Personally I recognize the need for entrepreneurial leadership in order to achieve success in any organization. My work experience is both from a Family Business, a big financial institution as well as working as Partner at a Service Design agency. More recently I have been working as advisor and investor in a few Finnish startups. The style of leadership may vary in different organizations, but a startup is no different from an established firm. The reasons for success of Apple are often listed to include the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the staff its late CEO Steve Jobs. The same can be said about Tesla Motors and its CEO Elon Musk. Both of these CEO's have been extremely innovative and demanding. Elon Musk has been quoted as saying: "Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour weeks... you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve." Obviously this kind of entrepreneurial leadership implies that the whole workforce must be inspired to put in their best effort and believe in the vision shared by its leader. No firm is a one-man band.
I am currently actively involved in five Finnish startups in different fields of business. My investments focus mainly on Cleantech, Corporate Responsibility, as well as ecological products and services based on sustainable business. In any startup the core team is the most important asset. A unique idea is a good start, but its implementation and timing are crucial to success. It is here that the Lean Startup method and validated learning can help the startup find success sooner rather than later. This method is applied in the business development of Plantui, a Design & Food Tech company. Certainly we have made a few mistakes in the case of Plantui since it was founded in 2012, however, we are trying to learn as fast as we can and hopefully it will bring us good results in the near future. For a full presentation of Case Plantui please refer to the keynote held at Creative Business Camp last week. At the event we actually managed to engage the audience and received many useful ideas that we will evaluate. Co-creation of new products and services always involves working with current and potential customers.