Powerbook -was this the second last model of Macs?
Powerbook -was this the second last model of Macs? This gem was brought to mCare to be recycled.

Starting to build your own social presence in the web is a cruel test to find out that people don’t really give two dimes about yet another blogger (-hey, did you ever stop to think, maybe it’s just your mediocre content, duh)! You have to push a lot, sell yourself, and keep a lot of noise about your every single turn. Even if I acknowledge this, posting something about my extraordinary life (sarcasm) takes me always a bit outside my own comfort zone.

Having said that, I was really dumbstruck to be honest to get this notification mail a couple weeks back from Joel Mansnerus via my own website contact form that is (-Yey, the functionality apparently works!) about some possible FTD assignments. Being dumbstruck was not only due to having kind of received a message-in-a-bottle, but also the straight forward, cutting to the chase question of

“Yeah, there is a ton of things to do -Wanna take a swing at something?”

Granted, this whole FTD concept is not the easiest to understand for most people (honestly: no hooks, no gimmicks, no intended reciprocation bias!), but entrepreneurial CEO’s like Joel seem to be able to grasp the idea with highest probability.

Before anything else, let’s say a couple of words about Joel. By all means, he’s nothing else than a super charged entrepreneur sitting on top of a self built empire of more than half a dozen of companies – currently 8 or so to be exact, some venturing also outside Finland. His companies are mainly in the business of providing IT services for Mac and mixed environment and devices, reaching from authorized service for devices (the turf of mCare) to software development (eg. Voltio) too. As you can imagine, the setup of owning more companies than an average paid worker is employed by through her/his entire career, naturally keeps Joel busy from all extracurricular shenanigans of any sort. On top of this he has a family with small kids. I guess I am some sort of a bionic nuclear dynamo myself, but I salute you Joel.

Unfortunately but also fortunately Joel being busy the actual FTD, I got to team up with Matti Uronen, a relatively new gun slinger in Joel’s gang. However, far from being wet behind his ears, the Service Manager role at mCare since the beginning of the year wasn’t his first in this area of business. In fact, Matti had an organically grown career path from assembly line to managing operations from a competitor to mCare. Furthermore, he had also been trying his own pair of wings in Austria, but realized that the market is not yet mature enough for the services he was offering and returned to Finland. Having talked to him for a few minutes as we were getting introduced, I was not surprised to find out he was cooking up something on the side of his mCare engagements.

Generally, the fact that Joel had hired an entrepreneur openly stating to have a demanding start up on the side could be a questionable move for some, but thinking about it, choosing to hire an entrepreneur spirit instead of just someone showing up at work makes a lot of sense in the end – it’s sort of like choosing between a bar of dynamite and a self triggering and guiding tactical missile, you know.

Matti Uronen mCaring a trainee through a solid day
Matti Uronen mCaring a trainee through a solid day

The actual assignment of the day itself had to do with starting the work of implementing certain ISO standards to their operations. With the speed mCare is growing and as Apple devices are being offered also as employer provided devices, such certificates are strategic assets in many ways. In B2B business and especially for services provided to the public sector, certain standards might be explicitly required.

Pirates behold, this is authorized business!
Pirates behold, this is authorized only business!

During lunch, I got to ask Matti a bit more about his background and also his start up. All in all, with their product launch planned in June, I don’t know what is safe to say about it (even if I think they have sort of applied logic from Moore’s law on their side), but what I can tell you is that in case they make it, it will be BIG.

With their service launch looming in a few months time, they were really seriously geared up to make it happen. You know, sometimes people use the word “start up” to describe some safe zone 9-to-5 tinkering with limited risk exposure, but Matti and his associates were literally all in: they all have moved to live in a same duplex house to facilitate seamless working 24/7 (yes, really 24h a day – until 4 am last night for example). Also, they have split their daytime activities as a team in different ways to rake in money for launch of their service. –Talking about dedication and passion for what you do, right? This is some down right Silicon Valley hero story in the making! Who knows, I might revisit Matti’s start up on a separate FTD session..

As with all previous FTD’s, the day draw to a close much too soon. Fortunately, I think we were able to scrape something concrete together with Matti to pave the way for the next ISO steps at mCare. Who knows, maybe I get even invited back to mCare to continue with those ISO standards..? All in all, days like these make you think how hard you are really pushing eventually at your own work. Agreed, I might have a skewed perception of what the global competition is nowadays, but I think in terms of overall competitiveness, at least these two trail blazers are fine.

At the end of the day, even if don’t get paid as a trainee from FTD’s, the amount of inspiration I get from days like these makes me feel I should be paying my hosts and not the other way round. However, I guess the equation is in balance when I get direct expressions of gratitude and indirect suggestions of trying to find ways to compensate my efforts.

Win-win, I suppose.