Escaping the Startup Chaos!
Most founders say that the initial phase of starting their company was also the most challenging phase in their life. Things are chaotic. There is a lot of miscommunication within the team, people don’t know what they have to do, and what they should do next. To sum it up: it’s time-consuming, exhausting, and inefficient. Simply chaos.
Let me give you an example. One startup that I advised was focused on sales -- at all costs. It was centered around the sales team’s boisterous boiler room, in which raw adrenaline raged. The daily motto was to generate higher top-line sales today than yesterday. While the sales team proudly beat one record after the other, everything else was neglected. Organizational processes were not designed, technology was not leveraged to automate common tasks, key performance indicators (KPIs) were not tracked, and all functions aside from sales were not set up for success. The organization became more bloated by the day. Throwing people at the problems had the effect of only exacerbating the problems. Predictably, it led to a massive restructuring. Startup chaos at its finest.
While this particular story may sound funny, it’s actually stories like this that fuel the fear of being an entrepreneur. There are countless people in our world with great ideas. Yet, few of them ever dare to put them into practice. That’s either due to a lack of financial resources and self-confidence, or due to the fear of not being able to tame the chaos of a startup. They just don’t know how to go from idea to reality.
But what if I tell you that there is way to tame the chaos that comes with turning your ideas into reality?
I spent a significant part of my life in the US where I studied innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology -- from both the private and public sector angle -- and worked for a global tech consulting firm in New York. After returning to my native Germany eight years ago, I started working for the company that would seed Berlin’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, where I helped build 50 companies.
Since then, I have advised numerous startups, many of which were created by large private and public sector entities. In this process of building one company after the other, I have recognized clear patterns of success and failure. In the end, I came up with a useful playbook that brings structure into the startup chaos.
The beauty in this is the wealth of possibilities it creates. It serves founders as a light in the dark, or as a map through the labyrinth. It helps you to systematically move forward by showing you when which business functions need to be built up. It enables people who never attended a prestigious business school, never helped build a successful startup, or never worked for a renowned consulting firm to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams while solving the challenges of our world.
I want to empower the brilliant minds among us to start their own ventures by providing them with a proven playbook. It gives them structure for the entire process. I see it as my contribution to our community.
I look forward to get into more details at TEDxMauerPark.
See you all there!