Impossible is nothing.
So said Mr. Vesterbacka on the Slush stage.
In case you missed it, today started Slush, a two-day one-of-a-kind event for start-ups, investors and companies. This year, large corporations were also visibly involved at the event. In fact, co-operation between agile start-ups and large corporations can be mutually rewarding, enhancing the business opportunities for both parties.
Anyway, here are the some of the best bits for the first day.
Building a winning team
Sounds like a cliché, but it isn’t. Jorma Ollila, the former CEO of Nokia in its glory days, gave very good pieces of advice for entrepreneurs. And these ones also are useful for other businesses as well. In order to succeed, you need a good team, consisting preferably of 4-5 team members, which all have different cognitive capabilities, in order to enhance diversity. Further, the most important things for a team are to share a common goal, to have passion to win and be the best, and to work really hard to achieve the common objectives. A growth company cannot lose its spark and passion to grow, or otherwise it will not be a growth company in the future.
For us all, Mr. Ollila gave a tip to take care of one’s physical condition. Not to forget our morning jogging or tennis, whatever it may be. In fact, one’s good health is not to be taken as granted. Obviously, important is also reading business literature, but not too much, as things easily turn too academic, said Mr. Ollila. For Board of Directors Mr. Ollila advised, in addition to having industry or technological knowledge, to build good, constructive cooperation and relationships. Because, when the hard days come, and they some day will, trust and good relationships are a necessity in order to make good decisions. For the Board to be on board, so to say.
Failure is your friend
When it comes to successful entrepreneurship, Ilkka Paananen of Supercell and Taizo Son of Movida Japan, talked about the importance of company culture in success. In Supercell, the employees are, in fact, like a family. Paananen also said that it is important to hire the best employees and create the kind of working environment so that they stay. Taizo Son, on the other hand, shared a story about failure and the importance of both failure and success. It is important to learn from failures, preferably fast. And afterwards, it is necessary to share the learnings with your employees. There may be hard days on one’s entrepreneurial path, however, it is your task to take advantage of also failures and learn how to make your business successful. Mr. Paananen also said that entrepreneurs should listen humbly to one’s advisors, but make your own decisions based on your own instincts. You know yourself what is best for your team and company.
After listening to many good pitches today, I can say that it’s been a great learning experience. While seeing many large companies also very visible on this event, which is a newish feature.
In summary, great energy, great companies, great cooperation and facilities.. and no slush on the streets of Helsinki today.
The writer is founder of Blue Berry Communications & IR Oy, a company focusing on providing communications services for stock exchange listed companies – in a new way. (Probably the only company of this business registered as a start-up on Slush.)