Founder Spotlight: Miro Putkonen, CEO & Co-Founder of Epicbrief

What is the story behind Epicbrief - how did it start? 

Anton and I faced challenges in our previous startup. We needed an effective way to communicate insights from hundreds of customer calls with various teams. Although we tried recording calls and using transcription apps like, turning those records into actionable insights was time-consuming.

We met Pyry on Reddit and discussed the possibility of summarising sales calls into bullet points. With large language models only being a whisper, we decided to build an MVP to test its feasibility, and that's how Epicbrief was born.

How did you pick the name for your company?

Choosing a name for our company was quite a journey. After encountering obstacles with our first two choices, we penned Epicbrief, which instantly felt right. The team agreed that it perfectly represented our vision, and there was no looking back. 

What can you bring to the Curiosity community? 

I love sales and have spent the last 10 years of my life trying to understand it. Our expertise in sales will add value to the Curiosity community, and we're more than happy to contribute in any way possible.

What’s a typical day like for you? Do you have any specific routines? 

My day revolves around work and family. I usually drop my kids (ages two and four) off at daycare, navigating through what my daughter calls “our secret passageways”. After I drop off my kids, I head to the office, and then it’s pretty full-on all day. We have customers in the US, so some days don’t finish until 8 pm.

How do you keep your team motivated?

We believe in hiring extremely talented individuals. With that baseline, I think the role of a leader is to teach, enforce correct principles, and allow the team to govern themselves. A few principles that we practice at Epicbrief include being direct & kind, and to disagree & commit. We are still figuring out what the right principles are for us as a company.

My dream is to create an environment where everyone at Epicbrief can produce their lives' best work. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where AI will change how work is done. We are focused on sales. We have a big market and a big opportunity, and this is very motivating to me.

One of my basketball coaches engrained this idea of service leadership. It's important for me that we make each other feel loved and cared for and that we watch out for each other's well-being and stress levels. This is a lot easier said than done. Personally, this is hard for me as I can be a bit intense sometimes. For example, I recently took the team to a Finnish cabin for 3 days. It had a sauna and jacuzzi, and I cooked for them from breakfast until dinner.

What books do you recommend for everyone to read?  

I believe that reading books is essential for CEOs. Clayton Christensen said that “data is only available about the past. A useful theory, however, can help you look into the future.”

Some of my favorites include:

  1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  2. What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
  3. Why Startups Fail by Tom Eisenman

I also recommend the essay, "If Products Sell Themselves, Why Do You Need Sales?" by Mark Cranney from a16z.

For entertainment, I suggest:

  1. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (audiobook)
  2. Dune by Frank Herbert
  3. Lex Friedman's podcast, which features insightful conversations from various AI thought leaders

Is there something that is simply non-negotiable for you?

I'm committed to applying the scientific method to my work, as outlined in Strategyzer's "Testing Business Ideas." It's crucial to ideate, prototype, assess, hypothesize, experiment, and learn. The hardest part of this process is to balance the need for vision and iteration. It would be a lot easier to shoot under the hip but I think this disciplined approach to entrepreneurship allows you to fall asleep at night knowing you’ve spent your frantic day working on the most important things that matter to your startup’s success.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 

I was born in Spain to Finnish parents and speak five languages. My wife is American, and we've lived in seven countries in the past decade. My life has been filled with unique experiences, including serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Switzerland.

This was a deeply spiritual and sacred experience for me but I also learned a lot about sales there. If you want to find some of the world's greatest salespeople, open a US hub in Utah.

What technology or business do you think will be obsolete within the next 10 years? 

Microsoft researchers claim that GTP-4 is showing sparks of AGI. If this is true, it's difficult to predict what won't be obsolete in a decade. AI's development could have significant implications for various industries.

How do you feel about the recent developments in generative AI (ChatGPT, OpenAI, etc)?

Salesforce reports that salespeople spend 72% of their time on non-sales activities. Most salespeople are pretty stoic and many are ex-athletes. These are some of the most intelligent and competitive people you will meet. They won’t tell you this, but when you can get them one-on-one, salesperson to salesperson, most of them will tell you that they feel drained.

Generative AI creates a unique opportunity for salespeople to not only make more money, but to do it in a way where every day feels more meaningful and valuable.


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