Perttu Ojansuu is the CEO as well as one of the co-founders of Happeo. Said company offers an intranet solution for companies that now have to accommodate large numbers of employees who are working remotely rather than on-site. So far, Happeo has managed to raise $47 million in venture capital, which is a reflection of its potential as well as the broader interest in HR tech.
1. This Isn't the First Company that He Has Founded
Happeo isn't the first company that Ojansuu has either founded or co-founded. Instead, that would be Gapps Oy, which is now the single biggest Google Cloud provider that can be found in Finland. As such, it seems safe to say that said company is a success.
2. Now a Member of the Board of Directors for Gapps Oy
Since Ojansuu is now running Happeo, it should come as no surprise to learn that he has a much reduced role with Gapps Oy. Specifically, he is now just a member of its Board of Directors, meaning that he isn't involved with how the company is run on a day-to-day basis at all.
3. Based Out of Amsterdam
Ojansuu seems to be based out of Amsterdam at the moment. This is because Happeo has its headquarters in the capital of the Netherlands. Nowadays, Amsterdam is still a center of culture, finance, and economics. On top of that, it is one of the most multicultural cities in the entire world. As such, there are very good reasons why a lot of other tech companies have their headquarters in the city as well.
4. Not the Kind of Person Who Talks On and On
There are plenty of stereotypes about entrepreneurs. To name an example, they are often seen as people with very forceful personalities who will talk on and on about what they have in mind about not just their start-ups but also other matters that interest them. Apparently, Ojansuu leans into a very different set of stereotypes about Scandinavian entrepreneurs. In his case, he is the kind of person who spends more time thinking and listening than talking, which is by no means a bad thing. After all, different people have different leadership styles that can nonetheless work out very well.
5. Prefers Consistency Over Speed
Speaking of which, Ojansuu is also said to be the kind of person who prefers consistency over speed. Once again, that can be considered an example of him going against some of the more common stereotypes for entrepreneurs. The latter are often presented as rushing towards success as fast as possible, not least because a lot of people enjoy the heightened drama of overnight success stories more than staid accounts of start-ups building their way towards that point bit by bit. Of course, the reality of things is much more complicated than that, particularly since it is a well-understood fact that a strong foundation makes a company much sturdier than otherwise possible.
6. Still Enjoys Winning
Unsurprisingly, Ojansuu still enjoys winning for much the same reasons as other people. However, his enjoyment of winning is tempered with the knowledge of how to handle losing. Something that Ojansuu attributes to sports as well as other small competitions for small stakes from his childhood. Thanks to that, he sees the world as being filled with opportunities. The critical part is that while he is more than happy to head out in pursuit of these opportunities, he isn't so intent on winning that he is willing to sacrifice everything else for it. Most people would say that is a healthy attitude to take towards things.
7. Some of This Attitude Is Strategic
Having said that, some of Ojansuu's stance is strategic in nature. Essentially, being too intent on winning can cause people to fight battles that are unwise for one reason or another. Sometimes, it causes people to fight battles that they can't win, which can be particularly dangerous for entrepreneurs because start-ups are more fragile than their established competitors by definition. Other times, it causes people to fight battles that never needed to be fought, with the result that they waste resources for no purpose whatsoever. That kind of approach can be very problematic for pretty much any kind of leader, not least because that can alienate the subordinates that they are reliant upon to actually do anything.
8. Sees Communication As Being Very Important
Ojansuu sees communication as being very important for companies. This is perhaps unsurprising considering that much of Happeo's product can be described as facilitating internal communications for commercial clients. To name an example, Ojansuu has stated that companies that limit themselves to just top-down communication is bound to experience personnel issues because it. Essentially, his thinking is that such policies make people less engaged with their work. Thanks to that, they will become less productive than otherwise possible. Moreover, people will be likelier to leave as well, which will mean extra costs for hiring and training replacements.
9. His Current Position Has Three Focuses
Currently, Ojansuu is the CEO of Happeo. He has said that his position has three focuses to it. First, he is apparently very involved in the company's hiring. Second, he is involved in helping his subordinates succeed with respect to their responsibilities. Third, he is responsible for planning out the company's overall course of action before communicating that to the people of his company.
10. His Company Is Facing Formidable Challenges
There are some start-ups that are so on the cutting edge of things that they are capable of shaping the environment in which they operate to a considerable extent. However, most companies aren't so lucky. Instead, they enter into fields that already have established competitors. Ojansuu's Happeo is very much an example of the latter. After all, intranet solutions aren't really a new thing. In fact, Happeo faces some very well-known names in the form of both Google and Microsoft. On top of this, his company has to face the same challenges as its competitors, with an excellent example being overcoming the perception that intranet services are neither useful nor pleasant to use. Still, Ojansuu's Happeo seems to be doing well enough, if only because it has just raised $26 million from a Series B funding round.
Written by Allen Lee
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