Konrad Bergström, Founder and President, X Shore
Konrad Bergström and X Shore have set out to change the boating industry, one electric motor at a time.
Timing is everything for Konrad Bergström.
So when he first got the idea for X Shore in 1996, he trademarked the name immediately, but didn’t launch the company he had in mind just yet. It wasn’t the right time.
Bergström wanted to build safer boats, but he realized that the boating world was lagging behind the automobile industry when it came to details and design. Instead of forcing his dream, he chose to wait.
Over a decade later, inspiration to launch his boat company struck once again, but this time the dream had become bigger. With the world beginning to fully embrace electric vehicles, he wanted to build and sell a sleek, top-of-the-line, 100% electric marine craft.
“This makes actually more sense on the water,” Bergström says. “Because it’s an open area where you are getting fumes, and you are getting noise disturbance, and it’s actually taking more energy to drive in the water.”
Twenty years later, in 2016, X Shore developed its first working prototype. Today, Bergström and his team are ready to change the world’s view on how boats are powered. Not only do they hope to reduce pollution and the impact on wildlife with their electric engines, but they also hope to improve the overall boating experience for the consumer.
But long before Bergström would design his first boat, he started with headphones.
One Journey Ends, Another Begins
If you ask Bergström, he’ll say that he’s never experienced what a real job is like. He’s just experienced different ideas.
From an early age, Bergström has had an entrepreneurial spirit and a knack for creativity. At just 16, he moved to New Zealand, launching a distribution company for windsurfing gear called Thule Roofracks, among other projects. However, his greatest achievement was founding Zound Industries in 2008, where he served as its president until April of 2019.
While at the skateboarding fashion company WeSC, Bergström helped the brand to create a line of fashionable headphones. Wanting to take the concept one step further, Bergström founded Zound and turned it into an electronics giant, specializing in headphones and speakers. The company created many popular headphone brands such as Urbanears, and held licensing deals with audio behemoths like Marshall.
During his 10 years as president of the company, they would go on to sell over 20 million products in 135 countries. Despite the strong sales, Zound and Bergström parted ways over differences on the direction of the company.
“I always think that things happen for a reason,” Bergström says. “So I have moved on and I wish them all the luck. And I did build a fantastic company, so that’s never gonna go away, even if I don’t have any ownership anymore.”
The separation from Zound allowed Bergström to give all of his attention to X Shore, which had gained new life in 2012 after Bergström saw the rise of Tesla and its technological advances. With the electric revolution for automobiles well underway, he felt that concept of the electric boat would also take off.
“We started the electric product in 2012, and basically, I thought it was going to be easy,” Bergström says. “Looking at the internet at some lithium batteries and some engine, like, how hard can it be?”
Very hard, as it turned out.
Over the next four years, the team would work on the concept before completing their first working prototype in 2016. And although it took years longer than he anticipated, Bergström was glad that they went through the growing pains.
“That one, by the way, looked like crap,” Bergstorm says about the initial prototype. “Sometimes, an idea on paper is very far from getting it industrialized. So it takes time, especially with such a big product, to go through all the details and find solutions that economical, so you can have the margins and survive as a company.”
Let the Other Guy Build the Tech
Bergström and X Shore don’t want to recreate the wheel. Rather, they just want to right the ship.
With Tesla and other companies openly releasing their electric technology, Bergström didn’t feel the need to develop his own tech for boats. Sure, he’d have to develop some things on his own, but for the most part, why not use what’s already out there, he figured.
“X Shore, of course, has some of its own technology,” Bergström says. “But basically, we are piggybacking on the automotive industry.”
With armies of engineers grinding away on this type of technology, which is changing all the time, it made more sense to have others advance the technology and for X Shore to translate it into a marine environment. Not to mention, this approach helped their bottom line.
“Instead of having like 100% of the development cost, say that we are paying like 3%,” Bergström says. “But it’s still a lot of money. … We have the first mover advantage of building a new segment, but we are not driving the technology.”
