Austrians lack self-confidence

Austrians have a big problem: they too often lack self-confidence.

lack of self-confidence


In the German-speaking area, innovation is sometimes not appreciated unless success is following a long time after the innovation happened. Looking back then, the "typical" Austrian is proud of successful people taking risks. Woe, the innovation does not lead to success (which is the risk you take of course) - then Austrians quickly say "we knew it, what a lot of shit."

Too often, Austrians don’t appreciate an Austrian export until it’s appreciated abroad.


Do you remember Conchita Wurst? No matter how much you like (or don’t like) the artist Conchita. It is a fact that most Austrians sneered at her before winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Austrians needed the title "ESC winner" to realise that Conchita is a great export made in Austria. Many Austrians completely changed their opinion about Conchita from the moment of winning the ESC.

Another example is a colleague and friend who works as a coach and speaker. She told me that she would be hired more in Germany than in her home country Austria. "A prophet has no honor in his own country, it’s really funny." (O-tone over a lunch in spring 2017).


The Tyrolean business magazine "econova" published an issue titled "Progress needs innovation - pleading for more courage" in November 2017. Such a cover is good for the image and gets more readers.

However, practice looks a bit different. A completely new and innovative product (Tirol Box), that was praised by local businesses, national and international clients, Austria Marketing and politicians, got quite an odd quarter page in an "econova" in 2016 with a slightly negative comment at the end á la "Let’s see, if that even works." True to the motto "progress needs innovation - but we still don’t really like that".

Part of "econova"’s editorial team is friends with people close to Tirol Werbung, an advertising company which is often faced with negative criticism among Tyrolean businesses for good reason. In Novmeber 2016, Tirol Werbung almost copied a press release by Tirol Box published a month before.