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  • Riin Lisett

TechChill Part I – What Is a Challenge?


Rein Lemberpuu, the CEO of .Contriber gave a talk at startup festival TechChill 2020 that took place on February 20-21, in Riga, Latvia. Witnessing first hand a concerning ratio of 6 burnouts to 31 investments, Rein explains the pressure cooker effect and its many spheres of influence. This is the 1st part of the talk.

I have been leading very different teams, 26 to be more exact. I've put a lot of energy and understanding of how teams and leadership work and how people as beings operate.

How do you start your journey as a startup founder? You will start with speed because that's what's expected. A startup is one of the fastest ways to bring new products to the market. You will start running and if you are crazy enough you will reach a cliff, jump over it and then hope to build a plane while falling. This inherently means that it’s a journey of challenges. But what is a challenge?


If you want to accomplish something, then there is a goal that you want to achieve, and you have limited resources, your first attempts have failed – then we can say this is a challenge. When you want to get something done, it means you are taking action to achieve the desired result. When you fail, this means the actions you chose did not get you to the desired result. There are many ways to tackle a challenge.



Let’s look at an iceberg. Most of the iceberg is invisible - 87 % is underwater and so is with our challenges. You can take different actions, but the choices are limited. They are limited by what I call the underwater part of the challenge, which is very personal. It's not the same for all of us. Something that is challenging for me is not challenging for you.


This underwater part includes all our biases, blind spots, shortcomings, and also strengths. We can say that any business challenge is connected to a very particular personal challenge. These underwater parts form our perception which determines what are the potential actions that the person can take to solve the challenge.



In Estonia, there was a time when we didn’t mobile phones. We didn't even have fixed phones in homes. One day I got a chance to use the phone and I wanted to call a girl I liked. I was trying to dial the number but couldn't make myself do it. After standing there for 10 minutes I gave up. Clearly, my underwater configuration at that time didn’t allow me to take the action that was necessary to get to the result.


It also means when I'm able to change some components in this underwater part of myself, it opens up new potential actions that allow me to get to the desired goal.


To be continued.

This was the 1st part of the TechChill 2020 talk “31 Investments, 6 Burnouts: The Pressure Cooker Effect” by Rein Lemberpuu. Listen to the full talk from here:



If you are interested in self-discovery and see entrepreneurship as a way of self-development, read more about the .Cocoon Mentoring Program.




Tartu, Estonia

2020