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IAM404- Co-founder and Thought-Leader Makes Innovation Happen Through Software

Podcast Interview with Jesse Nieminen

Jesse (MSc.) is the Co-founder and Chairman for Viima, a rapidly growing innovation management software company. As a recognized thought-leader in innovation, he's written for some of the most important outlets in the field, in addition to being responsible for Viima’s own growth and innovation efforts.

Jesse’s versatile background combining technology, business, design, and leadership has taught him to effectively look at the big picture and help his team contribute in whichever areas they need to be focused on at any given point-in-time.

  • CEO Hack: Learning alot on ourselves
  • CEO Nugget: Focus on building processes
  • CEO Defined: Taking ownership of the organization and solving problems

Website: https://www.viima.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/viima

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessenieminen/


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Transcription

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:30

Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. Jesse Nieminen of Viima. Jesse, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jesse Nieminen 0:41

Thanks. It's my pleasure.

Gresham Harkless 0:42

No problem, super excited to have you on I told you I was gonna give your last name ago and I tried to do my best, I appreciate you bearing with me. But I wanted to read a little bit more about Jesse so you can hear all the awesome things that he's doing. Jesse (MSc.) is the Co-founder and Chairman of Viima, a rapidly growing innovation management software company. As a recognized thought leader in innovation, he's written for some of the most important outlets in the field, in addition to being responsible for Viima’s own growth and innovation efforts. Jesse’s versatile background combining technology, business, design, and leadership has taught him to effectively look at the big picture and help his team contribute in whichever areas they need to be focused on at any given point-in-time. Jesse, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Jesse Nieminen 1:25

Yeah. Thanks for the intro.

Gresham Harkless 1:27

No problem. So let's jump right in. I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Jesse Nieminen 1:35

Yeah, sure. So basically, I met my two Co-founders during our computer science studies, studies at the Helsinki University of Technology. And we quickly became friends. Having done quite a lot of projects together during our studies, we really thought it would be cool to trade and make a difference and start a company of our own. In the beginning, we didn't really have a specific idea in mind. We just wanted to help solve some problems with the skills we've learned during our studies. And then we also really wanted to learn what it took to build a scalable, modern software business. And then that's basically why we ended up starting the business. So that's how we got started and what motivated us in the beginning.

Gresham Harkless 2:14

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. And it's funny, because a lot of times, you hear about this kind of Startup Weekends and things like that, where you work with co-founders, and you get that opportunity to to see how they work together. But a lot of times when you start actually to build something in addition to the startup founder weekend, you don't necessarily know how they work. But it sounds like you guys had the opportunity to work together over and over again in the same study. So you had an idea of strengths and weaknesses and things like that.

Jesse Nieminen 2:41

Yeah, exactly. I think that that gave us really a great starting position because we already knew each other really well. And it wasn't just that we were friends, because that could have led to some unfortunate incidents if we hadn't worked together before that. So we had some practice with that. And that really helped.

Gresham Harkless 2:58

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So I wanted to drill a little bit deeper here a little bit more about Viima. Can you tell us exactly what you guys are doing?

Jesse Nieminen 3:05

Sure. So, like you mentioned in the bio, our product is basically a cloud-based innovation management software. And it helps companies drive innovation in their organization. In practice, that means that they use our tool to collect ideas, prioritize, and then develop those ideas and basically analyze the whole process to constantly get better and drive more innovation in the organization. We now have a few 1,000 organizations using our software all around the world, ranging from startups all the way to the Global Fortune 500. So that's kind of like a brief story of where we are today as well.

Gresham Harkless 3:40

Nice, I definitely appreciate that. And I think that anytime you're working in an organization, especially if you've had that organization, probably longer than two years or a year, especially with the way technology is moving, you always need to do some hacks and things to make sure that you are innovating on a regular basis, is that what you kind of find with a lot of the clients shoot in organizations you guys are working with?

Jesse Nieminen 4:02

Yeah, exactly. And the world is really moving so rapidly that there is hardly an industry where you don't have to innovate these days. So what we see a lot of our companies do is that they, we have some kind of what we call innovators, and who are really driving the innovation in their industry. But we also have a lot of companies as our customers who might have fallen behind a bit in the area where they've realized that they really need to catch up and really start innovating themselves as well. So that's what we lost. So really a big portion of our customers is really in that section as well.

