Pop Quiz, Monday with Jesse Nieminen

Jesse Nieminen

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jesse Nieminen

Jesse Nieminen
Photo credit: Jesse Nieminen

What is your job role?
Co-founder & Chairman

Tell us about your company?
Viima is a rapidly growing innovation management software company helping our customers, including some from the Global Fortune 500, to make more innovation happen.

What do you love most about your job?
I love how I get to continually learn new things and challenge myself as the company grows. And, naturally, I’m also thrilled to be helping our customers get better at innovation.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Well apart from really enjoying my job, we also have a terrific team that I always look forward to working and spending time with.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
There’s really no greater reward than seeing your co-workers develop and surpass their own abilities. It’s truly inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
While we do enjoy the occasional extracurricular activity at the office, the biggest thing for us is to merely cultivate an atmosphere where people don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t afraid to laugh, even though we do take our job very seriously.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
There’s quite a few, but that’s what makes things interesting! It’s always challenging to try to combine a maker’s and a manager’s schedule and responsibilities. Also, trying to grow a company rapidly, yet profitably without external capital has its own set of challenges. But perhaps the biggest one is recruiting. Finding great people to help fuel growth is never easy.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Not necessarily related to a single project per se, but the change that has most influenced our ability to drive results has been to set the bar high by setting clear, measurable goals at every level of the company to raise the standards for everyone, then finding ways to get there together. Previously we weren’t clear enough with our goal setting, which led to some ambiguity and a lack of focus.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
For someone who’s building a B2B SaaS product, I would encourage you to really spend enough time validating that the problem that you are solving is big enough, as well as urgent and critical enough and that you have a clear value proposition for solving that.

That’s the single most significant factor that will contribute to you building the right product for the right market, so it’s really worth doing well.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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