The approach has also allowed X Shore to keep its staff smaller, which includes not having an in-house engineering team. That’s basically unheard of for an innovative company such as this. X Shore has partnered with automotive giants such as BMW and Rolls Royce to help find the best solutions for maximizing speed and driving range.
Despite not having an engineering team in house, it doesn’t mean that X Shore is done innovating. They still have a lot of work to do in order to become a leader in the marine industry.
“We spent around 50,000 engineering hours so far,” Bergström says. “And I think that we are going to have to spend another 50,000, so it’s a total of 100,000 engineering hours.”
Bergström is excited to start selling boats and shipping them, starting sometime next year. More importantly, he’s ready to bring more awareness to X Shore, which includes unveiling the third generation of its product in January.
When he first started to openly share the idea of an electric boat, the reception wasn’t warm. Now he feels, the timing is finally right. Proof lies in the company’s recent investment campaign, which raised €1.5 million.
“With a product like this, I needed the car electric revolution to go first,” Bergström says. “When I talked to people in 2012 and said that I’m going to do an electric boat, they are like, you are crazy. But now when we are at the tradeshow, everybody is like, oh that makes sense why didn’t anyone do it earlier.”
Even if people are still skeptical about the concept, however, all they’ll need to do to become convinced is take a ride.
“Once you experience the power of silence, you never go back,” Bergström says. “It’s truly amazing.
Tips for Inspiring Creativity
Konrad Bergström has built a career around opportunity and creativity. A founder of multiple businesses, he’s always kept his eyes open for new concepts and has kept his ideas free flowing. Since 1980, he’s created businesses that ranged from snowboarding contests to stereo headphones. Bergström now is onto his next adventure, X Shore, where he hopes to change the world of boating by making it greener and quieter.
If you’re in a creative funk, here are three tips from Bergström for inspiring creativity:
Bergström initially wanted to start the boat company in 1996, so much so, that he trademarked the name X Shore before actually creating the company. Unsure of the direction he wanted to take, he waited until 2012, when after witnessing Tesla’s new technology with electric cars, he was inspired. It only was then that he knew wanted to build boats that were fully powered by batteries.
If at first you don’t find the right concept you feel comfortable with, especially when it comes to creating a business, be patient. Pursue other interests, and along the way, you may get the inspiration you were looking for in the beginning. Even if it takes 16 years.
But Also Be Persistent
“It took me a long time on different things,” Bergström says, “But sometimes, time is what you need because when you can think things over and over again, it does make you come to better conclusions, especially when you work in design.“
X Shore launched its first working prototype in 2016, nearly four years after officially moving forward on building an electric boat. However, just as Bergström was patient in coming up with the initial concept for the company, he was also very persistent when it came to the design and functionality of the boat. He wanted everything to be just right before releasing it to market.
Look Around You
Bergström was raised in a home of creative individuals. His mother was a theater director, his father was an engineer, his grandmother exposed him to nature, and his grandfather was an innovator in medicine with over 200 patents. Wherever he looked, he saw a creative role model.
However, according to Bergström, you can be inspired anytime and anywhere. You don’t have to be from a family full of creative individuals. It’s more about exposing yourself to different environments, people, and settings. You just have to “change rootings” as Bergström puts it. You can draw inspiration from playing with children, products you’re buying, or even the food that you’re eating.
“You just have to open your senses to make the right choices when it comes to creativity,” Bergström says.
Interview by Nathan Chan, feature article reprinted from Foundr Magazine, by Nick Allen
ATTENTION: Konrad Bergström is also featured in Issue 81 of Foundr magazine, The Creativity Issue, a special FREE edition focused on entrepreneurial creativity in all its forms. We teamed up with global creative platform 99designs to produce this bonus-sized issue that celebrates the creative vision and potential of all founders.
Throughout this issue, you’ll find spectacular artwork created by the designers working on the 99designs platform as well as inspiring features on the most innovative minds in the startup world—from Clark Valberg of InVision to Jack Dorsey of Square. We hope this edition gets your creative juices flowing!
