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I’m resigning from Tradeshift as Chairman – because I’m no longer the best fit for the role – now that Tradeshift is maturing. Christian Lanng the CEO and co-founder with Gert, Mikkel and Me – is the best guy to take the seat now. Smart and Self confident MF…. I will still be on the board as a regular member – invited by the founders. The reason is pretty simple, Tradeshift is now a global business which is growing fast and an IPO is within sight of the next few years. – and that is a very short time when sales cycles are +24months and I believe a 100% that the amassing employees can do this :).
I’ve been part of raising +35mio$, creating +100 Jobs in Copenhagen and San Fran, securing +1m companies to get on the platform – and I’m proud like no one else.
I’m betting all my time on a Tradeshift App – called Capital Aid – where Torben Pedersen and I have been lucky to get Shai Agasi and Peter Lurie on the board. Capital Aid will offer financing to small companies who use Tradeshift – and need cash against their invoices (who doesn’t) . We can do what the banks don’t even dream of – and we can help +100.000 business in Europe this year.
For my other ventures I fully focus on stayXO (CEO), openXO, SunnyRentals.com – where I will now turn into (painfully for the employes) an active Chairman.
I will also keep close with Everbread – where things have gotten really good over the last 18 months.
I have been watching Mr Lanng for 4 years – and know that he has the ability to work hard enough to become SUPER LUCKY.
Startup life is silly hard and packed with trouble – but I love it.
9 MONTHS IN THE LAB
9 months ago I went away from 100% focus on EVERBREAD and TRADESHIFT – they are simply mature – and don’t need my pedantic focus anymore (now I’m down to 20 hours per week – due to amassing boards & staff in both start ups).
I WANT TO CREATE STUFF
So I have been sitting on my top floor for 9 months straight – inventing about 15 new business from scratch (me + my mac + keynote). From Fashion to Payments and POS over Insurance to Wifi products – I have been bouncing ideas with all my friends (mostly Filip) – testing on investors. I have been 100% dedicated to “sampling” ideas on top of existing technologies – with a touch of social graph (this means Facebook to me). Every project has been tested on people with world class knowledge and dedication – and lots of them are killer & cool. But very few has been good enough to actually attract a Jockey – and all of the ideas have been through a 3rd and 4th and 5th round of iterations. Ideas are simply nothing – they need oxygen and top top people to kick them in their balls.
INPUT = OUTPUT
After testing a lot – I have been so endlessly fortunate – to attract 25 people who are all working like ants (most of them in highly paid and influential jobs – working under cover). The rules are simple – everyone have to work 2 months for free – and show the stamina and dedication. Unlike when I was rich – and just blew my money on small ideas and had small ownership. With O Koo and Alex as blood partners – we are creating what I think is the right way of building valuable and profitable disruptive businesses – 100% control and very majority ownership (mentally and equity).
Today we are slowly starting to show the world a fling of whats coming out – at www.onlyXO.com (still beta).
We will want to have lots of fun at onlyXO – but profit is more important (we have taken a couple of high level investors into out Singapore outfit – from where O Koo will run the show and I will slowly move there)… And just for the record – I’m never ever going to be bankrupt again – it probably looks pretty heroic from the outside – but it sucks harder then you can ever imagine and it takes nerves of titan fiber (checkmark). But then again – if it doesn’t kill you… and the optimism is chronic – and damn I feel alive.
The reason that very few people do (and should do) start ups – is the insanity when all part are moving 360 / 365… – you simply need to be 1000% impatient while pretending to have a clear strategy – pitching Clients and VCs and New Hires (always 5min from closing down or selling the company for 10bio€) – you have to follow every lead to success. And you never know if the promise – you have from “The Visionary”, “The founder” or “The CTO” is actually true – nor if its mixed in the right way for the market to understand it. Will the world use it – will the clients buy? And as one of the smartest and “the best tech investor in the world” says – ( http://bhorowitz.com/ – YOU MUST read every single of his words 2-3 times) – its all about iterations and innovation. And when it comes from Ben – its not just hallelujah innovation – it’s about making software solutions that makes sense and can sell.
While helping to start Tradeshift from my basement in Copenhagen (no shit) – to now being HQ’ed in Silicon Valley – I have been (am) in the center of a storm – or let me use Ben H & Carl Max’s phrase: The Struggle. And wow – its hard – wow – it takes a lot of interactions from the first idea -until the product that suddenly sells and get the expected uptake.
The Jockey (A Role Model)
With the Jockey I mean : The guy running a startup – the guy/girl who runs a startup (founder(s)/CEO).Off course important its the Key. Goes without saying. And my partner, backer and one of my closest friends – Morten Søndergaard – has been babbling about “The Jockey” – since I met him. Until my bankruptcy – I was always a little less focused on “The Jockey” then the “Idea/Concept” – and that has probably been my main mistake. But since I’m way better at Ideas/Concepts and Sparring as a Chairman – it’s more now obvious then ever that “The Jockey” is everything. The focus and the 24/7 focus on the company – it whats brings the success. Of course also realizing that conceptualizing and directing – has nothing to do with running a business. In Tradeshift I must say that Mr Lanng has impressed me – more then anyone else.
The Starts and The Moon = The Mix of People
When I talk about luck – it has nothing to do with lottery in the pure form. I take it for granted that everyone put in ALL THEIR AWAKE HOURS INTO THE START UP. But the mix of people who kick off something is of course EVERYTHING. Mostly because software is now easier then ever to launch globally – Thanks to the Browser and Amazon – but at the same time its also 100x more complex to find the right balance between perfect and beta… And this is where the mix of people becomes EVERYTHING – and The Jockey really must show strength. Again I have to tip my hat for Mr. Lanng – specially due to crazy deals (I can’t talk about) happening at Tradeshift – RIGHT NOW.
Here is what the researchers says about Tradeshift. Business owner – GET ON Tradeshift NOW.
Just The Beginning – Nothing To Celebrate
Now – some would sit down and celebrate – but at Tradeshift the team seems pumped up and ready to really get started with the effort of building a billion $ company that makes sense. go Go GO… The Press and The Analysts are super important – but its only words – not ORDERS.
I have lent the blog to a young man who is the first of 10 guys I have meet in Copenhagen with a pretty cool new religion. This is pretty crazy shit – I have no idea what it means – is it socialism or brainism or just pure logic sense – to adjust your lifestyle to your real dreams – and not be polluted by materialism? Let me note the only SURE TRUTH about start ups I learned (from my friend Stephan Ekbergh): “The only thing that can kill a start up – is running out of cash!”. END.
Aron Allen has the word:
My monthly expenses are as follows:
You Better Love Change
Im pretty very sure that every single consumer FACING BUSINESS will change. And Im sure that it will happen faster then we can imagine – since the way people behave has changed 100%. Im impressed to see Facebook buying Instagram – and hammering a last seam in Kodak’s coffin.
(mostly interesting for Danish & EU citizens )
You can easily be very rich
Very rich – but not have a penny (in cash)…. I’m in that situation – but don’t worry about me. Worry about your local society – your country.
In Denmark we have seen the most insane example – and I have to say that I have very little hope for democracy when the people who want to spend there seems to be lame….
Stupid Fuck Up With Good Intentions
How did ATP (one of the largest pension funds in EU) and PFA (also pension fund) end up turning FIH Erhvervsbank (our only aggressive commercial bank – or should I say: The only hope for any growth in GDP) – into a financial disaster when the business case made so much sense?
Entrepreneurs Needs Banks
Specially real entrepreneurs who made revenue and have to finance growth:) – But remember that funding is crucial to banks especially when having a deposit deficit. To get this banks needs a good credit rating which it the case for most major Danish banks. Small banks typically have lower ratings but this is not a big problem as these banks are primary funded via deposits.
This was where FIH was failing a year ago when ATP and PFA took over – led by the absolute smartest guy I know living in Denmark: Mr Graven (clunky name :). FIH had a major deposit deficit (read not any significant deposits at all) and one of the worst ratings in the Danish banking sector at all. Therefore the bank had no chance of paying back the loans provided by the government. (Thank you Lille Lars & Helle).
