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Dear Reader : This might be a bit more NEGATIVE than you’re used to. Apologies about that.
I love to chair startups and companies, but I hate 95% board meetings. But maybe not because of what you think.
I hate being dragged into staged and super-prepared board meetings. I get it, you want to look GOOD. But looking GOOD BORES me to death, because it’s FAKE. Every investor knows that things are never super-fluffy and hyggelig. So don’t sell BS.
When I invent or invest in a company – my time OR money – I need to know about it earlier than every X months. I want to know numbers, I want to know sales, I want to know progress. Every month. It’s not hard. (And I often get this because I talk to my CEOs – but every stake holder should have it on well structured emails – and maybe en Slack)
When I had stakes in 80 different companies – how many of them did send monthly updates? ZERO. 0. Niente…
( And recently it has gotten a LOT better )
And one director, he started by doing it himself – every month. Until he had better things to focus on – growth. So he delegated it to an external service, and he still runs a tight rocketship where everybody is onboard and pushes from the trenches.
I think you know where this is going. If you want my full attention, if you want to utilise my network, if you want to spread your word to the max – you must sit your ASS down and UPDATE people who invested their time in you.
That’s not a monthly 1-on-1 call to each stakeholder, or ‘catching up’ one time in HALF a year. YOU need to show me that YOUR business is going forward without me even asking for it.
This is why Claire (email@example.com) and team are now doing Shark Digest (we called it Sharkboard before). If YOU are an investor who also wants to have numbers every month, hire HER and team, and get this solved once and for all. CALL HER +45 51 20 54 06.
Benefits for the startup? You won’t have investors getting PISSed about you + you and your team will know how your own business is doing. And maybe your investors will help you faster when you need the next round.
It’s just a service made to fix a big problem for myself – maybe you can benefit.
were just the idea of sending money from me to my daughter – without a middle man. Think peer to peer of music – Napster, Kazaa turning iTunes. Its early – only wackos are really understanding it (or pretending to) – but see it as boring infrastructure like SMS. SMS did not exist 20years ago (or actually it did – for technicians in Nokia who where lazy and didn’t want to call each other) – and today we don’t think about what it is – it’s just the standard way of getting hold of colleagues, kids and parents…
Same will happen with Bitcoins or whatever we call the next generation of software to transfer money. It make no sense to have a switchboard like this – when phone calls are routed automatically. Same goes with money – bank are so very very soon to be obsolete.
I’m spending 18h a day thinking about and executing on this – but I don’t do Bitcoins – yet – I just build infrastructure (lets call it adversing channels and marketing partnerships) to help small companies to get their money fast and cheap. Its super simple – not easy!
This was a TEST, it went out to my whole network. And we FAILED a bit – the links didn’t work. But we like to LEARN from failures. So here it is for everyone. These companies + Kids + Josephine are taking up 115% of my life.
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openXO have wifi’d up the moon – the team around Christian has built a SMART wifi solution for hotels, retail, vacation homes, etc.. – pretty much ANY vendors with wifi – to offer intelligent wifi that pays off.
I’m SUPER excited to see that the hard work paid off and that they are already live in the first major hotels and got a partnership with Cisco.Meraki under their belt! There’s NO reason not to get openXO if you’re offering wifi to your customers. www.openxo.com – see the Investor deck here.
The supersmart (ex. Rocket) guys at Airhelp helped me already a few times in getting my money for delayed flights – Linus and I got each 600$ when we were delayed 6h to NYC ( nice way to kickoff a 3 day trip). It’s so great to see them being accepted into Paul Graham’s YCombinator and full-work mode to make life for passengers easier. www.airhelp.eu
If you are an investor with +20.000$ to invest get investor deck here.
I’ve been pushing this project hard since the start of the year. Basically when you receive an invoice, you should be able to pay it immediately with just a click of a button – payXO is here to lead that revolution. www.payxo.com. Try it out here
I asked the guys to make a product for me to organize fund raisers I run – and they did. Presentations + Social + CRM. I can’t think of raising money without pitchXO anymore – it’s the PERFECT TOOL to keep track of interested leads…www.pitchxo.com
Imagine IF office
A dream come true. Companies I deeply care about working from the same space in the heart of KBH. Everything you need as an entrepreneur – network with the best and have good cool videos from the interior and good healthy food served 24/7. We will even have two small AirBnB hotelXO rooms on Tripadvisor ! http://onlyxo.com/office – Club Membership 300$ by Application Only.
