Hi, I'm Riku Seppälä and this is page is my central presence on the web. I come from Finland and live in Montreal. I'm A Business Strategist And Corporate Information Systems Developer. Currently I'm Working on My Masters Thesis In Business Strategy. I'm A Firm Believer Of The Clan Of Getting Things Done. On my page you can find links to my CV and the projects I'm working on at the moment.

What I'm Thinking - My Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Friday, 29 May 2009

    Teachings from our AES TechStart event

    My blogpost from our AES blog

    We had the first amazing TechStart event on Monday at Eteläranta. The evening was organized together with SDG and The Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association.

    First of all, we had two Pitches from Startups looking for interested coders and sales persons to start working for them... These are early stage startups, and really great opportunities to learn and get to do something important during the summer.

    Koala is a Startup developing non-visual controlling of the mobile. It was the second time I saw the demo and it still amazes me. So with Koala technology you can control your mobile with gestures without looking at your phone with the help of a 3D sound menu. I can't really explain that, you have to see it. They are looking for a Marketing & Sales person, student, graduate or more experienced. 2 Application developers, fulltime, with experience from Mobile, Java, C++. For this opportunity contact Raine Kajastila, firstname.lastname at tkk.fi.

    Another opportunity relates to a team from Sibelius Akatemia, they are creating a professional tool for Musicians on the iPhone, they're looking for a C++ coder and a Business Developer. That's a summer project. You can contact Kristo Ovaska for more information, at fristname.lastname at gmail.com.

    The TechStart Evening

    The evening started off with a short info by our host, Jori, and the Software Entrepreneurs Organization. After the intro we got the enjoy the real beef, three very interesting presentations by some of the top entrepreneurs in Finland:

    1. Teemu Kurppa from Huikea (ex-Jaiku)
    2. Tuomas Syrjänen from Futurice
    3. Osma Ahvenlampi from Sulake

    I'm sure that all the tech students present got some very interesting new viewpoints to development and entrepreneurship. It was also a great event for everyone else... Gathering the main points from the guys about entrepreneurship, it would probably be the following:

    1. Figure out an interesting problem to solve
    2. Will, Vision and Persistence
    3. Be lean, fail smart and learn fast

    After the presentations we got to hear about Microsoft's Bizspark program, a program that allows startups to get their hands on all the Microsoft developement products for free. At least most of them. We also got to hear the stories of two Startups that have been in the program: GWeb2 and Sopima. Excellent stuff, go and check it out.

    Value of Code = 0 and some more stuff

    Teemu Kurppa from Huikea gave us his insights of the mobile market. Huikea is still in stealth mode, but seems to be targeted at the mobile market... Well, it is according to Teemu. Some pretty clever mathematics clearly shows why the mobile market suddenly is so attractive, and why the iPhone is so influential. I remember when the iPhone was released, Nokia was saying that it's not a threat to them at all, it's such a marginal product. Well, things have changed a bit, but still last autumn I was discussing with some Nokia Strategy people and they commented that Nokia has a strong position regarding smartphones. The logic was that Symbian has something like 2 million registered developers. And Nokia still has the most phones out, so developers reach a maximum amount of users. Right?

    Teemu drew us this table:

    OS/Phone Amount of Phones Sold % With Flat-Rate Data Plan % Of App-Educated Users = Total Market For Developers
    S60 140M 20% 10% = 2,8M
    iPhone 20M 100% 50% = 10M

    It's quite astonishing how one company can create this eco-system of Developers, Users and Distibutors/Operators. It's actually very smart, currently obvious but definitely not easy. This clearly shows why the level of innovation is so much higher in the iPhone compared to others. One of the key aspects that Teemu presented was of course the appStore and the ability for Apple and the developers to monetize the apps quickly and painlessly.

    Teemu went on to discuss about mobile payments, and how the appStore changed the game since it became possible for startups to start monetizing on mobile apps. The new innovation from Apple in OS 3.0 are the in-app purchases which again allow a new level of innovation and monetization.

    About the payments, Teemu also went on to describing the URL as a superior distribution model (Viral & Automatic updates...), but that a good payment solution still doesn't exist. Read more from Teemu on his blog.

    Next up was Tuomas, CEO of Futurice, one of the fastest growing Technology Companies in the World (well, at least it was Europe, which must mean the world as well, right?). He wanted to shape us all into entrepreneurs and his point was that it just takes Passion, Will, Vision, Persistence and the Ability to Learn. As well, you need a Team.

    Learning was emphasized, and the ability to adapt to changes. As the company grew, and Futurice didn't really have any sales people, Tuomas had just one day decided to become a sales person. That's definitely will, and persistence. And I'm sure it's easier that way around...(Being more of a salesperson myself). Some other imporant things that Tuomas discussed were:

    1. Even contracts are People
    2. The less experienced you are the more dangerous money is.
    3. There are a billion good business opportunities - You only need to find one.
    4. The value of code = 0. Only code that is in use and solves a business problem is worth something. If someone has a better solution than the code you've been working on for a year. Use the better solution.

    Osma Ahvenlampi, CTO of Sulake also discussed the issues that according to his experience are vital in entrepreneurship and especially Software entrepreneurship. Some of the pointers that really caught me from his presentation were:

    1. Starting up now is cheaper than ever.
    2. You (and he) are wrong most of the time, so the key to decisions is to make them and the continuously revisit and realign the decisions.
    3. Fail Fast. Fail Smart. Learn Fast.
    4. Produce value for your customer: It probably isn't what you think it is, so test the market now. You always release too late (Because even he does)
    5. There is one metric that rules over all: Cycle Time (release-to-release)
    6. Small teams rule.

    Learn more at startuplessonslearned.blogspot.com

    I think that was a bit too much wisdom for a blog post, but if you've read this far, congratulations, and please comment about AES or TechStart!

    TechStart - BioStart?

    AES will continue to organize TechStart types of events. We'll gather some great entrepreneurs for a specific field and let them tell you about something interesting and how they see entrepreneurship and let them share their expertise on their subjects. It's a great way to meet interesting people and generate stuff to think about. I'm sure that there were a lot of people who got new ideas from TechStart.

    Riku Seppälä, AES

    No comments: