Even though I am not originally from Finland, I was lucky enough to see the local startup ecosystem go through many of its most important steps of development, and to play a part in it.
From being at the Assembly, the largest demo-scene event, when the legendary game Max Payne was released in 2001, to writing about the birth of Rovio and Supercell, to attending one of the first Slush events, to organizing Arctic15‘s.
Throughout this time, what I noticed is that the startup environment is not constant. In the beginning, it was all about the skills of individuals, and passion for their craft. The nerdiness. Assembly.
Then came the business, and the desire to go global, showing that we have both the skills and the business smarts. That Finland and the Nordic region as a whole, as humble as we are, is not afraid to pound itself in the chest and be proud of its achievements.
Now, I feel like we need to re-invent ourselves again, to stay on top of the game – one needs to recognize the trends before everyone else and act differently.
The startup scene, as we know it – is no longer the nerdiness of the Assembly, nor is it the business focus of the first Slush. Today, it has become a symbol for people learning how to raise money, with a disregard for execution on their passions.
Yet, Nordics have the capacity, and the perfect opportunity to show that we can be different. With our pragmatism, we can guide the new founders to build real businesses that focus on real revenues, and problems that actually need solving.
As such, I invite you to stop raising money for the sake of raising money, to stop building products that nobody needs, to stop misunderstanding the economics of a business, and to stop trying to be a startup rock-star.
To do that, we all need to start acting differently and to discuss these topics together. So if these topics seem important for you, please come to our Housewarming party on the 3rd of April, and bring your ideas.
Not-A-Party: ArcticStartup Housewarming @ Epicenter
This event is different. No alcohol. No loud music. No program, beyond the warm welcome. Yet, there will be plenty of other activities that will stimulate our discussions, and get you to meet likeminded (and often opposite-minded) individuals, aiming to make a change. Simply sign-up here.