It has been a crazy last year with the guys at Capital Aid, and I’m so happy to see a financial startup thrive that HELPS small businesses with their money – since most companies in reality struggle for cash – especially after the banks fucked up. They use the power of Tradeshift – the platform that is the heart of everything XO. Billions of $ are just standing in the sprinter box ready to go to work. www.capitalaid.com & Investor deck
I’m working with a lot of great startups, and am lucky enough to be chairman of a few. But even then it’s really hard to keep the overview over what’s really HAPPENING inside these startups – there’s no Investor Relations Department – even though these small startups on the verge of bankruptcy need it more then anyone. The guys at Sharkboard handle that really well – I’m now CEO getting updates every month from my portfolio companies – and I can zoom into the investor pipeline from inside my Gmail. I couldn’t be more happy!! www.sharkboard.co
Thomas is a superstructured investment banker and advisor and SMART deal maker who closed over 330 transactions for IT companies – and who gets a Yes or a No fairly fast and that’s what every fundraising needs – not to drag it into eternity… Fund raising becomes NO BULLSHIT and SIMPLE with Tofte and his team of 4 – growing +50% pr quarter and having +80mio$ already raised in 10+ Transactions since the company was born in early 2013. If you have a startup or business raising money, you really want his services. www.toftecompany.com
Get a deal maker for your startup
Ferdinand is Gov backed to – Invest in Upgrading Students to make more money on Odesk and Elance … Gates should love it. The CONCEPT combines CODE education with MICROLOANS.
My personal CTO and his team live in the cloud. They have been working hard to make things work around me, and I’m superglad that they’re there. Tech diligence, API connectors and helping startups and SMBs get rolling in tech – LOVE IT! www.stefanxo.com
I believe in the vacation rental market, and those guys live and breathe it. I can’t wait for the new partnerships to show their fruits this year! www.sunnyrentals.com
What else is there?
I didn’t mention fundXO, panachio, Beancounting and lockXO – yet. Some companies to be covered in future posts. Also look out for some nice fund-raising party in CPH at the start of April with special guests. An announcement on this will be made soon if you fancy joining!
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 !!!
www.Airhelp.eu has a quite heavy period of 3 months development tasks and UI/UX work to get done – and they have set the budget for this (the right team can get shares for their code).
We are looking ideally for a top UI guy and 1 “full stack guy” – but we are open to anything – if you can convince us that you have the right team. We would prefer if the team can move to Copenhagen for 3months – but are open to the team working from Berlin, London, Bangkok or wherever – and fly in every 14th day.
If you are interested please contact:
Henrik Zillmer – co-founder
Bonus: 2.5% Shares in the Company
AirHelp is growing at a rapid rate of 100% month on month and is proud to be hated by some of the leading airlines. The airlines currently owe AirHelp and their customers 1.8 mil $ in compensation. Help to play an instrumental role in giving consumers what they are entitled.
“After having worked with Tradeshift’s CEO Christian Lanng during his previous employment at the National IT and Telecom Agency we were contacted by him for interaction, design and comunications assistance in his startup Tradeshift. We were introduced to the concept, the market, the team, the board (that included Morten Lund) and the progress so far, after which we were convinced that the chances of success were substantial. After a short round of negotiations we agreed upon a model of collaboration in which we were payed for several thousand hours of work with 2,8% shares in the Startup. Since then the value of our shares has hiked to 8-900% according to the most recent valuation.”
Today we are announcing the Capital Aid and Tradeshift partnership. CapitalAid has a backup of 500bio€ committed on paper – and when this flies we will have a further 5bio€ committed to lend to small and medium sized companies. It’s just factoring – they did it in the High Middle Ages when Venice became extremely wealthy through its control of trade. There is absolutely no rocket science involved:
CapitalAID will simply offers to pay invoices for a company on the same day as they send it instead of waiting 30-90 days.
(if your company qualifies to get paid – you will see the offer at a computer near you – very soon)
No (or very very few) small business can wait 1, 2 or 3 months for their money – especially when the banks have got into trouble and killed their (even small) overdraft facilities. I have seen friends companies getting shut down because the banks suddenly wanted 100% payback of the credit-line – overnight. And I have never seen a web agency or a startup who could survive getting Shell, Coca Cola or Boeing as a client – they simply cant wait 3 months to get paid – Startups have to pay salaries on Friday…
How To Do A Deal Like This
Like all other deals of this size – its been a crazy ride – this idea was obvious from day one at Tradeshift – and we (founders and investors and board) have been pushing Tradeshift from the very early days (5years ago) to start offering small companies on who are invoicing via Tradeshift to get their money instantly (there is some magic behind the scenes – but not much). But since Tradeshift is one of the fastest growing software platforms in the Enterprise SaaS category – with sales exploding and demands from clients piling up it never got much attention.