This issue is open to anyone to read, whether or not you have a Foundr magazine subscription. Just go here to view this special edition. Note that you can also download the magazine as a PDF for future viewing. Enjoy!
- The series of unconventional jobs Bergström held from a young age
- Why Bergström trademarked the name X Shore in 1996 but didn’t launch it for two decades
- How Zound Industries took over Bergström’s life for 10 years, and what ultimately led him to walk away from the company
- Why Bergström decided to let the electric car revolution play out first
- The growing pains that came with creating a working prototype for electric boats
- How X Shore piggybacks on the automotive industry
- Bergström’s plans to start selling and shipping X Shore boats in 2020
Full Transcript of Podcast with Konrad Bergström
Nathan: The first question I ask every one that comes on is, how did you get your job?
Konrad: Well, I don’t have a job. Basically, I was born to do this, so this is my life. Experience, different ideas is my life more than my job. I see it definitely as a part of my life and haven’t really understood … which is fortunate for me.
Nathan: I see. How did you find yourself doing the work you’re doing today? How did you get started?
Konrad: Well, with X Shore it’s been a long dream. I trademarked the brand already in 1996. At that time I wanted to make safe boats. I saw that boats were behind the car manufacturers. I saw that you can make this boats much better in details and in design and really take it to the next step. Then in 2012, when I saw the fantastic concept of Tesla both from design technology and sustainable part, I thought that, well, this makes actually more sense on the water because it’s an open area where you are getting fumes and you’re getting noise disturbance. It’s also taking more energy to drive in the water. If I can turn X Shore into electric cross company, it will be a big success globally.
Nathan: Interesting. Was X Shore your first company?
Konrad: I started to work very young. My first company was selling windsurfing boards. I travelled to New Zealand at 16. I actually started Thule Roofracks in New Zealand and Australia back at that time.
Nathan: Yeah, okay. Interesting. Then, what brought you back to Sweden or what happened with that company?
Konrad: Well, I thought I’d never going to go back but I went to the hairdresser, cut my hair, went on the plane to go home and I was already dreaming on Air New Zealand to go back. When I hit the SAS plane with the blue seats and the blonde servitors. I just felt like, well, Sweden is really something. I think it had a lot to do with the safety net that you are taken care of in Sweden. I didn’t miss that because I was in adventure but when I stepped on the plane in L.A. and saw the different cultures, I felt like Sweden is really my home. I haven’t really left it since.
Nathan: Interesting. You had your first company selling windsurfers. You went back home. When you got back home, what were you doing?
Konrad: We have the distribution of windsurfers. I got more into soft wear like the clothing. I started Quiksilver, Volcom, and 30 other brands. Some of them for Sweden, some for Scandinavia, but mainly distribution of lifestyle products in the Nordics.
Nathan: I see. Then what happen next?
Konrad: After that, I was doing some snowboard contest. I don’t know if you remember but there was big indoor contest called Megastar. It was televised in like 40 countries. This was a big quarterpipe inside ice hockey arena. I was the mentor of that. Off the bat, I started to work for a company called WeSC. They were like a skateboard fashion company. We started to make headphones which was a huge success. I thought that I could take it one step further with making a lifestyle electronic house and that was Zound Industries.
Nathan: Zound Industries.
Konrad: Yes, Zound Industries is Sweden’s quickest grown company in the history when you look like Disupergasell. We were the founders of Urbanears, Coloud, Molami and some other brands. We’re also licenced and helped other productions such as marc Jacobs, Balmain, H&M. We have the licensee Marshall that has been a big hit for speakers and headphones.
Nathan: I see, so you create a lot of products basically.
Konrad: Yeah, the first 10 years when I was active there, we sold 20 million products.
Nathan: Wow. Crazy.
Konrad: In 135 countries.
Nathan: Wow. What happened with Zound Industries? Are you still active?
Konrad: No, I sold everything. I think sometimes it’s getting to a point and I had been doing the headphones and speakers for like 10 years. I was very strong with the design and the go to market and so on but we were behind in technology. One part of the company wanted to be fast followers. My belief is that you have to be very edged on technology. We disagreed and ended up with that I got fired and tried to buyback the company. Didn’t succeed. Then my future call was to make a revolution in the marine industry with the electric boats.
