Koenigsegg Founder Tells The Story Of His "Stupid Business Idea"


Earlier this year, Koenigsegg began an online forum where company CEO and founder Christian von Koenigsegg took questions from fans.

The spirit of the series is akin to Reddit's popular Ask Me Anything posts, and in the initial installment, we learned about the the genesis of the insane One:1, and why von Koenigsegg doesn't care about top speed records. For now, question time with the Swedish entrepreneur is over, but he tackled plenty of interesting topics in the most recent post, including his inspiration and how he went about starting his supercar business.

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Like many enthusiasts, von Koenigsegg was fascinated with cars from a very early age, and he actually cites a children's movie for sparking an interest which would germinate into some of the most magnificent cars the world has ever seen. The stop-motion film, called Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, revolved around a do-it-yourself type who builds his own car and winds up victorious.

You don't have to look too hard into the supercar company's history to find a parallel there.

There's plenty of other interesting history too. Aside from disassembling practically everything he could get his hands on—VCRs, RC cars, electronics—Koenigsegg honed his mechanical skills tuning mopeds, at one point grinding a cylinder head against his basement floor to shave it down.

And like many kids, he thought flying cars were the way of the future, which proves even total genius-level folk aren't right about everything.

Koenigsegg also revealed that his initial business success came with the fall of the Iron Curtain, which he capitalized on by finding things citizens in the newly open society needed, then filling that need. Here's a particularly interesting tidbit about that time:

"I found a big batch of plastic bags that had been printed with a logo the wrong way, for example. They were going to be thrown out. I bought them and sold them into Eastern Europe. They didn’t care about the logo. They just needed the bags."

But the best part of the whole post is where he describes his dreams for Koenigsegg:

"The plan I had to build cars was pretty much the opposite of what people usually think is a smart business idea. Nobody was asking for it. It was seemingly impossible. It was expensive. Nobody had ever come from nothing and done it successfully before. So it was a stupid business idea, basically. An impossible plan. And that’s why I liked it."

As any fans of supercars can attest, the "stupid" idea worked out pretty well. Head over to the Koenigsegg website to read the entire exchange.

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