Tiimiakatemia on Jyväskylän Ammattikorkeakoulun yrittäjyyden huippuyksikkö
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Business for punks. What even is punk? As I started listening to the book Business for Punks by James Watt the co-founder of BrewDog, he described punk being mainly an attitude. In his words punk is about learning to do things at your own terms, being passionate, not giving a damn and being true to yourself. I started listening to this book because a friend had recommended it to me and the attitude of the book and the company BrewDog seemed fascinating. I also wanted to give myself an extra challenge and seize an opportunity to practice my listening comprehension by listening to a book read by a Scottish narrator. Let’s just say that it was to say the least entertaining and maybe not the book for a novice English speaker but for me it gave the book a little extra sauce.

 

Watt is quite an opinionated author and business man whom challenges the minds of traditionally thinking people, that was one of the main reasons reading this book was kind of addicting. So, what were the things that hit home or at least made me think while reading this book?

 

Don’t start a business, start a revolution

 

It is not enough to start a business just for its own sake, you need to figure out a way to make people invested in your idea, in your mission. How can you make people feel like they are part of something life changing by buying your product and interacting with your company? Your mission needs to be singular and compelling. With our HALLA Canvas team we believe in sharing the stories behind the pictures and uplifting Finland’s wonderful artists and talents, and making their stories heard. This statement also reminded me of when I was listening to Pirjo Suhonen (the co-founder of Ivana Helsinki) talking about starting a successful business, one of her main statements was “Why should I love you?”.

 

People need something to believe in, when people buy, they want to buy products that enhance or are co-lined with their beliefs. What extra can we offer with HALLA Canvas that gives people a mental boost? With the materials we have been thinking about possibly making them from more sustainable materials such as surplus wood from sawmills, the only problem with this is the extra work that it causes to handle the excess wood compared to buying it ready made. It is quite hard since often making something more ecofriendly gives some sort of an extra step on the process, making the decision something to ponder on.

 

Be part of a pack

 

Watt talks about the importance of being part of a pack, because it helps you deliver since you’re accountable for someone else than just yourself. This rule is pretty much straight in line with the views that we have here at Team Academy. We are all supposed to be self-driven, but we also have our teams helping to push one another towards our common and individual goals. I feel like in our team we are all still a bit unsure and reserved of what we are doing, and we should start being a bit more open and straight forward as a group to push ourselves to and over the targets we have set to ourselves. But on top of helping us achieve our goals, working together enhances the satisfaction we get from doing stuff.

 

I have also always been a person whom benefits a lot from working together in a group. I usually learn things best by discussing them with other people since I have a pretty good hearing memory. On top of that I am strongly a people person, so it is important for me to have a pack around me

 

Staff first, customer second

 

The team is the most valuable instrument you have in your company. It is important that the people working in the company are motivated and believe in the cause. If the people working believe in the products it will show and affect the customer’s buying behavior positively, and vice versa if the staff seems unsure or unmotivated it will most likely decrease the willingness to buy for the customer. I feel like in HALLA Canvas we have faced this problem after running into the possibility of doing the wall art in an acoustic form also, we don’t know if we should start to sell the regular canvas paintings or if we should pivot and focus mainly on the acoustic art. It is difficult since some in the team would like to just start trying with the regular canvas art, but some feel unmotivated to do so as they believe in the acoustic version more. But there is also the problem of having different costs in the making of the two, otherwise it would be an easy decision. Right now, we are planning on having them both as options since it would also give the customer a chance to choose regarding to their needs.

 

Outcome

 

All in all, reading this book was quite refreshing because of the attitude it provided. I am a person that often worries about stuff from other people’s perspectives so sometimes it helps reading books written by people with the “I don’t give a damn” -mentality, those push me out of my shell and make me a more daring person overall. But the main thing that stuck with me from the book was the passion. The BrewDog started from the passion of two Scottish guys and spread on from there. Sometimes for me it is hard to vocalize my passion, but right now I would say that it is equipping others, I have always felt the most satisfaction when I have been able to provide something that helps people build themselves and become a better version of themselves.

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