The Real Life Gunter Dueck

On the 18th of March I was fortunate enough to see Gunter Dueck aka wilddueck at an event organised by Startplatz. Thanks a lot for Lorenz and Matthias for inviting me! I actually have to give it to the two, they are making great strides with Startplatz. I am still missing real offices instead of open space, but other than that, what a great place to be. I am already looking forward to spending some time in the coming weeks.

But back to the subject at hand. The KOMED Hall was packed and after a Startplatz Intro by Matthias, Gunter Dueck came to the stage and started well. Lots of anecdotes, the stuff he is good at. I actually put a few things into tweets which I will list here.

He really said that this was his greatest learning after 5 years.

Ok, that one is obvious and often said, but needs repeating. You still need to make a plan by the way as it helps you think, but then you can put it away.

It’s really looking at Crossing the Chasm a little bit differently, but he emphasised that this middle part needs the entrepreneurs that will be willing to go through these hard times. He is not one of them by the way. He repeated that often.

This was actually very valuable as it is so simple. It was told to him by somebody that listed a lot of startups at the NASDAQ and others. It is just that a VC knows that 10% of his investments will have to pay for the entire portfolio more or less. So they need to big bets. Making 100 million EURs on a 10 million EUR investment just makes you break even. To understand this portion from the getgo and build the really big ones, always think that each cost has a 40% interest. It’s really scary, but a good frame of reference. Also Gunter Dueck said that there really only is a hockeystick. All other graphs for company growths are meaningless and not really existent in terms of breakthrough products, and that what innovation is about.

This was agreed upon by many. We actually had an entire team doing those fights for us at Adcloud, and they did a great job. But in the end you need a sponsor at the top. And btw, this is not something that is bad or good or anything, it is just like this. There are budgets, and sales people, and stories, and whatnot inside a company that all naturally is against rocking the boat. This makes it really hard.

Well put.

This again is really important and really true. Same as saying that you need to be orders of a magnitude better. I actually don’t even think consultants CAN get you to a 2+.

Then to end this one slide of what you really have to do for innovation.

A few words on those. Agile is becoming a buzzword but really looking at the core values of agile, and lean for that matter, leads to a change in how you really work. This is especially hard for established players that have clear data on their old business on what to do next, that do not exist in the world we are in today, especially in younger companies. And you need an entrepreneurial spirit and you need risk taking. I wondered recently if a team inside a big company could say that they will forgo 6 months salary for a matching investment of e.g. 5 or 10 times the salary they give up and get a share in the business. This would be a lot more startup like. You have pain on the founder side then, but by making sure that they can have their job back after 6 months you allow them to take risks.

I will leave you at that and let you think for yourselves. It is a really tough subject I am thinking more and more about.

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