Silicon Valley-based Jennifer Vessels CEO of NextStep has been selected as the first international correspondent from Silicon Valley to the Nordics. Her extensive international experience and successful leadership of Nordic and US field teams since 1990 led to her appointment by 3in.no.
In a recent interview with the 3in Editor, Jennifer explained her passion for great Nordic innovations “What struck me was the quality of the technology, the intelligent and well-educated people who are dedicated to bringing new ideas into the world.”
She was central in expanding the Norwegian videoconferencing company internationally in the 1990s – launching Tandberg USA in 1997. Tandberg today is a Cisco company. This acquisition remains the highest value ICT acquisition of a Norwegian company in history.
Since founding Next Step, a global 40 person consultancy upon her return to Silicon Valley in 1997, Jennifer has worked extensively in the Nordics helping companies grow domestically and internationally.
Her philosophy is to quickly test the products in the market – in line with the method later known as lean Startup.
“Theres a fairly short window for success for all companies. Therefore, companies must get out and test the market early.” says Vessels.
She warns companies against falling into the trap of chasing capital instead of seeking customers and revenues.
“Capital can be overrated. US companies often raise very little capital before they get customers and revenue. In Norway it is often the opposite. Someone has an idea and then spends months endeavoring to gain funding.” , says Vessels. For some who start, look for capital, then take a year or two to build the product, may find that the market has already disappeared before they launch.” says Vessels.
Vessels concludes with “Helping Nordic companies succeed through customer attainment and revenue generation has been my passion. It is great to be able to leverage my and the Next Step’s expertise and best practices and competency to help Norwegian companies expand into the world”