Gustav is our Data Scientist in Residence, working from San Francisco and Stockholm. He helps the portfolio move from zero to one and optimizes through data from the beginning.
I taught myself programming when I was 15 and worked for a Swedish web portal company called Spray during high school. It was amazing. I got paid for something I love and would do anyway. When the dotcom crash arrived, I decided to get an education and study mathematics and economics in Stockholm.
Gustav and Carl at the AGM 2023 in Stockholm
I remember when I met Johan for the first time. I was still a student and intrigued by the concept of Venture Capital. For me, VCs help out to fund the future and are an integral part of building all the things we’re going to get. I showed him my CV hoping to maybe get a summer job. He looked at it, turned it over, and said that the only interesting thing about me was studying mathematics. It was the harshest but also the best feedback I ever got; and it motivated me to continue my studies. After university, I moved to London to work on the trading floor of Merrill Lynch, experiencing an even crazier crash, as it was 2008.
The internet was booming again and I moved back to Sweden to join Spotify as a data scientist. The following years taught me that anything is possible. No one had any clue about how to build the things we envisioned. We just went for it and had to build the plane while learning to fly. While I came to Spotify as an insecure person, questioning myself and making a lot of excuses, I left with an attitude that typically things will work out if you work hard enough, try hard enough, show grit and persistence, and always do your best.
Not being scared of things is what really changed me. It’s a superpower that any great founder has, and what made Spotify such a special place.
I moved to New York and San Francisco, led the data science team at Medium, and started the data consultancy Zero to One. I love helping people by providing them with the tools to make better decisions and seeing them perform over time.
Over the years I have developed such a love for data that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. With data, the world becomes more real to me. Data always has the answers, often even before we realize what the real problem is. I’ve seen so many mistakes being made (and made so many mistakes myself) that I am now good at telling you what not to do. With Zero to One and in my role at Creandum, I help companies save time, helping define vague problems and deliver value in an 80/20 way.
In my free time, I consume a disturbing amount of basketball. To me, it’s a magical trinity of watching entertaining games, learning about the usually really interesting stories about the players, and using numbers to deconstruct and understand a game. All that while I don’t play basketball myself.