Really Responsible People
Then ATP (the motherfu… large pension fund) comes in to the picture as one of the strongest financial institutions in Denmark. They took over FIH, put my hero, Bjarne Graven in to run it and the business case was crystal clear. Suddenly I had a little hope for the future. Backed by ATP – the FIH would improve its credit rating – giving access to funding and the bank would be back in business. Who would it benefit? Investors in ATP (meaning literally everyone in the country) and the entrepreneurs and corporates lending money from FIH, which again has a positive spin off effect on the Danish society. That makes sense! I was so happy and proud to see that NOT ONLY DOES ATP – make one of the best returns in the world – they are also taking care of the business climate – despite a 3 year long winter. And Mr Graven – could prob have gone to any international bank and gotten 8-10mio€ a year – but he did a noble choice (prob because the wife and the kids didn’t like to move to NYC/London/Sing)
Then Someone Fucked Up
But what happened? FIH did not get the rating lift and ended up reducing corporate lending in such a brutal way that the Danish government now has intervened to make sure that FIH does not put Danish corporates out of business. That is crazy. What appeared to be a win for everyone (except the other banks fearing the competition) has ended up being a disaster and the government is now paying. Why did this happen – how could the political system lets this happen – while picking up the check from a endless number of banks going bust. why Why WHY – when we need it. Someone has to go in here and get it right. Our former prime minister – and a very smart man (who unfortunately went on an insane crusade against capital fund structures) – Mr Nyrup should put on his biking helmet – and start the bike now!!!
The question is why?
My guess is that once again the Danish financial legislation and bureaucracy shows its ugly face and kills a good initiate and destroys value for everyone! Cooooome on – The result is that ATP has not been able to give FIH the financial backing need for improving the credit rating.
It is time for a change even though I find it hard to see who will drive this!? Could we please redirect the outsourcing from the frozen cartoon figures in EU – to my friends and partners in Singapore?
NOTE TO SELF: Im writing all this boring stuff – because Tradeshift & My New Project can help Entreprenuers…
Im Changing Direction – Again
Tradeshift and Everbread are now running on their own – I don’t have to be there every day. And I see 10 amazing start ups every month – I can’t stop myself anymore – I need to kick a lot of these guys in their bud – and help them to become global and successful. (PLEASE RT THIS TO DESIGN COMMUNITIES).
I’m loosing it – in Design Talent
I’m getting old – and I have lost my touch with the design community and the hackers – who are doing consulting – but really want to do their own Agency or even better a Startup.
Keep Your Real Job (Clients)
If you are one of these Dudes/Duderinas – who are not spoiled by money yet – and who don’t need anything but a MAC in your life. ( = You don’t have very low cost of living). If you also understand that: This requires lots of late night work – since you have to be payed from your real job.
(If you are an existing agency – who wants on this movement – then you just invest X% of your pitching budget – easy peasy).
If You Can Do This Better
If you carry the belief that you can design there even better – make them look even cooler than they are ( I love these sites)
Tradeshift.com / ZenDesk.com / Pinterest.com / JetSetter.com / New Vimeo.com
You must be a complete design junkie – or have one on your team. And you MUST BE admire Mint.com and GoodData.com – like you admire your best parrents.
Then Pls Email Me and Get On My New Projects List
And I will send a mail back with the rules. Since I have spend the time – which – to do a pretty specific outline of the rules (and thats hard for me). Email: DesignIsEverything@lund.tv
PS. Tree huggers and people who love this model – pls dont email me. I want to make money – its the only way to attract the best people. (Charity is something we do later).
PPS. I’m also looking for a platform to run all this talent on… (Facebook Developer ?).
PPPS. And yes – am scared of overdoing it again – like when I went bankrupt – shit scared. But I cant help it.
Dear Valued Reader
Special note: To the hundreds of you who have asked to invest in my fund: I’m sorry – the paperwork to get this approved is insane (it’s not legal to take money from normal people – only rich people are allowed – hmmm…).
Today, just a bit below, I will tell you the fastest way to become a millionaire—no guarantee that its fun, but rich you can become.
(I am so happy to have all of you guys following up on all my weird requests) – My blog and my twitter account simply makes me one of the fastest business developers in the world. And I can’t thank you enough. Crazy Crazy CRAZY things are happening and the next 2-3 months will change my life – again).
BASIC premise for this blog:
To start your own company or work for a really early startup – You must love change. One day you are about to close the company – next day you have the big deal signed and a company pays 27mio$ for a license to your software. Welcome to my world.
A. My Blog and Twitter
When Tradeshift was founded by Lanng and his friend/colleagues Gert and Mikkel, they got 40.000h of code from my twitter followers after my tweets (Note to self: I must find that tweet). Via twitter/Facebook – because Im using it a lot – I have gotten a piano teacher, cool iPhone Apps, investments, nice restaurants that way…
B. I need Help (Again)
Well what’s help and what recommendations? I think I need a recommendation: Everything will be about DATA-DRIVEN recomendations – EVERYTHING. If you fix that – you will be very succesfull. Remember when I said how to become rich above?
Anecdote: I went to see Chrix Dixon (we were kind of friends – but his IQ is my IQ-75% and his ego and mine are to alike so he stopped answering my emails). Never mind – he is one of the smartest (FOR REAL 360% SMART) guys in venture today and really cool. Well – I went to see him in 2009 about 12 months before he/they launched Hunch – and he explained how everything would be about recommendations – and how they wanted to build something smarter than 20Q.net where you think of something and 20Q will read your mind by asking a few simple questions (very interesting). I got seduced by his idea – and started researching a bit – but it did not turn me on. I could not see it – I did not really see the use for the consumer (It’s one for the antiportfolio)….. 2010 they sold to eBay for 80mio$ – bingo. And of course we can say now, “it was a super cool product”, “they got the users”, “they educated eBay/PayPal in their own need.” BIG RESPECT.
C. Recommendations Is All
We need them. And now I ask you to recommend to me – all the recommendation start ups and ideas you know ( ALERT: solid shit only . no dreams without technology- or market- proof behind).
Preferred people, teams, ideas:
- You are an expert
- You are deep into a weird niche (with lots of transaction i.e. payments, logistics…)
- You are a team (can stop doing it)
- You have 2-5years of real business experience in something boring
- You hate that the huge company you work at – dont just fix that database – and make an API – so that your job would be 100x easier.
- YOU ARE LAZY – and automate everything
- You love alerts – and setup “alerts to self” all the time
- You think Mark Zuckerberg will be the first Jewish Pope (Note to self: This is shit ass politically incorrect).
- You are in bed with someone who has big data
- You fundamentally believe in: It’s simple not easy.
I recommend for you
to do a startup in this recommendation space – NOW – or email me and my team firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember when I said above that I’d tell you how to get rich? This is the real one. :-)
I dare to recommend this – because I know 3000% more about business software and enterprise software today (but I still feel like a freshman to the industry) – and I spend 20h a day with the hottest enterprise software startups in the world. And now I FU&#”€! NEED ONE ofr 2 projects – again because its ALL ABOUT Recommendations.
4. mail to email@example.com
So please let my know if you are into recommendations technology wise, business sector wise (grocery, books, sports.. whatever) –
Note To: Bizz Journalists
Everyone is speculating on Facebook going IPO. I have a very clear opinion on that: “Facebook is worth 2x Apple – any day – buy all the shares you can get – and lend money to buy more when they doubled in 3 months”. Facebook is Apple without hardware production – apples hardware will go to Samsung and the Asian sons (Note to self: and daughters)… Apps and Payments and Advertising and all business processes – from buying grocery, servicing your car to chatting with financial tax adviser – ALL WILL BE ON FACEBOOK in 2-3 years. Facebook is the next platform – we don’t need anything else – just a browser. Some are Journalists are JALOUX that Mark Zuckerberg makes a gazzzilion – and some are worried about privacy. BUT FUCK THAT – its free – if you don’t like it: GO AWAY – become or stay lonely. Facebook is helping us with democracy – and for me (since I have absolutely nothing to hide) FACEBOOK brings social relations back into play on a global scale. Small villages often has little crime – its stupid to rape someone if you know the parents – and maybe FACEBOOK can lets us become a global village. (And yes there are lots of problems with bullying and racism- but its nothing compared to the upside). And every quarter from now I predict that FACEBOOK will buy a recommendation engine (from me, You…) – :) (Note to self: Did I just use a smiley … that’s gay … gay is fine with me – stop thinking about that…).
