“You should be prepared to walk on thin ice. It’s not dangerous if you know what you are doing.”

Thirty years ago, Nils-Robert Persson left a job at communications software giant Ericsson to join the financial technology space, where he has been ever since. Back then, when one made a trade, it was a cumbersome process that involved many hands over several hours, and bank settlement took three to five days. Now, that same trade can be placed on a fifth-generation Ericsson smartphone and be matched in 100 microseconds… and bank settlement still takes three to five days.

Persson says he was not wrong to leave Ericsson, just thirty years too early. The center of the tech world has shifted to the financial sector, and as executive chairman of Cinnober, he is now in the right place. He says you do not have to be at a startup to be entrepreneurial in your thinking, but it often requires you to navigate on thin ice.

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