Since Tradeshift now has more than 10x the users/companies (under contract) then Ariba ever got (Tradeshift competitor bought by SAP for 3-4bio$) – we have had to take it easy and focus on the product and the crazy demand. We also had another problem – what country do you choose to start the factoring – when there is 192 to pick from?(Tradeshift has users in 192 countries). So due to my impatience – and this incredible opportunity – I starting pushing some of the people around me – and Torben Petersen has been taking the task with serious ups and downs for the last 24 months. With the announcement of the partnership confirmed on the Tradeshift blog, exciting times are ahead and a business which can really help startups is ready to explode… very soon.
This is a political deal for me – it’s very painful to watch the banks collecting government money (your money) – and not be able to deploy them where they are needed = with the small and mid-size companies.
Here is a picture of a real entrepreneurial hero.
Sales is the best Funding
Yesterday I tried to tell a crowd of very hungry entrepreneurs that they should go and sell stuff – and not hunt Venture Capital.. Jacob Wolff-Petersen (above) – one of my best friends – he spent the past 10 years building SteelSeries creating +50mio€ in revenue – without taking in 1€ in VC money… beat that.
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.
Being in the startup scene – is living with a clock permanently on 23.55 trying to score Cinderella. Only the most agressive, funny and smart (and attractive) guys have a chance.
After having started more than 100 companies – I feel that I’m starting to find the right melody – or lets call it tune. (And remember that I’m just the musician* – Josephine is my Cinderella – I over scored massively). And the people I have on my dance floor are absolute superstarts. And compared to when I was loaded – its much more fun and much more honest. Everyone knows that I can’t pay – so the people who show up (and STAY) – are all 100% focused on performing.
90% of Success Is: Showing Up
Of course you cannot learn those break-dance moves that will make Cinderella (the market) pick you – in a snap. And therefore its really interesting to grow older. Mostly because my network gets older – and more experienced. I’m a full believer in most of what Malcolm Gladwell preaches in Outliers: 10.000h is minimum needed to be word class at anything (sports, music…). And in maybe you need to put in even more hours if you want to be the winner in online/social business (overnight success takes about 5 years).
I.e. my close friend Chris Bouwer – was the most aggressive – at any dance floor (literally) for the last 20 years. He is just always there – and no fucking wonder he is the most successful sales guy in payments in Europe. The guy works harder then the rest. And is a pretty good dancer.. :)
Having A Unique Move
We all know that Cinderella needs an original and innovative pitch – since everyone will give it a try. But since that time is short (about 4.59) one has to be able to have something to say that is understandable. The Samwer Brothers seems to have refined that – by simply admitting to copy – and don’t ditch that too hard. We are all using whats out there – and every big artist in every century – has been painting just like his friends. But the most successful one’s managed to EXECUTE: get in front of Cinderella and deliver.
Without going into any racial or gender discussion – since that makes no sense AT ALL. It’s obvious that some people just have it – they know by instinct how to dress mentally – for other Cinderellas to be interested… To me it looks like curiosity is very important – mixed with extreme stamina and persistance. And right now I have chosen 18 people whom I believe in – to nail the Cinderella of their sector – I have to mention:
Kim at InsuranceXO – redefining insurance
Ken at posXO – doing a massive take on how we will shop
Claus at payXO – making it easy to accept credit cards without being ripped of…
You Can Do It
Is what I really want to say … just keep trying. Smile and Think positive and don’t take No for an answer. And it will all work out.
*I feel like Bob Geldof – definitely not the best musician – but I know the right people ;) (thanks to @MikThoboCarlsen for that one).
Darn – I’m building something larger then I ever did. Its killing my brain to get into 360 of banking.
Creating People’s Bank with a purpose
A Bank where real people like you and me can do our daily banking and paying online. And bank where we will say THANK YOU for using us – what can we do for you? Did you ever hear that in your bank – or in any bank?
Mixing that with Payments
and making it easy to accept payments online – if you have a small online shop – and your father is not owning a Fortunes500 company.
