Startups and saunas – visiting Deekit in Estonia!

I recently spent one week in Estonia with the team at Deekit and boy, a lot was squeezed into seven days! Here’s what I learnt and saw during my time in Tallinn.

I just spent a week in Tallinn with the team and although busy, what an amazing week it was! During my time there I got to sit on the other side of the webcam. I saw how the team work in person and also was educated on some of the unique aspects of Estonian life. So what did I learn?

The Estonian startup scene is booming

On day one, Andres, one of the creative engineers at Deekit gave me a ride to Deekit Hub. As we pulled up he pointed out the offices of one startup after another. The Skype head offices were just across the street too. As the week went on, every time I ventured out with someone from the team they mentioned another startup based in their area.

I don’t know if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, but the startup scene in Estonia is gathering some serious momentum. Head over to Startup Estonia, I guarantee you’ll see some names you know.

In startups, your team must be your friends too

Working in a startup is an intense experience. The goals are big and the timeframes are small. That’s why it’s crucial that you can count your colleagues as friends too. It makes total sense as a combination of work and people you enjoy is a recipe for success. During my time with Deekit I noticed this was very important to the company culture. It feels like a family. It’s no wonder it’s this way either, as the founders have worked with each other for years and three of the four founders were childhood friends!

Teamwork makes the dream work

I have been drafted in to focus on the marketing side of things. But that doesn’t mean my thoughts are not important during tech-centric discussions. Everyone’s opinion is valued and decisions across the board are made as a team.

This makes for an interesting dynamic as quite often, some of the marketing suggestions I have are challenged from a technical viewpoint. Which pushes me to really think about what I’m proposing and assess whether the value is really there.

Estonian’s love the sauna

For the Deekit retreat, we spent two days out in the Estonian forest in an amazing log cabin. As we walked in, I noticed a lot of excitement around the sauna. Before coming to Estonia, I’d had one very occasionally but I didn’t know that the sauna was such an integral part of life there. Erki, one of the Deekit founders ran me through how Estonian’s usually have saunas in their homes and they’ve been using them since childhood. He filled me in on the concept of smoke saunas, they sound awesome! I think I need to live in Estonia?

A strong vision is crucial

At Deekit one thing is constant, the vision. It’s great to be a part of something where everyone is pushing in the same direction. There are disagreements on the way and there are always multiple ways to complete tasks. However, it’s totally clear that we are building the world’s best online whiteboard for collaboration.

What an amazing week! Thanks team Deekit for showing me around and I’m already excited about my next visit! I need to try out that smoke sauna …

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