Nathan: Yeah, wow, that’s crazy. I’d love to hear more Konrad if you’re open to sharing.
Nathan: You said you sold, you ended up selling Zound Industries but you said you got fired?
Konrad: Yup, basically I went out to sell my shares. We had brought in some other owners. When I went out to sell my shares, I found some people that really believed in me and they said like, well, this is a fantastic company. We are very interested to buy your shares but if we flip the coin, why don’t you buy it back with our help? Can you give us a plan how that would look? It’s not a good question to an entrepreneur, right? I worked day and night to put the plan together on what I thought was our weaknesses, what I thought how we should fix it, and how I thought how the company could grow. I made the plan that we’re going to be a billion dollar company within three years, having much better product to lower price that was real edge nano technology.
You had built in voice control. You had different sensors to take all your different, your heart rate, your temperature, even see through a laser white and red blood cells so you can see why you are getting sick. It was a really good plan but in the end I didn’t manage to buy it and got fired. It was the same week as I got The King’s Medal for extraordinary entrepreneurship. It was a good week in one way. I also think that things happen for a reason so I have moved on and I wish them all the luck. I did build a fantastic company, that’s never going to go away even if I don’t have any ownership anymore.
Nathan: Yeah, no, that’s fair enough. Thank you for sharing. Talk to me about X Shore because man, this yachts look super cool. I was really excited for us to speak to you, man. They look badass.
Konrad: They are, they are. I mean, it took me a long time on different things but sometimes time is what you need because when you can think things over and over again, it does make you come to better conclusions especially when you work design, how we’re going to solve this and so on. Everything from the functionality to the design that is very distinct and traditional but very modern, that is what we wanted. We wanted you to be able to see that, oh, this is X Shore from 500 metre distance without seeing the label on it. I think that we succeeded on that.
Nathan: Yeah, no, it’s super cool. It’s powered by Rolls-Royce propeller.
Konrad: Yes, we worked with the whole hydrodynamics with Rolls-Royce to find the best solution because you know, the water has density of 784 times the air. You need a lot of energy to go through the water. We needed to find a solution to get the speed and the distance for modern lives so we have a fast going boat. We worked with Rolls-Royce to find the best hull in combination with the propeller and the rudder to have as little drag as possible so we can go in long distance at the highest speed.
Nathan: Wow, really cool. Talk to me, how the hell do you start a company like this? Have you raised capital? Did you sell funds? Talk to me around this because this looks like no small feat, man.
Konrad: I have the idea already in 1996 but the timing was so wrong. The boat market is built up on thousands of brands and they are very, very local. Now with the electric revolution, it’s the time to take a huge global share of the market. You also need to work with the design and the functionality. The design is one thing how it looks, but it’s also the functionality of the boat. We made a modular system to fit as many people as possible so you can put in chairs, so you can put in a sunbed. It’s modular so you can basically do whatever you want. When I started the company, it didn’t take off in the beginning but now with the electric revolution it’s really, really booming. I mean, we have so much attention from all over the world.
Nathan: Yeah, I see. You trademarked it in 1996 but the first prototype was developed three, four years ago, right, in 2016?
Konrad: Yeah, we started the electric project in 2012. Basically, I thought it was going to be easy, looking at the internet some lithium batteries and some engine and like how hard can it be. I took us until 2016 to have a working prototype. That one, by the way, it looked like crap but sometimes an idea on paper is very far from getting it industrialised. It takes time especially with such big product to go through all the details and find solutions that is economical so you can have the margins and survive as a company. Now, we’re really at the point where we are starting to really sell these boats and market them and ship them during next year. We are very, very happy for this timing.
Nathan: Yeah, no, it’s really cool. How did you fund it? Did you sell fund?