Act Dont Talk
Friday was a huge day in my life. Alexander (my partner) – managed to settle a very very very complex legal fight (article here).
I have never been a fan of lawsuit and stayed out – for as long as in any way possible. But it got nasty – and our counterpart was both hard and smart (unfortunately). The problem was one of those big ones – that you cant wait out… We had no chance to do any business – and the more heat we had – the more of our clients got scared.
I should have listened 18months ago (but I was too self confident & stupid) when a very good and highly respected friend told me to (lets call him Rob Stavis): “Morten – you must freaking settle instantly and get to business – it does not matter if you are right or wrong”. He was so right. To small new players in a giant market should not spend 1min fighting – they must join forces not to get killed by the Hangar-ships send by the existing big “land owners” in the marketplace.
I was to slow – to much thinking about ego, fairness, rules, laws and pride – instead of just doing what took Us 18months.
I have the greatest respect for our competitors – and specially that we have done it gentlemen style – and will for sure have a beer after the fight.
PS. Im a little very proud (mostly proud of Alexander). Unlike the other day at The Europas (I will post about that soon)….
The “What did I Say” pessimists
Avoid lazy negative pessimists in startups.
Im having a blast these days. Its too good to be true – life simply has played the best of all tricks on me. Now that Tradeshift is showing traction – and now that it looks like I will be part of something really disrupting again. A lot of the people who have been: “What did I say – you fucked up” – are starting next wave: “Bravo – Tradeshift is impressive – Will but will it ever make money??? Or is it just a black hole for investors”. My answer: Yes I believe that Tradeshift will be an extremely lucrative business – but it will take a long time and cost a hell of a lot of money. And as always I have to underline once again (dear highly valued readers) – I DONT HAVE A CLUE. This business is THE DEFINITION OF HIGH RISK. The same goes with EVERBREAD – where we have also raised a lot of cash – from people who choose not to buy 60 Ferrari’s – but chose to believe in Assen and Everbreads vision.
But remember that not even if you look at Venture Capital from a lottery perspective is it good business:
7 of 10 fails
in first shot.
From founders and early employees you need inifinate amounts of ENERGY. When salleries are not paid on time – and when programming seems harder then worst case imagination… ENERGY is what it takes – since every startup company also require 2-4 fundamental strategy changes. Changes so deep that its like starting a company from scratch. (Count on that).
is the #1 timekiller – its a whole startup in it self to get out of Bankruptcy. I have had 4 people fulltime during the whole process – I have been lending money for the process (big money – to pay all creditors). Think about it – who is crazy enough to lend money to a mann who is bankrupt or work for free for me believing in future value . All these people who believed in me and my skills and crazy visions – only supported financially by my ability to do s*#% ass expensive consulting and speaking gigs. I will do a whole blogpost of these people when Im 100% free. Because I have off course – already been gambling with my salaries and consulting fees – to convert to shares in the startups Im working for. But it also means that Im not fully fully out of the risk of fall back to bankruptcy – only 98% there.
My point here is that it takes many lifetimes to hit a lucky strike – and making one successful startup – here is some back of the envelope math:
x7 StartUps to make a winner
x2 Total REstrategy
leaves x6 potential bankruptcies
Sum: 84 “StartUps” x 4years for each = 346years is what it takes to make one successful Company :)
If you want to find the energy for this 346y gamble – then dont get too involved with people who say: “Look – It failed – What Did I Say”… Act – dont talk – find people with unlimited ENEGERY – and find a lot of them.
The Danes are the luckiest people in the world. But even in paradise the world occasionally changes faster then the Eden Gardeners Inc can restructure the flower fields. Im sorry to put this out in Danish – but its national matter :)
Venture Capital i Velfærdsland
– ja det er jo åbenbart en selvmodsigelse. For vi har ikke ret mange mennesker i dette land som virkelig har prøvet og mærket hvad Venture Kapital er.
Jeg er meget inspireret/uinspireret af Børsens skriverier om Statens Vækstpakke og David Trads artikel idag i Berlingske (om USAs foundere der geninvesterer).
Lad mig starte med at understrege at det er godt at man giver iværksættere og virksomheder en hjælpende på alle tænkelige måder. Men vi bliver nok nødsaget til at skæve til Darwin – for ikke at begå den tåbelige fejl at give de dårlige frø for meget kunstgødning.
Iværksætteri er ikke noget man kan lave i små klubber – det kan ikke emuleres i danskernes favorit loger = foreningslivet. Der er nemlig ikke noget hygge over at bygge virksomheder – det er behård Darwinisme – KUN de allerstærkeste overlever – og vi ved det jo godt. Og det er umuligt at lave store gamechanging virksomheder – på en politisk korrekt måde. Og det bliver ikke lettere af det faktum at 8 ud af 10 fejler – og pga velfærdsamfundets absolutte tag i mig – er det jo ligefør jeg mener at man skal passe på med at promovere iværksætteri.
MEN MEN – nu har Danmark en god mulighed for at benytte den tryghed der ligger i at have det rødbedefarvede pas – til at tænke frit og krøllet. Og det kan give nogle rigtig gode ideer. Men nu er ideer jo NUL værd – selvom vi næsten bilder og selv ind at Danskere bare tænker så stort at vi kan leve af ideer. Men lad mig understrege – til meget få erhvervslederes overaskelse: Det er det benhårde arbejde på den lange bane der gør forskellen – det er Ledelse, Salg, Salg, Produktion og så vil jeg påstå +75% kapital. Eller adgangen til kapital – i alle de forskellige stadier – her er en meget simplificeret lille model:
A tidligt start – B pre ide – C post ide – D protype – E stifterne siger op – F de første salg skal etableres
G finansiering af alle de store ordrer (fra de er i ordrebogen til de er leveret – og ikke mindst indtil kunden vælger at betale)
Alle disse kræver Kapital (det sker aldrig uden penge!!) – og men det kræver KLOGE PENGE. Hr Møller (Maersk) – er personligt nok ikke særlig stærk i A, B, C – men med hans kapital og alle de mennesker der findes i Mærsk – kan han hjælpe betydeligt senere i processen. Jeg mener at vi har nogle få menesker og de skulle tvinges :) (ligesom brandmænd der altid kan tvangsindkaldes – fordi de har nogle livsvigtige evner).
Her tænker jeg på folk som Frank Rasmussen i den tidlige ende A,B,C og Ib Kunøe til den senere del C, E,F,G. Her er folk som har skidt på fingerene – som ikke bare har arvet deres fars pumpefabrik. De har gjort det igen og igen – og istedet for at hælde milliarder i vækstpakker – kunne man give dem 1års skattefrihed og en tur op til dronningen. (Nu kender jeg ikke Frank så godt – men Ib ville gnække godt og grundigt i skægget og løbe dobbelt så stærkt – hvis Magrete skoddede smøgen i 5min og smed lidt sildesalat pa hans kravet). Selvklart for Danmark – og endnu mere for at vise sine skolekammerater fra Åbenrå at han faneme ka sit pis (OG DET KAN HAN).
