Interviews

Forward: It’s natural to overestimate the progress we achieve in the short-term and underestimate the long-term improvements—Daniel Rahman, CEO and Co-founder at Integrify

Written by Kim Oguilve Read time 3 min

Forward is a 6-part short blog series highlighting inspirational founders in the Finnish startup ecosystem. In every post, we ask these founders to share their perspectives, hopes, and biggest dreams with others – all in 6 questions. Our goal is to uplift and inspire the ecosystem – now more than ever, we need great, positive entrepreneurial stories that make us look forward to the future. The series is co-created by Slush and Maria 01.

Forward: It’s natural to overestimate the progress we achieve in the short-term and underestimate the long-term improvements—Daniel Rahman, CEO and Co-founder at Integrify

Daniel Rahman is a known face around the startup ecosystem, as a person who not only talks the talk but walks the talk. The technical talent shortage in Finland has been discussed extensively. Still, only a few have acted upon delivering a solution-focused on equipping existing talent in the country with the right tools. For Daniel, Integrify is his third venture. His years initially saw him founding a staffing and recruiting agency and then a refugee center at one month’s notice when the refugee crisis in Finland hit. One thing is constant in his approach: helping and developing the innate greatness in people. 

1. Tell us what your company does and why you do it without talking about your product.

Integrify invests in people by developing their skills and connects them with jobs in technology. We do this by upskilling talented individuals in software development and data science.

So far, we have trained over 200 people with 80% of the graduates landing jobs corresponding to our training. We do this because we saw a big gap between international talent and the job market – and an ever-growing need of skilled software developers. 

The market inefficiency leads to many adverse effects from the perspective of the individual and society but also from the perspective of companies who are in dire need of talent Additionally, this is a significant and increasing Pan-European problem, which makes it interesting to solve.

2. What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s quote was potent and inspiring to me when I first heard it over a decade ago. I think it encapsulates so many essential things about ambition, mediocrity, goal setting, failure, and life philosophy that I find myself getting back to it regularly.

3. What would you do if you would not be afraid of anything?

Sign up for the first trip to Mars. 🚀

4. Where do you find inspiration and what do you do to stay creative?

You can find inspiration anywhere. Often other people are a good source of inspiration. Listening to people who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do is very inspiring and uplifting. 

I’ve noticed that I’m most creative when I’m well-rested and look at things from a distance. Often holidays are when I re-fuel inspiration and find creative ways to solve something that has been on my mind already for a while.

It’s about broadening my perspectives.

5. How do you stay optimistic?

By looking at progress. It’s incredible what people have been able to achieve. This applies to us as humankind as well as teams and individuals. It’s natural for us to overestimate the progress we achieve in the short-term while underestimating the long-term improvement. This affects our thinking negatively even though we should strive to highlight the positive.

When you look at the compound interest in progress, it’s merely phenomenal over time. Hans Rosling was probably one of the most extraordinary individuals to communicate this on a large scale.

6. If you were asked to tell something unexpected about yourself as a person OR within your entrepreneurial journey, what would it be? 

It’s no secret that the entrepreneurial journey can be a one of a kind rollercoaster, especially in startups. One vivid memory went back to Slush many years ago. We worked hard on a new promising venture for months and were on the finish line of signing some deals that would skyrocket the company.

Amidst all the lasers, psyched-up conference attendees, never-ending optimism, and extravagant parties, we got the news that killed everything we had worked for in an instant. The experience was powerful; devastation after the fully-fledged Slush week experience. The next morning I told my partners that I’m done, I’ll start looking for a job. 

Luckily I never found one.


If you found Daniel Rahman’s story inspiring, join us by spreading positivity and sharing the story on social media with the hashtag #MovingForward. 

Check our previous short stories

Emmi Jouslehto from ARILYN here.

Iida Miettinen from KAMUPAK here.

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ABOUT FORWARD

Forward is a 6-part short blog series highlighting inspirational founders in the Finnish startup ecosystem. In every post, we ask these founders to share their perspectives, hopes, and biggest dreams with others – all in 6 questions. Our goal is to uplift and inspire the ecosystem – now more than ever, we need great, positive entrepreneurial stories that make us look forward to the future. The series is co-created by Slush and Maria 01.