Gresham Harkless 4:40

Nice. I definitely appreciate that because I think and you definitely correct me if I'm wrong because I know there's definitely your space, where some people feel like you either have it or you don't either have that innovation muscle or you don't but it sounds like from what you guys build and what you've studied. It's something that you can practice you can implement. It's something that you can learn if you I guess do it just like working out a muscle

Jesse Nieminen 5:00

Exactly, exactly. And well, basically how we define innovation is basically just the introduction of something new. Every company does that it's just a matter to what degree they do that how successfully they do that, and what the impact of introducing those changes and building new products or improving their processes, what the impact of actions are. And so it's definitely something that you can practice and get better at.

Gresham Harkless 5:25

Nice. I absolutely love that, especially the definition of introducing something new because we all have the ability to definitely do that. If we consider ourselves innovators, or even if we don't consider ourselves innovators. I definitely appreciate that. So I wanted to drill a little bit deeper, you might have already touched on this, but I want to hear a little bit more about what I call your secret sauce. And this can be for you or your organization, but what do you feel sets you apart?

Jesse Nieminen 5:47

Yeah. So if we basically look at the competition we have, in the innovation management software field, we see basically two main categories there. So on the one hand, you have these pretty simple ideation tools that are really focused on collecting ideas. And that's also where we really got started from. So we built this simple but visual and highly engaging tool that you can use to collect ideas from a specific group of people, maybe it's your customers, maybe it's your employees. But that's basically where we all started from. And while that's really good, most organizations don't really need more ideas, they just need better ways of managing those ideas and choosing the right ones to progress.

So that's kind of like there are a lot of challenges with just that specific model. Then on the other side, there are these big enterprise vendors that build solutions for facilitating the complex R&D processes that these really big Fortune 500 companies have for developing these new complex solutions for their customers as well. And what they've really started to realize, as I mentioned, the world is moving so fast that there's innovation everywhere, is that single R&D process is no longer enough to really drive all of their innovation needs, but they actually need to innovate across every part of their organization, they need to make their existing products better, during this incremental innovation they need to have better and more efficient internal processes for improving the efficiency of their business. And then they also really need to introduce those new products and disrupt the market themselves before someone else does that.

So there's really a wide variety of things they need to do. And there's no way that a single process that these traditional tools are built for can do that. So what we've done is we've realized that there is this gap between these two, and we build a really simple, yet very flexible and robust tool that can be quickly and effortlessly adapted to any innovation process. And it's something that you can take into us for free online in just a couple of minutes. And you can tailor that to your specific uses. And you can see that it actually drives value for you. And you don't have to like start on this year-long implementation process and commit to all that before you actually see any results. So we really wanted to make it a no-brainer for companies to start using our software.

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Gresham Harkless 8:12

Yeah, definitely appreciate that. It's funny when you were talking about the aspects of the tool that you guys have built, I'm sure people are listening, they're like, oh my gosh, it sounds like so much stuff to do to try to implement it in our existing products, try to come up with new products, try to innovate in the HR industry and in this industry and that industry. So it's really great that you've been able to combine all those tools and make it seamless and easy for everybody to kind of execute.

Jesse Nieminen 8:36

Yeah, and that's what we also really recommend our customers to do is to start simple, because you can't really do all of that at once you have to start somewhere and you pick something that's really an urgent thing that you need to focus on right now. And you start with that and you can start driving smaller incremental innovation in that area. And then you can start building on top of that, once you have that momentum and your organization kind of starts to develop those innovation muscles gradually

Gresham Harkless 9:06

That makes perfect sense. The same goes for the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So just take those small bites and say you have eaten the entire elephant and you are an innovative company. So I appreciate that a tremendous amount. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an app or book or a habit that you have or maybe even more about the tool that you guys have built. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Jesse Nieminen 9:30

So for me, the biggest thing definitely is just learning. So when we started, we were really just out of school, and then we were really finishing our studies even at that point. So we didn't really have that much experience even though we had worked in the industry before. But still, we were really quiet. We didn't really have most of the skills that you really needed to build that scalable software company. So we had to learn a lot during the first years that we were in business. And that really taught us to continue that continuous learning process that we were used to, from our studies, but then build and encircling that. Not just regarding computer science and software engineering, but across all the different aspects of the business.

