Today I managed to pay Morten Steen Jorgensen back the one of many loans I took in 2009 to buy myself out of Bankruptcy. Mr Steen showed up at my door with these words: “Here is a loan of 50k$ to buy yourself free – no strings attached – pay back when you can. We know the ‘eating glass feeling’ of the dark side of entrepreneurship – this is our help…”
I was lucky – more than lucky. Luckier than anyone could ever have imagined. I was standing in deep shit – I was over-invested (used personal guarantees) and everything I owned was suddenly picked up by people from the bank (literally – they took cars and art). I had no where to go in the morning – all +100 investments was no mine anymore – the phone stopped ringing and emails went down to 1 or 2 per day. I was VERY sad – but I suddenly had a chance to think, I had a chance to feel life – and spend time with the kids. I started walking the kids to school – read some books and even did some of cooking (100% new to me). I never really felt sorry for me self – it was ONLY MY FAULT. 2008 was a reality call – in 3D.
Life was quiet – no +100 companies – no more private jets to escapism – and no 12 course dinners – it was actually quite nice to have no obligations and no stress – but then again I had to face reality – and get a job. I had never had a job – and no one would hire me – the 38y old internet psycho entrepreneur who was loaded from when he was 27 – and got lucky with Skype. One day I woke up and Alex knocked on my door: “I’ll fix your shit – if you give me X% of you future.” That was easy to answer, – “Yes please – lets start tomorrow.”
We have now worked for 5 years relentlessly – and we have; – helped 10 companies – started 5 companies – raised +150mio$ for these companies – employed +400 people around the world – created real change in e-invoicing and financing for small companies.
We are still fumbling with what to call the group – and we have a mix of board seats, equity and our own ideas. We are seriously afraid of getting spread too thin – but the team is 75% in place now. More importantly: we are starting to build an infrastructure to keep track of everything and help the startups much more on BIG DATA.
Unlike before in history, most enterprise software businesses can leverage incredible access to data of all the weirdest kinds – from MAPS to CURRENCIES over TRADING HISTORY and SPEND… We are betting on making a new bank or let’s call it an organisation – where companies can only be a client if they use our XO accounting system and payment infrastructure. Since the loans will go from being emotional decisions of bank clerks to automated loans based on goals = sales. The bank will not lend money to companies with notoriously bad payers. If people won’t pay a bill it’s normally because the product sucks or is oversold and stuffed down someone’s throat.
Work-life is hard and not always fair ;) – but somehow I’m so freaking lucky despite my wild passion for testing the boundaries of business and technology. Now I am only 1.2mio€ in debt that has to paid back to all the amazing and generous people who have been helping to get my financial mess sorted….
PS. Of course I don’t pay Morten S the money without interest – he has (like everyone else – who has been lending me these absurdly big amounts) – got a small share on my new Ventures/Fund. My dream is that they will get 3-4times their money back over the next 3-6 years – and then the karma loop is closed.
I would also like to mention that the overall reason that I really got through all of this is Morten Sønsergaard and Anett. They supported me mentally and financially in a way I can never pay back. THANX to Morten and Anett !!!