Finland + technology = Nokia, doesn’t it? Yes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Finland is responsible for many technological breakthroughs from the last couple decades, such as the SSH cybersecurity protocol used on over half of the world’s web servers, and Internet Relay Chat, which people born in the 1980s will remember as the first instant messenger.
But back in the early 1990s, Finland’s tech scene was mostly just a lot of teenagers pirating software illegally. They would code at squat parties filled with cigarette smoke. None of the glossy corporate world that lay ahead was on anybody’s mind.
In this episode, Molly Schwartz, who lived there for almost two years, goes on a journey to the roots of Finland’s tech transformation. She dives deep into 8-bit music, pixelated computer screens and the days when games were distributed on C-cassettes. Just how did this small, cold, dark and sparsely-populated country become an IT powerhouse?
[02:26] Wili Miettinen runs away from home and starts coding and… pirating
[03:58] What were the beginnings of the Demoscene?
[08:28] Why was it so difficult to create demos back in the early 1990s?
[09:39] Demosceners start using their skills to make money...
[12:28] … and serious business players take notice
[14:40] Introducing Taneli Tikka
[17:40] Taneli Tikka invents proto-Twitter
[19:28] The demoscenes’ impact on the startup scene
[23:02] Molly’s final monologue
[24:45] Credits & thanks
Written & produced by Molly Schwartz
Edited by Adam Żuławski & Wojciech Oleksiak
Scoring & sound design by Wojciech Oleksiak
Hosted by Nitzan Reisner & Adam Żuławski