Lad os nu stoppe med at skabe bureaukratiske VÆKSTFONDE – som er ledet af folk der har behov for et job. Jeg har følelsen på egen krop. Jeg ka ikke investere penge (fordi jeg kun lige er fri af min bankeråt) – men jeg har investeret min sjæl og min vågentid i 2 startups i de sidste 24 måneder. VÆKSTPenge skal placeres af folk der har personlig erfaring med at bygge virksomheder og financielt overskud til at tænke sig om. Og ikke folk der sidder med et Google Regneark og trykker på F5 for at se deres MANAGEMENT FEE (ledelsesgodtgørelse fra en fond) blive opdateret hver morgen. Og jeg bliver aldeles rasende – når mine fantastiske danske entreprenørvenner gang på gang ringer og siger: “Ja – vi kan sagtens få møder i London, San Fransisco og Singapore – men de danske fonde har ikke tid”. Tommy fra Podio klager aldrig – men han bliver ikke bestormet af DVCA(foreningen af Danske Venture kapitalister) medlemmer – men det blir han af internationale fonde. Heini fra Vivino har termsheets fra udlandet – men ka næsten ikke få møde i med DVCA. Og jeg kunne blive ved. Nu kan nogle fonde jo undsiges ved det faktum at de ikke har en krone i kassen. Jeg ved at Henrik Albertsen (en af Danmarks eneste rigtig succesfulde Venture Kapitalister) og Klaus i Nordic Venture Partners ikke har en bøjet femøre (fonden er tom) – ellers havde de selvklart ryddet bordet og nappet Podio, Vivino (ja – Tradeshift, Everbread, CPHSE – også selvom de ikke nåede toget på Skype – det var ellers damn close). Men det er desvære undtagelsen der bekræfter reglen. Der er sgu lim på stolene i DVCA – og alt for mange ser ud til at have allergi overfor FLYSÆDER. (Også når det gælder hvem der investerer i disse fonde – det er altid Danske/Nordiske pensionsmidler – ikke Harvards/Stanford Endowment Fund eller Guggenheim Partners, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Google…).
OG så kaster jeg op når jeg læser DVCA i Børsen:
En person fra DVCA – har givet den gas – og ytret at det er problematisk at KUN vœkstfonden og andre offentlige har fået statens vækstpenge. Og et interview er blevet givet..
- Direktør og formand for Vækstforum Bornholm Lars Nørby Johansen (formand)
- Direktør Anya Eskildsen, Niels Brock (personligt udpeget)
- Tidligere koncernchef hos Danisco, Tom Knutzen (personligt udpeget)
- Adm. direktør Merete Søby, Hitachi Data Systems (personligt udpeget)
- Adm. direktør Johnny Hansen, Better Place Danmark (personligt udpeget)
- Formand for vækstforum Ulla Astman Nielsen, Region Nordjylland
- Formand for vækstforum Bent Hansen, Region Midtjylland
- Formand for vækstforum Carl Holst, Region Syddanmark
- Formand for vækstforum Steen Bach Nielsen, Region Sjælland
- Formand for vækstforum Vibeke Storm Rasmussen, Region Hovedstaden
- Borgmester Kirsten Terkilsen, Hedensted Kommune
- Borgmester Erik Nielsen, Rødovre Kommune
- Forbundsformand for Dansk Metal Thorkild E. Jensen, CO-Industri
- Næstformand Lizette Risgaard, LO
- Direktør Poul Scheuer, Dansk Industri
- Direktør Christian T. Ingemann, Dansk Erhverv
- Adm. direktør Ane Buch, Håndværksrådet
- Direktør Claus Søgaard-Richter, Landbrug og Fødevarer
- Adm. direktør Lars Storr-Hansen, Dansk Byggeri
- Direktør Jørgen A. Horwitz, Finansrådet
BREAKOUTMen det er jo ogsaa lettere når man som i Singapore – siger tingene som de er. “Morten, we are very clear about not copying the Danish model – we think that its about atracting talent to our country – not about subsidicing those who cant”…Og jeg er jo alt for blød tåle at overhøre deres rabiate (men uheldigvis meget realistiske) ideer om at hjemløse familier selvklart får en bolig – MEN DET ER EN 1 VÆRELSES LEJLIGHED – som skal deles med en anden familie. For som de siger – “then there is a very clear incentive for everyone to get out and find your own place to live”. Wholly Moses der er hård kost høre om virkeligheden.END BREAKOUT
Business Philosophy Secret
I have lots a secrets business wise. A very important one is the usage of heroes. Well – my narcissistic self has been very open about Bransson and Clinton as heroes – but the lower level hero’s has never been something I have been unveiling. (comming back to that)
Speed Speed Speed
Mostly because I find it to be a very useful way to stay just a littlebit ahead in the HighSpeedTurboCrytonite-online business world. Things are moving faster then ever in history. Yesterday I watched some TV from 1970 – and the CEO of some company was sitting at a desk without a telefone (obviously no computer) – taking notes on a piece of paper – looking like a guy who had all the time in the world… It gave me a instant sting of jalousie – I WISH that was me (for a second). But then again the SPEED of communicating with the world – hammering mails, tweets, facebook messages and links back and forth with China, Singapore, San Francisco, Sophia and Frankfurt during my non sleeping hours is JUST AMASSING.
But its MUCH more interesting that Twitter is now Evan W @evhead and his teams second time of proving that they do communication and publishing platforms that are not only technology-wise interesting – but Twitter (and likes) are taking down regimes all over the world. The People are getting empowered and cant be stopped when information flows. The old farts who have been running dictatorships and regimes for 30+ years – have no guns nor time enough for torture that prevents the masses from uprising – AND WINNING. Its insanely good – interesting – and melancholic and goose-bums exposing.
Twitter = Anti Info-Bulimia
Facebook and Twitter is just amassing – after reading yesterday that 69% of FB users in many big countries are login in daily (link here)- I really smiled all day. Just think – if FACEBOOK lauched a TV CHANNEL IN THE TOP RIGHT of the page – it would be the #1 TV Channel in the world (and in each country) in 1h – with perfect targeting – click to act – the full shabang.. But Im betting on Twitter for some reason – I simply love to go into my Twitter account and get updated – its so short – and people have to think a bit before they post (140 char is nothing). And I get fully updated on the world and my social circles in a snap: From Egypt to Johanns stupid ideas about pushing Cats (real ones) to all his friends over Kawasaki’s spamming of weird news…
I bet on Twitter – The simplicity of the interface and the lack of noise (from length of messages) is just so appealing. Contrary to this way too long blogpost. To twitter is a combo of bookmarks, news, micro-emailing and
Bill Gross – The Hero (Unveiled)
With Twitter becoming so important in the revolutions around the world and my all time number one internet-commercialisation hero of the internet Bill Gross moving into this Twitter space (UberMedia buys TweetDeck). Makes me smile. And series A guys are also pretty impressive (dont really understand how the 30mio$ he spend yesterday came in):
I think that Bill G will be controlling more then 20% of the Twitter inputs “Apps” and prob go even higher very soon – this is not that interesting – but from a commercial perspective I so very sure that he has a couple af really interesting tricks up his sleeves… Very soon this will all be monetized to perfection. And Twitter will be bigger and more FREE then ever…
So why so much fuss about Bill: Well – I really like that he is always hungry and I see a chance that he can do something good – while making one more fundamental business model fro an enormous industry – that is just being born…
Here are some personal notes – just to make sure that you know how my mind works – before getting the full understanding of the last mile of this amazing and huge industry : Travel
Every Back-End Technology (and Philosophy) is +30Y Old
For the sake of argument, we can pretend that all the systems to support flights, tickets reservations and bookings were born (at the conceptual level) on April 6, 1926 when United Airlines was formed. The date when mail, passengers and cargo really started functioning in an organized manner through flights being attached to schedules. Back when reservations where written into huge books by the weird thing called human (manual) labour (real well-dressed people). Back when the volume grew so much, that a Pulley Boy (the human running to fill out the plane floor seat, using pulleys) became an official work title. But it was not until 1946, American Airlines installed the first automated booking system, and eventually to be called a GDS (global distribution systems) – introduced computing – in the shape of machine with temporary storage based on a magnetic drum. Of course, the technology has been developing fast – but legacy and bureaucracy has always been in the DNA of this industry. I think that its because of the risk that was involved back then when flying was not SAFE at all (as well as the size of the systems).
