MaaS Solutions’ founder Sami is the CTO that joined MaaS Global as the first employee and built the Whim service, the product development team, and the technical operation of the company, from scratch. Ie. from zero to over 100 people, in the space of 4 years. Whim was a pipedream that turned into a reality, attracted large investors and grew up. As is typical, there are changes at the top when this happens, and this was no exception. Here’s the memo from the day that was an end of an era at MaaS Global, but start of a new one at MaaS Solutions - the certified MaaS consultancy.
Dear collaborator/team member/friend,
Today is my last day at MaaS Global. It’s been quite a ride and a true privilege working here, and with you, for the past 4+ years, taking the concept known as MaaS from slides and sketches to a real, shipped product. Building the team from three people crammed into a tiny co-working space on Bulevardi to a 100+ people operation spanning multiple continents.
I joined MaaS Finland as it was known at the time, after receiving a call from Kaitsu to come talk to Sampo about a role to bring their concept to life as an MVP – there was no guarantee of a future after that MVP with the level of funding. MaaS was a familiar concept to me, but as a car guy owning two BMWs at the time I was a bit skeptical of them wanting to put me into a bus. But seeing the impact on the world that this concept can do, the breadth and depth of the technical solutions required for it to work – I said to myself that I can’t let anyone else do this. I needed to do this.
We had the first version of the service running after 3 months of development and testing the MVP began.
Creating things by yourself is rather easy. But we have seen that building a global ecosystem is not. That was not a surprise. It wasn’t supposed to be easy, as otherwise someone else would already have done it. And that is why already last year we had agreed with Sampo that we’ll aim at establishing a function that can better work with partners and the industry, where I can utilize the learnings from the tens and hundreds of partners I’ve worked with - even competitors - to get them to “see the light” of how being open for business means opening up. But to be able to concentrate on that means letting go of the operational side of developing Whim. Which is actually quite a common path for early team members at growth companies.
The team developing Whim is the best there is in the industry and will continue to show us the way also in the future. And regarding building teams, I like to believe in the management philosophy that the role of a manager is to create a team that continues to excel even if the manager gets hit by a bus.
Luckily for me I have been put on the bus (sold the two BMWs and bought only one Toyota to replace them, after all), not hit by one, but the time has come today to start working with the industry at large, say yes to the random opportunities where the Whim team must say no to keep focus on global expansion, offer my help and know-how to partners, public entities and potentially even competitors to create sustainable, open market-enabling solutions. Ultimately, that approach will benefit also Whim’s expansion, as openness will create more opportunities for that. I’m doing that by launching my own entity and searching for collaboration projects.
At MaaS Global, I’m continuing as a minority shareholder. I will surely miss the unique team spirit we built here, the people, our own little quirks and politically incorrect humor the most. In my longish career I’ve never felt like belonging somewhere more than here. So I won’t go far for sure, and will keep playing the playlist every Thursday at 4pm! And you’ll see me around also in the future – just in a different role.
Sampo had this to say as well:
It certainly has been quite a ride we’ve been on with Sami and I really want to thank him for all the great work and dedication over the past years. It certainly has made a difference and will keep on doing so but in a different role now. There’s a ton of memories from times when we were just a few with little clue of what was to come. But the humour stayed the same and will hopefully keep like that.
I know we are often asked here and there if we could help a partner to get their heads around the MaaS concept and what to do about it. Now Sami can finally say yes, I can help you guys further. And it certainly can benefit all. We all wish Sami the best of luck and will be helping best we can
You can reach me at email@example.com for businessy topics, or of course LinkedIn. My phone number stays the same. And of course, for a starting business, contacts and referrals for potential new projects are very much appreciated!
Thank you and all the best for the future! -Sami
So this is more a case of shifting up than down with the paddle shifter (although I nowadays would prefer no gears in electric mode - but an M3 regardless). The MaaS momentum is strong and keeps getting stronger. You will find my thoughts about the ecosystem and what is doable over here in due time. Feel free to book a meeting here.