‘I don’t know how many Gs our plane reached…’

Smpl Team

22 Apr 2024

Meet Line Hjartarson, design thinker, leader, and new Chair of SmplCo. Here, Line talks about her eclectic career, the wild experience that introduced her to the world of entrepreneurs, and why the sound of cowbells makes her shiver.
SmplCo cair, Line Hjartason, abseiling down a waterfall.
“I love to throw myself into new things,” says Line

I’m a bit like Pippi Longstocking

My career has been one happy surprise after another. I never really planned it out. Instead, I’ve just been led by my curiosity, a love for tackling challenges, and a knack for jumping headfirst into new adventures. 

I guess you could say I’m a bit like Pippi Longstocking; super curious and never afraid to learn something new if I find myself stumped. 

I started off my studies in something similar to computer science and my first gig was creating interactive learning tools for the offshore industry. 

Then, almost by chance, I found my way into the creative world when an ad agency was on the hunt for someone with my digital skills. 

I spent years coding, animating, designing, and doing all sorts of digital work, before shifting closer to the tech world – where I got to flex my project management muscles –  and then into full-time design work. 

Each time it was a case of getting an itch and wanting to learn more. 

After all that, it wasn’t a big leap to blend my tech background and design skills and jump into the world of data and industry, which is where I am now.

SmplCo chair, Line Hjartason, giving a presentation

My first experience with entrepreneurs was WILD

… It also opened my eyes to the entrepreneurial mindset, which is an amazing thing.

My first start-up project was with a couple of eccentric pilots who were dreaming big about launching a platform for selling planes.

During a trip to an industry event, one of the pilots offered us an aerobatic flight. The thing is, I have an awful fear of flying and he was a stunt pilot!

He assured me he’d be cautious and we agreed he’d give me a taste of it, teaching me about G-forces along the way. 

It was wild, like being in a super-fast car, way up in the air with the most stunning views.

SmplCo Chair, Line, in the cockpit of a two-seater stunt plane
Line, feeling the need for speed

I don’t know how many Gs I hit, but my colleagues who opted for the full stunt experience came close to five… and ended up green-faced and rushing for the nearest bushes. 

The project gave me my first taste of business and product development, as well as working with creative, entrepreneurial types.

I loved it, and lot of that joy came down to the entrepreneurial spirit.

Whether they’re in startups or big companies, entrepreneurs’ energy and positivity are just contagious.

Mastering the Art of Simple

Solving complex problems and finding simple solutions is my jam. I believe you should be able to explain even the hardest things so that your Mum gets it.

School wasn’t my thing. Not because I wasn’t smart, I just learned differently. I’d spot patterns to simplify things to make it stick in my mind. I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and, in hindsight, that makes a lot of sense. 

In the big tech world it often feels like you need a PhD to follow along. A lot of times people don’t understand and, because no one likes to feel or look stupid, they often don’t ask for clarification.

That gap in communication is a missed opportunity when it comes to everything from selling a product, to just getting people on board with your vision (and making them ambassadors for it).

That’s exactly why I joined SmplCo. Firstly, there’s a genuine need for fresh perspectives to perfectly capture market fit, customer journeys, and so on.

Secondly, you have to be able to present these elements in a way that’s both visually appealing and easy to grasp.

And those are two areas where the SmplCo team shines.

SmplCo in action

The sound of cowbells makes the hairs on my neck stand up…

Travelling is my greatest passion, especially when it’s solo and totally spontaneous. It’s led me into some crazy situations, but I always come back with stories and lessons learned. 

One of my fondest travel memories is a trip I took to a tiny village in the Swiss Alps. 

Getting there was an adventure in itself — a train, a cable car, and a hike were just the start. 

I stayed in this charming old B&B run by a 95-year-old guy named Walter and it was straight out of a scene from “The Sound of Music”.

Mornings meant fresh bread and local cheese, and nights were for cozy bonfires with a few other guests. It was magical. 

A cow in the Alps with a snowy mountain in the background
Alpine cows… who knows what they’re thinking?

Hiking in the Alps one day, I ended up alone among these HUGE cows, each with a giant bell around its neck.

The noise was unbelievable, and walking through them felt like navigating a bovine minefield. 

They were just chilling and munching on grass, while I was trying not to get bowled over by them. I made it through, but the sound of cowbells still gives me goosebumps!

If you want to catch up with Line, or talk to the team about how we can bring your Big Idea to life faster, more efficiently – and considerably less stressfully! – than anyone else, we’d love to hear from you.
Click here to email our MD Andreas, or leave us a message here.

Latest blog