Ever tried, ever failed. Never mind. Try again. Fail better.”
The CEO and Co-founder of Kiosked, Micke Paqvalén, is a serial-entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience from international business. He has founded three major software companies, two of which have offices and customers in over a hundred countries. One was acquired by Oracle Corporation. Among investors in these companies have been Accel Partners, Investor, and 3i.
Paqvalén is also a board member in many innovative start-ups. He is a mentor and advisor for the Foundation for Finnish Inventions and Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, which is a student-run organisation and Europe’s largest and most active entrepreneurship community.
Paqvalén has been awarded with the European ICT Grand Prize -award and the Best Enterprise Software solution – award at the Mobile World Congress, where he has also been a keynote speaker.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on launching Kiosked globally. There are a lot of exiting opportunities out there in a business that is growing exponentially as we speak.
Kiosked brings instant online shopping to consumers – wherever they are. The new end-to-end scalable sales platform, Web Wide Shop, enables advertisers to link their offerings to relevant impulse-generating content distributed all across the web. Kiosked has been selected as Europe’s best start-up at the White Bull 2011 competition.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I have a good idea, I go for it and I do everything possible to take an idea from being a mere idea into action.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Mobile Commerce is one trend that really excites me. Although there is a lot of development happening right now, I think mobile commerce will change the way we do business because we have to go to where our customers are, and if they are on their phones, we have to meet them there. The development of HTML5 is only one example that underlines this trend.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Cleaning paper mill floors close to Manchester, UK at the age of 14. I learned to drink whiskey and swear in English.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Start again with what? With my career? I would do it the same way. I think being able to fail is important. As Samuel Beckett said: “Ever tried, ever failed. Never mind. Try again. Fail better.”
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Question, challenge and develop everything. Yourself, your business and the world! I don’t mean it in a technical sense, but I think it is important to keep the eyes wide open and listen to new trends and developments and adjust to them, incorporate them. This goes hand in hand with being critical, also with yourself, your business and the world.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Gather the smartest people you know in one place for a weekend and you will gain lots of ideas. Remember though, it’s not the ideas that make the difference- it’s the execution!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I cannot recommend one single book. Being an entrepreneur means being open minded and watch your surroundings and that is what I can recommend everyone to do. Be interested, be active, help others and pursue your aspirations and goals. Goals and ideas do not become reality by reading books ;)
What’s on your playlist?
A lot of different music, I am listening to different bands and genres depending on the mood I am in. Thanks to innovations like Spotify one’s playlist is indefinite.
If you weren’t working on developing Kiosked, what would you be doing?
I cannot imagine that I would do something extremely different. I am an entrepreneur so I will always work on a project, which I believe in.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Which advice would you give to startups?
1. Build a vision and live with it.
2. Believe in yourself but remember to listen to other people.
3. Learn how to sell.
4. Learn to fail. If you can’t fail, you can’t enjoy victory.
5. Help other people.
6. Focus on cash-flow.
7. Remember to have fun and enjoy.
Who is your hero?
What is the biggest leadership challenge I ever encountered?
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Tonight, watching great stand-up comedy.
Where did the idea for Kiosked come from?
Recognizing that tagging technology has reached a tipping point that could be combined with our long experience of building enterprise software.
What does your typical day look like?
Getting up at 7-8am, working until 6-7pm, spending time with the family 6-7pm to 10pm, working 10pm to 2-3 am.