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:

  1. You are an expert
  2. You are deep into a weird niche (with lots of transaction i.e. payments, logistics…)
  3. You are a team (can stop doing it)
  4. You have 2-5years of real business experience in something boring
  5. 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.
  6. YOU ARE LAZY – and automate everything
  7. You love alerts – and setup “alerts to self” all the time
  8. You think Mark Zuckerberg will be the first Jewish Pope (Note to self: This is shit ass politically incorrect).
  9. You are in bed with someone who has big data
  10. 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 recommend@lund.tv.   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 recommend@lund.tv

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…).

 

Posted on December 18, 2011

You Can Invest (and loose)

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.

 

Posted on December 15, 2011

StartUps Northern Europe Is Exploding

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.

 

 

ENTREPRENEUR NOTES:

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).

Posted on November 24, 2011

The New Sheriff In Town

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on November 21, 2011

A Win Win Settlement

 

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)….

 

 

 

Posted on November 8, 2011

Look – It Failed – What Did I Say

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.

Energi

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).

Bankruptcy

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.

Posted on October 25, 2011

17.000.000$ into Tradeshift

Today I Feel Lucky

If you have been following me closely, you would have seen some crazy shit come out of Tradeshift. Instant Payments, SHIT HOT customer wins, Tradeshift App Store and now an IMPRESSIVE investment round. The secured $17 million – valuing them at $137m, making this one of the largest investment in a Euoropean tech startup this year!!

The investment is led by ru-Net and Kite Ventures.

Tradeshift will use the investment to accelerate their already AWESOME product development, sales & expand the company into North America (watch out competitors – here we come -yeeha).
The Story Again

23 month ago I met Mr. Lanng – and we convinced each other to try to build a BIG VISION: Change the way invoices are sent (its kind of stupid that people type them in – print them – dend them – and retype them) – and make it free. (I choose this Chairman post over 2-3 others with much better cash compensation and without getting shares – despite my bankruptcy   – because I think Lanng + Gert + Mikkel are the best DNA that can be produced in the Danish wellfare system. And because they did it all before in the Danish Government – AND FOR FREAKING EU – WILD!!

 

Today is a VERY VERY big day for this vision. Edward (Kite) and I have been flirting for a long time – and I really respect Edward for his absolute high-powered brainCPU (and self ironic attitude). But to be honest I did not expect us to get in 17.000.000$ this fast – specially when we loose quite a lot of money every month. But – the client list is INSANE – and some clients will VERY GENTLY ask their +100.000 suppliers to use tradeshift – if they want to get paid.

 

Our big task will be:

A) To make the simplest and best – FREE PLATFORM

B) To make the on-boarding process of +250.000 b2b users = shitAss simple and automated (We cant handle 10% of those calling us).

C) To fulfill the needs of all these +250.000 new users – in terms of business process and value-creation. Free is worth nothing – its all about the perceived value for our clients.

Important note. Lanng and Jeppe has been fantastic in this fundraising process. And yes – I take credit. But in reality its the TEAM BEHIND – teach and sales – that has made a true fucking miracle. THANK YOU TEAM. Thank you.

Opportunity of a lifetime

We will deliver – Im 100% confident. But I also kindly suggest You (dear highly valued reader) – to have a look at Tradeshifts API – and collect a group of smart friends to get started cranking apps. This is a goldmine for smart people – who understands that Tradeshift is The Social Mother Graph of B2B in very short time. And you can leverage – the acces – just like Zynga leveraged FACEBOOK. Get moving out there… Im dead serious when I say that this is the biggest opportunity I have ever seen.

Link to Tradeshift API http://developer.tradeshift.com/rest-api/

 

(Picture is from last boardmeeting)

 

 

 

Posted on October 24, 2011

Berlin Berlin Berlin

Berlin Rocks Somehow

Good Feeling Berlin

I have no idea what it is. But Berlin somehow has something I have never felt in any of the +120 Cities I have visited. I so much wonder what it is…

Put you idea/comment here…

Posted on October 18, 2011

I Have Fucked Up (a Bit)

This is a long message to officially apologize to my friend Eran Davidson at HPV – with a lot of background. I had a bad day – I forgot the power of my word – and I was angry (self generated rage is a huge driver for me).