So learning about all the accounting, the marketing, the sales of the organizational stuff, leadership, management, and obviously, innovation, which is the industry that we're in, and then really start learning all over. On all of the aspects of the business, whatever was the most urgent problem, we had to learn to do that ourselves. And because we didn't really have the means to buy expertise, or hire experts for all those areas. So we had to learn a lot of that stuff ourselves. So that's something that I really found useful.

Gresham Harkless 9:40

Yeah, that makes sense. It's funny that sometimes you study things in school, whether it be business or learning how to start a business, or whatever it might be, and then you get into the quote, unquote, real world, and then you realize that you have to do even more learning than you probably had to do. That is just because, as you said, technology and things are changing so rapidly you have to actually put it into your specific business. So there are certain things that have moving parts that you have to connect from there. So it's a constant learning experience, even after school and when you are running the business, because there are so many different moving parts.

Jesse Nieminen 11:24

Exactly. And the more you learn, the more you know that there's more to learn. And that's also what happens, there's so much more to learn. And I guess what they say is that the more you learn, the less you know.

Gresham Harkless 11:38

There you go. That makes perfect sense. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you could happen to be a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Jesse Nieminen 11:50

Yeah, so as I mentioned in the beginning, we were a bootstraps company. So we didn't really have the means to really hire people in the beginning. And we had to, for the couple of first years and in business, we had to basically work part-time in another company, as a day job to finance the company. And it was just the three of us in the business. So we've really learned to do all of this stuff ourselves. But then when we started to build the organization, and we had more customers and more traction, then what we struggled a bit was that having this engineering background, and that basic background of doing things ourselves, we all love solving problems with that engineering background.

But we tended to focus a bit too much on doing that stuff ourselves, instead of building the organization and the systems and processes for making it scalable. And we realized that fortunately, really quickly, but it's still something we occasionally struggle with. And I really can't stress the value of focusing on building those processes, building the organization, and hiring the right people. So I think that's a really big part of that.

Gresham Harkless 13:00

And so I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So Jesse, what has being a CEO meant to you?

Jesse Nieminen 13:10

Well, for me, it's basically about taking absolute ownership of your organization, and basically, its success. So it's really challenging because the mindset you have to take is that all of the problems you see are basically your fault. And you have to think about what you can do to fix those. And that's what also makes it so rewarding is that you have the ability to actually get to those problems and sort them out and try to get the organization to a better place.

A lot of times, there are people in your that really inhibit you from doing that when you're in a larger organization. And there are multiple layers of people above you. Oftentimes, they have good reasons for doing that. And oftentimes, they might not. So it depends, but when you're leading your own company, that's basically what you really have to take, is that absolute ownership for the organization.

Gresham Harkless 14:05

Yes, absolutely. I love that perspective in that definition, because you have to tap into your inner engineer, so to speak, and be able to solve those problems and figure out whatever those are from an actual practical standpoint of engineering, but also from employees and making sure they're motivated and make sure you're bringing on the right people with all those engineering mindset you need to take to those aspects of your business. So I definitely appreciate that perspective.

Jesse Nieminen 14:29

Yeah. And it might not always be problems, it's also opportunities. So how can you tackle the needs of your customers or the development of the market in general, as well, but still, it's the same kind of problem-solving mentality for that as well.

Gresham Harkless 14:46

Exactly. And I guess there's a saying that goes a lot of times, the biggest opportunities are dressed up as problems. So if you're able to solve that it provides a tremendous opportunity for your organization or your business team members and so on and so forth. So Jesse, I truly appreciate your time appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing and spending some time with us today, what I wanted to do was pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get ahold of you to find out about all the awesome things you're doing. And of course, download the software.

Jesse Nieminen 15:17

Yeah, my pleasure. So thanks for having me on the show. And thanks for the opportunity. So I think if you want to learn more about Viima, then the address is viima.com. And that's where you can also sign up for the accessible version of our software. So if you're interested in what we do, the best way to see what's going on is to actually sign up and test it for yourself, it doesn't cost you anything and takes just a few minutes.

