Posted on December 2, 2016 by Evan Anderson
erik, oseberg’s cofounder, and i have a little scandinavian blood running through our veins. each of us is 100.00% norwegian, to be exact. our grandparents were craftsmen, wheat farmers, blacksmiths, copper miners, fishermen, and whalers. they maintained wet shirts and callouses on their hands from honest work. longfellow said it best: they looked the whole world in the face, for they owed not any man. in the early 1900s they ventured to america to embark on a “viking.” in old norse, a viking means “expedition.” a trip with a purpose, a mission. a voyage. and in 2011 the memory of our ancestors called us to embark on our own viking: to explore the intersection of computer science and oil and gas. but we first needed a ship.
the longship was invented by norsemen for trade, exploration, and warfare. longships are double-ended, the symmetrical bow and stern allow the ship to reverse direction quickly without turning around – an especially useful trait when navigating dangerous hazards like icebergs, volleys of arrows, and sea ice. we entrepreneurs like to call these maneuvers pivots. we also knew that smooth seas did not make for skillful sailors so we wanted something sturdy.
in 1903 a farmer dug into a large mound at the lille oseberg farm in slagen, norway and unearthed one of archaeology’s best examples of old norse engineering: a viking longship that has come to be called the oseberg ship. its towering prow and room for 30 oarsmen were constructed with the utmost craftsmanship and care. the ship is painstakingly engraved and built of sturdy oak – this had been a superlative tool for exploration.
erik and i had found our symbol and our name. together, on the oseberg ship, we would begin exploring the seas of public data (specifically, oil & gas exploration).
they say that a company is defined by its people and that its people are shaped by its culture. today, erik and i bring our norwegian customs, etiquette, and values to the company. you’ll find tenets of “jante law,” or egalitarianism, in our values. no, there are no ikea desks, but each friday afternoon we take a break for our company-wide “fika,” a scandinavian coffee beer break where we talk about our mission, vision, and values and how we individually contribute to each.
at oseberg, we merge the quantitative and the qualitative – we listen, we analyze, we use data, we empathize. there are insights data can reveal that humans cannot. there are questions humans can ask that data does not yet answer. in short, we connect. we connect with our clients and our industry. we connect millions of data points to form a cohesive whole. we connect our products to our users, ever seeking to build a product that, like the oseberg ship, is the manifestation of our desire to explore freely. at oseberg, we build impactful products and services that augment our users’ experience so that they can explore the unimaginable. where most see paperwork and headaches, we see unexplored reserves. there’s a sea of public data that is not navigable by conventional search, and valuable information is hiding in plain sight, waiting to be discovered. join us for this new and exciting viking.