What makes me SO ABSOLUTELY MADLY IN LOVE with the Airline and Travel Industry is that – now the Internet is here – and even the developing countries in Africa are starting to book and buy travel more and more, especially online. I’m so genuinely proud to have Stephan Ekbergh as an investor in EVERBREAD – for a DJ – now heading up his second +250mio$ online travel company – guess where: in Africa – off course :). We spend a lot of time talking – and with his extra age and tons of experience – he directs me with lots of corrections and lots of motivation. It feel like he (who does not have to work) – really wants to fund fresh blood into an industry that is really hard to understand.
In my brain – I am taking it a step further and moving from understanding to changing: with my team in Sofia, who are smarter than any team I have ever seen before, a very strong founder, and with a board like this:
Montie Brewer, former CEO, Air Canada
Michael Jackson, former COO, Skype
Vagn Sørensen, Director, Air Canada. CEO, Austrian Airline
As the latest technology is sneaking in everywhere – I met a danish über Hippie this summer who had been in India for 4 years – he only comment was: Wow – at the train station I saw a guy with a computer in his pocket – and at this party everyone has it…(He talked about the iPhone)… Hardware, infrastructure, code and coders getting smarter and better every hour – with better tools than ever puts us in a situation that gives us nothing more than insane and limitless opportunities to change the Airline and Travel Industry. And it is SO obvious and not surprising that even the Private Equity guys get it (I mean pretty much everyone with a calculator and the guts to fire 1000+ people in order to make money :). Its simple – NOT EASY.
NOT Simple – Not EASY
Hey – I admit it – I’m not the fastest horse on the track (sharpest knife, most accurate mouse, speediest processor) – but I have seen quite a few businesses in my life. And even 1000+ business plans down the road – I have NEVER EVER SEEN A MORE COMPLEX BUSINESS THAN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY. The math alone (Traveling sales man problem) – what route to use with one stopover (you could fly to any point in the the whole world via that stopover) is crack ass difficult. I was told in school that its was not possible to solve… But that’s nothing compared to navigating all the rules that apply to these flights and fares – just as an example: a person who is married to someone who works at the Vatican – must have special price and maybe even a special seat/available seat. Not to mention that this mind-boggling calculation takes the processing to a task, that requires the calculation of 10 x 10 x 10 … (to the 20th) within the time when you click SEARCH on the website and you get your results. When complexity and history have such deep touch – very few people will stick around to fight this problem and get their head around it. And like in any other business ->
Its All About The People
And in my short time in this industry I have met them all (that not true – but nearly) – mostly super brainy – and always insanely persistent… Here are just some:
A small group of Really Really Smart and Persistent People – with hardcore stamina – on this shit difficult industry. Again, this industry is insanely hard to get around, involves 360 knowledge of everything Technology, Logic, Abbreviation, and development that touches it and accounts for 10% of global GDP. (The last stat is funny when you see business-plans in this industry – everyone has an insane potential in their own mind – like 10% of GDP :). The great thing about all this is – when an industry is this difficult, you have to be insane enough to enter it. (And quite some are – love it).
I actually just remembered lately that I was in the TravelMarket.com board (blogpost in Danish) and I took a stake in FairCompare pretty early… I was even considering leading the first round in Kayak – but was not convinced they could beat Mobissimo :). Who said: Anti portfolio.
EVERBREAD works with an unorthodox German guy – who has decided to use an American name – and who talks in a way that teens would consider rude. He and his COO have all the money you can dream of (unless you just IPO’ed or had Groupon founder shares) – AND they do not cut anyone slack. The guy has treated me so well that I can’t believe it – he even thinks it is OK to explain everything 5 times to me since I am not that familiar with all the ins and outs of the industry. He stays up all night and even monitors his business on a Sunday morning (very early) – because he knows that 50% of all Germans who are thinking about booking their summer holiday package – will drop by a site that is powered by HIM & HIS AMAZING PEOPLE. That is stamina. And I like his geeks socially. 1) Because they dare to work with him; and 2) Because they FIX STUFF – they act – and they do it with German Grundigheit. (What other country can promote a piece of chocolate globally as “Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut.” (“Square. Practical. Good.”).
EVERBREAD also work with the unbelievable consultants. Two of them are beyond smart. They are hungry and aggressive – and unlike many other very large industries – they don’t wear tie. But they have a solid impact on everyone they talk to – as if they knew who had the Kryptonite in a cartoon. These guys are also extremely nice, which I do not fully understand, because consultants are not usually good to people. (Or maybe its pretty easy – we have something 100% unique – and they see we are also trying to be nice, humble and pretty polite…). We have small bitch-fights and some disagreements now and then – but they are REAL MEN – and it is not a problem to have a beer after a fight. (The beers could become dangerous… shit it feel easy to get drinks, beer and wine nearly every night when you are on the road.)
At EVERBREAD we work with all the professional nomads on the road. AND PEOPLE IN THIS INDUSTRY ARE: ON THE FUCKING ROAD. Many have 140+ travel days – and most have lived in more than 6 countries. These people are a small group of people who really know what it means to be alone and suffer. (of course, taking out the high compensation they get for the misery on road ;).
And we work with all of them. To disrupt an industry that has been focused on getting around technology obstacles and doing pricing rather than shopping. Because despite all the +30Y technology products and philosophy that goes into this business, we still trust the human touch, the Pulley boy, to go and pull out the best fare in the market, because the person on the other line of the phone knows how to fly people for the right price. And that human part was in effect not changeable. I think that given the history and complexity of this industry, we, the bunch of smart people I work with and myself, have been able to defy a market and a philosophy that has been constrained by the technology limits. The product that will allow the automatic selection for the right route based on the right price for the right person… You and Me. Wow – sound like an american infomercial.
Its Even Possible to Sell Non-Revenue Companies
I did warn all in one of my latest blogposts about the danger of building companies, whose raison d’etre is only to disrupt (thats not why EVERBREAD is alive – we will make MONEY MONEY MONEY). But I did not say that its stupid to go into a sector where you can sell a company with no real cashflow for a fortune. Such companies should be careful in how they make friends and enemies, especially given the fact that if you have Asthon Kutcher as an investor, you can get 5-6mio$ investment – for something that will take Expedia and Kayak 3 days to copy (and by the way, something that was showcased by ITA 5 years ago). Plus a company like the AMMASING Tripit.com – just got sold for 120mio – nearly without revenue (i think). No wonder I love this.
I thank the Wright Bros
– every day. Both for giving me the chance to get around with having to use trains only and because they created this AMAZING INDUSTRY. That I’m just about to get under my skin…
Always remember the luck part. I was dumb-founded for 12 months – putting all my trust in Assen Vassilev (my founder) and his amazing vision. It’s all about luck – I needed a Job and Assen needed a guy crazy enough to dare to jump this 100% disruption of air fair search…
PS. The big secret behind Everbreadss SPEED is – Filip (The Wunderkind), Ian (The Stoic), Ann (The Wonderwoman) – and +50 People (PHDs to Office managers) who all take this seriously and get up pretty early and go to bed late. Lets just call it hard work.
PPS. sorry to post without giving you insights to our product and strategy :)
“I think we can tell ourselves “everything” to survive and turn every crappy situation in something good”.
Im really trying to see what could be wrong – every day. I feel that Im not allowed to be happy. And I feel so deeply happy despite the fact that I went bankrupt and lost everything. Since I swapped the Amex Black Card with a calling card – and my houses went on forced sale (dont know the english word). In the back of my head Im still wounded – my pride – my facade is not happy with this shit. But Im back on my feet and own most of what I had before – and dept that is manageable.
I LOVE THIS
But my life is 100 times more intense and real now. The daily flow with the EVERBREAD team and the 2-3 phone calls with the TRADESHIFT founders – is something I enjoy.