A TUESDAY in Berlin, sept:
I had a good meeting with Rouvan and Eran Davidson (from Hasso Plattner Ventures) – about a new project Im doing – and since Im so much in love with it. I GOT FURIOUS (mostly at myself) WHEN THEY DID NOT WANT TO INVEST INSTANTLY. Most entrepreneurs who have been pitching projects to VCs turn the rage against investors – to keep motivated and survive the insane pressure – instead of giving up. I did so very much (same as many years ago when I was visiting 7-8 of the 40 investors who we pitched Skype – and ALL SAID NO!). I so much wanted Rouvan to invest (I wanted him and his brilliant brain on my side) – I wanted them just to take the deal – so that the new company would get going – and I should not do the normal 15-20 pitches to VCs/Fund/Investors I normally have to do to make a deal* happen. And the reason I went to Rouvan and Eran – was simple: They are some of the best in Europe – at what they do – AND they are some of the (only) guys who will survive financially. Most funds are just dying because they cant raise their next fund.  Note: With Hasso Plattner as investor – they stand incredibly good, despite the global financial crisis.

*DEAL= raising money to a company I like  -and where I believe in PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PRODUCT, TECHNOLOGY and TIMING.

 

Close your eyes for a second – and think about where you are in life. If you are just a bit like me – you have achieved a lot (maybe even gotten kids) and you are proud like hell (despite whatever fuckups and failures you have made….). But you will still think of yourself as a nobody – without any real idea of whats going on. I simply dont have that ability to take myself too serious. I doubt all the time – and Im driven by my doubt, curiosity and ambitions – plus my highly agressive inner voice that JUST WANTs TO WIN.

PROBLEM ONE

I never (or very very seldomly) think about the fact that – shit loads of people (You – my Highly Valued Reader) reads my blog – and that I speak in front of 50.000 people a year. It would make my nuts to think about it – and block my ability to dare to say, write nor preach anything. CONCLUSION: My inner self dont think I have any power – and Im sure that everyone knows that all I is: Hearth-driven – ideologic and with the purpose of creating change and happiness. PROBLEM ONE: I dont enjoy being any kind of negative!

PROBLEM TWO

I fight 100% for the things Im assigned to. I dont give up – (many people think that I just fly around – do my speaches – and the have nice dinners) – but I do sales meetings 3-6 times a day. On Phone, Skype, Location, Office – and during dinners and lunchs’s. Im pretty visionary – but nothing special – I mostly get / or go with medium ideas. In reality: Im a sales guy – and its my only asset. I love to sell ideas – and thereby create companies and movements. PROBLEM TWO: I dont enjoy when sales is difficult – and get agressive.

 

WHAT DO I ACTUALLY DO

I sell EVERBREAD, Tradeshift and 1-2 Deals* pr quater (just to stay in “deal” shape) – to partners, OTA’s, Airlines… – but most of my time (like many earlystage CEO’s) Im selling our companies and the visions to investors. And it takes 95% of my awake time – handling the relations – making information packages and nursing the VC’s who have interest – and handling the existing investors (BIG JOB). Because Im very positive and because I had a great childhood: I always communicate happily about where I am and what I think and what I do – but sometimes the world is not acting like I want – and underneath I get a bit grumphy (some would say older).

 

3 DAYs LATER in Berlin:
I was at the CEO Dinner – held by Hasso Plattner Ventrues and Team Europe – very nice dinner – very cool format: CEO gets to meet and promote themselfes to VCs – VCs gets access to talent and the people in power to buy the VC’s companies. SPOT ON, alligned interest. During dinner – I make a couple of jokes about Kite Venture (who is backing 2 of 3 deals I have done lately) and say that its a lottery fund – and that they are shit lucky (my way of saying smart, still self-ironic and humble) to have Russian passports and thereby have access to DST kind of BIG DO$… We have fun. Edward from Kite and Lukash Gadowsky are very smart – and very self-ironic people. They spend – like most very succesfull people – most time makes jokes about themselves and their failures and problems. We have fun. After dinner (and 3-4 cigarettes) – we end up at the table and Yaron Valler from Hasso Platner Ventures shows up. I make the same jokes – and say that HPV is shit lucky to have Hasso – and I make a joke about Eran and Rouvan. AND THEN Mr Yaron Valler (who dont know me and did not sit a the tabler earlier) – suddenly freaks out and starts a verbal fight (something I not really do – and Im very very bad at – since I never had siblings (whom seems to teach eatchother every chapter in that handbook)). I recall my rage from not getting a deal with Eran and Rouvan (and just to tease the dude – I say that I would hire Rouvan any day – and I reacall a earlier phonecall with Mr Yaron Valler (says something nasty about how I could have done the deal in 5 min) – and things get out of hand…

