Spot on

Steve Blank is again at it. Top points from the summary of his recent visit in Finland.

Toxic Business Press and Contradictory Government Incentives
Unique to Finland with its strong cultural emphasis on equality and the redistribution of wealth is a business press that doesn't understand startups and is overtly hostile to their success. Instead, the business press dumped on the founders for "selling out."... In 2010 it got worse, with an Act in parliament about the Monitoring of Foreigners' Corporate Acquisitions. Many founders mentioned this as a reason not to incorporate or grow their companies in Finland.

Nokia as "He Who Must Not Be Named".
..Nokia was Finland's symbol of national competence. Most Finns take their failure as a personal embarrassment. (Note to Finland -- lighten up. Nokia was blind-sided in a classic disruptive innovation. 50 percent the fault of a Nokia management that didn't see it coming, while 50 percent was due to brilliant Apple execution.) Ultimately, Nokia's difficulties will turn out to be good news for Finnish entrepreneurs. They've stopped hiring the best talent, and startups are not looking so risky compared to large companies.

Nanny Culture, Lack of Risk Taking, Not Sharing
...There's a safety net in almost every part of one's public and private life--health insurance, free college tuition, unions, collective bargaining, fixed work hours, etc. And what's great for the mass of society--a government safety net verging on the ultimate nanny state--makes it impossible to fail. There isn't much of a killer instinct among the masses... By nature, Finns are not good at tolerating risk. This gets compounded by the cultural tendency not to share or talk in meetings, sometimes to the point of silence. This is a fundamental challenge in creating an entrepreneurial culture... 

Lessons Learned II
  • Finland is trying to engineer an entrepreneurial cluster as a National policy to drive economic growth through entrepreneurial ventures
  • They've gotten off to a good start with a start around Aalto University with passionate students
  • Startup incubators, business angels and VCs are starting to emerge
  • The country needs to figure out a long term privatization strategy for Venture investing
  • Finnish culture makes risk-taking and sharing hard
More from this link.

No comments: