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Interviews & Talks / 20 September, 2018

Stefan Palmquist Interview

The Young Professional: Stefan Palmquist, Dist Sthlm

Here he is – Stefan Palmquist, co-founder of Dist Sthlm. He told us about how he left his comfortable job to start working at a small startup, named Spotify. And how this took him to where he is today. We’re also killing the ““I’m great at multitasking” myth, and establishing how one never should take life advice from a middle-aged man. Thank you Stefan, it’s been a laugh! 


Occupation: co-founder Dist Sthlm

Location: Stockholm


Hi Stefan! Describe yourselves in three words.

Ölänning, good-hearted, impatient.

You are the co-founder of Dist Sthlm. How did you end where you are today?

Not by a well defined 10 year plan that’s for sure. I’ve had the privilege to try out a lot of different jobs in my younger years which helped me figure out what I was good at. After that i’ve been focusing on how I could combine these strengths with other passion points of mine. With Dist Sthlm I now have the privilege to work with sales, business development and marketing. We get to work with exciting brands as well as the players within the music industry.

Can you pinpoint one of the most important crossroads in your career?

Leaving my safe and comfortable job at a media agency and instead bet on joining a small startup with a crazy ambition to save a dying industry. It turned out to be a once in a lifetime gig and i’m both very proud and grateful to have been part of Spotify’s success. I’m so impressed of what the team achieved so far and it still feels like they only are getting started!

Why is music so important when it comes to business?

To me it’s not just about business, music plays a fundamental role in people’s lives. Music is part of all life changing moments both big and small. I think we can agree on that music has been part of developing and changing societies. If music can do that, just imagine how music can influence and grow a brand or a business.

What are your primary skills within what you do?

I think my curiosity and strong work ethics are a good combination. Also, the buzz I get from good collaborations and partnerships keeps me going.

What’s the biggest cliché you’ve encountered in your career?

I’m sure I’ve heard many clichés but when people say that “they are great at multitasking” I get rashes. Let’s kill that myth once and for all.

What’s your best piece of life advice for a confused 20 year-old?

Not being the smartest person in the room is a great rule to live by. Also make sure you don’t get kicked out from the room. Be nice. Work hard. Stay curious. And finally: never take advice from a middle aged man like myself.

It’s Thursday morning, -10C outside and you’re really tired. How to you motivate yourself?

Scheduling exciting meetings in the morning normally gives me a good kick in the butt.

Do you have any role models?

I would say my sister is a great source of inspiration and motivation. Her drive is exceptional.


Stefan’s top five…

Series? Right now: The Americans (one episode left!)

Destination? Right now: Thailand (planning a trip this summer)

Podcast? Filip & Fredrik and The Knowledge Project

Mobile app? Spotify!

Spotify playlist? “Gradvalls A-lista” keeps me down with the kids.

Let’s take it to the next level!

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