Hi Oskari! What’s your background?
Now there’s a question I can’t give a short answer to. A business guy by education and a techie by experience.
Most recently I started Reaktor Ventures and lead it for six years. That’s how I met Aviv and Claus, the other Neverthink founders, in late 2016.
Before becoming an investor I lived through a few startup lifecycles. As a kid considering everything between literature and theoretical physics, in a last minute swerve I went to study business strategy at the Helsinki University of Technology (the alma mater of most Finnish startup founders). Coincidentally, the first course I took was in computer science and I discovered I really liked coding. The dotcom days were still hot in early 2000, and I landed a job at Iobox, the poster startup of that era in Finland. I got sucked into working full time and leaving studies on the back burner.
Iobox got acquired by Telefonica, the Spanish Telco operator. After a while a group of us started a new company that got acquired another year later by a Finnish company. The contrasts between startup hustle and the bureaucracy of big buyer organisations led me to the agile movement in its early days. We just wanted to get things done and evangelising process change was the way to get rid of obstacles.
I always just ran after what looked interesting and what needed to get done to move the big project forward. I started drifting out of hands-on coding to product management and strategic work. I also worked in business development and spun up a new product line at a telco equipment company. I spent some years as CTO at a startup before joining Reaktor, from where I found Neverthink.
What will you be working on at Neverthink? What are you most looking forward to?
I’m joining Neverthink as Co-Founder and COO, so most likely a bit of everything. Figuring out what we should do next.
Ever since the founding of the company, Aviv and I have spoken practically daily. Quite often the calls run into hours. We’re looking at internet culture evolving, keeping an eye on the big players’ new moves. Trying to understand why fans love Neverthink and how to get that across to new people.
What’s your passion outside of work?
I’ve never been particularly good at drawing that line. I love all kinds of outdoor action sports, but even there my mind is on work questions and I don’t mind it. I’ve skied all my life – always dreaming of deep, deep Japanese powder. I love to sail, the Finnish archipelago is a unique natural treasure on a global scale. I’m also racing around the buoys every week. It’s a fascinating team sport. I windsurf and kite every chance given. For ten years I was an active skydiver and instructor, but that I’ve had to give up because of lack of time.
But really, I’m a family guy. Our three children are all under school age, so home life is a good-humoured chaos. That’s where I’m happy.