Kisko Story
Kisko Year in Review 2016

It’s time for our traditional (2015 2014 2013) year in review post where we look back twelve months of getting things done and evolving as a team with old and new clients. It’s an eye-opening exercise originally borrowed from Seth Godin and we encourage you too to make your list (and publish it!).


  • Worked on prototypes in the field of law, with companies such as Nordic Law and a new service Contract Mill
  • Built new and continued working on existing services related to property management and finance: Domo, OPn Metsä and Tocoman
  • Old and new projects related to health and education: Muuvit, Mahtisluokka, James & Betty, Via Esca, Pikku Delfiinit, and Aalto Space
  • Projects related to entertainment, music, gaming and hobbies such as Artist Exchange, Hatch, Songpool and Hobbydeed
  • Built a new service called Freebag to help people find new homes for things they no longer need
  • Continued working on and launched new professional digital tools with Powermemo, Compare IT, Netmedi, Bob The Robot, Nixu, Kopla Helsinki, Sito, Provad and Platebank
  • Published a series of videos on YouTube where we share some of the important lessons learned from our field
  • Had fun with launching Finhustle, a campaign related to Gary Vaynerchuck’s visit to Finland
  • Used a system based on OKRs to track our personal and team goals and progress.
  • Launched Kisko Superhero project, where we organized wellness sessions to talk about and improve habits in four areas of wellness: nutrition, sleep, movement and stress.
  • Kisko bookclub read:
    • Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine
    • Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner
    • Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford
    • The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
    • Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life : Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships. by Marshall B. Rosenberg

new technologies and open source projects


  • A two-day internal publishing hackathon, where we came up with Kisko Press, Taleway and Proosa
  • Ruby Brigade events
  • HelsinkiOS at the Kisko office
  • Organized a small open event on the Day of Failure where we gathered to share and enjoy stories about failing and learning
  • Team excursions including a trip to Tallinn, a visit to Stadin Panimo, a fun competition at Kart’in club…

the team

Our team grew with three members and a couple of Kiskonians continued their path elsewhere, although still working with us at some level.

Simo joined the team in February. He has done six different prototypes for six different clients, including Contract Mill, and co-designed and did front-end development for Fysiogeriatria’s James & Betty. He also dwelled into the world of distraction free design while working on his thesis and started to take part in co-organizing design ethics gatherings.

Leo joined in May. He began with working on a client project during his first month, and since that has worked on WODConnect, Kisko Money, James & Betty and Via Esca. He has learned a lot of new things, and continues to do so every day. He says Kisko’s culture has also pushed him towards general self improvement when it comes to health (food, sleep, exercise), happiness and skills.

Akseli joined in July. He found great interest towards WODconnect, our own product for CrossFit gyms, and has done marketing and planning work for it since he started at Kisko. He looks forward to learn more about the CrossFit world and business strategy. Akseli has an eye for visual detail and goes out photographing on his free time, and combining these with his work makes him happy. Having been mostly studying and doing internships in ad agencies before, he’s excited to learn how things are done “in the real world”.

Antti S. worked on Via Esca, a new application that brings balance to eating and exercise, and was part of the team of Hatch, which is bringing revolution to gaming next year. He activated on sharing more professional content and videos on social media and improved team processes.

Antti A. worked on Via Esca and WODconnect and did a lot of sales. He created a series of short videos with Antti Salonen and launched ATK-hetki podcast with Vesa Vänskä. Antti continued building the gym empire and making Lepopäivä podcast. He also got his broken shoulder operated in February and is soon in full strength again.

Henri shifted more and more towards front-end development, learning JavaScript and React. Instead of using Sketch or Photoshop he has started sketching things out on paper and then directly starting writing CSS. The biggest project he has worked on during the year as the designer has been OPn Metsä where he did most of the front-end.

Jasmina got to focus more on Kisko’s marketing communications when Akseli took charge of WODconnect’s in July. She’s been working on our external communication, making it more concistent and spent time improving copywriting skills. Jassu’s year also included thesis writing, learning about writing in general and working on other subjects of her interest outside office hours.

Joni H. built middleware Rails API for Aalto Space, made a Polar integration in Via Esca, and developed WODconnect by adding PaymentHighway, Adyen and Worldpay payment support for gym owners. He made a two-week experiment on working remotely while visiting Euruko 2016 held in Sofia, Bulgaria. He also participated in Devops 2016 in April and started to read books, with a total of ~10 this year.

Joni K. built and designed some bits for Kisko Orbit, an upcoming tool of ours, and some updates to this site. He designed and did some front-end development for Freebag, James & Betty, Graphing Life, Nixu, Appgyver and others. The biggest project of his year is still not public, but what he can say is that it involved a lot of React. Learning React has been one of the big themes of the year for Joni. It finally enabled him to develop apps without constantly having to ask for help. Outside Kisko he has been learning Firebase and game development + design, which he has poured into a project he has been working on his own after moving from a full-time role at Kisko to a freelancer one. So far it’s going pretty well. Plenty of challenge and fun!

Matias spent most of the year consulting for a start-up in the healthcare sector. In the summer he attended the Brighton Ruby conference, which he certainly recommends to anyone working with Ruby. This year he also started working on a product of his own,, a SSL certificate monitoring service. His book price comparison site, Piranhas, has continued to do well and has actually had a record year.

Vesa worked on too many projects to count :-). He was delighted to do 1-on-1’s with half of Kiskonians as part of the OKR process. On technical side the most exciting learning areas he got to spend plenty of time were React, Docker and D3.js. Events he attended were Nordic Ruby, Slush and Nordic Business Forum. He launched ATK-hetki podcast with Antti Akonniemi. Outside work he taught programming to five boys during 10 sessions and coached in Rails Girls activities in Helsinki and Pori during Suomi-Areena.

Ville spent most of his year with Android Studio open, doing some native Android apps and some hybrid ones too. Aalto University’s Aalto Space app and Mightifier (will be on Play Store SOON in 2017) were built totally natively. He also participated in releasing a new-and-improved version of Imagine Clarity, a hybrid meditation app with lessons from the world’s happiest man. On top of Android-work, he learned Redux and improved his skills with React.

Virgil continued his work on maintaining and implementing new features to Muuvit and Ayy’s Domo. He also implemented the Freebag service and developed the second version of the Imagine Clarity meditation service. He also participated in other projects like OPn Metsä, Contract Mill and Compare IT.

All in all, 2016 was good for us. We are thankful. Special thanks to all the people we got to work with this year. Keep on bringing interesting challenges to our tables next year!

Now, your turn. What did you ship in 2016?

What’s your story?

Do you have a project and budget, or are you still looking for possibilities in the digital world?

Tell us about your business and we’ll figure out how we can help you.

Email us directly
Antti Akonniemi
Vesa Vänskä
Antti Salonen
Simo Virtanen
Anna Martinsen

Call Antti

+358 40 505 1909

We will answer you soon.

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