Were Vikings the 9th Century Entrepreneurs?

According to recent publications (see this Vikings Law poster) the people from northern Europe who went Viking had a set of Laws. These laws were categorised under 4 headings:

  • Be brave and aggressive
  • Be prepared
  • Be a good merchant
  • Keep the camp in order

These laws lay out guidance that, when roughly translated, could well be followed by the entrepreneurs of today.

Below are 4 two-column tables, 1 for each of the headings, showing the laws that Vikings followed and how these laws could be adapted and implemented by today’s entrepreneurs.

1. Be brave and aggressive

Viking Entrepreneur
Be direct Be very clear about what you want
Grab all opportunities Do not turn down opportunities you never know where they will lead
Use varying methods of attack Not just one approach to marketing and sales promotion, pivot
Attack one target at a time Remain focused and do not spread your resources too thinly
Do not plan everything in detail Work out the detail later; no plan survives first contact with the enemy
Use top quality weapons Use good quality resources in marketing good design, good social media


2. Be prepared

Viking Entrepreneur
Keep weapons in good condition Do the maintenance of your tools i.e. databases routine contacts
Keep in shape Look after your health
Find good battle comrades Have the right people on your team
Agree on important points Make sure you are all pulling in the same direction
Choose one chief There is in the end just one boss


3. Be a good merchant

Viking Entrepreneur
Find out what the market needs Respond to market needs not whims
Don’t promise what you can’t keep Do what you promised to do and do not raise expectations above your delivery
Don’t demand over-payment Do not overcharge
Arrange things so that you can return You never know when you will meet that company or the person


4. Keep the camp in order

Viking Entrepreneur
Keep things tidy and organised Keep good records especially accounting
Arrange enjoyable activities which strengthen the group Bonding into a team through enjoyment
Make sure everyone does useful work Everyone should contribute and have a chance to grow
Consult all members of the group for advice Involvement helps commitment to the cause.


Remember, the people who went on a Viking were very successful!