Who is Petur Orri Saemundsen (@pos_petur)?

In 2009 out of the blue I got a mail from Iceland. I was intrigued by the company and the person that contacted me. When I went to Agilis 2009, I had lots of great talks with Peter and his collegues. He told me how he helped Iceland deal with the crisis using OpenSpace Technology and agile. An amazing person.

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

I think playing basketball as a teenager taught me valuable lessons and has influenced many aspects of my life. Key lessons:

  1. If I practice I will get good, and it means I have to do it all the time. Without pretending to be top notch at anything I can very much relate to Malcom Gladwell’s idea that you need 10,000 hours to become world class. Today I mostly practice by reading books and trying things out, and I do it every day.
  2. Dealing with pressure and pulling through at the right time. I find myself thinking about games I played in the past, for example standing at the free throw line on crucial moments. These kind of situations started to become easier as I did them often – bringing us back to point (1).

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?

I think I was destined to be in IT. I still remember when I first saw the ZX Spectrum 48k at my uncle´s house. I was 10 years old and I still remember the strong feeling of curiosity I experienced, it looked very powerful 🙂

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

My biggest challenge is developing a business. It is a good thing because I have realized that being in business will be a life long learning journey and as long as I live I will have something interesting to do.

What drives you ?

I am driven by three things:

  • Learning: I want to understand how the world works and I think being in business is a great platform for that.
  • Legacy: I want to have leave a legacy of both ideas and businesses.
  • Role model: I want to be a role model for my three kids and I want to explain to them how the world works with all my learning and prove it with the legacy.

What is your biggest achievement?

Starting a business.

What is the last book you have read?
Just finished listening to Influencer: The Power to Change Anything and reading Sense and Respond: The Journey to Customer Purpose.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

Q: What do you want?
A: Freedom.

Who do you think I should ask next?

My business partner Daði.

If you like these answers, please check out our book: who is agile It contains 88 people answering the same questions. And one extra question from Petur.