Category Archives: Daily entries

Spoils of war – Day 130/139

My war is over and it’s time to check the spoils.

War and entrepreneurship?

People nowadays tend not to have any idea what war means. Same goes for entrepreneurship. At least they have in common that neither is positively just good or evil although they both have heavily biased characteristics on that scale.

Both war and entrepreneurship offer enormous opportunities. Great things are started from death and renewal. Finland has lost almost every war in the country’s history. Still it has managed to become a wealthy nation on the international scale.

Positive mindset on the edge of despair.

During the war last week I was badly wounded. I lost my right arm in a grenade attack and lost consciousness shortly after. I was taken to a medic and later evacuated.

Losing an arm in a war-game isn’t such big a deal. You just miss a few hours of good night sleep. But losing something else while being unconscious is another story.

Who could say it better than Matti Nykänen: “Every chance is an opportunity”.

Flexible eagerness – Day 129/139

Today’s guest blogger is Aleksis Nokso-Koivisto, Chairman of Board, FinderBase.

Earlier this week I wrote on how to make social media work in cases of a public sector organization wanting to create one for supporting the communication among their customers or members.

I think there still remains a question, or actually two questions:

  1. what are the success factors for social media in general, and
  2. the ever-topical question on how to make projects work.

For the first I think Jyri Engeström has very good insights on the success factors of social media, especially on the importance of objects connecting people to each other – and making these objects sharable. If you are not familiar with this already, you might be interested to check out some.

For the second question, I think a lot is achieved by the pure power of naive trust in what one is doing, and the eagerness to carry it out. If one really believes, that there’s no reason for the project to fail and has the “of course it’s possible” attitude, one can make almost anything come true. However – and this is probably the tricky part – you have to simultaneously carefully listen to arguments and observe feedback. So the starting point to make something happen is the trust in your project and working with your full heart and love.

But it should be the “flexible type of eagerness”, in which you always love your current way of carrying it out, but love even more finding a new way – and letting go of the old one.

I think this type or orientation is the key to many great success stories in business, and also in other fields of life – for example the NGO sector. I have been fortunate enough to participate in projects that have had this quality – and the existence of this “flexible eagerness” has always ended up in something great – and often not only great results, but also fun projects.

Local communities – Day 128/139

Today’s guest blogger is Oskari Nokso-Koivisto, artistic director, FinderBase.

For last few days I have been in Urbania in Italy. Urbania is a town with 7000 inhabitants. Weather is nice, food and wine are excellent and people are relaxed. At least so far it seems that stereotypes about a small Italian town are a reality here.

My reason to be here is to study Italian opera. We have 18 singers rehearsing for example parts of Cosi fan Tutte, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Simon Boccanegra. To sing Italian opera, you have to be familiar with the Italian culture as well.

An amazing quality in Urbania is, that even as I have walked quite lot, I haven’t seen a single lost item. My guess is that if a community is small enough to be able to communicate efficiently about lost items in traditional ways. Everyone basically knows everything important all the time. Of course taking advantage of that kind of communicaton is not easy for visitors who are not part of the community.

The problem of lost items must have begun at the same time when the idea of ownership came into existence. In the small communities the problem can be solved in the ways it seems to be done in Urbania. However, the world has changed and is still changing in a fast pace. Towns and cities are growing. Most of the world population is living in environments, where it is impossible to know everything. In those environments we need innovations to solve the communication problems.

In July I will be in Rome, home of 3.5 million people. My guess is, that the lost item problem in Rome is not solved as well as it is here in Urbania. There will be work for FinderBase to do, I presume.

Bottom-up simple things – Day 127/139

Today’s guest blogger is Aleksis Nokso-Koivisto, Chairman of Board, FinderBase.

Back in the day, everything in the Finnish media was about making portals, and that seemed the future of internet. That even stretched to the Finnish version of dot-com bubble, the phenomenon of “wind suit investors”, referring to non-experienced ordinary people queueing in their jogging clothes to make sure to get their share of the last newly listed internet-company. Just check the photo in this article, if you want to remember the good old days:
http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/talous/uutiset/etusivu/uutinen.jsp?oid=2010/04/32526

Currently social media is everywhere.

For example, I was recently participating an event, in which some EU-funded projects reflected their experiences on usage of social media. Almost every project believed, that social media is important for them, and they were often doing something in the field. However, the most usual experience was “we just created a wonderful social media site for our public organization, but nobody is using it”. Well, I am not surprised, if the social media was implemented from a top-down starting point of the organization’s intent to build one in order to have one. The opposite starting point, the user, and their relations offer far more interesting setting for building the media. How can we serve our users with different types of media? What is the user doing, with what objects, with whom, why, how? And also, social media is not a technology question, it is – as the name says – a social question. If the organization is ready and interested to work in open, networked ways, and wants to utilize tools for that, the media will be found to serve it. But if the organization just wants to use social media because it’s trendy, probably there is no technical tool to solve the equation.