Well thats obvious – when things are possitive and moving forward like a rocket-ship trough the stratosphere… But I like to have controle over whats going on – I like to be deeeeply into the details and solve real problems and off course SELL SELL SELL. I love it.
On the other side I unfortunately have to say: “Thank you so much for thinking of me – but NO THANX” – to a lot of interesting projects and startups (4-10 pr week). But thats not hard anymore – it was in the beginning since evaluating new ideas, projects and companies was what I did for 5-7years. Although I was bad at EVERYTHING after first meeting and transferring cash. My problem: I had a table so full of amassing dishes and I did not know where to start nor where to end my days… I was distracted.
I STILL FEEL GUILT
Maybe one of the things that really makes me angry with myself – is that quite some people lost money on my too wild newspaper venture-ride. And off course – IT IS SOMETHING THAT I SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF. Everyone knew this was high risk – and 80% on the suplier side got over paid – but still it might have taken some of the 20% down – and I HATE IT. Also I really hate that all these people suddenly had no job.
Besides that – it feels like the lesson was needed. To go back to the humility – and not just blow it all up. But instead – I should probobly have saved some energi and money. And spend some time – sitting all still – on PAUSE – to preserve and be proud of what I had. Hmmm…
Next time. Next time it must be…!
I WAS ALWAYS TOO YOUNG
One of the big problems with getting wealthy and successful as a very young mann is that:
A) You dont get an upgrade on you brainchip – but everyone around you suddely listens too all you bullshit. And you find yourself in situations ALL THE TIME – where you are asked questions – where you have no clue about the answers.
B) Believing your own BULLSHIT – suddenly you start actually believing all the bullshit you say and think – and all the edgy ideas becomes: “Something we just do with a good team and throw some money at…”
C) THE REAL PROBLEM. You cant attract older and wise tallent – its hard to spend the time it takes to build trusted relationships to mentors, partners and fresh entrepreneurs. Thats where I went all wrong.
Should you ever end up in that situation, I can only advise you to do what you have to do. But try if you can tame the flame a bit – and find someone elder to get advise. For me its been a journey – and still is – I have learned that money really matters less and the energi from within is not at all tamed.
I have learned it all on my own body – and Im taking my own medicine:
People, People, People is everything – FOCUS HARD – very careful with hallucinating visionaries – and 100% focus on the fact that succes comes from sales not from funding…
Maybe nothing is wrong – maybe Im just happy and lucky to have the ability to adjust. Like I have done trough all the years as a pretty edgy entrepreneur. I’ve never had a book or a blog where I could read about thoughts like this – and I would probably not have listened. Its nearly impossible to learn from others when you are as selfmade as most successful entrepreneurs. But I want to say one thing: REMEMBER TO BE PROUD OF THE SMALL THINGS YOU ACHIEVE – and dont be shy to defend your achievement instead of hunting the next big thing.
Since I can see all this (and even get it into writing.
It looks like Im getting old and loosing the REBEL inside :( – Maybe I am – since Im now doing B2B software – hardcore science and business structuring.
But what the heck.
I FUCKING LOVE IT. Its never too late for a fresh start – BINGO!
PS having close friends, advisors and being in love really helps
(can also be read if you are working for an entrepreneur and find him/her weird some times)
To all of you guys out there who work every day on your dream. Who get up every morning and work like ants on creating you dream. You guys who don’t get disturbed by the common rules – or your mother in law – who wants you to take a real job. Quite often it can be a little lonely – and very few people understand what the crack you are trying to do = you might feel a bit lonely some times.
Most of us ENTREPRENUERS are often called stupid (because we are sometimes) – and laughed at – and we try not to show the world how nervous we are while we are strangling with that crazy idea. That dream of a company – a vision coming live. While we are trying to persuade friends and partners and people with money (and hopefully a bit of brain and knowledge) to join our vision – to take part in the unknown. We are trial and error people – who knows the very best: There is no formula!
There is so much hope.
Remember the small victories (and celebrate them) – and don’t give up. The world needs you – and only innovation can solve the crisis we see in the western world.
And remember that Zuckerberg, Zenstrøm an Evan Williams are people like you – and they had no clue that Facebook, Skype and Twitter would become so silly big… You can copy and learn and read up – but I think the real trick is hard work, long hours, focus and the ability to mobilize people (employees, partners and clients/user). You have the same chance.
Im writing this because I get so so many fantastic e-mails from people who wants to start a company – make a vision come trough or just have an idea. But right now – Im not able to help out – not able to invest (money is still super tight). My only way to help is to give a little oxygen to the entreprenuerial flame(s) out there – and underline that crisis is a fantastic time to start companies. 1) Many game changing companies have been started in recession – and despite all the warnings about double dip (and this is not salsa and guacamole) – the economy will come back somehow. 2) Only the hardcore – who are really serious try in this climate 3) Building a global company has never in history had such low entry barrier. (Imagin how much time a the founders of Johnson&Johnson must have spend waiting for snail mail 100years ago – when the went global with theyr plaster).
And Im proud to see them brave “idiots”
Around me – who don’t get scared by a all the hick-ups a small company has – and stay behind they vision and dream. Despite the fact that they could take a silly well payed job (and potentially bored themselves to dead). And I say idiots – because the risk is silly high and friends and family sometimes suffer – but that what it takes to be an entrepreneur. And I see people who made enough$ to relax and live on a beach – who keeps doing it (like me – back then). And then I see how most people with this religion called entrepreneurship – get a lot of energy from meeting up in groups and discuss and unveil all they problems and SUCCESES.
Use all the new initiatives – Startup Bootcamp, seedcamp.com, … They are fantastic meeting places and generates tons of new teams and ideas.
The Temperature of Venture Capital
– right now – the VCs (of whom many has problems raising a next fund) are very active – and a bit more polite then before. And if you can assemble the rigth team and the rigth vision – there is TONS OF INVESTOR CASH TO COLLECT. But you have to be fair on valuation and extremely focused on building a real revenue generating business – AND THATs IN MY OPINION VERY VERY GOOD. Sanity is back.
Dont spend time on reading to much about the new big Angels versus VC discussion – thats a way too niche discussion to care about as an entreprenuer. Just find what suits you – and be carefull with generalising about investors. They are all as different as 10 siblings – same family – but all have their own personalty… From Conway over Fred Wilson to Andreessen Horowitz and maybe your next door neighbor.
Just Do IT
Yes – bacause you can. And technology is faster and cheaper then ever. Just remember that most people around you will not understand you – and that does not mean that you dad is wrong in everything he says. You have to create a VERY SOPHISTACATED filter when it comes to advise and help – and you can start by decifering the crap that I have just incepted to your brain here/now… :)
Its simple – not easy.
When I landed in Paris 3 weeks after my bankruptcy I got a facebook message from a stranger – “your friend (my student in entrepreneurship since he was 18) has died in a plane crash pls call me”. Today is a BIG DAY – but I only got through all of this to show @Martin that I meant it when I said persistence is everything in entrepreneurship. Therefore TODAY IS DEDICATED TO the launch of MARTIN SCHAEDEL INTERNSHIP SCHOLARSHIP
UPDATE from a Bankrupt To My Dear: Fam. & Backers & Valuable Readers
(This will be my last post about bankruptcy and how it feels).
Its been a silly tough time since I realized that I had to close my newspaper 19months ago. Being insolvent and bankrupt is no real fun. Personally is has meant that I have been out of cash (as in NO credit card no nothing) – everything i controlled was taken by the government appointed lawyers.
Ive been loaded since i was 26
– when I sold Neo Ideo – with Lars, Jimmy and Thomas. But – let me tell you something. It has been a huge relief and friend$perience*. I had accumulated way to much crap (why the fuck did I have more art than I could have on my walls: wanna be artsy hip’ass) – out of desire to show the world (my mum and my high-school friends?) how smart and fast and brilliant I was. Well now you think – he has to say so. But this is true to everything I have ever done – and true I have been (mostly) :) – putting my money where my mouth was – and ALL OF IT.
