Startup Nation Estonia: An Austrian’s View
Georg Singer is a development manager at the UT Institute of Computer Science. Last autumn he defended his PhD on web search engines and complex information needs at UT and will teach a course on software entrepreneurship during spring semester.
Every now and then I find myself immersed in Tartu’s nightlife. Estonia’s second biggest town still hosts some of those nicely improvised places to hang out. I often wonder if they ever make money, but it is about the fun, isn’t it? This is an attitude that many “older” countries have slowly lost along the capitalistic way.
Tartu also calls itself owner of the world’s first pub started and run by IT geeks – I am in the country of patch cables, smartphones and programming languages. As a matter of fact, sooner or later, somebody asks me: “So how long have you been living here?”, quickly followed by, as sure as death and taxes: “How about your Estonian?!” This second question almost makes me feel guilty about still not being fluent in this difficult language that is spoken by less than a million people. I convince myself that I do what I can.