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No Coasting: When Building a Brand from the Ground Up, Do the Assembly Yourself


Finland is in a good position to begin building a globally competitive ecosystem for real-world data (RWD) research, a qualitative survey conducted by MedEngine reveals. The survey was requested by the Pharma Industry Research Foundation and the results were presented at the Pharma Industry Finland Autumn meeting on November 21st, 2018.

As a cyclist there are many things I could do to make my life easier: pay a mechanic to tune my bike; switch to an electric-assist model; order a sleek and ready-made model from the internet.

Instead I prefer to do the dirty work myself. I enjoy knowing that each kilometer I’ve covered I did so under my own steam. And I enjoy knowing that the product I’m using has soul, character, and a legitimate craftsman behind it.

So when Tero Ylisaukko-oja told me that he wanted to turn his already successful business into an even larger and more successful business, I was intrigued. And when he told me he wanted to handle all of the startup tasks ourselves, I knew I was on board.

We quickly got our hands dirty (mostly with printer ink) and right from the start we figured out what it takes to turn an idea into a business. This is some of what we learned.

1. What the team is made of.

, No Coasting: When Building a Brand from the Ground Up, Do the Assembly Yourself, MedEngine

With each assignment one learns not only the strengths and skills of their team, but more importantly their weaknesses. One can see how far the team can be pushed, how much can be accomplished with the minimal amount of resources, and also how well the team works together.

The startup phase is the time to find out if things are coalescing, rather than when facing a looming deadline for a complex project.

2. You are creating a business model that can be passed on to customers.

, No Coasting: When Building a Brand from the Ground Up, Do the Assembly Yourself, MedEngine

Startup culture is thriving in the Nordic region, and not only is it changing the way business is done, it’s also forcing existing businesses to reinvent and adapt.

But a lot of these startups business specialize in inventiveness and ingenuity and lack the know-how for breaking into certain fields – especially the health care, medical and pharmaceutical industries.

There’s no better way to illustrate one’s expertise in these matters than by using one’s own company as an example. In other words, be the product you are pitching.

3. Bragging rights.

, No Coasting: When Building a Brand from the Ground Up, Do the Assembly Yourself, MedEngine

Whenever I achieve a new athletic milestone, I give myself the credit I deserve. While this is generally an unspoken conversation, businesses should be more vocal in expressing their successes.

It might seem petty (and very un-Finnish), but bragging a little bit helps build personal confidence and team morale, and sets the tone for the entire venture. You and your team will feel like organic components of the company and not simply secondary elements, i.e., mere employees.

As well, if you can successfully and confidently navigate the vagaries and worries that accompany creating a startup, you’ll thrive when a client is paying for a structured and specific project. So go ahead and polish your medal: you’ve earned it.

4. Compromising is not settling.

, No Coasting: When Building a Brand from the Ground Up, Do the Assembly Yourself, MedEngine

Inevitably things will not always come together, and in order to reach launch date one will have to sacrifice some of the smaller details.

But that’s ok. In order to make one’s vision a reality, one has to concede a few small losses. Accept the fact that things do not have to be 100% perfect at the launch, and that certain things can be rectified later if need be, or simply done away with. A website might have a glitch or two, a few designs might need tweaking, and gaps in staffing will need to be filled, but don’t let those details prevent your business from taking off. Otherwise you’ll never fly.

5. You’ll realize the validity of your dream.

, No Coasting: When Building a Brand from the Ground Up, Do the Assembly Yourself, MedEngine

A fantasy is an idea that you know will never come true, whereas dream is all about possibilities. When one starts building a company they’ll quickly realize if the idea was the former or the latter. If, when things seem bleak or moving slower than then should be, one still holds fast to their vision, they’ll realize success is inevitable. Simply keep grinding away toward the peak. It’s always closer than one thinks.



MedEngine bridges medical science with business. We provide our customers with the science-based tools, knowledge, and support they need to thrive in their global marketplace. Our adept team combines academic expertise with industry know-how and creative flair. Insight, zest, and attention to detail are our strongest assets, and we move nimbly from endeavor to endeavor—be it a multi-year research project, scientific advisory for a medical education program, or conceptualization for a health-tech startup. With every project our project managers apply the highest scientific standards and creativity to build something that inspires. We consider ourselves the luckiest bunch of scientists ever!