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Aaltoes Talk with Mårten Mickos
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Aaltoes Talk with Mårten Mickos






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    Aaltoes Talk with Mårten Mickos Aaltoes Talk with Mårten Mickos Presentation Transcript

    • Starting a Business Mårten G Mickos Otaniemi 15 Dec 2009 Aalto Entrepreneurship Society
    • Here’s to a lot of failure!
    • MySQL 2001-2008
      • 2001
        • a dozen people
        • less than $1m in sales
        • leading open source DBMS (4m installs)
        • niche player
        • valued at $7m
      • 2008
        • 400 employees
        • about $100m in sales
        • leading open source DBMS (11m installs)
        • leading player
        • valued at $1bn (original founders’ shares grew 40x – from $7m to $280m)
    • "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." — Winston Churchill
    • About Mårten Mickos
      • Born 1962 in Otaniemi, Finland
      • M.Sc. (Eng) in technical physics from TKK
      • [email_address]
      • www.twitter.com/martenmickos
      • Founded Polycon in 1987 with 2 friends
      • VTKK 1991-1993
      • ViSolutions 1993-1995
      • Solid Information Technology 1995-1997
      • Intellitel Communications 1997-1999
      • MatchON Sports 1999-2000
      • Vexillum 2000-2001
      • MySQL AB 2001-2008, Sun 2008-2009
    • Keep going 1 2 Ambition Outcome 3 4 5 6 7 8
    • "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." — Michelangelo
    • Starting Your itch / your passion A real market demand with a window of opportunity + Fail fast Scale fast => Don’t worry – be crappy
    • When is the right time?
      • Are *you* ready?
      • The importance of the S curve
      • First-mover advantage?
      • Many entrepreneurs start too early in the window of opportunity
    • Driven by what?
      • History
      • Technology
      • Ego
      • Greed
      • Patriotism
      • Opportunity
      • Customers
      • Markets
      • etc.
    • Growing a business FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS. Pick the business that you want to be in. Period. Everything else is out of mind. Done. Finished. Gone. Just get on with it!
    • Stockdale paradox = sisu
      • Pure optimists don’t survive
        • ” Don’t believe your own PR”
      • Pure pessimists don’t survive
        • "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." - Henry Ford
      • “ You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” — Admiral Jim Stockdale (POW in Vietnam)
    • Being a startup CEO
      • Knowing & accepting yourself
      • More humility than ego
      • Faith in people
      • Visionary & contagious optimism coupled with sustained ability to face the brutal truth
      • Ability to hire the best
      • Listening & experimenting
      • Inexperience can be a great asset
      • Ability to be engaged in making things happen, coupled with ability to detach and see the helicopter view
      • Relentless drive towards goals
      • Remember, it is a lonely job to be the CEO.
    • Effective executive by Peter Drucker
      • Great managers may be charismatic or dull, generous or tightfisted, visionary or numbers oriented. But every effective executive follows eight simple practices.
      • 1. They ask “What needs to be done?”
      • 2. They ask “What is right for the enterprise?”
      • 3. They develop action plans
      • 4. They take responsibility for decisions
      • 5. They take responsibility for communicating
      • 6. They are focused on opportunities rather than problems
      • 7. They run productive meetings
      • 8. They think and say “we” rather than “I”
    • Effective team (by mgm)
      • Great executive teams may be aggressive or conservative, intuitive or calculating, conflicted or harmonious. But every effective executive team follows eight practices:
      • Team members ask each other "How can I support you?"
      • Team members hold each other accountable while also allowing each one to show vulnerability.
      • The team practices open and authentic communication.
      • The team arrives at key decisions together through discussion, debate, and synthesis.
      • The team has fun.
      • Team members see success of the whole team as the best form of success.
      • The team operates at a strategic level and empowers the organization around them to make and execute operational decisions.
      • Each team member builds his/her own teams following these principles.
    • Thoughts on success
      • Shoot for the stars. Even if you fail, you’ll land on the moon.
      • Succeed in spite of your background, not thanks to it
      • Assets can turn into liabilities in an instance; liabilities can turn into assets over a long time
      • There are innumerable ways to fail, but there is also always more than one way to succeed
      • Quotes
        • "Fall seven times; stand up eight." — Japanese proverb
        • "I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." — Michael Jordan
        • "Full effort is full victory." — Mahatma Gandhi
    • Easy ways to fail
      • “ The market is so big that 1% is enough for us.”
      • “ Actually, there are no competitors.”
      • “ Our product does, among other things, everything.”
      • Greed, fear
      • Falling in love with a product or idea, believing your own PR, not knowing your place
      • Lack of patience and endurance
      • Misjudging the scale of the challenge
      • Lack of “Excel Gymnastics”
      • Inability to deal with people
      • Not solving the customer’s problem
      • Not listening, not experimenting
      • Not removing toxic individuals
      • Failing to act on early signals
      • Blindly believing ”experts”
      and many more ...
    • Thank you! Please start great businesses. [email_address]