Godspeed, Risto!

Today had an awesome opportunity to discuss directly with a person who has made one of the biggest impact on me in the past years, the coding entrepreneur, hope of the nation, even of the world, the one building deep bridges between China, Finland and the world, the Nokia chairman and F-secure founder, Mr. Risto Siilasmaa.

To many he’s obviously one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, but he is also a supporter of entrepreneurs. His passion is to grow and support young startups and entrepreneurs forward through Finnish startup community and wide network. I’ve rarely ever seen people who touch and hit to your bones as powerfully as Risto.

Was very privileged today to hear over an hour of views and ideas on a Shanghai Intercontinental on how to build my own business, network and fulfil my goals and entrepreneurial dreams. But I don’t feel like talking to one of the richest and most successful entrepreneurs of the world, but more like a Godfather, who genuinely wants to support you forward. Dale Carnegie, become genuinely interested about people. Whether you’re Risto Siilasmaa, Jack Ma or Hiroshi Mikitani, they all have the same ability to connect with people on a powerful way and create great amount of trust.  All is based on it.

Risto is also an example of a super balanced guy, he has really great family background and support network that keeps him going. But somehow I at times feel that – does he envy these young people who have everything in front of them? Who face all the insecurity, challenges and even fears – but still go forward. How did a 22-year old Risto at F-secure’s predecessor feel when drinking beer with peers with feet on the table and do something they loved?

Risto has failed also a couple of times, but that doesn’t seem to shake him up. He listens to people very genuinely and carefully and wants to see them succeed. I got that feedback also. I need direction, for sure. Great people can also be humble and respect young talents forward. It’s good change for normal routines, keep you better close to the ground, keeps your energy level more up – and gives chances to widen up your business network. Because some of these are going to make it, sometimes even big. And make some fortunes too. But still I believe the goal for Risto is more personal and fun, than only business motivated.

Cool, great discussions, breathtaking advice and analysis and a moment outside of everything. I recalled a magic moment at Slush China 2015 when we were making impossible possible and took Risto to a tour-de-force into every place at the venue then. There’s something that really clicked and touched. And I’m so happy and genuinely happy to see that that bond is still there and seems to just keep growing and deepening.

My mother always borrowed a powerful quote from the past: “I have the right to surround myself with people who help my spiritual and mental growth.”

That goes both to business and private. And you don’t need to go further than look at Risto Siilasmaa and see that he has fully understood that – it all is based on trust.

I am also more than happy to surround myself with Risto. You cannot surround yourself with many Ristos – because he’s very unique and there are not many of likes.

When coming back home and looking at my girl I felt the same way – people who impact and who you can truly trust are very rare.

Risto said the same thing: “Stick to them and keep them close.”

One of the 12 great advice on him. Hopefully 20-30 years from now on I have also learnt Risto’s skill on building trust and impacting in the society on a level rare people do.

Best of luck and godspeed Risto, you don’t shake just companies, countries and CEO’s around the world, you shake also the thinking, the mindset and hearts of the next generation of entrepreneurs who’ve just started to climb the tree and build their own basis to thrive from.




P.S. Had a good soft landing back to Hangzhou after the Risto meeting. Directly to the Hangzhou government and Foreign Affairs office to discuss about the practicalities on mayor’s meeting next month. Not easy to make things smooth and coordinated on a multi-cultural and multi-process environment, but it works and goes forward with determined steps. I love China, no doubt about it. Hard work in many areas continue.



P.P.S. Good luck and congrats for Slush Singapore. An awesome achievement to repeat the last year’s success, great job from the new team. Hope many new Finnish and foreign companies get an inspiration to come to Asia and vice-versa.

Keep it up!


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