There’s a lot of talk about quality, about individual specifications or properties which are supposed to guarantee that a certain product is the best. We believe there are four important components which, when put together, make the final result something really special. These are: ambition, insight, ability and will.

Our ambition has never been primarily to haul in money. Instead we have always endeavoured to make as functional a product as possible. The insight we have gained after all these years is that first and foremost you must identify existing problems and challenges which must be conquered. What is required of the material? For example, where are the biggest tension points on a tent and how do we turn that knowledge into practical solutions that work? To really do this properly, you need a big portion of ability and will as well. When all this has fallen into place, well, then you can talk about quality. This is, quite simply, the difference between being good and being best.

Many things are needed to create a first-class tent.

The Nordic Tipi - the ideal shape

In many ways, the shape of a Nordic Tipi is ideal. The base is broad which gives lots of space where the wind cannot blow so hard since it is slowed down by the ground. The part that sticks up above an ordinary tunnel tent has a small profile. This gives many advantages without having to sacrifice much wind resistance.

The height of the tent creates a “chimney effect” which means good ventilation, even on hot days with no wind. The air is warmed up and rises inside the tent which allows fresh, cooler air to be sucked in at the bottom. The height also means there is space for flames so an open fire can be used. It also makes it possible to stand up in the tent and gives the tent a wonderful, evocative atmosphere.

The spaciousness of the tent makes it perfect for socialising and the round shape means everyone can see each other, no matter how few or many people there are. Moreover, if you put an open fire in the middle of the circle, well, then you come in contact with the qualities that once upon a time made human beings the way they are. Around the fire, story-telling and learning take place in a natural, interesting way; nothing is artificial or contrived.

The shape of the tent also makes it possible to use the seams as structural elements, stretched between the top of the central pole and the ground. A flexible, strong and yet light structure is thereby created. The shape means there is no side that is more vulnerable than the others when the wind changes direction or blows harder, something that is a problem for many types of tents with a different shape.

So Tentipi have utilised and tried to optimise this fantastic starting point with relation to different sizes of tents and different demands for lightness, comfort and price. It is fantastic to work with something that was “so right” right from the start.

But success needs much more than a good basic concept. To become a world-leading manufacturer of Nordic Tipis, a company must be characterized by a number of traits that interact with each other in many different ways and at several different levels. The accumulated value of these traits must be the only feasible explanation why we have been the completely dominating company in our niche. The traits we mean are: ambition, insight, ability and will.

Ambition

When running a business, ambition can be anything from feeling satisfaction when customers are happy with the products you sell, to doing something meaningful, having fun or making money.

Our ambitions have comprised all those things – and in that order – but it’s also a question of balancing one’s driving forces. The result would have been very different if we had put our ambitions in reverse order. Having satisfied customers – or even better, impressed customers – has been an ambition that has permeated Tentipi ever since we started in 1989, then under the name Moskoselkåtan. It really hurts inside if a customer has any negative experiences when using one of our tents. If we detect a problem, or someone tells us about one, there are then intense in-house discussions since everyone is committed to their work and eager to solve the problem. Often, it turns out to be not as bad as we first thought but it’s still worth all the effort since it helps us to stay at the top.

Another example of what our ambitions lead to is our product development. We always start by creating a long list of requirements without giving a thought to whether it is possible to fulfil them or not. It never stops surprising us that we usually succeed in including almost everything on the list! Without ambition, our mission would have been much simpler but the subsequent result would not have been as good. Of course, we have to prioritise among the points on our “wish list” and to do that, we need the next trait: insight.

Insight

We gain insight by listening to what our customers say but also by listening beyond that. Instead of just doing what our customers ask us to do, we try to find ways of meeting underlying needs. In that way, we create solutions that will be of use for so many more people and that will often work better than the original inspirer ever could have imagined.

We also gain insight through discussion with suppliers and different sorts of experts. We never take an alleged truth for granted without checking that things really are as they are claimed to be. This maybe sounds self-evident but the fact is that most of what goes on around us is based on tradition and cultural behaviour – “this is how we do things”, “this is how we’ve always done it”, “most people think like this”, etc. – rather than on insight. People base their work on what other people do and say, which is based on what others do and say…

Usually, we are sufficiently contrary to be able to resist this. Read about our approach to testing here.

Ability

If you want to go your own way and try to be better and smarter than others, you can’t copy what they do. Instead, you must have enough energy and creativity to get past any obstacles. The position we now hold on the market must prove that we have the necessary ability. This has resulted in a thick quality handbook which states in detail how our products are to be made. It also describes what machines and aids that are to be used and our training methods. Moreover, it brings together masses of experience we have gained, experience that is of invaluable use when we develop and improve our products.

Will

At this point, we can simply say that without will, nothing would have been achieved because to reach goals, a huge amount of work and sacrifice is needed. It is resolute will that propels the other three traits.

When we fail (which we sometimes do), there’s a gloomy atmosphere because everyone at Tentipi cares. Because we always take any problems very seriously and never give in to easy ways out, we come up with solutions that we would never have found without a very strong will.

Will is about caring and being passionate. Ever since we started in 1989, we have been passionate about ONE SINGLE THING: being the best in the world at manufacturing and supplying Nordic Tipis and their accessories and giving our customers the best service possible.