Fixing the small dying retail stores
to integrate online with offline – and most importantly help the little storeowner to file all the millions of taxes and VAT and crap… And let him/her know how the business is doing – live – not waiting for a half drunk accountant to type in last quarters invoices…
Fixing the problem of invoicing
– remember that if you do a freelance task for a big client – lets say Nike or EON – then you will not get paid unitl 90 days later. YOU WILL end up BEING THE BANK for Nike and EON – the world largest companies (and governments) – are using the so called “financial crisis” to squeeze the shit out of all the small suppliers. (Spend 5 min on tradeshift.com – and see how easy it can be done – new cool features are released today). The average time it takes for big companies and governments – to pay an invoice is up from 14 days in 2002 to 60 days in 2012 – NOW WHO IS SUFFERING? Small business owners and Entrepreneurs.
Rethinking Insurance – now that we are at it.
Its absolutely absurd – the way insurance works. I can’t get hold of my insurance company for 11 months a year – specially if I need them. But they call me on time to get my payments… Weird. Warren Buffet never misses a chance to admit that his wealth is mainly generated from his early insurance investments. But it’s wrong – no one is using BIG DATA and online as sales channel – its all like 1980’s.
Unstructured Note to entrepreneurs
and people who believe they can change the world with ideas and hard work.
Building a Bank – Payments – Invoicing – Insurance – Financing Is crazy!! No one believes that its possible – and I have 80+ people running around the world executing…. But I have a warning to all entrepreneurs (specially in Europe). Please remember to use other companies (start ups) web services. I see a clear trend in American start ups being way better at leveraging each others API and Services (learning from Josh Rockoff). And I think its the only way to keep up the speed. BUT – it requires ONE DARN BIG KAHUNA of a CTO – since the chance of a big ball of API spaghetti explodes. You simply need brain power and focus. (Nothing new).
But I really want to stress the importance of sharing ideas. Lately I have met too many people who have pretty good ideas – but wont tell them to the public. (Now that’s 99% of the time stupid). All ideas need oxygen – and lots of it. 99% of all ideas are first of all crab – and need 3-10 x reshaping.
Pitching your idea – makes it become real. So keep on until people start actually listening more then 15 sec – and give the blank stare. Be able to explain it to a medium successful person over 45.
Boil it down and split it up
Keep boiling down your ideas. Don’t panic and write them down – wait until they coma 2-3 times – and then start pitching to your partners and savvy business friends.
Be Prepared To Be Looking Like an Idiot
Doing things different – from school to adult life – will make a lot of people laugh at you. Get used to it – or get a job in an old bank … :)
LONG LIVE the Tradeshift founders and my financial backer Mr. Sondergaard – they believed me when I lost my money. Now I hope I wont loose my mind ;)
Changing The World
Its so easy to be fooled by flatter – but its also fuel – when you are doing something that no one has ever done before… I’m in the center of a storm – created by .. MYSELF. Wow – it feel’s good. It’s fairly simple – just use your full energy and your voice – and magic will happen. Its simple… Social media actually connects everyone with access to a IP device… And despite all the financially savvy idiots – now ditching Facebook – THE WORLD HAS CHANGED A BIT. Facebook is the social glue – that will make it harder to cheat and fuck over your best friends.. Mostly because you will be exposed and no one can live without a pretty clean Facebook presence.
For Analysts Everything Is Short Term
I want to celebrate The Founders of Facebook – I want to tell you : do not to believe in the rules. ITS SO IMPORTANT that we challenge the rules – everyday. And the biggest of all, rule-breakers has proven to be Mr. Zuckerberg. He runs Facebook with a teenagers drive and a very old mans intellect – despite whatever you might read. Facebook would have been dead if they would ever have involved someone from the old world. They would have forced Zuckerberg to spray Facebook with old school TV ads – and kill the user experiences.. SPAMMED. It would take just about 10 lines of code. But of course the financial markets have to run like they have always done – looking (starring) at quarterly numbers. And that’s good if you run a highly competitive business producing woods or wine gums – and your biggest problem is bored employees and internal fraud.
The Long Term Lenses
But when you are the market leader – without competition – then its all about vision. And I can’t celebrate the long term vision of Facebook hard enough!! I would go (40% of my fortune) short on all media agencies in the world (OMD =OMG)- and buy heavy (40%) up into Facebook stock – and then put 20% in social media management platforms.
