Aviation Business Angel

by Jörgen Eriksson on October 18, 2012

I met my friend Björn Lundvall the other day. Björn is a former fixed income trader working at Handelsbanken Capital Markets and like many traders he has moved on to business development and e-commerce. He is currently responsible for innovation in certain areas of the capital markets business. He is also a fan of hard rock music.

Iron Maiden bandBjörn told me a story about innovation that I think can be an inspiration to us all.

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band that was formed in 1975. They are considered to be one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history and have sold over 85 million records worldwide.

The singer of Iron Maiden is Bruce Dickinson. His vocals are instantly recognizable, and his contributions to the evolution of heavy metal can’t be denied. He is a tenor and has fantastic low notes for tenor voice and his high notes are widely respected as some of the best in heavy metal. Dickinson’s operatic style and wide vibrato are often imitated among modern metal singers. Listen to Bruce Dickinson singing and you can imagine the sounds that brought down the Jericho walls.

Here is a link to a YouTube clip where you can listen to the voice:


Bruce Dickinson is also a commercial airplane pilot, business angel, entrepreneur and creative business thinker and investor. He is currently working on an airship venture to manufacture lighter than air zeppelin airships for cargo transport.

Airships are set to return to the skies more than 70 years after the Hindenburg disaster, which brought an end to the earlier airship era. The development of modern materials and aerodynamics knowledge gained from the space race means that the new generation will be capable of safely carrying loads that could not be managed in the past.

Airship over New York

An airship is a "lighter-than-air aircraft" that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or other thrust mechanisms. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, which produce lift by moving a wing through the air, aerostatic aircraft stay aloft by having a large "envelope" filled with a gas which is less dense than the surrounding atmosphere.

The first lifting gas used was hydrogen, although this had well-known concerns over its flammability and as we all knew, the first airship era came to a halt with the Hindenburg disaster, as. All modern airships use the non-flammable gas helium.

Bruce Dickinson businessmanWhen it comes to shipping and logistics, currently the majority of goods are put on containerships, trains and trucks transported around the world. With a new generation of airships, long distance transportation can be made just as fast but much cheaper than with cargo ships.

I find it fascinating that such innovation is sponsored and driven by a highly unconventional rock star. The airships developed by Bruce Dickinson will be able to lift 1,000 tons across the Atlantic and will be marketed by the band eventually doing an eco-friendly tour in one.

Dickinson argues that shipping is far more polluting than flying, that algae technology is the way forward (“and it scrubs CO2 out of the atmosphere”) but that we will also have to get used to nuclear power, like the French.

Here is a link to a BBC Radio interview with Bruce Dickinson:


About Jörgen Eriksson :

Jörgen Eriksson is the founder of Bearing and is the Chairman of the firm since it was created. He has successfully expanded Bearing into covering projects on four continents. He is also Adjunct Professor of Innovation Management at the International University of Monaco and at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona and he is an active member of the Founders Alliance organisation.

Working with consulting engagements across Bearings practices, he has over the past fifteen years participated in and supervised a large number of client projects, from innovation system development and place development and branding, to merger and acquisition assignments and leading edge research and business development activities for key clients.

His new book, Branding for Hooligans, will be published in 2015. It is about how innovation and branding are key survival factors in our modern times of hyper competitive markets.

Prior to Bearing, he was Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Trema Treasury Management, a technology and consulting services provider, supplying financial software solutions for the global financial industry, Clients included The European Central Bank, Citibank, SEB, South African reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), as well as many other large financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Early in his career Eriksson was educated at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he studied economics, financial economics and philosophy. He then worked in Scandinavian investment banks and also for the Swedish Institute of National Defense Research.

You can contact Jörgen on e-mail jorgen.eriksson@bearing-consulting.com, connect on LinkedIn on http://fr.linkedin.com/pub/jörgen-eriksson/0/38/8a0/ and follow him on twitter on joreri508.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anders Fogelström October 18, 2012 at 05:57

Even this interesting story will not make me listen to heavy metal music.

Jörgen Eriksson Jörgen Eriksson October 18, 2012 at 06:01

I wish he would sing opera. We could need a new Pavarotti. 🙂

Calle Svensson October 23, 2012 at 05:02

Tack Jörgen! Vi rockers är både glada och stolta samt övertygade att det behövs mer rock n roll i denna värld!!

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