REALITY ALERT: Dont even think about feeling sorry for me. I could have had a badly paid job at a restaurant and been fired – with nowhere to go!!!
After the shellshock – and some crap from a couple of people here end there (something that was a dot in the story but was filling 99% of the picture) – I can say now: I’m so happy to have seen whats supposed to be the button. The self pity vanished fast – and I just started charging for what I do (instead of being Santa Claus handing out money to every kind guy with half a good idea. I now had to get involved and charge for my time/network/ideas – (I know it sounds absolutely wacked) – but it was actually much less lonely and now I knew that no one was hanging out just because I had the biggest bag of candy. I had no candy tied to my leg – and a few guys (and girls) stopped calling :)
Note: My Mum was as ever cool: “Morten, dont worry – you got yourself into this stiff – and ofcourse you can get yourself out…” – and yes Im lucky to be born with good genes and such fine psychology.
TIPS TO GET TROUGH SHIT
1) Use your MUM – family and friends
2) Get (stay) in shape
3) Change yourself (u where probably on a wrong track)
4) Blame only yourself*
5) Reject (politely) all the people who want to share problems
6) Remember you started with nothing – so its like coming home
*Morten Nissen Nielsen and Svenn Dam (Chairman and CEO) – whom I trusted in my newspaper venture should take this medicine. I owe them everything – I love them for having me declared bankrupt – otherwise I would have been under management from banks and THEM (I offered them a seat in my board to manage this ship trough the crisis – so they could get the money that I really would have loved to give them). Now they have been blaming ME and EVERYONE around them for all kinds of crap – instead of creating value. But unfortunately I had a call with the Media Mogul number one in Denmark (Jørgen Eibøl) too late. He told me that these guys are driven by revenge and hate – and never kept one single budget in their lives. They dont even care about building value Svenn is on his second 200mioEUR burn with Dansk Bredbånd (a hopeless case) – just crash and burn and blaming everyone around him. Today they get 1mioDKR for the sad job they did at the paper – and the keep blaming EVERYONE – according the them even the official receiver is now a fool… But from my heart – I love them (“Its all about luck” – and maybe some Mental Tai Chi and a good psychologist)- and they where fucking amassing at keeping the agressivness and spirit high. And they found the most amasing journalists (and sales team and logistics team) all people I still admire (and talk to a lot) for producing a FANTASTIC PRODUCT. And if it would have been legal I would have paid them every single € i promised them – EVERY SINGLE ONE. And still today they collected 1mioDKR – whats consideren a LOTTERY WIN in Denmark.
Morten Nissen Nielsen got the special watch I give to super-talents – and I still think he can become a superstar – . I will never talk about this again – its out of my system and I love them.
Its a Rollercoaster – “faster faster”
If you have had the insane luck that I’ve been surrounded by – and consider yourself a human aggressive curious Joe from the countryside – not overly impressed with how things work. And you dare to take a shot at even the biggest structures – then I have ONE VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE. Be sure that the roller-coaster has a lot of speed when you go down – that might take you up faster :). I’m bullshitting – but
*friend$pirience – its UN FUCKING REAL
This is NOT AN Oscars thank you list – I just want to show how many people it takes to try to make a survival. You need quite an army of helpers and people – and since every rule and legal opinion has to be from experts – its not cheap. And trying to raise funds to buy myself free has also been a WONDERFULL EXPERIENCE. Here is an anonymous list of favours that came in from a circle of close friends and people I nearly dont know (you all know who you are):
C: My lawyer has been unreal
D: My other lawyer – offered free advise
X: An expert lawyer I did not know came by and told me to just use him
S: has given me accounting and financial advise (despite his partners resitance)
S: got me 6months free at the gym
m: for hiring me instantly as a consultant
m: who I used in boards – helped with pocket money loan
j: old friend – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
r: showed up with pocket money at my door and a kondi vand
m: sendt me pocket money from Miami
g: whom i met 4 times – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
k: whom I met 2 times – made a bailout account in 7h when an oppertunity came
m: who’m a met 4 times – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
t: my close friend – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
m: austrian drinking buddy – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
p: who’m I never met – got me a place to work and live from
l: who bailed out the accountants to do the books for the holdings to stay alive
p: who I owe a lot of money… after today
m: who I owe a lot of money… after today
j: who I owe a lot of money… after today
visby: who I owe a lot of money… after today
m: for giving me 1000DKR without mentioning that day when my card was taken.
m: who sent me 6 bottles of wine
BMW: for transferring the car to another company and not taking everything down so that my xwife has had a car.
Henrik E. – Forstadernes Bank: who trust in me coming back one day. Thanx Henrik!
Alexander the COO of my life: (former BullGuard): Who stepped in (12 months ago) and has been my wingman and survival manager when it comes to paperwork, contracts and my new job – I cant say thank you enough.
Speaking gigs: Lots of companies and organisations have been hiring me to tell my story – and its been a good way to keep up the spirit. And who could say no to go to: Milan, Zurich, Paris, NYC, Tokyo… and talk about they ego and get everything paid for + having lots of inspirering people sending hundreds of emails… (I do have to say that the speech/show is getting GOOD and FUNNY).
As you can read out of this – all these people gave me the the chance to buy myself free via loans – but I will not be out of dept for the next 10years – mentally nor personally. I still kick my self over the small business owners who lost money from the paper and the employees who lost their jobs – the big ones (Companies and top2 management) collected together 150mio+EUR in revenue. And the VAT we paid was an insane number…
Do I regret personally
NOPE – I have more experience than ANYONE I KNOW in my age – and I have learned a lot about friendships and see the world even more positive than before. And now my kids now the price of taking the train – and THEY LOVE IT. You could also call it the worlds most expensive MBA :)
Will I go all in again – hmm – hope not. But as one of my backers said yesterday: “Im also here next time my friend..” Im out…!
When I fly I always –
pass out just after takeoff. Some time ago I was on a plane from Tokyo to Copenhagen to do consulting work for a VERY BIG JAPANESE GUY. I had someone very dear in my mind and I was dreaming and crying on the plane… I’m my dream I was the main carrecter in”Californication”. A sexy lady (now my girlfriend) said ”Hey Morten, I have been thinking about it. I think you are the Hank Moody of your world…”
If you aren’t –
familiar with this TV show let me say that it is not something you would consider as an instant compliment.
Californication is about
a writer from LA with a rather complicated relationship with his life. He is drinking too much, smoking too much, fooling around too much and hurting his daughter and girlfriend all the time. He keeps ending up in strange crazy situations but for some reason he is to me a hero as he tries to be honest about his crazy choices. A heart-driven fool…
”What do you mean”,
I asked the lady a little offended, because this guy is really not a man a woman would spend more than a night with.
”Well”, she said. ”You fool around in your world, you smoke, ok, you drink, but you fall in and out of love all the time with people , with situations, with companies and with ideas. You manage to look at the bright side of life and although you have been going through a very tough time lately I have not seen you smile and laugh so much since the day we met.
You are a Hank Moody because you try to be honest and stay in contact with yourself although you do not always know who that is for very long – neither do the rest of us.”
Ohh my God…,
I thought, it is going to be a very long flight – more than the scheduled 11 hours. But then i started to rethink…
Dear valued reader of this mental hygiene blog of mine, I am not good at writing long well structured articles/essays. I am no good with long sentences, long relationships and keeping focus for too long. I communicate with the world through Twitter (140 carercters) and I get a lot of my info from Twitter as well. I am a super ultimate consumer of information and personal relations, words and ideas and I like to be fast, passionate and juicy about everything I do. I love to go all in – and that’s something I can prove :). I want to be a man of action and you could say short sentences. So for me to write this article/essay is overcoming a barrier and it is not a natural thing for me. Act Don’t Talk is my motto –> 2.0 Act Don’t Think or Act Don’t Write :) …
for bringing the Hank Moody story up is because he is a kind of a guy who seems to go with the flow and no matter how much he screws up he seems honest and able to continue on the destine road of his. And in that way I have to agree with thr srxy Lady.
