Is Dash really anything more than “pöhinä”?

Published on
August 3, 2018

One of the most frequently asked questions I get regarding Dash is “what is it like to participate, is it just pöhinä?”

Pöhinä, directly translated to puff or buzz, basically means something growing, trendy and cool. It was formerly used particularly to describe startups and other fast-growing projects. There was a time when the biggest compliment you could get as an entrepreneur was to have “hyvä pöhinä, good pöhinä” around your business. It was chosen for “word best describing year 2013” by Yle, biggest broadcasting company in Finland. Undoubtedly, it is valuable for every growth-hacking startup to achieve recognition by surrounding your company with buzz and hype. However, what’s even more vital is achieving results, evidence of real progress, which are something buzz or pöhinä cannot solely provide.

Therefore, like all trends, pöhinä had an inflation. Living 2018, it has become more of a joke. New meaning for pöhinä is to be super enthusiastic about something and thinking you are doing a lot, but really not doing any profitable work. Like sipping beer with your friends at some “networking” event instead of really making new connections, selling your product or developing your expertise. That’s a common conception associated with pöhinä nowadays.

And to be honest, there are a lot of events that are just nonsense “pöhinä”. Dash is not one of them, and here are top 3 reasons why I can say that.


1. Real life problems that matter

At Dash we have the best companies from Finland introducing various design challenges. They bring their experts to mentor our participants and help create functional solutions. The challenges are well-thought, profound and most importantly, connected to real life. You don’t have to play with some utopian concept that has nothing to do with business. Instead, you will learn what companies need and what end-users want, and have a chance to solve problems through design while being both user-centered and innovative. New issues are constantly surfacing from the process of modernization, and being able respond to this vast, everlasting and rapid change is an extremely valuable skill to possess.


2. Not just networking

At traditional networking events, you’ll probably chill with your old friends in some corner. Maybe you will talk to new people, maybe you’ll even exchange contact information. However, you have no reassurance that these encounters lead to any new or significant opportunities, even if you decide to take initiative. At Dash, there is a guarantee that you will, in addition to utilizing your core competencies, discover and develop a comprehensive way of approaching problems (we like to call this design thinking). You work an intense period of 48 hours with a team consisting of people from different backgrounds and with different ideas. You will learn from them, they will learn from you and together you aim at creating something that none of you could have created alone. On top of that, Dash is a great opportunity to get in touch with companies and show your skill set to them.


3. Fun redesigned

It’s not all about work, Dash is also a whole lot of fun. Last year we had big ball pit, morning yoga, karaoke and much more. Yet, the most uplifting power at Dash is the atmosphere created by the people. Dash is full of passionate, driven and inspired individuals, and by this I am referring to both participants and Dash team members. Our participants never cease to amaze with their can-do attitude and fresh ideas, and we as a team try our best to create an experience like no other where you don’t have to decide between fun and useful. Dash is both.


To summarize:

Will it be useful? Without a doubt.

Will it be fun? Absolutely.

Will it be just nonsense pöhinä? If still in doubt, come and decide for yourself!

Atte Mäkinen

Information networks student

Photographer and Content Producer at Dash