Success stories
June 16, 2022

Ville-Juhani Karjalainen

Ville-Juhani Karjalainen

An interview about personal re-invention through growth hacking
With Ville-Juhani Karjalainen
Herizon Alumni
GH intern Mar-Apr/2020

Ville, tell us about you, who is Ville?

I was born and raised in Oulu, a city by Bothnian Bay in North Ostrobothnia Finland. I relocated to Helsinki eight years ago to seek new professional opportunities.

I've studied Business Information Technology at Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Haaga-Helia. Major in Digital Media and UX Design, minor in Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing. During my studies at Haaga-Helia, I was an active member of the student-led Entrepreneurship Society Xes Helsinki and an elected member of the board.

Having a young family keeps me quite occupied most of my time, but I like to spend a few hours over the weekend playing a fast-paced multiplayer game online with a friend of mine. This is something I've been enthusiastic about in my past and picked it up again a couple of years ago only for fun.

Having played e-sports at the highest level taught me the effort it takes to grow a team and drive it to success. And same rules apply when seeking business success, it's all about dedication and seamless goal-oriented teamwork.

Wou, quite a wide profile there! And what kind of work were you doing before the internship?

Over the past 20 years, I've gathered quite a vast experience in different industries and occupations. A few months before I joined the internship I had secured a project manager's position at an e-learning company where we developed Virtual Reality modules for large corporations. Even though I enjoyed my stay there, I found myself longing for a challenge where I could use my multidisciplinary experience to take a holistic approach to solve customers' problems so I left the position to pursue my newly found passion in Growth Hacking.

And in terms of personal growth, how did this internship impact you?

In my previous corporate positions, I felt the tight processes limited my development.

This internship gave me a huge confidence boost because learning and growth come from excelling at measuring progress and tests failing fast.

Halfway through my internship, I had secured a full-time position as an in-house growth hacker at Fixably, which is focused on building a SaaS to fix hardware.

While working in the value chain of telco retail, I built a good insight and understanding of the customer problem our product is solving. It is a huge advantage to have domain expertise, but having a driven team that shares your values and vision, is more important!

I see, and how did the Growth Hacking Slack community help you?

During my internship, I worked with five different Icebreaker.VC portfolio companies and I couldn't have done it without the awesomely inclusive growth hacking community Mari have built. I love the diversity in the community, it keeps things fresh, and it made me change my professional language to English which will have a positive effect on future opportunities.

After my internship, I continue collaborating with Herizon and so far we have hired two amazing individuals for permanent positions to work in our company.

And what are you up to now? What is next?

It's been almost two years since I joined Fixably. My current designation is Growth Lead and I have mainly worked with Marketing and Sales. We are just about to scale those teams and I'm eager to get more involved with the customer experience and product as well.

Thank you for sharing, Ville.

Ville Karjalainen
Icebreaker.vc
GH Intern Mar-Apr/2020
Fixably Growth Hacker May-Oct/2020
Fixably Growth Lead Nov/2020 – Ongoing

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