Startup Balkans

Curious in the Balkans with Mihail Petrushevski

While visiting North Macedonia (again) in November 2021, I have met many interesting people. Today I’m sharing my conversation with Mihail Petrushevski.

Mihail Petrushevski is one of the ultra enthusiastic entrepreneurs I got to meet in person when I visited North Macedonia last November. Speaking with Mihail made me super curious about who he was as an entrepreneur because of the way he approached his work and life as a young entrepreneur in the Balkans. Mihail’s mission-driven focus, and positivity amidst obstacles sounded like something startups all over the world find valuable.

Mihail Petrushevski is a computer science student and Co-Founder and CTO of FIXIGO. FIXIGO is an IoT company that is developing a universal wireless sensor network platform. The FIXIGO platform will be universal, they are focusing on the agricultural sector for its development. Through the FIXIGO platform, farmers receive proper notifications and recommendations via mobile applications about their fields and crops.

Here are eight questions with student and startup entrepreneur, Mihail Petrushevski:

1. What is your greatest accomplishment as an entrepreneur (so far!)?

My greatest accomplishment so far is that through these two years that were full of obstacles, failures, and tough moments I didn’t give up on my goals and ideas.

2. Who is your ideal customer?

For me personally, there is no such thing as an ideal customer; every customer should be your ideal customer because we as entrepreneurs can learn a lot of things from different customers. And often those that we call “bad” customers give us the best lessons.

3. When was a time you considered giving up?

There was a period when a lot of people said I couldn’t do it, that I should give up and in the same time things were not going so well. That was the time I said maybe they are right, maybe I should give up; but I didn’t and honestly, I don’t know if I am right but I know that I will regret it if I don’t try to achieve my goals.

4. Where do you go to “get shit done” (i.e., get your focus or gather your energy to overcome out-of-the-blue obstacles, tedious tasks, or heroic challenges?

When I run out of motivation usually, I go for a late-night drive alone listening to music and reminding myself why I started this business and why I chose to be an entrepreneur.

5. How do you stay focused without having a boss?

Staying focused is easier without a boss because I am doing what I love and was always my goal.

6. Why are you — or want to be — an entrepreneur rather than an employee?

I am an entrepreneur because when you have a boss you are limited to his vision and his ambitions and not your vision and your ambitions.

7. What do you think will be your biggest challenge this year?

This year our company is building the final version of our product, and I think the biggest challenge will be making that product and testing it.

8. What is something you learned or discovered you think other entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing?

You can fail many times and feel like giving up, but you only need to succeed one time to be successful.

My my primary memory from meeting Mihail is the earned confidence and genuine curiosity he projects. I’ve met a lot of startup entrepreneurs with little curiosity who project a lot of confidence; but it’s a rather dim bulb projecting it.

Mihail’s earned confidence and his youthful enthusiasm are grounded in his comfort with failure. He is fearless when it comes to failure because he has learned how to succeed from failure. And his curiosity about what he does, how others do it, why what he does matters, and so many other questions to improve himself and those he serves is a curiosity that cannot be faked or manufactured. It comes from an understanding of the value of asking questions whenever you’re missing an answer and a training of the mind to spot opportunties in unusual places. Thanks to these qualities, Mihail is more than an inspiration for startup entrepreneurs, he is a real-time mentor and guide.

Mihail may be young, but he is curious and fearless in the face of failure. Those aren’t characteristics you acquire from inspiration. They’re habits you develop from doing.

I encourage you to follow Mihail on LinkedIn and connect with him and his team at FIXIGO for learning more about the ups, downs, and all-arounds in the startup Balkan world.

Matthew Murrie