Failing to give up

Katrin Press
2 min read

Estonian startup founders have a weird character trait. Their biggest fail is failing to give up, said Timo Rein, the co-founder of Pipedrive at the panel discussion at Estonian Startup Awards 2020.


This character trait reminds him of a tumbler toy many of us, Estonians, remember from our Soviet childhood. The one that is pushed down but pops back up again.

The thought resonated with me a lot. I have given some thought about it and I think it’s related to having witnessed big change during our lifetime¬† – transformation from the soviet era to market economy. Not having set hierarchies has helped us develop a mindset that everything is possible.

We kind of fail to understand how things should be, because of how they have always been. We just don’t have a reference point.


Our reference point is our parents working hard to put bread on the table and people around us constantly inventing new things: new currency, new laws, new banks, new supermarkets, you name it.

We didn’t have comfort, good things or fortunes from past generations, we simply had to go out and do things. Neither do we have anything to lose.

The population of the country is so small that we can connect with the people important for our businesses directly or through our friends. A good education is also backing our success. This and all the right decisions our governments have made, have created the unicorn factory. Some areas of business are strong at the moment, but there are many others still baking.

Another reason I’m telling this is that not giving up is characteristic to all entrepreneurs, not only startuppers. Solo business owners definitely nod with me, because getting back up and moving forward alone is what we all do daily.

The challenge for us now is not to settle. Not get lazy or scared because some of us is pretty comfortable already, but keep exploring!

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