A bit restless after quitting his job in Statoil, CEO Magnus Tvedt, registered the company Pro Well Plan on Christmas Day 2015. He had an idea, and he wanted to start now.
Tvedt grew up in Grorud in Oslo and studied in Trondheim, before he spent 10 years working for Statoil. Three of these were spent in Houston, at Statoil’s research department.
– I did deep water drilling, which means I made the plan for the holes they make in the ground. You could say that I am some kind of an architect and an engineer. We calculate rock mechanics, the strength of the ground and the fluid. The technical calculations plus fluid-and steel calculations. These are big machines. You got to know which equipment to use, and in what order.
Pro Well Plan is a software company that automate well planning
Before, people wrote all the details in the computer. With Pro Well Plan, computers run everything. It compares all the data, as an automated process. A little bit like the bus planner (Skyss), where you chose where you are coming from and where you are going. You calculate all the possibilities so you do not make bad decisions.
– If you imagine a car factory, where they hold 100 cars, and chooses details – everything from wheels to color. We want a well factory that is like a car factory, explains Tvedt.
– It is an old-fashioned business. It is hard to get in without special competence – it is terribly complex – a lot of people involved and many calculations. There is big market forces that needs taking care of. It is as a Crystal ball painted black.
What is your goal?
– Changes drives me. I usually do not give up before I change what do not work. I can see that the well industry is a bit down now. We will become loaded though; after all, we work in the oil industry. We do smart things, and we have smart people that work with billions. I do not have a personal interest in money, nor am I driven by money. I do not like things. Buying a boat will just make you feel guilty for not being able to use it more. However, I would like to have more influence. Moreover, with money I could work with things I think is important.
What is the biggest mistake you have done and what did you learn from it?
– As a founder, you work so fast that you are always embarrassed of what you did the day before. I would have to rewind to puberty to compare it to anything. I constantly learn things I did not know, from people I meet. A lot is humiliating; no one knows everything, so you make many mistakes. I believe that it is good to make a fool of yourself last week, so that you prepare for a bigger mistake the following week. Practice to make a fool out of yourself! I believe there is strength in the belief that it is important to expose yourself as much as possible. The dumbest thing we did was not listening to the customer, but instead convincing them what was best. We lost a good cooperation because of this.
Have you learned something new in the start-up process?
– I believe in people. Bright people can do anything, but they disappear in big companies. If you give people trust and challenges, it is unbelievable what they can achieve. My philosophy as a leader is to tell the employees about a problem, and let them find the solution, says Tvedt eagerly. Today, Pro Well Plan consists of six people.
If you were to predict the future, how would it look like in two years?
– By that time, we have a substantial place in the oil industry internationally. Wells are drilling at half price. We turned the industries focus from cut and glue – to performance. It costs between 500 million to a billion NOK for a well. If we can half the price, it has a lot to say. The state pays for 80% of the wells.
Who do you look up to and why?
– People who wants something fascinate me. There is always people that can tell you what to do. However, few who do what they want.
– It is a cliché to mention Elon Musk. He sent a car to space; he thought it was ok, so he did it. I like visionaries, people who want something, and do it. It does not matter if they agree or disagree with me. If they want something, they get my respect.
– I both look up to, and find nurses weird. One of my life goals is finding out why someone becomes a nurse. I am thankful for the ones who are, but I do wonder where they get the idea from. I work with machines, pipes etc. However, I also work with people, and what I do effects people. We are working with healthy people – guiding them in life. I like that.
What does Nyskapingsparken mean to you?
– It is a store full of inspiration. Every hatch inside the hallway is full of inspiration. Many different characters show up in an environment like this. Just being here is an experience in itself. Everyone should break out of their «normal» life and spend a year in a corridor like this with such people.
– I received great help from Torstein Skage, Business Development Consultant in BTO, who is very talented and motivating. We have been in Nyskapingsparken for 1,5 years now, but we are growing too big to fit in here, so we are now on our way out of the park. It has been brilliant to be here as a founder.
Pro Well Plan is a member of Nyskapningsparken Incubator at BTO, where they have grown from idea to a software company ready for scaling over the last one and a half year.
Entrepreneur of the Year & Gordon Gekko
In December 2017, Pro Well Plan were awarded with two prizes: the «Gordon Gecko» prize for raising the most money in Nyskapingsparken and the «Entrepreneur of the year». After receiving the prizes, Tvedt thanks everyone in Nyskapingsparken for knowledge sharing and adds importantly: – There is nothing like recognition for having a great team.