Petteri Koponen, who I co-founded Jaiku with, is now blogging on Vox as Serial Trier. He’s punning on the Finnish expression for ‘entrepreneur’ and I’m glad he’s got the chutzpah to do that. No intention to blow the national trumpet but I do find Finnish expressions have a tendency to cut through the fluff: entrepreneurship, indeed, is about trying.
Petteri notes that the local startup scene is waking back to life. I share that belief and would add that the new wave of ‘triers’ is better positioned because they can build on a generation of entrepreneurs like him who’ve already once been around the block. The conditions for current-day style entreprenurship only really came about in Finland after the Soviet collapse.
There does not exist a good word for entrepreneur in Finnish. The closest one is “yrittäjä”, which can be translated as “trier”. According to Oxford American Dictionaries, a trier is “a person who always makes an effort, however unsuccesful they may be”. It is no wonder Finland was recently ranked the 26th country (out of 35 countries) in the ratio of entrepreneurs/triers per capita, which was less than 5%. It is encouraging, however, that the general start-up scene in Finland seems to be revitalizing and there are already a few success stores such as Habbo/Sulake and a number of game or 3D graphics boutiques.