PROBLEM ONE and TWO gets FULL ON OXYGEN – makes me conclude – that either I punch the dude in his face – or (as I choose) I tell him to leave the table.

 

I totally forgot about it. We had a mutual bad day – and fuck it. But my very very good personal friend Eran Davidson – yesterday told me his version of the story. TO MY BIG SURPRISE – He was sad and felt that I had been saying bad things about him and the fund.

 

Dear Eran (HPV & Mr Valler)

Im am 100% sorry if this has ever been the case – or if you feel that I have been trying to harm you. My only intention was grill Mr Valler – test his ability to be self-ironic and not take himself too serious. BUT I FAILED – I MIXED IT WITH MY SELF AGGRESSION – I MADE A MISTAKE – STEPPED OVER THE LINE – and Im very very sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused.

PS: I will still hire Rouvan for my next fund :) – and Eran will be invited on the Board of my Holding one day (If Lisa won’t do it :).

PPS. this will not be my last “Im sorry” post.

Posted on October 12, 2011

Sometimes Right = Tradeshift

Sometimes:- You just know when something is RIGHT
You find the right PEOPLE
You have the right STRATEGY
– You have the right INVESTORS (and enough$)
You get the BUSINESS MODEL right!!

Tradeshift is one of those companies you only see very very “sometimes”: And now finally we told the world about it the real deal: Tradeshift Instant Payment

With Tradeshift – its really hard not to smile as a chairman. Founders are off course kick ass – but I must say that Im nearly more impressed by the people they have managed to hire. We have real ROCKSOLID TALENT & EXPERTS at every desk at that office. But we need MORE PEOPLE – see http://tradeshift.com/jobs/ – have a look – sometime you can be lucky.

Sometimes: Im shocked by the traction I see in Cloud Enterprise Software… If you (dear reader) have the brainCPUpower and interest – I will really recommend to do you next startup in Cloud based Enterprise Solutions…

PS. sometimes you can also be lucky to have a media (Techcrunch post) – that have all eyes from the industry plastered on the site…. And Mike Butcher always dares to promote hope – instead the killing depressive financial news… Mobile-Web/Cloud/Technology can and will change the business world – and there is a party going on for technolgy entreprenuers. FULL ON: Technolgy/Revenue/Profit/Champagne/Exit. The eco-system of trading – has found its way to technology – and wholly crap I meet a lot of young people who will change the world – and be millionaires before they are 30 years old. God forbit the last part :) – been there – fucked up…

PPS. Im getting really interested in the whole “CoWorking” -Space idea – and would love to have links to good articles about the topic. Sometimes: I feel that it could make room for a new investment vehicle…

PPS. Sometimes you need help – ASK FOR IT!

Posted on October 6, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs – the tech hero #1


Steve Jobs Changed The World

RIP

3 Apples changed the World

1st one seduced Eve
2nd fell on Newton
3rd was offered to the World half bitten by Steve Jobs.

I will watch this incredible speech over and over again – and use all my Apple gear forever… Maybe.

Posted on September 13, 2011

Greek Tradegy with EU as featuring act

(Dear highly valued readers – Im sorry but I need to put this into words. Its a bit boring).

The EU and US financial world is ill – really ILL – it’s crazy – everything is upside down. Its nearly  impossible to understand the impact of the crisis in Greece, Spain and Italy. The shit is 1mm from the fan in Italy and Spain. And some very few people in Europe has to take some game-changing decisions (aka Merkel and the two horny stallions from (F)+(I)).

