Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's in a Name? -Or- How We Became Norseman.

I am often surprised how many folks out there have asked me, point blank: "Why Norseman?" or "How'd you come up with the name?" Here's the 411 on the naming of the crew (see what I did there?).

We come from the land of ice and snow!

My Great Grandfather was born in Kragero, Norway - a southern town on the coast of Norway. OK - I heard those groans from the people in the back that said "Aw jeez! Is this going to be a boring family tree discussion? 'Cause I'm going to look for cat videos on the webs!" Fear not intrepid web browser, for this is a  very brief history of my family.

Josef Frantz Oskar Gundersen came to America looking for work in the early 20th century, ending up in New York, working on the viaduct that would eventually supply the city of New York with fresh water. He eventually settled in Harvard, Mass, raised a family and built a lot of houses. His m.o. was: if it's worth doing, it's worth over doing. His idea of "good enough" would have given modern day tract housing developers kittens. If good enough meant using a 2x10 every 24" for joist spacing, he would use a 2 x 12 every 16". He ran the under-layment of floors (all tongue and groove planks back then) diagonally for extra strength and less chance of squeaking. And on and on it goes.

I come from a long line of over-builders, and I'm proud of it. That's where we got our slogan from: New World Technology, Old World Craftsmanship. I wanted to add an "e" to old - as in: olde world. Cool right? I was voted off the island by people with more sense.

When I got laid off from my last "workin' for the man" job, I discovered that one door closing really does open new ones - in my case, a new business and a new journey with me at the helm. Having worked for many, many employers over the years, I learned a thing or two about cutting corners, under staffing jobs, making questionable decisions and most importantly, how to disenfranchise your clients. I made a pronouncement to take those lessons and do the exact opposite. My motto is: "If you do the best work you can and treat people with respect, the money will follow." My company was therefore built on an engineering model and not a sales model. That is why we have no quotas or other devices that eventually drive people to make poor decisions. Do your best and the money will follow.

Hammer of the Gods, Will Drive Our Ships to New Lands....

So as a proud American of Scandanavian heritage, I chose Norseman Audio-Video Systems as my company name, as a herald and as a statement. While it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, it is an example of how we work - honest and up front. And that's why we have a funny little hammer as a logo. Thor's hammer, or MjĂžlner ,is a symbol of strength, fertility and a talisman for good fortune. 'Nuff said!

All Due Respect to Page and Plant...

So, That's it. That's the story. Nothing too mystical, just a solemn nod to my "Grandpa" Gundersen's work ethic and a pledge to bring my heritage to bear on everything we do.


OK, cue the music!

Tusen Takk!

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