Lessons learned.

Social media today appears to me similar to “portal companies” 10 years and more back. It is important to be there, even if it takes some queueing outside for some strange reason – as long as you get your company/university/community/whatnot to utilize social media. If you want to succeed, keep it simple. Social media is just a set of tools and social interaction, nothing more mysterious. Think from the user perspective. Strive for the heart of the issue, understand it, and then solve it. That’s what made the winners 10 years ago, and that’s how you win your game in utilizing social media.

Things are simple, we shouldn’t make them complex.

The most important thing – Day 126/139

Today’s guest blogger is Jouni Riuttanen, VP sales at FinderBase.com.

I wrote about sales vs. games vs. sports in my previous entry and emphasized the importance of winning in sales. Winning is a key thing is sales, but even more important things do exist.

The most important thing is love.

You will gain happiness by doing things that you love most. But sometimes people do things that makes them unhappy because they think that they have to do it. I like sales, but I love my family. It is quite difficult to combine these two, since I just can’t be with my family and meet my customers at the same time.

Before one should go and do everything to win in sales, one should think is the sales the most important thing in life. This is also a thing to remember in games and sports. Typically you also need some luck to win in sales, games or sports, but you will end up feeling unlucky if you lose the things that you love most.

Remember, do it with love.

Sales vs. games vs. sports – Day 125/139

Today’s guest blogger is Jouni Riuttanen, VP sales at FinderBase.com.

Sales has some similarities with games and sports. If a person is successful in any of these, the person is likely to have some competitive spirit.

I think the biggest difference between sports and sales is the importance of winning. In sports you can still make your way up to the podium if you are the second best. You can enjoy playing games even without winning. Is sales, only winning is important. If you don’t win the deal, you might end up getting nothing. There are no silver or bronze medals, only a gold medal.

One of the most important similarities between sports, games and sales is the team and playing as a team. A good sales team must have different skills and a salesperson also might need some support from a marketing person. It also helps to have good engineers to design competitive products. Playing together enables full potential of individuals and increases chances of winning. And winning is all that counts is sales.

War cry – Day 124/139

Today is my last day before I once again go to the military. This time it’s for the whole week and it’s done under enemy surveillance, so we’ll try to keep all transmitting devices turned off.

This blog is still meant to be updated.

There will be some interesting stuff posted here while I’m away. And hopefully stuff, that is refreshingly different from my usual entries. When I come back on Saturday, there’s only 10 days left on the project. At least for myself it will be most interesting to follow how the seed funding round proceeds and I hope we can share some of that progress already this week. Let us know if you want to join the seed funding mailing list.

So next week I’m planning to have fun and avoid getting killed.

I recommend you all do the same.

As easy as 1-2-3 – Day 123/139

Today was an important day in my project. We finally got the answer to the ultimate question:

How can this project end?

As we all know there are two possible outcomes and the shareholders of FinderBase decided today what they mean:

  1. My project will fail. The seed funding round will not be closed if we raise less than 100,000 € (50 % of the target sum).
  2. My project will succeed. The seed funding round will go through.

Who wins if I succeed?

If we think only in terms of cash, the biggest winners here are the guys who have been linking to my blog. If the round fails, my project will end up on the negative side. But if the round goes through, I will get my “million dollars” and these guys will get their affiliate money. And there’s still a lot of money in the budget so anyone can help out by spreading the word.

But how could the round fail? We have the guys at GrowVC helping us out. If you want to be a part of this success story, join the seed funding mailing list and we’ll tell you more.

Investment proposal – Day 122/139

To get this project to its goal, we need to see if we have been able to create measurable value in the eyes of investors. With investors I mean anyone who has some money and wants to put it to a good cause.

According to the recent poll, there are at least 34 people who are interested in hearing our investment proposal. So if you want to receive the FinderBase investor brochure, please leave your contact information to this

FinderBase seed funding mailing list.

The investor brochure will be in Finnish. If you’re interested in investing and don’t speak the language, please contact me.

There are no specific rights or any obligations to joining this mailing list.

Half a million views – Day 121/139

Throughout the years one program has constantly gathered a lot of viewers in the Finnish television.

That program is the 10 pm news on MTV3.

The most notable feature of those news is the less serious news story in the end. Usually a short tongue-in-the-cheek story about a topical matter.

Today’s entry is about me and FinderBase. Try not to laugh.