So that's what I would recommend you to do. If that's something you're interested in. And for contacting me. If you're on social media, then LinkedIn is probably the best bet. That's where I'm the most active, you'll find me with my name, and we'll have that guest on the show notes for people to see. And then my email is jesse@viima.com. So you can also reach out to me directly with that as well.

Gresham Harkless 16:06

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jesse. And as you mentioned, we will have those links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. I appreciate your time. Appreciate all the awesome things you're doing especially in that innovation space where we all are craving to be experts. And so thank you so much and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:22

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:30

Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today of Jesse Nieminen of Viima. Jesse, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jesse Nieminen 0:41

Thanks. It's my pleasure.

Gresham Harkless 0:42

No problem, super excited to have you on and I told you I was gonna give your last name ago and I tried to do my best, I appreciate you bearing with me. But I wanted to read a little bit more about Jesse so you can hear all the awesome things that he's doing. And Jesse (MSc.) is the Co-founder and Chairman for Viima, a rapidly growing innovation management software company. As a recognized thought-leader in innovation, he's written for some of the most important outlets in the field, in addition to being responsible for Viima’s own growth and innovation efforts. Jesse’s versatile background combining technology, business, design, and leadership has taught him to effectively look at the big picture and help his team contribute in whichever areas they need to be focused on at any given point-in-time. Jesse, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Jesse Nieminen 1:25

Yeah. Thanks for the intro.

Gresham Harkless 1:27

No problem. So let's jump right in. I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Jesse Nieminen 1:35

Yeah, sure. So basically, I met my two Co founders during our computer science studies, studies at the Helsinki University of Technology. And we quickly became friends. And having done quite a lot of projects together during our studies, we really thought it would be cool to trade and make a difference and start a company of our own. In the beginning, we didn't really have a specific idea in mind. We just wanted to help solve some problems with the skills we've learned during our studies. And then we also really wanted to learn what it took to build a scalable, modern software business. And then that's basically why we ended up starting the business. So that's how we got started and what motivated us in the beginning.

Gresham Harkless 2:14

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. And it's funny, because a lot of times, you hear about these kind of Startup Weekends and things like that, where you work with co founders, and you get that opportunity to to see how they work together. But a lot of times when you start to actually build something in addition to the the startup founder weekend, you don't necessarily know how they work. But it sounds like you guys had the opportunity to work together over and over again in the same study. So you had an idea of strengths and weaknesses and things like that.

Jesse Nieminen 2:41

Yeah, exactly. I think that that gave us really a great starting position, because we already knew each other really well. And it wasn't just that we were friends, because that could have led to some unfortunate incidents, if we hadn't worked together before of that. So we had some practice with that. And that really helped.

Gresham Harkless 2:58

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So I wanted to drill a little bit deeper here a little bit more about Viima. Can you tell us exactly what you guys are doing?

Jesse Nieminen 3:05

Sure. So, like you mentioned in the bio, our product is basically a cloud based innovation management software. And it helps companies drive innovation in their organisation. In practice, that means that they use our tool to collect ideas, prioritise, and then develop those ideas and basically analyse the whole process to constantly get better and drive more innovation in the organisation. We now have a few 1000 organisations using our software all around the world, ranging from startups all the way to the Global Fortune 500. So that's kind of like a brief story of where we are today as well.

Gresham Harkless 3:40

Nice, I definitely appreciate that. And I think that anytime you're working in an organisation, especially if you've had that organisation, probably longer than two years or a year, especially with the way technology is moving, you always need to do some hacks and things to make sure that you are innovating on a regular basis, is that what you kind of find with a lot of the clients shoot in organisations you guys are working with?

Jesse Nieminen 4:02

Yeah, exactly. And the world is really moving so rapidly that there is hardly an industry where you don't have to innovate these days. So what we see a lot of our companies do is that they, we have some kind of what we call innovators, and who are really driving the innovation in their industry. But we also have a lot of companies as our customers who might have fallen behind a bit in the area where they've realised that they really need to catch up and really start innovating themselves as well. So that's what we lost. So really a big portion of our customers is really in that section as well.

