Rain and wind wash over the quiet November streets. A tall, friendly-looking man walks into his office in the center of Jyväskylä. He checks his phone, opens his laptop, sips coffee. Pekka Malmirae seems like the average joe next door, but little do people know that he is actually a hero-maker. He is the man standing right behind the smartest and the bravest CTOs, sharing with them the best-practices of cloud, DevOps, and Serverless principles. This is an introduction of the man behind the hero; this is an introduction of Pekka Malmirae.
Who is he, and where is he coming from?
Pekka describes himself as a family man who is driven by principles. He is not the one who looks for the easiest way out. “I work hard and stick to the things that I value.”
Pekka is where he is now because of his versatile work experience and the people he has met during his career. The foundation of Pekka’s career is based on writing and teaching about IT-software. Just google “Books, Pekka Malmirae”, and you know what Pekka has been doing between the late ’90s and early 2000.
After an extensive period of learning how to communicate clearly in writing and speaking, he jumped into the world of enterprise solutions and coding java for the IT company Descom. After a while, he was leading his own business unit and learning how to grow and develop teams. After an impressive 13 years in the same organization, he made a jump to the other side of the table, taking the customer’s role in business development and digitalization. For a good three years, he shuffled back and forth between Jyväskylä and Helsinki and took responsibility for S-Groups customer relations and loyalty systems.
The biggest wisdom during my career has been to realize how important it is to have a good, open, and trusting relationship with your employer or supervisor. It’s something that I want to bring out in the way I deal with my team members. I want to create a culture of trust where people can openly talk about a variety of issues and bring out different perspectives.
After a few years at S-group, Pekka made a call to his friend and ex-colleague from Descom Janne and reminded him about a pact they had made back in 2007.
Me and Janne, we have always had a good relationship. We know and trust each other. We make up a good match because we complement each other in our strengths and weaknesses.
The timing was right for both of them.
Back then, we had been talking quite seriously about starting up something of our own at some point in our careers. So when both of us had arrived at a point in our lives when the time was ripe for the next big thing, we just said, ‘yeah, let’s do it! It was only after that initial let’s go decision that we started thinking about the actual customer need that we could begin to solve.
And that was the story of how NordHero was founded.
Who or what is a hero of the cloud?
Pekka’s goal is to make NordHero the number one company to go to for effective, maintainable, and profitable DevOps and Serverless operations in the cloud. The idea is not to sell outsourced it-systems or push maintenance deals but to truly help, guide, and assist customers in becoming the heroes of their IT-operations.
I, among many other business consultants, believe that the competitive edge of a modern business derives from being the quickest in bringing an idea into production and in reality. For me, the hero is a company that is in the top 10-20% of their market and can quickly and effectively run an innovation into real life functionality or system. A hero can take full advantage of their operations and capacity and turn it quickly, effectively, and successfully into a feature that is loved and valued by their customers.
.. and what defines a hero-maker?
Based on his experience, Pekka believes that two aspects define a true hero-maker: The ability to listen and understand the customer and the willingness to develop an endless tool-kit of technologies and best practices to help customers become the heroes.
It’s a cliche, but a person indeed needs two ears and one mouth. It’s essential to listen and truly understand what the customer needs. It’s equally important to know when to question the customer. The endless tool-kit refers to the way that a professional can continuously develop and learn new skills. It’s crucial for a hero-maker always to find new ways to best take advantage of new technologies for the benefit of the customer.
What about Janne? What makes him special?
Respect and admiration are heard in Pekka’s voice when asked about his co-founder Janne.
Janne is extraordinary. Time after time, I’m amazed by the intensity that Janne has for things. Whenever we start something new or are nearly finishing another, I’m in awe of his ability to deep dive a bit further into the issue and find the energy and the will to go the extra mile in producing value for the customer. I believe It’s a unique ability in a person.