Entrepreneurial life is underrated

The founder of Oslo City Bike, Jan Tore Endresen, loves everything about innovative transport solutions, and predicts that owning your own car will soon be a thing of the past.

Jan Tore

Position: CEO and co-founder

Employer: ShareBike AS

The mobility industry is like the ketchup that is just starting to come out of the bottle, but it is not quite there yet.

"The vehicles we use in the future will not be owned by individuals; when we need a vehicle we will simply rent one as long as we need it. The future of mobility is car-less, public transport and the sharing economy; we will not own the vehicles ourselves," Jan Tore says.  

Through his new company Maaslev, he and his colleagues work to develop solutions for how people will get around town in the future. The transportation market and transportation technology are evolving at record speed. 

Jan Tore was part of the team that created Oslo City Bike in the early 2000s, the first automated bicycle rental system in the world. The technology developed by his company, ShareBike, is now found in many cities around the world, such as Barcelona, Mexico City and Milan. At Maaslev, they now focus on mobility in a wider perspective. 

“The mobility industry is like the ketchup that is just starting to come out of the bottle, but it is not quite there yet,” he says while listing some of his visions for the future:

"The electric scooters that have invaded many cities will flop, and the companies behind them will be gone in a year or two. Soon, most employers will be buying bicycles for all their employees. Maaslev will begin delivering automated and self-charging drones for delivering goods deliveries in about a year. Your next car will be an electric bicycle with a roof and comfortable seats!"


The main driving force

"We are currently talking about replacing a bridge that is needed to reach an island of the west coast of Norway with driverless drones. Five years ago this would have been considered fiction. Most of what we develop now either has an electric motor or is autonomous and self-driving. By 2025, you may be able to order a bicycle that picks you up outside your front door, instead of waling to the nearest bicycle station.”

His creative interest was sparked while playing with Lego blocks as a kid. After several years at consultancy firm Geelmuyden Kiese, including a stint in the advertising industry, he fell in love with the mobility business. "It was just more fun", as he puts it.

"Selling mobility is a very positive thing. I get thrilled when I see satisfied customers on our bikes around town. That is probably my main driving force." 

But does he manage to unwind once he gets home?

"Never. I dream about my work and I think about it all the time. I hope that it does not make me too scatterbrained at home, but night time or late evenings is usually when the best ideas form. It is probably because you get some distance from everything that has happened at work." 

Time is a luxury

He has always seen the importance of knowing one's priorities. 

"If you just let the day fill up with work, dinner and a few hours watching TV, you will find that you let most of the day slip away. Each day, you need to decide what you want to achieve, immediately after getting out of bed. If you believe studying is right for you, you will find time for it." 

He became an entrepreneur because he always wanted to work with ideas he believed in. Not many people around the world get the chance to work with something they are passionate about while working for others. 

"The life of an entrepreneur is underrated. It isn't much riskier than a lot of things people do in their career. Of course you will experience some difficult days, but that is something you just have to cope with. If you are good enough, you will succeed. You only need to be a little tenacious!"