Gresham Harkless 4:40

Nice. I definitely appreciate that because I think and you definitely correct me if I'm wrong, because I know there's definitely your space, where some people feel like you either have it or you don't either have that innovation muscle or you don't but it sounds like from what you guys build and what you've studied. It's something that you can practice you can implement. It's something that you can learn if you I guess to do it just like working out a muscle

Jesse Nieminen 5:00

Exactly, exactly. And well, basically how we define innovation is basically just the introduction of something new. And every company does that it's just a matter to what degree they do that and how successfully they do that, and what the impact of introducing those changes and building new products or improving their processes, what the impact of those actions are. And so it's definitely something that you can practice and get better at.

Gresham Harkless 5:25

Nice. I absolutely love that, especially the definition of introducing something new because we all have the ability to definitely do that. If we consider ourselves innovators, or even if we don't consider ourselves innovators. I definitely appreciate that. So I wanted to drill a little bit deeper, you might have already touched on this, but I want to hear a little bit more about what I call your secret sauce. And this can be for you or your organisation, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart?

Jesse Nieminen 5:47

Yeah. So if we basically look at the competition we have, in the innovation management software field, we see basically two main categories there. So on the one hand, you have these pretty simple ideation tools that are really focused on collecting ideas. And that's also where we really got started from. So we built this simple but visual and highly engaging tool that you can use to collect ideas from a specific group of people, maybe it's your customers, maybe it's your employees. But that's basically where we all started from. And while that's really good, most organisations don't really need more ideas, they just need better ways of managing those ideas and choosing the right ones to progress. So that's kind of like there are a lot of challenges with with just that that specific model. Then on the other side, there are these big enterprise vendors that build solutions for facilitating the complex r&d processes that these really big fortune 500 companies have for developing these new complex solutions for their customers as well. And what they've really started to realise, like I mentioned, the world is moving so fast that there's innovation everywhere, is that single r&d process is no longer enough to really drive all of their innovation needs, but they actually need to innovate across every part of their organisation, they need to make their existing products better, during these incremental innovation they need to have better and more efficient internal processes for improving the efficiency of their business. And then they also really need to introduce those new products and disrupt the market themselves before someone else does that. So there's really a wide variety of things they need to do. And there's no way that a single process that this traditional tools are built for can do that. So what we've done is we've realised that there is this gap between these two, and we build a really simple, yet very flexible and robust tool that can be quickly and effortlessly adapted to any innovation process. And it's something that you can take into us for free online in just a couple of minutes. And you can tailor that to your specific uses. And you can see that it actually drives value for you. And you don't have to like start on this year long implementation process and commit to all that before you actually see any results. So we really wanted to make it a no brainer for companies to start using our software.

Gresham Harkless 8:12

Yeah, definitely appreciate that. It's funny, when you were talking about the aspects of the tool that you guys have built, I'm sure people are listening, they're like, oh my gosh, it sounds like so much stuff to do to try to implement it in our existing products, try to come up with new products, try to innovate in the HR industry and in this industry and that industry. So it's really great that you've been able to combine all those tools and make it seamless and easy for everybody to kind of execute on.

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Jesse Nieminen 8:36

Yeah, and that's what we also really recommend our customers to do is to start simple, because you can't really do all of that at once you have to start somewhere and you pick something that's really an urgent thing that you need to focus on right now. And you start with that and you can start driving smaller incremental innovation in that area. And then you can start building on top of that, once you have that momentum and your organisation kind of starts to develop those innovation muscles gradually

Gresham Harkless 9:06

that makes perfect sense. The same goes that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So just taking those small bites and saying you have eaten the entire elephant and you are an innovative company. So I appreciate that a tremendous amount. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or book or a habit that you have or maybe even more about your tool that you guys have built. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Jesse Nieminen 9:30

So for me, the biggest thing definitely is just learning. So when we started, we were really just out of school, and then we were really finishing our studies even at that point. So we didn't really have that much experience even though we had worked in the industry before. But still, we were really quite. We didn't really have most of the skills that you really needed to build that scalable software company. So we had to learn a lot during the first years that we were in business. And that really taught us to continue that continuous learning process that we were used to, from our studies, but then build and encircling that. Not just regarding computer science and software engineering, but across all the different aspects of the business. So learning about all the accounting, the marketing, the sales of the organisational stuff, leadership, management, and obviously, innovation, which is the industry that we're in, and then really start learning all over. On all of the aspects of the business, whatever was the most urgent problem, we have to learn to do that ourselves. And because we didn't really have the means to buy expertise, or hire experts for all those areas. So we had to learn a lot of that stuff ourselves. So that's something that I really found useful.

