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It’s time to brag

In this week’s column, Pekka Walkama encourages everyone to brag for software from Finland.

Put a Finn, a Swede and an American into a sauna. Now take a guess, who’s going to brag the most?

We Finns are known for our expertise in digital technology, but we don’t brag. We might have the skills and superior software, but we don’t make a big deal about it.

The modest Finn, who doesn’t brag, is such an old stereotype. Yet, in many cases, it’s still so very true. For example, where is the sisu, or the grit, when it comes to international marketing? Especially in B2B marketing.

I remember, a few years back, my colleagues and I stared at a map. The idea of going abroad with an idea, Valo Intranet, and a few PowerPoint slides was intimidating.

Now, some years later with 120 partners in over 30 countries, I can say this: don’t hesitate, just go find your blue ocean. Remember, there is also life outside of Silicon Valley.

Let’s think big. We have all it takes to become a leading country in developing digital business solutions and platforms. All we need is an audience and some boost to our marketing efforts.

The potential is huge. For example, at the heart of every digital, intelligent business solution is data. At the moment, only 0.5 per cent of all the data in the world is analysed. The math is easy. There is some serious business to be made with data.

For many years, digitalisation has been like an unconfident teenager, with words bigger than the actual deeds. Now, finally, the curious teenager is on the verge of adulthood. Even traditional companies have started to build their own software.

We are on our way to a platform economy, driven by data. The point is this: Finnish software is innovative, honest, secure and uncompromised. That’s just how it is. We should be proud of this.

At the opening ceremony of Slush 2017, the Slush community gave a gift for the 100-year-old Finland. The gift was hashtag #BragForFinland. The idea was to encourage Finns to say out loud how awesome we are.

I’ll leave you with another hashtag: #SoftwareFromFinland. At the Finnish Software Industry and Entrepreneur Association we support our members to go global and share their success stories. With this hashtag, Finnish software companies can express their passion for the industry and for Finnish quality engineering.

Because we’re awesome. Right? #BragForFinland. #SoftwareFromFinland.

Published on 01.02.2018