Sunday, 12 June 2016

Nobody Move or the Angry Birds Get It!

From the Guardian

As the home of titles such as Angry Birds and Clash of Clans, Finland is where many ambitious game developers – not just Finns – go to make their mark in the industry. Where I work, at Rovio, nearly 40 different nationalities are represented within our workforce alone.

As there are 28 members of the EU, 12 are outside, so have no problem bringing workers in

But whatever the case, a crucial part of the magic is the openness of Finland itself. While Rovio recruits from all over the world, the lion’s share of those nearly 40 different nationalities are in fact European. Thanks to Finland’s membership of the European Union, Rovio and all Finnish companies are able to very easily, with a minimum of bureaucratic hassle, draw upon on a high-quality pool of talent from all across Europe. In our offices, Finns work in high-performance teams side by side with Poles, Germans, French, Swedes, Estonians and Britons, to name a few. Finland’s openness to Europe has led to the cosmopolitan clustering of artists, coders, engineers and other game professionals that we see in the bars and clubs of Helsinki today. Rovio is undoubtedly richer for it.

Well, we'd expect the lion's share to be from Europe. People living in Sweden, Latvia and Estonia aren't going to spend as much on trains home or feel so out of place as someone from China.

So as the CEO of an entertainment company delivering globally competitive products, to me Europe means business. Europe means talent. Europe means that a company based in a small country such as Finland has a fighting chance of assembling a world-class team that is able to compete head-to-head against the largest companies anywhere.

I worked in a team in Switzerland with someone from France, Portugal, Spain, America and a few Britons. Switzerland isn't in the EU.

What would happen, then, if the UK were to vote to leave the European family? From my point of view, at least, it would create a challenging and disorienting situation. We would be obliged to review our business arrangements regarding the UK, a worrying and potentially costly prospect. And if the law were to suddenly force us to restrict British talent from future hiring considerations, that would be a sad loss both for Britain and for Finland. That’s my opinion as a businesswoman, anyway.

Jesus Christ. Look, I frequently work with Indians working in the UK on visas. At the last site I was at, we had 2 South Africans on site and outsourced work to the Phillipines and China.

As a Finn, as a person, I would also be saddened that, despite being surrounded by the technology and the means to reduce barriers between peoples like never before, yet another wall would seem to be going up, when in this century, in these thrilling times, they should be going down.

And that's why I'm voting out. The barriers of distance and time matter less and less, which is why our dependence on EU trade is falling in favour of more global trade.

It's also worth noting here (something that the article doesn't mention) that Rovio received EU funding worth €25m from the European Investment Bank in 2014.