What the crab are you babbling about:
Well – media brokering is like banking – it’s old school and adds no real value – therefor the media agencies have nothing to offer in their existing shape – it’s bullshit to use TV/Print without response tracking and understanding “what your users talk about”. But its cranky complicated to actually do it. But when you can use social advertising – everything else is lame. And since we have now seen that Facebook is long term – and not selling out to rules of quarterly sub optimizing – then we only need tools like Buddy Media and Falcon Social (to mention 2) to get 100x performance on advertising. But in reality most CMO’s are not smart enough to actually dive into this.
Advertising, post Facebook
Lets admit it. Business is all about advertising your product – and it would be great for Unilever and Nestle – and specially their marketing people – if they could just keep on buying TV campaigns. But its over – the change is now – the next generation will not do or buy anything without involving social media – checking in, uploading a picture or posting a status. And the same goes for brands and goods – of whatever kind. The internet brought transparency – no one can hide . And Facebook (twitter and Weibo (the Chinese twitter with more users then twitter and a better user interface)) – is with us – in our pocket 24/7 – and we use it. The new winners will be the next generation of advertisers – who are 100% data driven and measures the crab out of everything online – AND who are all about supporting their users – live… It sound insanely simple – and it is – but not easy.
A New Agency
I’m investing my time – to build a viral service agency. Balder Olrik & Mr Moseholms initial idea of GoViral – was never executed as it should have been. Because the timing was wrong – Jimmy (and Thomas) just did a miracle by turning into something the old world understood (advanced TV buying). I’m helping to create SMACKviral (with some pretty good dudes and duderinas) – an agency to create vibrant Facebook streams – simple.
Always do stuff only when you really understand it – or really have the need… I’m building a bank + insurance company + a cellphone company + a payment company + an light ERP company = all in one. And to succeed we need lots of attention = To get attention we need to be more active on Facebook then anyone else = and show the users that we mean it – and that we are long term. Otherwise no one will trust us with their money + insurance + cellphone subscription.
SMACKviral will create 2-3 content pieces pr day (crazy shit like Dog biting penis..) – so that I (as a business owner) can choose what I want to publish in my Facebook stream. Now that what every boring company (specially banks) needs – and this is kicking of next week.
PS. I would have mentioned Mr Lanng from Tradeshift – next to Facebook – but even with my shameless instinct of promoting my own stuff – I could not. Tradeshift is Facebook for business – whenever we get the full product launched – but we are not there yet…
PPS. To all the negative babblers out there – who think they understand Facebook because its now public – lets see the stock in 6months :). And to all of you who own the stock – just stay LONG – Facebook will create insane profit and even do really crazy stuff in China – just wait and wait an wait – and see. The shit is looongterm.
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:
What Does It Take
Look at hero #1 – Steve Jobs – watch some of his early videos. This guy was never a techie – for real – he was a visionary – who had no problem communicating to both Sales People and Techies. His partner in Apple – W – had a whole blueprint of a motherboard in his head – and he only had one shot at getting it produced. (Mistakes were not an option) – and remember all the crappy electronics we have today are less complicated – then what W had in his head…
The interesting thing is – that we need The SELF CONFIDENT EGO – who has the vision – to actually stand out and stand up – and SELL. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY PROFIT WILL ARRIVE ONE DAY.
But we also need a Techie – who can understand business and technology and who can bridge all of it – and even do it structured so that the future is not spaghetti code..
Q & A
I got this question from an entreprenuers in spe:
I have a question on my mind thats been bothering me for a while.
Is it possible to start a business without a tech guy? Coding is really expensive, so does a start up necessarily need to do this on their own?
It would be amazing if you could give me a short answer to it!
Thanks so much,
So My Answer Is: NO WAY
You need to fully understand all sides of the business – especially the tech part. And if you don’t have a early partner who is a techie – failure rate is so high. I have to add that – a CFO or a friend with Legal or Financial background will also bee needed… (And a lot more).
PS. Im talking about building +$100mio companies. If you wanna sell ads and hustle a bit – by buying the cheaper then selling them – you dont need anything: Just a whitelabel platform and a hypersmootth sales team. (Remember that’s how I started – with Jimmy, Lars and Henrik – in NeatWork ;) – NOTE TO SELF: crap name – do not repeat.
(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…).
The Best Enterprise Software deals in the world.
I have Funds and Institutional investors from all over the world – trying to get in. And I get 2-3 emails pr day from private people who wants to invest smaller with the companies I’m into.
Before dec 28 2011 – I will let everyone get a try – since that’s more fair (this should be for everyone – not only rich peoples funds). And after seeing how the banks fuck over many people in their investment advice – I have taken this decision to open up.
