Is failure inevitable? Can you sidestep failure by learning from others?

Dive into the heart of startup life with entrepreneurs Satu Niemelä and Erasmus van Niekerk. They give an unfiltered look at their entrepreneurial journey, packed with real-world insights and wisdom.

If you want to get it touch with Satu and Erasmus, send them an email at or

Image credit: Tanja Lipponen

Find out more about Satu and Erasmus

Podcast summary

This summary has been made with the help of AI. It may contain inconsistencies.

Entrepreneurial backgrounds

Satu Niemelä: Describes her transition from Nokia, highlighting the transferable skills and mindset she brought to entrepreneurship. She talks about the shift from a structured corporate environment to the dynamic and uncertain world of startups.

Erasmus van Niekerk: Reflects on his early entrepreneurial ventures, explaining how these experiences laid a foundation for his future endeavors and shaped his business philosophy.

Challenges in business

Discussion: Both speakers discuss the significant challenges they faced, such as supplier issues and technical obstacles in product development. They emphasize the importance of adaptability and resilience in overcoming these challenges.

Learning from failure

Analysis: They delve into their project’s financial challenges, discussing the critical role of analyzing failures to extract valuable lessons, and the importance of balancing ambition with realistic planning.

Transition to consulting

Perspective: Post-failure, they explain their move to consulting, focusing on how their past experiences provide valuable insights for advising other companies, especially in aspects of financial sustainability and strategic planning.

Cultural differences in viewing failure

Satu vs. Erasmus: The difference in their cultural backgrounds influences their perspectives on failure, with Satu experiencing more stigma and Erasmus viewing it more as a learning experience.

Advice for entrepreneurs

Satu and Erasmus offer advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, stressing the need for thorough market research, effective ideation, and sound process management, drawing from their own experiences.

Risk Management: Understand and manage risks effectively, eliminating unnecessary ones.

Market Research: Ensure there’s a substantial market for your product or service.

Financial Viability: Confirm the financial logic behind your business model.

Processes and Decision-Making: Establish early processes for ideation and decision-making within your company.

Utilize Advisory Boards: Leverage the experience and guidance of a board or advisory team.

Prepare for Funding: Gain knowledge in public funding and investor pitches.

Minimum Viable Product: Focus on creating a minimum viable product to test the market.

Learning from Mistakes: Embrace failures as learning opportunities and use them to refine your approach.

Collaborative Culture: Foster a culture of sharing knowledge and experience within your company.