I have a feeling that Greece will be left out – EU will not save Greece. EU needs to save the gunpowder – and be prepared to help Italy and Spain. EU cannot handle 3 countries going down financially (because most of the money is owed to brothers in other EU countries = read EU Banks)  – EU can only handle ONE small country falling apart financially . We have really ugly stuff coming – but dont be over scared we can all survive and still have fun.

There is a very weird an strange chance that US – will come ridding in with financial AID. The Marchall plan repeated – and the US can easily do it. Stuff more dept on themselves – and get security in the EU heritage. I know its sounds whacked – but I think its viable.

The problem is just clear: We will have ugly social uproar.  Because of the fact that GDP in most EU will go south for many many years. Im probably too exited about actually understanding some of this –  via a new friend to be really afraid – but the warning signs should be raised. Im really not doubting that a Greek full on Tragedy will happen – its just a matter of when. And then its impossible to understand or predict how EU can handle this. EU has been build on success stories of rolling in in one country after the other – and all negative debate has been called non-democratic. NOW when EU will be in bad shape – have bad press – and be in trouble for a long time. We will see if anyone of the countries actually cares for others then themselves. Is EU just a club of teens who will all run away when the heat is on- AND THERE IS A BILL TO BE PICKED UP?

I really have no clue how it will pan out. But – Wow – I’m so exited to experiences this part of history.

PS. I’m actually very pro EU – but I have always felt strange about all the infrastructure that Greece suddenly got after they received the badge with 12 stars…

Posted on August 22, 2011

I Have To Get It Out (in Danish sorry)

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:

NY VIRKSOMHED
A tidligt start – B pre ide – C post ide – D protype – E stifterne siger op – F de første salg skal etableres

VÆKST VIRKSOMHED
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..

Jeg er målløs over at dette ukoordinerede angreb paa Lars Nørby udvalget (Danmarks Vækstråd) – bliver fuldt op af en undskyldning i en leder i fredagens avis. Det er ligesom 99% af hvad der foretaget af danske fonde: ubetydeligt. Tænk engang at jeg er opvokset i et land hvor vi har alt – jeg har fået fluorskylning og speciallærere – man burde være ret stolt. Hvis man måler sig med de 5,7mia der slet ikke har vores levestandard – men selvklart har andre øjnet velfaerdsmodellen (og taget GRATIS delen ud af ligningen) og smuttet med den gule trøje.
Nu er vi fuxxxxx naet til at DVCA (Venture Capital foreningen) ikke tør vaere sure paa Regeringen (Lars N Udvalget). Det er udvanding når det gør mest ondt – man udvander sin sjæl når man ikke kan tage en ordentligt fight. Eller også er man for fin til det. Og for fin til at stå ved – at man i næsten alle DVCA fonde blot suger på lappen i offentlige institutioner og spiller politisk mundharpe for 95-99% af pengene. 1) Jeg syntes at Lars N udvalget har gjort et fantastisk job – specielt når man tænker på at ingen af dem har skabt noget der ligner en vækstvirksomhed fra NUL. Altså STARTET EN VIRKSOMHED fra STARTEN – hvor der bare lå en ide og ormede sig rundt på bordet og i stifternes hjerner. De kan ikke klandres for at tilgodese STATENS EGNE FONDE – DE ER JO SELV STATEN. 2) De fonde der spiser tudekiks og nu skriver offentligt undskyld på Børsens side 2 er nogle hyklere. Og så er de også så dårlige til at administrere penge og deres image at de ikke kan tiltrœkke penge fra en eneste investor udenfor de danske statskasser og eller – det nordiske pensionsmiljø. Og det er jo rystende. Endnu mere rystende er det at de ikke investerer i de bedste projekter. Jeg ser som sagt – den ene virksomhed efter den anden dampe til San Francisco – og blomstre med capital fra verdens sejeste Venture Fonde – og det er uden en eneste krone fra DVCA. Jeg har selv mœrket middelmådigheden – specielt efter min avis gik ned – og nu skulle alle fandme til at være skolelærere for mig (og ja ja – jeg fuckede up – det var dumt – men jeg er jo ikke død). Ja – det har endog været (og ER) sværere at fået møde med de enkelte fonde i DVCA som stadig har penge – end at mødes med Reid Hofmann, Tim Draper og John Door i SF. Jeg grifler ikke disse linjer for at få medlidenhed (det går fantastisk her i biksen) – jeg har fået en masse godt ud af at måtte over dammen. Men jeg er ærgelig over at se at vores fonde – offentlige som halvoffentlige ikke tager mere risiko – og ikke satser større.
Min Mor laver keramik – og det er hun ret dygtig til – men jeg syntes sku ikke vi skal støtte keramikere og frisører der vil “Go Global”.
Og NEJ dette er ikke en uopfordfret ansøgning til Brian Mikkelsen – jeg skal ikke administrere statens penge – det ka jeg slet ikke finde ud af.
De som sidder på statssubsiderne må ligesom DVCA oppe sig og vise de har bare EN enkel exit (salg af virksomhed) på over 1mio€ i sig  – vi er sku nød til snart at lave en ny Lego eller Maersk – ellers bliver der sku ikke statssubsideret fløde til venture kaffen.
HER ER DE SAA
Danmarks Vækstråd medlemsoversigt
Denne forsamling ka IKKE klantres noget – da de ikke aner hvad det vil sige at vaere LP i venture fonde og de har aldrig bygget noget fra STARTEN (koriger mig gerne).
  • 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
Jeg hader folk der bare skyder og kritiserer uden at komme med løsninger – og jeg vil nævne Singpore som et eksempel hvor det gøres det rigtig succesfuldt. De pumper uanede mœngder af penge i Venture Fonde (men selvklart kun de bedste 20-30 i verdenen. Og Singapore har en Veakstfond lignende struktur som er sygeligt agressiv). De ringer til startups der ligner vindere – sender 2 businessclass biletter. Og saa viser de agressiv interesse (uden at love nogen form for investering) – de sælger sig selv benhårdt. De er ikke for fine til at bede om ordren.