So if you want to invest in a mix of start ups in Enterprise Software in the cloud – if you understand what I talk about. AND if you are fully 100% aware that you can loose your money faster then you can say “bank transfer”.
To those of you –
Im opening to a minimum 10.000€ pr investor – and all in all 500.000€.
I will not let you know what I invest in upfront – but the money will be put into things where I’m VERY ACTIVE (I spend all my awake hours) – and I will mix it into all the new things I’m working on (not Tradeshift – its to expensive for non institutional investors).
In my super risk taking life – this is pretty safe – but don’t put more then 2-5% of your fortune into this.
Send an email to MyLawyer@lund.tv – and remember that its very high risk. VERY. And you can never hold me responsible :) – its all up to you.
PS. I will not take my mothers money – that’s how risky this is.
PPS. I would put my own money – if I was in the money.
I See & Feel A revolution
Nearly all the people who have been visiting my house over the last decade more then 5 times – seems to be on steroids entrepreneurs . Most of the people I have know for a long time are Danish (and its off course easier to drop by – when you live in Denmark (where my 4 kids live)).
I made a drawing – while bored in a meeting – and my eyes nearly popped out when I starting looking at it – and understanding it. Most of my close friends are doing pretty big stuff – and survive very well – and many are just about to sell for +50mio€. Now that’s crazy – specially when I remind myself how: 7 out of 10 Start ups for sure Die (RIP RIP RIP RIP RIP RIP RIP). But then again – I do nothing but babble about new ideas and changing the world and startups all the time – so pretty obvious conclusion.
But then something else struck me – they mostly have Scandinavian DNA. And maybe we are actually pretty good at this shit – here in Scandinavia. (Of course – everyone is so hard on each other (in my friends circles) and on the society. BUT BUT BUT – somehow I got proud. A feeling that I not always have about Scandinavia – since we are just loosing so big time to any Asian country in terms of growth – BUT so be it – welfare can only go to a certain level until it sucks all financial juice out of a country.
I’m shit proud of being Scandinavian
– because of the fact that many of these companies play in the Global Superliga – within each of their niches.
Of course it looks super cool from the outside.
For sure – when it works – its heaven.
Yes – some get shit ass rich.
But being an entrepreneur is mentally reverse to the public image. 1-2% are shit lucky and gives that impression. But 98-99% of all entrepreneurs and even venture backers – work so insanely hard – behind the scenes – for many many years. Pushing that dream – pushing that grand idea. On top of that – only 90% of the projects survive.
Its actually fairly lonely – to be working on something that has not been done before. And despite the very close relations to co founders and teams (those emotions are more like love affairs – really creating a rush – but everyone know that its not gonna last forever. (and in the tech world – you nearly need the gift of being homosexual – to meet a life-partner :).) – you are always alone. You have no clue whether you can pay the next salaries – you have guilt the size of a Pedophile Catholic priest – because you are not 100% present to your kids, wife and family – and you have even pushed some super smart engineers in to this – who had no clue about the stress you feel when there is no money and the wife starts to be flattered by others then you… (Since YOU ARE NOT THERE).
Despite the really crazy mess that it creates – personally, mentally and horizontally – there is nothing like being involved in a Start Up…
I Love Berlin With A Taste of Swiss
I have started to work a lot with a group of 4 people in Berlin. They are not only special – they are a phenomenon – a pure real ones. I cant wait to tell who it is – but not now. This post is just to show off German/Swiss “grundigheit” – and to give You: My Dear German speaking readers – this incredible chance.
PDF goes here -> Stellenausschreibung Personal Assistant
PS. (If someone you know – ends up getting the job because of you – and he/she can confirm – We putting a really nice weekendstay in Berlin on top (including flights – unless you live in Boa Boa).
Mr Lanng – is one of the guys with the fastest and most focused CPU’s in town. He has been so generous – to start as blog today. And It only shows his absolute mastering of communication and transparrency in running a StartUp on speed.
Here is a snippet:
“It scared the shit out of me. Being from a nation where government welfare is the default, a nanny state, I can see how “hygge” can kill any startup. The reality is that Tradeshift is still very much a startup: we might look like a real company, but underneath that very nice and well-marketed exterior is a fragile being in its most dangerous state – “a startup looking like a real company”. read more
And the blog is HERE – http://noisetoclarity.com/
Im pretty happy that I think I have convinced him to work with me – at my new incubator. (more about that after Christmas)