I have been investing in and starting up companies for more than 17 years and even though I am no more than almost 38 years old I am quite a veteran within this area. I have a pretty good, almost animalistic instinct for good people and kicking off ideas into businesses and I am willing to go very far too implement these ideas if I believe in the people behind. And then it happened last year – BANG – One of these ideas made me go personal bankrupt and it is now 14 months ago. You can read about the whole story on my here on my blogpost the-day-i-woke-up-without-arms-and-legs – its hardcore – but to me more hearthcore.
What I want to share with you
is that ever since that day I have been smiling more than ever. I am a bit afraid of telling people how I feel as they could consider me a bit loony (well I am). But I have to be honest and even though I lost more than 50 mio. euros I am more optimistic about life than ever. I feel free and although I do not own a credit card and my kids and their mother probably have to move out of the house they live in and Im inviting myself for dinners all the time I feel an unbearable lightness about life and my situation, which kind of embarrass me since I read about guys committing suicide for less money that I lost and that makes me rethink…..
Im no longer thingking about what Jet Plan to buy, it is no longer an option buying art for all the extra earnings on investments, it is no longer cool to show the size of your dick by showing up a charity shit. And I love that I don’t have to spend braintime on inventing crazy holidays just because ordinary was suddenly not good enough – no more swimming in champagne at fancy clubs. You end up killing and loosing yourself, if not literally then mentally – when the speed is too fast… To go bankrupt is probably the biggest eye opener to me ever– it has set me free and I do not need to hide my insecurities behind a speed, funds, material shelter of goods and staff and more and more unuseful crab. Going bankrupt has shown me more about myself than I had ever dreamt of and even better – it had shown and taught me for real – not just as a political correct cliche – that success is not earning money in itself. Success might be about understanding money as a tool to develop and changing the world. A tool to make people work and inspire and motivate themselves and others.
Money and loss of it –
should never lead to suicide, ugly divorces, loneliness and mental loneliness. Money is like love energy and should be used and looked at the same way – with respect and mutual understanding. Money has to be reflecting the users values and personality and should be used wisely and with integrity. If you spend your money wisely and with respect and follow your gut feeling – then you might get closer to the right track i think. It is not about the money but about the energy in it. Money is dangerous stored energy. Be honest about who you are and what you know and do not use people unless you really use them. Money is nothing – did you ever see a company build itself? Right – it’s the people, people, people.
My friend was maybe right – Maybe I am the Hank Moody of my world – I live and breath it, and sometimes I screw up but I get back on the horse – I never give up on my dreams – and I am proud that although I have had everything and now have nothing I am happier than ever feeling more successful and on page with the soul of the world…
With EVERBREAD and Tradeshift
– taking of like space-rockets – I feel that my focus and salesman-skills channel in ONE DIRECTION and I actually add value. I see results – I feel that people around me grow and get more energized – and therefor I have a much better feeling about myself. I have tried being 100% confused about my 8-90 startups – and not into any detail. But now – that I have to perform as a CEO and Adviser – I see how much you can do with attention and focus – how many small errors I can find just from using my experiences. I’m not bullshitting you – dear highly valued reader – I LOVE IT. Off course – both project are HYPER DISRUPTIVE in their industries – and its not a boring butter cookie factory – but I love being into the details and MOVE A WHOLE TEAM and ORG forward. Its a very new and strange feeling for me – but I feel that I found my role here.
Should I ever be so lucky to get free and out of bankruptcy – I will lock myself into only doing One major thing and max 2 small side geeks.
your own success parameters all you other Hank Moodys out there.. And remember Im always very liquid – I have the love of my 4 kids – that’s all that matters. Think about it … :)
Note: This essay was printed in German Focus magazine 11 months ago – and is only mildly updated.
“I keep having this dream where I’m stuck in the bottom of a drill – I can’t jump high enough to catch the top and get up… ”
U don’t have to be clairvoyant or a numeric healer to understand that dream. For me the important part has been to cope with the fact that I’m a failure and forget about my cosmetic aware nercicistic self – AND MOVE ON. It did not take that long for the awake me and I make a small sallery and pay my bills partly from talking openly about my bankruptcy and working for EverBread where no one gives a shit. But apparently the deeper part of me is not really coping with the situation since this dream keeps comming… Its strange but maybe its also the key to entrepreneurship:
You r a failure since u don’t take the NORMAL CARRIER ROUTE –
when u get successful (and loaded) u r once again A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF FISH but with self-confidence.
3) THEN FOR SOME YEARS
U learn the new lifestyle – rick – successful – kind of admired. You start talking way more then you listen (be very aware). You start being late for to many friend meeting… And You try to find out who u are – and build whatever you can with this weird self-confidence from money: – family, friendship, companies.
4) AND THEN
( if did not give up at STEP 1,2 or – became a coke head at 3 (still haven’t tried that kind of dope – it would be like reverse Woody Allen on downers). And if you really go all in to feel the kick from building something and you dont just sit on the money (or a stupid real estate portfolio). THEN IT HAPPENS -> SOME go bankrupt – and start over again. (then GO TO 1).
No Matter What Step you are at – Its About People
As always its about PEOPLE and the values inside yourself – and if u want to build a big vision or a big company u HAVE TO HAVE the ability to atrack people and talent that is way over your head – ITs CALLED SALES – sales of your vision. A term that seems to be eroded from all businesscards I have received over the last 5 years (I just checked).
No Matter What Step you are at – Its All About Sales
As an entrepreneur: Every day you have to sell your idea, your product and your self. And dont try hide behind it – with endless development or launching without called clients – following up – or even worse – A VIRAL STRATEGY and MEDIA. Call client and partners… EVERYONE AND HIS DOG.
It Takes A Lot Of Self-confidence
I had endless love in my childhood from everyone around me (parents, neighbors, teachers (even those with bad teaching skills, friends and Mentors) – and I now even have the unconditional love from my kids on top (and a incredible patient girlfriend). And that’s more I could ever dream of – so when I’m awake and have control over my brain I’m proud and happy. And I do sales and get a no every day.
BUT BUT BUT there is some unfinished business deep inside (its cosmetic – and its about some people (the first in my life) who fucked me over – and its about my personal brand and integrity) – something I haven’t been able to connect too and analyze – even though my shrink has given me a credit-line (but we mostly talk about sex anyway ).
I will keep fighting – and I feel stronger then EVER – just have to fix that dream part – Standing Stuck down that drill.
FlopStar – refers to Morten Lund to rock GeeknRolla, April 20, London
Im not into it. But I have been helping a guy who is selling non prescription medicine and devices in retail – and there are big opportunities until you u get on the radar of the BIG KAHUNA’s.
I think open-source is a given way for the future of very big and complex software solutions (not to be stuck with IBM, CSC or whomever) – and end-users should not even know about it. For me it’s just a simple and smart way to have something open ended – AND ITS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT when in function as a service – its closed and not accesible (took me looong time to really get it). But Hartvig’s UMBRACHO thought me. I don’t see feel any ignorence – in my world. But I understand your worry..
Great idea. Im at my hotel.
Nike cornered it: Just Do It..
I tweeted: Important question for entreprenuers to ask themselfs: are u building a company – or just building company (around u). Well – I just see quite somestartups with no substance beyond a bunh of people hanging out together – they are just building a live social-club, hangoutplace. And they are not selling, producing or working hard/focused enough. .
Well that word is not very strong to me. Im not english native speaking and not highly religious – and to me the f-word is just representing something most people I know love to do and think about more then 10% of theyre awaken hours… :)
Good question!! The answer is
YES – very!
Its not about whats next – its a flow of actions – and some works and some fails. I will alwayshelp people to build companies. Now compensation is in honor and petty cash – when Im out of bankruptcy it will be in shares. (Or compbined)
No. Im living from day to day working my ass off (in fantastic job) – begging everyone I know to lend me money to get out of my bankrupcy. And Im getting closer.
MAC ! Im moved 2 years ago and I still impressed just by the lack of bluescreen.