The Monday of Mobile Brain Bank’s Aalto Startup Sauna started with a jetlag, taking my time to let all of the NYC learnings sink in and document those. One feedback came to me over and over: I need to make buying easier. With a plain match-making service customers felt that they are taking too much risk relying on the developer alone, they want Mobile Brain Bank to be the face and front for quality and reliability. We need to work on this.
Tuesday continued with more pitching trainings. The content of our pitch is getting more condense, feedback from coaches usually is that our message was clear. I still need to add some energy to my performance, but otherwise the Mobile Brain Bank story is unfolding nicely. Later in the week Artturi Tarjanne commented that I also need to work on communicating our ”secret sauce”, our uniqueness. Another topic for more work. He also said that this may not be a VC business, but it is definitely good business. This made me feel good.
The week was not all Sauna, but a couple of interesting events, too.
Microsoft TechNet 2011 was packed. I mean packed. Eight tracks, keynotes from Nokia and Microsoft, expo, and networking. The picture above is only from the UX design room, where Metro was broken down to all of its capabilites with a hands-on training on its features. I got excited, and will try to find time to experiment on it. Noticeable was also the amount of training companies offering Windows Mobile training for Symbian developers. Also this week I had lunch with Siva from the Aalto Windows Phone community, telling how excited and spark-eyed people are in their events (click on the link and you’ll see a photo, too).
Based on everything that I’ve seen in New York, London and Helsinki this year, I am ready to place my bets on this as the third ecosystem.
I also took part in TEDx Helsinki, where New York, startups, entrepreneurship and Aalto ES were themed. Mobile Brain Bank is clearly riding on an unstoppable wave whicih feels good. TEDx also launched a Medal Day for Friday. My medal went to the Femme Fatale from Startup Sauna for her continuous good mood, support and for making November less November. Thanks Natalie.
Nice surprises during the week were visits by Mårten Mickos, Alexander Stubb, Henrik Dettman, and a group of Estonian press. Stubb was genuinely excited about startups, and is looking forward to his upcoming startup tour to Silicon Valley and New York. Mickos spent a whole morning with us, first telling about his career and life in SV, and then listening to our pitches and giving feedback. He is the sweetest and kindest coach ever.
But the Startup Sauna is not all games and celebrities, of course. We discussed IPR, funding, communications, sales and cost structure etc. I spent good one-to-one time with coaches Micki Honkavaara and Ilkka Kivimäki. These talks ended the week in an eye-opening moment where, what was already told me in New York last week, got a clear shape. This weekend I will be able to put on paper the revised, more holistic mature business model for Mobile Brain Bank.
Enjoy your weekend, friends.
PS. Perhaps you will find these notes that I took from Mårten’s speech interesting:
- Silicon Valley is a paradise for me (a bit like ”Otaniemi for grownups”) but it is not the only place to do tech business. MySQL didn’t have any sw developers there, I was the only one. Skype never set their foot in the US before eBay bought them. Angry Birds run from Finland. SV is not a physical place but a mental space.
- Silicon Valley for startups is a bit like Paris to 19th century artists. Some have a chance to go there, and when they do, they bring back the light and a fresh angle. Think of yourself as an artist undiscovered, but be close to others who are equally crazy. Isolation does not work.
- ”success is going from fail to fail wt undiminished enthusiasm”. Seek the biggest battle ground for what you do, train yourself like an olympic level athlete.
- Greatest inventions come from uncertainty. It’s ok to have bad ideas because then you will never find the great ideas. Stupid ideas may be the most genius ones.
- Don’t be an eternal promise. Ultimately you must get it right. I did 6 startups before MySQL. Looking up to role models was positive for me to keep going