BREAKOUT
Men 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

Og jeg tror man ku laere noget – og jeg ved godt at vi ikke ka kopiere den form for elitetær ideologi. MEN kaereste piger og drenge i DVCA – kom nu op paa hesten – find nogle internationale LPs (de som investerer i fonde) og lav en masse telefon opkald og spis en masse frokoster med de unge (og gamle) spirende superstjerner som ka gøre Jer til succesfulde fondmanagers.
Vækstfonden og Danmarks mest mangtfulde iværksætter financier Direktør Christian Motzfeldt gør et meget fint job – og det er langsigtet ad helvede til – også selvom jeg har meget større forventninger til kaliberen af  de venture partnere han sætter i sine fonde – men nu er N. Nyholm kommet om bord – og det er en fantastisk start. Manden har jo faktisk – PRØVET AT SKABE EN VIRKSOMHED fra STARTEN. Nu skal han bare tvinge typer som Jimmy Maymann, Kunøe og Beebob Frank ind i systemet.
PS. Naar jeg omtaler DVCA – mener jeg DANSKE FONDE i DVCA – ikke norske olie drenge som Northzone….
PPS. Jeg tillader mig at have en holdning – selvom jeg ikke selv har en Venture Fond – fordi jeg i de sidste 24mdr har vaeret rundt med hatten i hånden og sunget og danset mine virksomheder til snart 50mio$ frisk Venture Funding. Og ja – jeg er hamrende stolt – men også pisse bekymret for om der overhovedet er en venture fond i Danmark om 5 år.
go dag
Posted on July 7, 2011

MY TAKE ON GOOGLE+

Is it like Google

(the service you know – that made the web worth using after ALTAVISTAs poor poor take),
– its shit simple (se my profile here)
– shit effective and looks/feels KILLER NICE & EASY (when you get it)?
– It’s like Google, but with faces and its your second chance to get your social network and HOW to share with WHO – right.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Google+ is a advances contact manager – (and Contacts in Google has always sucked bigtime – when you think about the fact that they have +40k top engineers and unlimited bandwith, hardware nd $) – but they have jumped it.
BRILLIANT.
GOOGLE+ is just a new social networking platform integrating several of the company’s present services. Or one could say – a A KILLER CMS platform. As sugar on top – Im pretty sure that GOOGLE+ PHOTOS will become killer – the knowledge from many years with Picassa will be a huge asset for GOOGLE+. And Google SEO will be forcing everyone to act on Google+ = EVERYONE. If you are geeky Read this

