Happeo’s Origin Story with Perttu Ojansuu
This week, we sat down to capture a meeting of two CEOs: Damson Cloud’s Fintan Murphy and Happeo’s Perttu Ojansuu. We talk about the origins of Happeo, his path towards entrepreneurship and the importance of passion in business success. Check out the full video above and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!
The Superpower of Choice
Working at the helm of a large tech company requires a certain catalogue of skills. However, that doesn’t stop us fantasising about having superpowers – and Perttu’s choice of super power is particularly selfless. “I’m never sick, but if I could have the power to heal people, that would be cool,” he laughs, “and we are about making peoples’ lives happier and more productive. Think about how productive we could be if we didn’t get sick!”
Whilst this was intended as a classic ‘icebreaker’ question, Perttu highlights that he loves asking the same question in his own interviews. “It’s a question that really brings the real person out,” he adds. Indeed, identifying the right person is critical to the team at Happeo, the leading Google Partner offering an all-in-one enterprise social platform, knowledge base, productivity platform, internal communications tool and people directory.
Roots in Finland
With superpowers out of the way, we move onto Perttu’s own background. Born in Finland’s capital of Helsinki, a young Perttu spent much of his time in Tampere – described as “the Manchester of Finland”. Always an adventurer, he reflects on a happy childhood spent in a city with a rich cultural heritage. However, whilst he is now based in Amsterdam, the entrepreneur now spends much of his time onboard planes – a classic trait of a travelling CEO.
Perttu highlights himself as the ‘black sheep’ of the family – and not least due to the fact he is the family’s only entrepreneur. “Both of my parents are workaholics, and they are both working in the public sector. We learned a hard-working culture and mentality, which is really important,” he reflects. Asked if he could imagine himself working in a 9-5 job, the CEO laughs – “I already work longer than 9-5 as it is”. Perttu highlights that it depends on the culture of the company, and the challenge the company faces.
The Origins of Happeo
Discussing the origins of Gapps and Happeo, we discuss how Perttu met the other founders behind his company. Meeting many of them within circles at University, Perttu and others brought over professionals from Silicon Valley to show them how to build the product in a sustainable and scalable way.
“The journey of Happeo started off with the migration of Finland’s largest companies to Google. When we realised some of the challenges they were facing, we saw there was real potential for a product like this. We had our first demo product, and it was really about time tracking and time management. We knew that this is what we wanted to change in the world – how people communicate internally,” he shares. Wrapping up the discussion, it is agreed that passion is the driving force behind all success, including that of Happeo’s.
Rovio were one of the early customers for Happeo and both Fintan and Perttu recall them speaking at Google Next conference when the company was just launching the product as a stand alone solution – the first and only time the conference was staged in Las Vegas. Fintan recollects being told about this new product by Ian Nairn from C-Learning and being very impressed by the demo – and things have certainly evolved since then.
We’d like to shout out a massive thank you to Perttu Ojansuu for taking part in our series. Keep an eye out for Part Two of our interview with Perttu Ojansuu in a few weeks time, where we talk more about Happeo’s platform and building out a world-class internal communications solution for businesses. Check out our blog page to discover more industry-leading insights, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Until next time!
As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner program, Damson Cloud specialise in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including G Suite, Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.