Mika Salmi has literally been starting businesses since he was a kid. He’s learned a lot from his time as an entrepreneur and investor and sat down with us to share some of his expertise.

If there was ever a serial entrepreneur, it’s Mika Salmi. He’s best known for founding AtomFilms.com and selling it, along with Shockwave.com, to Viacom, where he served as the media giant’s President of Global Digital Media. But Salmi actually started his first business — giving windsurfing lessons — at the tender age of 15. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Salmi is far from finished, spending his time actively serving on boards, investing in startups and concocting his next business idea.

I had the pleasure of working for Salmi at AtomFilms and knew he’d have great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs out there, so I sat down with him earlier this year to find out what makes him tick. Learn about Salmi’s own habits when creating a business idea, the lessons he learned and the common mistakes he sees other entrepreneurs make. We got into a comprehensive and lengthy discussion, so we’ve broken down the interview into snackable chunks (perfect for the busy business builder who is short on time).

By Chris Albrecht

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  1. Greta stuff, great interview and excellent down to earth word of advice to those venturing out and starting up. You are correct in that execution counts for a lot of things and ideas are only good on how well it is executed and taken from a concept to a successfull working business

    1. Chris Albrecht Sunday, July 4, 2010

      Thanks for the kind words, Sanjay. Down-to-earth is definitely Mika’s style.

  2. I think the reason successful people in SV come back for more is not because they are workaholics, but because they are changeaholics.

    1. Chris Albrecht Monday, July 5, 2010

      Hey Zubin,

      Why not both?

      1. Chris,

        The gist of my statement was that “successful” people tend to have strong work ethics regardless of whether they are American, European, Asian or African. So what makes SV different?

        In my opinion, the key differentiator is that successful people want to re-experience the highs they get by creating game-changing companies from nothing. Addicted to impact is another way to put it.

  3. Thanks for the interview. Mike’s enthusiasm is inspirational! Thanks Gigaom.

  4. I liked it, great inteview

  5. very nice video ~ very good advice. thanks for sharing

  6. [...] What Makes an Entrepreneur? – great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs [...]


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