I had a chance to attend Slush for the second time, this time from a maternity leave perspective. Slush is a focal point for start-ups and tech talent to connect and share the latest information with international investors, executives, companies and media. Slush has grown from a crawling baby to a super interesting world-conquering adult. When I experienced the pitches, I hoped that my baby will one day also be passionate with things in life as people were with their presentations. However it is good to remind yourself that everyone can’t make a winning presentation or be a millionaire or a world´s biggest pop star, even though their parents wish so. Sometimes you just have to be a realistic.
If you don´t have failed, you don´t have any experience.
Everyone celebrated the winner of the startup competition and the companies which got “angel investors”. I can´t help but to think about all the ideas that did not. This time. But it is good to remember that if you haven’t failed, you don´t have any experience. The most important thing in the future is to focus on the lessons learned. Maybe some start-ups did all the things some business gurus have advised them to get a breakthrough. And, maybe it was the exact reason some of them did not make it? I can´t help but to think this succeeding also from my maternity perspective. You feel all the time the pressure of being a perfect mom and to make your child happy and successful in life. Everyone is giving you dos and don’ts and the things that were facts a couple years ago are now things you really should not do anymore.
If someone is going to start their own business they should be prepared to deal with all the obstacles that will come in their way.
We all know that there’s no shortcut to success, and there’s no magic formula that can create the “perfect” startup or a healthy and confident child. You have to be immune for the risk that a 90 percent failure rate is constantly looming over the head. Richard Branson (Founder at Virgin Group) has said: “There are many similarities between the challenges of starting a business in 1965 and 2015. If someone is going to start their own business they should be prepared to deal with all the obstacles that will come in their way. It is rarely ever a smooth ride; there are always difficulties, things that were unforeseen, but if you want to be successful you have to be the type of person that will persevere and push through all of those challenges.” Parents, does this sound familiar for you about your precious as well?
You don’t want your competitors to realize the problem areas that could destroy your business before you do.
At this time of the global economic problems we need now revolutionary approaches and business concepts. Smaller, more agile start-ups are launching fast and they are hungry. I hope we will see this flexible and fearless entrepreneurial mindset also from big and old company leaders. Even though it might mean also many many failures. For me one of the most inspirational things in Slush was this next thought. You don’t want your competitors to realize the problem areas that could destroy your business before you do. This I got very clearly from the presentation of Marcus Wallenberg & Risto Siilasmaa (Founder of F-Secure). It is also important to identify what you did wrong and be conscious not to repeat your mistakes. This thing is a little bit harder with your child. They have only one life and you cannot start it all over again.
There’s one factor that rises above all others in importance: the timing of the business.
It was clear also from the other presentations that there’s one factor that rises above all others in importance: the timing of the business. Imagine a startup where everything else is perfect: You have an excellent idea, a brilliant strategy and enough funding. But if your idea comes too early and consumers don´t fully understand it yet, they won’t adopt your system. If your idea comes too late and there are already many competitors you won’t be able to squeeze in. The timing in parenting is also crucial, especially in everyday life. You have to think in advance everything and foresee your child´s behavior, if you don´t want the chaos all over the place.
Try hard enough, try long enough.
Ilkka Paananen (Co-founder of Supercell) said: “The next Google could be born in Helsinki – try hard enough, try long enough. I think it’s possible.” I can’t wait for the next business story to be born and when it does, it would be great to know how the parenting was involved with those people´s breakthrough ideas. But can we ever truly find out how much parenting is involved in the success of a business life or is it more of a personality thing with a hint of luck and timing. In any case the biggest laugh I had at Slush was from the presentation of Konrad Bergström (Co-Founder of Zound Industries) because his quote was perfect for everything. He said: Providing success means this: “Get shit done!”