Konrad: Well, with the startup, you go different directions and what was the truth, yesterday is maybe not today so you have to change with what you’re learning. My strategy on the finance side as I was lucky to make quite a lot of money with my last company, I was funding it to a 100% in the beginning. Because financers, they can definitely make you move quicker but they can also slow you down if you are telling them one story or one business plan, this is what we’re going to do and then you learn and you have to shift and do something else, they can be upset and angry because that is not what you negotiated. From my side, I didn’t bring in any financers in the beginning because I needed to move quick and it’s not fair and I didn’t have time to put the energy to communicate with everybody. The worst thing is that you’re getting in finances that you disagree with at the early stage and putting the energy on fighting instead of building the company. Now, we’re at the phase where we are bringing in cash. We are just about to, in this Q3 and Q4 we will close the finance.
Nathan: Yeah, I see, interesting. Out of curiosity, if you could just as much as you’re willing to share, what cost or investment would people be looking at if they want to create a revolutionary product like what you’ve created? This is definitely like I said, very, very difficult to do.
Konrad: Well, I thought it was much less but I’m an optimist so even if I’m soon turning 50, I’m still learning but I would never ever go down on the product or on the project. The most important is that if you’re getting to that point that you have a revolutionary product that has global scale, that you have a strong brand and a great technology with a high margin, then I rather put in more money to get to that step but I didn’t see everything from the beginning. We spent around 50,000 engineering hours so far and I think that we’re going to have to spend another 50,000. It’s a total of 100,000 engineering hours. Now when we’re getting the product, it’s going to be a product that we are becoming the core manufacturer in the marine world.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s really cool. I see. Talk to me, how did you get your first customer? How did you get your first sale?
Konrad: We market ourselves of course on the social media and our website has been very, very trafficked. We are over two million unique visitors. We have been to the boat shows in Cannes, Monaco, Paris, Düsseldorf, Stockholm, Gothenburg, et cetera, and some other events such as GreenTech and Nomad and so on. That is where we find our customers. It’s a combination of the traditional boat market but also doing new cool things that more like design, architecture, sustainability trade shows.
Nathan: Yeah, I see. You guys are putting yourselves out there from PR perspective, really capitalising on the fact that you guys have a very out there revolutionary product.
Konrad: Yes, of course, if I would have done this 1996, the timing was wrong. With a project like this, I needed the car electric revolution to go first so it made sense. When I talk to people in 2012 and said I’m going to do electric boat, they’re like, you’re crazy. Now, when we’re at the trade show, everybody is like, oh, this makes sense. Why didn’t anyone do it earlier?
Nathan: Interesting. You guys, I know like Elon Musk and Tesla, they put out open source the battery or some of their schematics. I’m not an engineer. They put out some blueprint or something around how to actually have an electric powered vehicle. Are you guys tapping into that?
Konrad: We are. X Shore of course has some of its own technology but basically we are piggybacking on the automotive industry. There is millions of engineers developing engines, batteries, inverters, chargers, et cetera, et cetera. What we do is that we’re finding the best solutions on the market and the technology is changing very, very quickly. Then we translate that into a marine environment. Instead of having 100% of the development cost, say that we are paying like 3% but it’s still a lot of money but do you see what I mean? That we have the first move or advantage of coming into, of building a new segment but we are not driving the technology. Two years ago we were working with BMW. Now we’re working with another car manufacturer that is not official but we are moving to the ones that is giving us the best technology to have a boat that is going in 40 knots, 25 knots for two hours or 100 nautical miles in lower speeds.
Nathan: Interesting. When it comes to designing this particular product, besides the fact that it’s electric powered, I’m curious around how far do you go to keep reworking the product and keep carving at the unique selling proposition. First off, straight off the bat, you guys are Swedish electric boat. It’s cool from a visual perspective. It’s looks different like you said, you want it to look classic but also modern but people would know that it’s an X Shore. It’s electric powered. Then you also said it’s modular so if you want a sunbed, you can create that. How far do you know, how far the push? How many bells and whistles and keep adding things to make selling proposition?
Konrad: I mean, of course the boat, number one is that the boat is functional and safe. That is most important for us. Then, you need to make different designs but I am very picky. I wouldn’t let the product go out if I knew I could do it better. Then sometimes if you’re going to change a big lot, maybe that is coming in in version two but in this version one, we really are putting in a lot of attention to details. That is why we’re getting so much attention because we have a lot of new things coming into this segment which is boats.
Nathan: Can you share what are some of the crazy things you guys are doing that makes X Shore first boat so unique?
Konrad: Yes, for one thing, you know, since we started we always have the South American electric eel as a symbol because it’s silent, it’s very powerful. If you look at the design of the boat, it has a big head. We look at fisherman’s boat but it’s also to be able to captivate. The stone is all open to give this freedom and modern touch to it like sailboats more. In front of the boat, we’re having a 100% bronze handcrafted that is kind of showing the way. That is what we call the power of silence. Rolls-Royce, they have the freedom of ecstasy in the front. This one is both from a safety thing that when you’re jumping onto the boat, it’s something to grab. It also have this white king’s ship style kind of look to one thing.
It’s also as it’s 100% bronze, it turns green with different salt water. Each boat is very unique and the green for me represents like we should be a shadow in the nature. All the colours that we are offering on the boat is very nature toned, not to disturb, more to melt in as a shadow. I could go on and on how we built the cockpit with a big screen or how we have the stairs exactly the same height so you don’t fall into the boat or the modular system that we also use on the batteries. When it’s coming better technologies, you can change the batteries to lighter and even more high effective even if the ones that we’re offering is 120 kilowatts. It’s been a lot of thinking behind the design. That is what really shows when you look at the craft, I’m very proud of this work we have done in the team.
Nathan: No, it looks so cool. I’m just on the site now as we’re chatting. I’m curious, obviously you’re a super creative guy, Konrad. Obviously, throughout your career as an entrepreneur you’ve been quite the artist if you look at the products that you create. I’m curious, where do you source or find your inspiration for creativity?
Konrad: I think my mother was a theatre director. My father is like an engineer. It’s been the combination where my grandma also always were in the nature and told me everything about flowers and berries and that. My grandpa was a big innovator in medicine and doing like 200 patents. I was lucky to be born in this family but it’s also my own self-drive. I’ve never seen my projects as a job. It’s my life. I think that is a big different. From the inspiration point, I can get an idea everywhere but if you want a tip it’s to change routines. Why don’t you go into kindergarten and play with the kids or why don’t you when you travel, think. If you go into a shop to buy clothing, there could be inspiration into your products or when you’re in that restaurant and eating something, that beautiful colour of that thing might be used over there. You just have to open your senses to make the right choices when it comes to creativity.
Nathan: Yeah, I see. To design this yacht, did you sketch it?
Konrad: Well, I worked with a team but for me, the functionality is always most important. I want it to be open and the stone. I want the high boat to take the big waves. I want it to be all clean because I hate these boats where someone did not think. I want to be able to put whatever I want in the boat. Those functional things but then they draw the lines but I can still see that, no, this doesn’t look good. We need to change that and so on. It’s a teamwork. Basically, I would say that I’m doing the i but the team is putting the dot over it. I’ve been good at making them dream bigger and to come out with better solutions than I could think of myself. I think that is one of my strengths.
Nathan: You say that you spent 50,000 engineer hours on this product, how many people in your team? How big?
Konrad: We are around 10 people in the company but that is basically sales and marketing. Human resource is important, like buying section that is making sure that we’re having the right margins and so on. Then we work with different suppliers. Depending on what we’re developing, we’re using consultant teams to see what we need to build.
Nathan: Wow, that’s interesting. You guys do not have the engineers in house?
Konrad: Well, I am more or less an engineer. We have the software engineer in house. Then on the technical, because it’s changing and as I said before, the full technology, we are translating the technology into the marine section. Changing some materials to make it tougher. Finding more power, more efficiency. We don’t have a tech engineer in house if you don’t count me.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s crazy because to be honest, Konrad, you look at like a website. You go to X Shore. You look at the product, it looks so cool. I would never have thought, like I would think you have a big engineering team, in house designers, you name it. That’s crazy. Wow.
