Again, what was I thinking? Lessons learned from an entrepreneur's mistakes Part II


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Christian Wolf, founder of asgoodasnew electronics (aka WIRKAUFENS), shares more experiences from his career as an entrepreneur and the pitfalls, misconceptions, mistakes made during that time.

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Again, what was I thinking? Lessons learned from an entrepreneur's mistakes Part II

  1. 1. cc by-sa2.0/ Again, what was I thinking? Lessons learned from entrepreneurs‘ blunders Christian Wolf @nu_technologies
  2. 2. vertraulich |November 10 2 Christian Wolf / photography by Involved in 3 startups since 2007 from Berlin to Helsinki Founded WIRKAUFENS ( GmbH) in 2008 > 100 employees, in Germany, Austria, Spain, Poland 8-figure revenues Capital raised to date ±10 m EUR
  3. 3. 3 When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. cc by/2.0/ But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.
  4. 4. So let‘s have a look at some of those defeats, near- death experiences, and setbacks and what we can learn from those. cc by/2.0/
  5. 5. I saw this working well in the States, will work here, too. Lessons learned • Tastes are different, sometimes... • If it‘s so easy, everybody will be doing it • Not everybody gets acquired by the original in less than one year for millions • These days US companies think worldwide from day 1 and they will put their huge resources to work
  6. 6. We need to be first in the market and start selling asap cc by/2.0/ Lessons learned • A prototype is not a product. Don‘t start advertising before you have the minimal „awesome“ product. It may be (partly) faked, but must be awesome. • Most customers (and investors) have zero imagination (if they did they‘d be entrepreneurs), leave nothing to imagination.
  7. 7. We‘ll get funding in no time and once we have it, we‘re set cc by/2.0/ Lessons learned • Go without funding if you can & if competition allows • A funding round is not always a sign of success • Fundraising takes longer than expected, gets less money than you wanted & means a harder life afterwards • Get investors „horny“ (best price, best deal)
  8. 8. Let‘s leave the contracts to the lawyers - that‘s probably most efficient cc by/2.0/ Lessons learned NEVER EVER LET LAWYERS DO SOMETHING WITHOUT SUPERVISION. PERIOD. REPEAT: NEVER! Instead: • Always aim at detailed term sheets • Take time for briefings • Have somebody mentor you who has been through this before • Try to learn the legalese
  9. 9. Running the company together with my spouse (best friend) is gonna be great cc by/2.0/ Lessons learned • Always talk to your co-founders in great detail & with great care about their motivation, willingness to put in work, to „hang in there“ & what happens if things go wrong. • Align motives 100% and don‘t settle for the guy/gal who just happened to be there. • Do it before starting the company. • Break-ups are hard, enough having to go solo in business.
  10. 10. I‘ll go to the gym tomorrow... next week... never... cc by/2.0/ 30kg later (3 years) Lessons learned • Make keeping fit a priority. In bad times it will serve you well! • Research shows: • Attractive people are more successful getting jobs (analogy: probably also at selling product and raising money) • „Mens sana in corpore sano“, a healthy body also favors a healthy mind
  11. 11. cc by/2.0/ In tough times, remember 2 things:
  12. 12. Thanks for listening – hope it will serve you well one day Blog: Twitter: @nu_technologies