Christian Von Koenigsegg stood tall, bald, and he is bold. He is a man and his dream. Koenigsegg lived up the saying, “In dreams and visions lies the greatest creation of man”.
When we were kids, we did have a dream on what we wanted to become when we grow up, but then we shed that dreams. Why? Because parents, told us our goals are unrealistic and they want us to settle on workable and secure careers. Because society, judge and looking at us confused when they see us pursuing our dreams. Or Maybe, it is because of school, like Seth Godin says, “Steal your dreams”. In contrast, Christian Von Koenigsegg does not give an F– to all those nonsense and just went on to turn his dream into reality. As a result of his determination and vision, the world now has the fastest car, Koenigsegg Agera RS.
I think we should name him Christian The Bold, you know like Barristan The Bold.
They say dreams are the language of God and the universe is trying to communicate through your dreams. The universe will leave omens for you to follow. That omens become inspirations. Sometimes inspiration can come through something silly. Like a Norwegian movie called The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix that inspire Koenigsegg. A movie about a bicycle repairman building his own racing car. In his own words, Koenigsegg said “I remember walking out of the cinema and saying ‘That’s what I want to do when I grow up’.”
The movie a man watched at the age of 5 inspired him to do something extraordinary. It was the universe trying to communicate. A man need to answer the universe.
However, nobody says it’s going to be easy.
In the early years, Koenigsegg started a trading company to earn some money. He realized that in order to build a car company, he needs a huge amount of capital. At the age of 19, he began selling frozen chicken, plastic bags and various goods. It took him three years to have enough capital to build a prototype. In order to get the ideas for his prototype, Koenigsegg (as he never received a proper training) tore papers out of old car magazines and study technical manuscript.
Soon, he founded Koenigsegg Automotive in 1994, at a time where Swedish economy just come out of recession. Everyone told him it is impossible to build a super-hyper car out of Sweden. But, Koenigsegg deployed the bread and water mode. Live humbly, gather engineers team that are driven for the vision not money, and putting in relentless passion and hard work.
Two years later, Koenigsegg managed to build his first prototype CC. After that, he ran short on capital. He faced bankruptcy. Then he got lucky. When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. The timing can not get any better. It was 1998-1999, the years of IT boom in Sweden. Some people who made money in that era, poured capital to Koenigsegg Auto and become their shareholders. Koenigsegg survived.
Only in 2002, Koenigsegg able to sell his first car. It took 8 years before they made the first delivery. Eight years of relentless work and passions finally made him make his first sale. Still, at those time life was not easy. Finance was still scarce.
Another test from the universe came to Koenigsegg. In 2003, Koenigsegg’s factory caught fire and destroyed most of the building. Luckily, the majority of the equipment and all the cars under production were saved. Koenigsegg managed to get back on his feet and continue working on his cars.
As if fire on factory was not enough. In late 2007, Koenigsegg face a tough market condition when the European and US economy plunged. How did the company survived? In his own word, Koenigsegg said, ‘We were very lucky, because China’s Economy start booming and there was a growing appetite in Hyper car’. Luck does not happen out of nowhere. Magic happens when you don’t give up, even though you want to. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.
Christian Von Koenigsegg had gone through long Journey and arrived at his current spot today. He is now 45 years old and it took him 20 years to build Koenigsegg Auto AB. Which means half of his life is dedicated to build something he loves. The Koenigsegg cars are like the extension of himself. It is his life. Koenigsegg does not see his work as ‘work’. It is just who he is and what he does. Everything takes time, enjoy the journey and the long process. Work hard, be a little bit innovative and do not believe the hype that it is impossible.
Everyday you need to strive, learn and adapt. When you do that for 20 years with a great focus in a group, you can pretty much do anything. But, for sure it is not easy. No rush, take it slow.
“12th of August 1994, I was at lunch and I said to myself, ‘what is it that I really want to do?’ I wanted to build cars. If I did not do it now, I probably will never gonna do it. I am young and it is probably gonna be super-difficult. Most people failed. It is probably impossible. It is a perfect challenge.
Anyway, I am going to die, so I have nothing to lose.”
-Christian Von Koenigsegg
A lot of people says, ‘You are crazy Christian. It’s not going to work. Forget it’
“When I learn about the industry, I see everyone failing. Only the old established brand succeed. I picture it as impossible as much as to prove the naysayers and myself that it I was right in saying ‘anything is possible if you really put your heart and mind to it, regardless how impossible it seems’.
With that mentality, when people says ‘Oh, you are crazy, it is never gonna work’.
I replied, ‘I know, but I am going to do it anyway.’
-Christian Von Koenigsegg.
You see his mentality. He is a Beast. Oh, btw he drives Tesla.
Here is a book I’d recommend if you want to know more about Koenigsegg.