Somehow Minecraft continues to sneak its way further and further into the public conscious and nowhere is that more evident that in Markus ‘Notch’ Persson’s recent appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. We’re not really used to seeing Nordic games designers on the US chat show circuit, their plumper behinds creasing the leather seats more accustomed to cradling the beautiful bottoms of stars of screen both big and small. It's strange and a little disconcerting, perhaps we can write this off as a freak occurrence but perhaps this is another sign of the way video gaming is becoming more and more a normal part of mainstream life.
Lifeline Ventures' Timo Ahopelto recently published a book in Finnish, titled Sand Hill Road, which captures the journey of an international entrepreneur. We got in touch with him with a few questions.
AS: What's the elevator pitch… or uhh back cover synopsis?
Ahopelto: The story is 70% true. In 2000, straight out of school, I founded CRF Health with two of my friends. It was quite a story: three guys want to become the best in the world in electronic data capture in clinical trials, willing to risk and sacrifice everything for that goal. It is an action story with great depth in how we all should understand that no-one -- even the strongest entrepreneur -- cannot survive without other people's love, caring and help. It tells company's story from founding to Silicon Valley. Today, CRF Health is doing great: it is #1 in its industry, making some €60 million in revenues, and very healthy 15% profits on that revenue, with 20-30% annual growth.
Silicon Valley Journey - Experience of Finnish IT Startups from Dot-Com to 2010 is a new book published just recently that delves into the secrets of Silicon Valley from the Finnish perspective. It's written by Raija Rapo and Marita Seulamo-Vargas, two Finnish business journalist residing in the Silicon Valley. Pekka Pärnänen of Finnode had also his fingers in the pie in making the book happen. The book is at the same time a guide to how to go about entering the Valley with your startup and a window into the history of Finnish technology entrepreneurship. At least into the history of those who were ambitious enough to try to enter the infamous Bay Area.
When I got the draft copy of the book I thought I would find it boring as I already know most of this stuff. How wrong was I. Come page 20 or so and I had lost track on time and didn't even notice how the war stories and historical accounts had sucked me in. Although admittedly you need to be into technology entrepreneurship to find the book interesting, but given where you're reading this article I think you are just the right type.