Interview with my Everipedia Co-founder Theodor Forselius (AKA “Tedde”) by Mahbod Moghadam
One of the main reasons I got involved with Everipedia is that I really like the ethnicities of my cofounders. Sam is a Persian Prince - and you know I am deeply proud of our shared Iran roots - and Theodor is Swedish. Sweden is pretty much my favorite non-Iran country. Swedish House Mafia, Spotify, Swedish fish… the list of things I love about this country (which, sadly, I’ve never visited) goes on and on…
As I got to know Tedde more deeply, I discovered that he is very weird/cool. He started his first company at age 18, and his social gaming network, Hello, is a pretty big deal! (The teenage players pretty much worship Tedde - there is a secret level in the game where you go into a trophy room and there is a giant virtual bust of Tedde’s head!)
Tedde’s hero in life is Elon Musk and - now that Tedde is living at UCLA, right by Elon’s native Bel Air, it is only a matter of time before the two of them kick it!
Below is a short interview I conducted with Tedde, to get deeper into the mind of this young Swedish genius:
Why are you so in love with Los Angeles?
The only thing better than Silicon Valley is palm trees and beaches, so Silicon Beach must be the perfect place for a techie like me coming from the cold and harsh winters of Sweden.
Why are Swedish startups blowing up so hard? Is it something in the water?
I personally think of Stockholm as the Silicon Valley of Europe, and I think one of the main reasons why startups are thriving there right now is because of the cultural impact government investments into technology had in the 90's. They made sure that high-speed internet was widespread early on and gave tax deductions to citizens wanting to buy computers. This meant there was a whole generation growing up that was technologically literate from a very early age, which ended up fueling technological innovation in the 2010's.
Are there any cool, Mucker/YCesque accelerators in Sweden?
I've heard of a few such as the Sting Accelerator, but overall I think Stockholm has some catching up to do when it comes to helping seed & pre-seed stage companies if they want to compete with accelerators in other european cities.
What made you abandon your gaming empire to do Everipedia full-time? Do you ACTUALLY think Everipedia is that great?
Luckily I didn't have to abandon it! I was fortunate enough to have a great team of people who stepped in to help me manage it after Everipedia started consuming more and more of my time. Everipedia isn't just great because the idea behind it is brilliant, but also because it has the potential to get massive exposure around the world, I think that's what makes it so cool, it's not just some niche app for a niche market but instead has every single person with internet access in the world as a potential user.
What's it like working with the crazy Rap Genius guy? Is he weird?
I imagine it would resemble how it must have been working with Steve Jobs, if Steve Jobs was Persian.
What are the rules of Everipedia HQ? Is it a "party house"?
Partying is highly encouraged - but sugar, gluten and dairy are not allowed anywhere near the premises.
What are the top 3 things you miss most about Sweden?
The lack of traffic, free healthcare & my chihuahua.
What do you think are the top 3 coolest pages on Everipedia right now?
Mark Zuckerberg (he is another of my heroes)
I’ve heard people say Mashable founder Pete Cashmore should move to male modeling from being a tech blogger, and now, some of your fans are saying the same. Do you think you might someday make the move?
Most likely, I can't keep declining modelling contract offers forever. (Maybe after Everipedia IPO would be the best time to do it…)