I have no role models or idols except for my late engineer uncle. I like to think that some of his passion for tinkering, building stuff and genuine child-like interest in other people lives on in me.
Music is my hot sex.
Entitlement is my biggest turnoff.
I’m trilingual; Norwegian, English and German. Sometimes I think in one language, speak in another, write in the third and dream in all.
“Let’s face it. It’s the tension of life that keeps the light in a man’s eyes, and keeps the foam in his nuts. It’s really the only thing you cannot afford to lose.”
I’m accessible; You’ll find me floating around the social interweb thingamajig.
Mail – [email protected]
Voice US – +1 (650) 450-8047
Voice FaceTime/iMessage/iPhone EU – +49 151 40 133 149
Skype – blacktar
GTalk – blacktar
Twitter- @blacktar http://www.twitter.com/blacktar/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/Blacktar
Foursquare – http://foursquare.com/user/blacktar
Instagram – http://instagram.com/blacktar
SoundCloud – http://soundcloud.com/blacktar
Bitcoin – 1PWp8EDUBeRoJKTYX6SGsca4sp3rxsqPEG
Plancast – http://plancast.com/blacktar
And so on and so forth.. .
I would like to state – for the record – that the content published on this blog are my own private opinions and may contain
adult colourful [as well as incredibly childish] language.
I hope it’s self evident and makes sense to you that I can’t and won’t take any moral or legal responsibility for any external stuff that I link to.
The hosting of this blog is paid for (at least I’m trying to) by Amazon affiliate links and Go Daddy referral credits. No evil stuff. Ever.
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