Konrad: Well, I do believe the technology is going so quick so we need to keep our eyes open. Now, with the LinkedIn, it’s really amazing that you’re getting connected through the AI so much with new inventions and so on. When I started Zound, I had to find everything. Somebody had to find me through yeah, more or less email or trade shows. Now you can sit and you put out your things and will come in my flow when I come up in their flow. If I always write 100% electric crafts, I’m getting a big reach on other innovators in the same area. We found a lot of different partners through the LinkedIn that was not possible the same way before.
Nathan: Yeah, I agree. It’s incredible. LinkedIn is so powerful to find great talent. Even if you just look around and you can type in certain companies. You can find certain people in certain roles at these companies. You can write to this people and say, hey, this is what we’re building. You know what I mean?
Nathan: It’s super powerful. We have to work towards wrapping up. I’m mindful of your time but I’d love to know around… I guess you strike me as someone that’s like a super creative guy. If you look at Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak, they were like a really strong pair. The hacker and the hustler. Which would you say you would be? More Steve Jobs, right?
Konrad: Well, I am a good hustler too. I’m born on the street. I didn’t go to school. The people that I’ve been working with, they have it hard to cheat me of the different segments. I always seen like if you’re driving a business, you need to be strong in all different areas. You cannot only be strong in design. You need to be strong in finance. You need to be strong in logistics. You need to be strong in after sales to make that really big global company. It’s like sheep herding. If you lose one sheep, it was not a good day and you might not make it to the next. That’s how I’m thinking. I see myself as Jungian and I’m really skilled when it comes to business as well.
Nathan: Okay, interesting. Can you tell me about road blocks that you faced thus far trying to scale X Shore?
Konrad: I mean, basically as an entrepreneur, the only thing you wake up to is challenges. Some people call it problems. I choose the word challenge because they can be solved. That is what I’m living for, being a good problem solver and sometimes it’s frustrating that you have to take short term decisions when you know where you want to go. That can be due to the cash that you’re having or due to the timing. It’s about making decisions and changing decisions. With a startup, nothing is written in stone or there is a couple of things like the cornerstones. We have technologies, sustainability, and design. Everything that we communicate, it should be on this three pillars. It’s good fun every day to solve problems.
Nathan: Love it. Couple last questions. What’s exciting for the horizon and plans for the future of X Shore? What’s on the horizon and exciting? Then, where’s the best place people can find out more about yourself and your work?
Konrad: Well, on the first one, we’re very excited to launch generation three that is going to be launched in January. Now we are going to the trade shows in Cannes, Venetia, Monaco, and Barcelona. I’m looking forward to meet a lot of people and distributors and other boat lovers and get their feedback and hear what they have to say about our product. We’re doing a lot of test drives on the French Riviera and in Spain with the potential customers. That is on X Shore. If you want to find out more about me, I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on Facebook. I have a website, konradbergstrom.com. I have more fun website that is kvonk.com. It’s easy to find me.
Nathan: Love it. Also, just one fun question. How many X Shores do you have and how often you take them out? You just have one for yourself or two or three?
Konrad: You know, right now it’s all about testing, testing, testing. Change propellers, change the efficiency, build new software with different algorithms and AI to get the most out of it. The boats that we have in the water is driving all the time. We’re getting as much data as possible for our engineers to make the best possible product. I don’t choose to have a boat for myself at the time being. I’m doing a lot of personal test drives with different investors, with different collaborators and friends that is just interested. I want to tell the story. I know a lot of designers and people from the fashion industry. They are always giving me inspiration back when I’m telling about the concept and the idea and how it’s going to work. I’m trying to be a lot on the boat but I don’t have my own boat because right now I want it to be used as much as possible.
Nathan: That’s fair enough. Interesting. Awesome, well look, thank you so much for your time, Konrad. It’s been great speaking with you and yeah, congratulations on all of your success thus far. Looking forward to watching the journey.
Konrad: Thank you.
Key Resources From Our Interview With Konrad Bergström
- Visit the X Shore website