Gresham Harkless 9:40

Yeah, that makes sense. It's funny that sometimes you study things in school, whether it be business or learning how to start a business, or whatever it might be, and then you get into the quote, unquote, real world, and then you realise that you have to do even more learning than you probably had to do. That is just because, like you said, technology and things are changing so rapidly you have to actually put it in to your specific business. So there's certain things that have moving parts that you have to connect from there. So it's a constant learning experience, even after school and when you are running the business, because there's so many different moving parts.

Jesse Nieminen 11:24

Exactly. And the more you learn, the more you know that there's more to learn so. And that's also what happens, there's so much more to learn. And I guess what they say is that the more you learn, the less you know.

Gresham Harkless 11:38

There you go. That makes perfect sense. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Jesse Nieminen 11:50

Yeah, so as I mentioned in the beginning, we were bootstraps company. So we didn't really have the means to really hire people in the beginning. And we had to, for the couple of first years and in business, we had to basically work part time in another company, as a day job to finance the company. And it was just the three of us in the business. So we've really learned to do all of this stuff ourselves. But then when we started to building the organisation, and we had more customers and more traction, then what we struggled a bit was that having this engineering background, and that basically background of doing things ourselves, we all love solving problems with that engineering background, but we tended to focus a bit too much on doing doing that stuff ourselves, instead of building the organisation and the systems and processes for making it scalable. And we realised that fortunately, really quickly, but it's still something that we occasionally struggle with. And I really can't stress the value of focusing on building that those processes and building the organisation and hiring the right people enough. So I think that's a really big part of that.

Gresham Harkless 13:00

And so I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So Jesse, what has been a CEO mean to you?

Jesse Nieminen 13:10

Well, for me, it's basically about taking absolute ownership for your organisation, and basically, its success. So it's really challenging, because the mindset you have to take is that all of the problems you see are basically your fault. And you have to think about what you can do to fix those. And that's what also makes it so rewarding is that you have the ability to actually get to those problems and sort them out and and try to get the organisation to a better place. Because a lot of times, there are people in your that really inhibit you from doing that when you're in a larger organisation. And there are multiple layers of people above you. Oftentimes, they have good reasons for doing that. And oftentimes, they might not. So it depends, but when you're leading your own company, that's basically what you really have to take, is that absolute ownership for the organisation.

Gresham Harkless 14:05

Yes, absolutely. I love that perspective in that definition, because you have to tap into your inner engineer, so to speak, and be able to solve those problems and figure out whatever those are from an actual practical standpoint of engineering, but also from employees and making sure they're motivated and make sure you're bringing on the right people with all those engineering mindset you need to take to those aspects of your business. So I definitely appreciate that perspective.

Jesse Nieminen 14:29

Yeah. And it might not always be problems, it's also opportunities. So how can you tackle the needs of your customers or the development of the market in general, as well, but still, it's the same kind of problem solving mentality for that as well.

Gresham Harkless 14:46

Exactly. And I guess there's a saying that goes a lot of times, the biggest opportunities are dressed up as problems. So if you're able to solve that it provides a tremendous opportunity for your organisation or your business team members and so on and so forth. So Jesse, I truly appreciate your time appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing and spend some time with us today, what I wanted to do was pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get ahold of you find out about all the awesome things you're doing. And of course, download the software.

Jesse Nieminen 15:17

Yeah, my pleasure. So thanks for having me on the show. And thanks for the opportunity. So I think if you want to learn more about Viima, then the address is viima.com. And that's where you can also sign up for the free version of our software. So if you're interested in what we do, the best way to see what's going on is to actually sign up and test it for yourself, it doesn't cost you anything and takes just a few minutes. So that's what I would recommend you to do. If that's something you're interested in. And for contacting me. If you're on social media, then LinkedIn is probably the best bet. That's where I'm the most active, you'll find me with my name, we'll have that guest on the show notes for people to see. And then my email is jesse@viima.com. So you can also reach out to me directly with that as well.

Gresham Harkless 16:06

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jesse. And like you mentioned, we will have those links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. I appreciate your time. Appreciate all the awesome things you're doing especially in that innovation space that we all are craving to be experts. And so thank you so much and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:22

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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