On a misty Monday morning a car stops at traffic lights. A calm, clever-looking man stares out into the empty November streets of Jyväskylä and dives deep into his thoughts. Janne would seem like your average joe next door, but little do people know that Janne is actually a hero-maker. He is the man that relieves the pain and anxiety of the bravest and the brightest CTO’s by showing them how to become the hero of the cloud era. This is an introduction of the man making the heroes, this is an introduction of Janne Kuha.
Who is he?
Janne describes himself as a normal family man that lives with his wife and two teenage kids. He was born a nerd with a keen interest in technology. “I had my first PC when I was at elementary school and have dear memories of teaching my teachers on how to use computers.“
Today at an older age, the two time entrepreneur Janne says he has somewhat evolved out of his nerdy shell.
“On the contrary to what my entrepreneurial background suggests, I’m still at the core a risk-averse and a nerdy person who is and has always been fascinated by technology and computers.”
From Silicon Valley to a hero-maker
Janne’s career took a jump start when he moved to Silicon Valley when he was still studying at university. Despite his young age he was the chief engineer of a 5 person startup and ended up staying in the States for 1,5 years instead of the originally planned 6 months.
“They were big boots for a young fellow like me. I learned what it is like to play in the “big world” and heard all the best stories from my boss who was the ex -VP of Netscape. My career would have continued there but the rest of my life as well as my unfinished studies were in Finland so I decided to come back. The company kept on growing after I left and after a few company acquisitions, is now part of Cisco Systems, so it ended up quite well for them ”
After Silicon Valley his friends persuaded him to come and work for Descom where he was offered the chance to start developing and leading a new Java team.
Janne stayed in Descom for a respectable 8 years and got to know and work with people who would later play an important role in his future career. In 2010 he went ahead and took his first entrepreneurial jump with two of his friends and founded Viklo.
“It was a “now or never” moment when the three of us founded Viklo. The timing and circumstances were just right. All in all the whole business ended up being a success story. Viklo showed me what it takes to be an entrepreneur and I got to do everything from visioning customer needs to making coffee and organising bring-your-child-to-work -events.”
Viklo was later acquired by Visma Consulting. Janne continued working with Visma for a good 4 years until a phone call from his friend and former Descom colleague Pekka Malmirae changed his course.
“Pekka called me and reminded me of a pact we had made, about starting up a company of our own someday. His reminder and suggestion came out of the blue for me. The decision to take the jump to entrepreneurship one more time was the most difficult decision I had ever made during my career. At the time, I had a great job at a great workplace with my friend and former co-founder of Viklo as my boss so it was personally difficult for me to leave it all behind. At the same time, however, I felt it was possible for me to go, because I knew I could leave the company in good hands. “
After Janne had made the difficult decision, he and Pekka took the jump and became hero-makers in January 2020.
What is the pain of being a hero?
Janne says that the biggest anxiety that companies face today in terms of technology is figuring out how and with what tools to do things right. Companies are faced with increased competition and companies need to be quick and effective in bringing ideas into reality.
“In general companies are trying to find out how to be prepared for the future and how to build a competitive edge. What are the tools and technologies to choose so that we stay on track? How do processes roll? What is the most suitable architecture? How to effectively and quickly get our software development investments turned into ROI? These are all questions that companies need to figure out in order to survive and that can obviously cause anxiety.”
…What about the pain of being a hero-maker?
Janne believes that all IT-professional no matter the domain are faced with the same stress of keeping up with the ever-evolving and developing technologies and making the correct decisions on which ones to focus.
“The way you did things 3 years ago may still be relevant, but the things you did 5 years ago are ancient history. It’s important to be on top of what is going on and to have the experience to determine what processes and tools to choose to do things right and effectively. I constantly have to explore, test and learn new things while at the same time think about what makes sense for the business so that we don’t jump too eagerly into technology that just makes things too difficult.”
What makes Pekka special?
Janne describes his co-founder Pekka as a great and reliable guy that has professional traits that cannot be found in many people.
“Pekka has a deep understanding of business, a profound knowledge of technology and is practically a professional writer, so that is a pretty good combination for a person to have. When people talk about bridging the gap between business and technology, Pekka is the embodiment of that fusion.