BLOG: Voitto Vapaa Joutsenniemi Ltd.

My grandfather Voitto (‘Victory’) Vapaa (‘Free’) Joutsenniemi, born during the rule of Russian Tzar, would be today on Finland’s 100th year birthday celebrations one hundred years old.  Story tells that his father, as a theatre activist, had masked Vladimir Lenin to become unrecognisable on his journey to Finland –  could this have been upfront information due to which Voitto was named as he was three months prior Finland becoming independent, big brother having been named Taisto, ‘Battle’ during the World War I. Voitto was a determined, music and family loving, sometimes too demanding and opinionated storyteller, inventor and serial entrepreneur with big dreams. My grandfather founded his first company when 13 years old – a lampshade factory employing the entire family. Entrepreneurship was in his blood and many companies were founded over the years jointly and separately with my grandmother Onerva. Voitto’s numerous inventions, like the ‘Ground Listening’ saving many Finnish soldiers during the  Continuation War, Salaries Paid to Bank, Wind Power Park or the designs for electronic cash register turning Nokia from a tire factory to a tech company did not make him famous but did take him to celebrate with the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf  and giving him a title Councillor of Inventions. His dreams were big and the amount of inventions from small to big ones, exhaustive. Voitto had visionary ideas challenging the thinking  and norms of his time from equality to energy  production. He urged young men to choose civilian service instead of military one, uncommon to a war veteran. He believed in equality of genders and got excited of the though of his granddaughter becoming the first female president of Finland. He also took my oath to  never change my surname if I got married. High education for his posterity was a matter of honour. One of the strongest memories I have of him was his belief and guidance for us grandchildren to believe in ourselves to become whatever we choose to. When I was a kid I was puzzled by his idea of founding a company for each kid entering first grade at school. The thought that we would understand as individuals that we sell our time against remunaration and learn that we each have responsiblity to create prosperity by listening to our own heart and as a self-empowering force.  At the time I did not understand that how could children run companies. Voitto had a great vision over 30 years before today what we at HAPPYMOOR now follow: in our time, even greater power of change than digitalisation in working life from the people perspective is individuals’ willingness to be free to follow their dreams and share knowhow and co-operate in networks, constantly learning and with an open-mind experimenting the new, as our own lifes’ Ltds, part of something greater. And this is exactly what HAPPYMOOR is. Whereas Voitto’s dreams took him and his family on a voyage over the sea to America as immigrants, we are now equipping our HAPPYMOOR vessel not only to change the Finnish but global working life and way of doing business. Our vision is to create happymoor movement, by inviting companies from solo entrepreneurs to big corporations to join our fleet and to share, hence operating together differently to co-create better experiences, journeys and happier customers. Congratulations and thank you dear 100 year old Finland for offering us a country to do and be an entrepreneur at. Big thanks to Voitto for building self-confidence to think big and think differently, however crazy my visions or unrealistic my dreams in this venture capital seeking focus driven world we live in are. Like you did courageously, my hero Voitto, as a bootstrap startup entrepreneur of your time. My grandmother Onerva wrote in her memories before Voitto’s funeral on 4th April 2008 as follows:  “Voitto was given a gift of having an innovative brain. Ever since as a small kid he invented improvements to already existing working methods.  And throughout his years he always came up with new topics to work on. He never shut me outside of his thoughts althought they were always rolling on his mind. He spoke about his progress with different inventions and asked for my opinion. This was his way of crystallise his ideas: some people have asked how I never stopped listening to all those difficult subjects unfamiliar to me. But I was curious. It was our shared hobby.” I challenge you to join in our quest for building #happymoorfinlandnext100 – let’s be curious and courageous, together! Jannika Joutsenniemi Captain, Founder HAPPYMOOR CREW P.S. On this day of celebration we invite you to join our growing crew of bold free spirits that dare to listen to their heart and question the status quo. Join our Crew – apply to HAPPYMOOR CREW BATCH II !  #Finland100 #BragForFinland #happymoorfinlandnext100