Project Takoha

Together with two friends we thought long and hard about copyright and how money could be collected to pay for the production and presentation of artistic work and performances. We figured out a system somewhat similar to Kickstarter.

After discussing the concept with numerous culture affiliated people we concluded that the concept did not excite them enough. We published our Takoha Manifesto and stopped the project.

Two years later Kickstarter went live.

lets care


220px-Pierre_Le_Roy_chronometer_1766Few years back I visited Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Inside you can find a progression of marine chronometers. As you walk past the cabin sized clocks you marvel at the diabolical complexity of these devices. You go past these devices and then you stop. At the pedestal is a small, compact and simple looking device.This is H4 created by self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker John Harrison. It’s simple, beautiful and totally different from all the predecessors. Somehow it seems to represent a quantum leap onwards.

Marine chronometers and “the longitude problem” were of crucial importance during the great ages of exploration. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores;  desperate captains in search for land navigated their ships away from nearest costs. Thousands perished in vain.

In 1714, England’s Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment–from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton–had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution–a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do even on land. And the race was on….

Longitude is a book by Dava Sobel. Inside you find “the True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time”. This is a real story of discovery, challenges and political intrigue. An excellent read.


nepton_tunnusStartups and entrepreneurship are quite familiar to me. My parents are long-term entrepreneurs. My grandfather and great-grandfather built several companies from small shops to sawmills and industrial manufacturing companies. I know how sweet the success can be and how bitter the failures can feel.

Year 2003 was time for me to move onwards. During my time at Satama I had learned tremendous amount. My brother suggested that we combine forces and start operating under the wings of our parent’s company. I had my doubts and hesitated too much, but finally took the plunge. Soon Nepton Oy was born.

Nepton is (so far) the most successful startup I have created or co-created. We started ten years ago by doing IT subcontracting for various clients. One client project semi-accidentally became our first product. We actively developed this product line over the years, learned the ropes and increased our market coverage. Now we employ 10+ people in this SaaS business and are rapidly gaining new customers. Future of this business look quite positive.

During last ten years my main focus has been on different subcontracting projects. My roles in these have been a mixture of technology, design, planning, management and sales.

Many of my projects have been related to Nokia. At one time I was the technical lead responsible for UI layers in all Nokia websites. Later I moved to finance side and together with group of extremely talented people developed and deployed large planning & analytics system for use in global Nokia organization.

Other customers I have worked with or sold projects to include 3, dotMobi, Eläke-Fennia, Ericsson, GSM Association, HP, MacMillan, Microsoft, Orange Group, Otava, Sampo Pankki, Samsung Electronics, Satama Interactive, Sun Microsystems, Technical University of Denmark, TIM, T-Mobile, Vattenfall and Vodafone.


FailedThis is a story of eager investor, failing hope  and total business failure. Originally I was quite depressed about this, but now I consider this as one one of the most important lessons in my life.

Early 2005 I was asked to invest funds into an exiting new ecommerce startup. Business plan was solid, there was good competitive advantage over most competitors, I personally knew the founder and my overall feelings on this venture were good. Some of my friends did advice me against this venture due to excessive NDA/secrecy levels the founder insisted on, but I decided to continue. The investment went forth and I also became an adviser for this new venture.

Soon the business was started and marketing pulled people into the web shop. In just few weeks were we had good flow of orders continuously coming in. Things looked positive.

The company was however in dire trouble. Most of time and resources were used to create advanced systems & processes to support high levels of demand which were assumed to soon be there. Some key operations were outsourced and off-shored. Information flow within the company or towards investors was almost non-existent. Supply/Demand management was totally out of control and serious problems in customer satisfaction were starting to appear.

It was clear that something had to be done immediately. On top of my primary work I started working in the new company, trying to assist it back on track. Some problems were easy to fix, but it soon became apparent that there were critical problems in the way the business was structured and managed.

Finally I had to admit to myself that under current management the business was going to fail soon. And I did not have power to change things to the model which would have made more sense to me as the founder had majority control. And it was already too late. Ultimately the business failed, not with a bang but with sort of a sizzle as everyone just stopped working with the company.

In hindsight my mistake is clear. My great trust and hopes were quite misplaced and I continued to follow misguided vision long after problems became well apparent. Numerous danger signs  were visible at different times, but I ignored them all. Likely I didn’t want to face the truth so opposite to my hopes and world-view.

After the failure I was quite depressed for a while. I had put fair bit of money and large amount of time towards this venture. Pure business failure would have been more acceptable, but my failure in estimating people felt really bad.

Ultimately I was able to leave this episode behind and move onwards. Now I consider this as most helpful experience which made me realize how unpredictable people can be and how hope can blind us all. This also made me more critical towards my own opinions and more eager to ask opinions from others.

Key Lessons:

  • Trust But Validate
  • Do Not Ignore Small Warnings
  • Information Is Power
  • Premature Scaling == Disaster
  • Cut Your Losses