Serial entrepreneur and investor Morten Lund joined us on stage with Mike Butcher to look back at his past ventures. Most of them turned out to be failures. Lund is now even famous for declaring personal bankruptcy even though he was one of the first angel investors in Skype.
“I lost everything, I had to give up my art collection and my cars,” Lund said. “In reality, it wasn’t that bad. I see very few people who get really rich and are really happy — most people get nuts.”
“Europe is a fucking recession. Everybody over 40 seems dull, watching TV.”
With his Skype money, Lund invested in a free newspaper venture called Nyhedsavisen — it didn’t work. And it’s surprising in some way that Lund didn’t stick around with the Skype founders to create new ventures.
“Unfortunately, it’s not like the PayPal mafia. Everybody around Skype went into different directions,” he said. “Sometimes you see a youth soccer team that wins the championship. Some stay together, some don’t.”
Lund also invested in many startups over the years and had bad business experiences with his partners and co-founders in his various ventures. “When I went bankrupt, I saw that everything was a mess in my shareholder agreements — everything was shit,” he said.
Then, the conversation shifted to the general economic environment in Europe to build new startups and invest. “There is a good ecosystem but there is not a big company that went IPO and is acquiring all these smaller companies,” Lund said. “I think we should just look at Asia, that’s where the growth is. I’d also like to go to Latin America.”
In a sort of life purpose statement, he criticized Europe in general. “Europe is a fucking recession. Everybody over 40 seems dull, watching TV,” he said.
When asked whether Lund likes chaos, his answer was also very iconic. “I love it,” he said. “The whole idea of being able to control life is probably fake. I don’t wake up every day thinking that I got cheated. I’m super fucking happy.”
“The whole idea of being able to control life is probably fake. I don’t wake up every day thinking that I got cheated. I’m super fucking happy.”
Butcher gathered a few quotes from people working in the London tech ecosystem, asking them what they think about Morten Lund. Someone told Butcher “he is very talented in discovering new markets and companies.” Lund’s only answer was “yeah, big news.”
Someone else told Butcher “he likes being chairman and not being around for daily work.” Lund couldn’t deny that either and just answered “fact.”
And then, there is Lund’s general aversion towards venture capitalists. He even had some rather graphical comments on what it’s like being a VC.
“It’s really impossible to predict who here will be the next winner,” he said. “A VC is sucking as much dick as startup guys.” The only difference is that they report to pension funds and some of the “most boring people on earth.” This certainly comes from the heart.