OK. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

It’s Google’s version of Facebook, basically. And with all the learnings from FACEBOOK – and a KILLER HEADSTART called GMAIL – where Google has all the fabric to really do it right. Off course it worth having in mind that Orkut (Google their first try – had 100mio+ users – and lots of knowledge for the Google engineers to leverage.. ) and Blogger.com (+100mio users) and Picassa (+100mio users).

WHY DO WE NEED IT WHEN WE HAVE FACEBOOK?

You may have a point. 750 million people already use Facebook.
AND Facebook is great – but technology has the ability to morph into simpler and smarter and better and more intuitive – think about your first computer and then you last Mac – things are moving with light-speed.
AND Recent figures suggest Facebook participation may have peaked, with the number of users down 6 million between May and June. But FACEBOOK is mainstream and will not be killed AT ALL. Its just beautiful competition – and it show us that Apple will also have a great chance whenever they get they shit together and launch an even nicer, cooler, simpler and more userfriendly social network one day…

SO WHAT GOOGLE+ GOT THAT FACEBOOK HASNT?

Google+ allows users to put contacts into groups according to status, and share content only with certain “circles” – not groundbreaking stuff here – but nice.
It also has “hangouts” where only permitted friends can have live video conversations – still weird that Google did not buy Skype (but regulations and the masterpiece of userbility done by PHDs at Google is impressive).
But Facebook and MySpace have been around for years. Isn’t Google a bit slow off the mark? Actually this is Google’s latest stab at social networking, after the failure of Google Wave and Google Buzz.
As one research analyst put it: “They’ve been throwing stuff against the wall for several years and so forth nothing has stuck.”
I’m not normally an early adopter, but Google has helped me accidentally find a lot of porn and essays for my studies over the years, so I’ll give it a go. Where do I sign up?
You have to be invited first :)

So it’s like a VIP club, is it?

Just like FACEBOOK started with highend shools only – and I passed on investing in it – because I did not see it going mainstream – Google has a extremely succesfull history of keeping their products in closed beta – for years.
But I feel that this time they are ready to let 100mio people on VERY FAST – and invetes are flying around very fast. The CLOSED BETA seems to be marketing and insurence for failure only – you will be invited 10 times within the next 2 motnhs.

Think:

“Blogging/Twetting/Facebooking/Email/Instant Messenger – all in a box. Just ad water – and the social cake of your life is ready…”
PS. Now you just have to invest endless nights to get it – and makeit work for you, your family, your friends and your company…

FAST TRACK TO PLAY WITH GOOGLE+

My anti hero number one in tech-media +Robert Scoble is really showing he worth when describing Googe+ (can save you hours) – and you can read (and see) his notes – and get up to speed very very fast. Also +Loic Le Meur +Matt Cutts +MashAble as always speedy on the keyboard and gives cool insights and these 25 Tips
My opinion is based on +Christian Lanng +Morten Wittrock and playing with it for 24h.

And remember:

I have no fucking clue…
Now – this is posted on my Google+ – how do I post this on this WordPress Blog directly…

History

Remember we started Tradeshift – via a couple of twitter messages and some sweat for equity (shares). And the companies and people who took shares – are some of the happiest in my business network… Also they where all kickass smart and has worked hard. Here is a chance for a small/medium sized team in India (preferable some champions like Real Entrepreneurs, x McKinsey, Accenture, Bain Indian dudes with lots of drive and energy – and a intense sense of urgency).

Message from Mr. Lanng (our CEO)

We are looking for a joint-venture partner who can deliver standardized integration and conversion services between Tradeshift and the millions of small business suppliers who need to be on-boarded. This really need to be a factory with standardized fixed cost per integration. Our estimates is this could easily be a 30m € business by 2012.

We will need this to be a joint-venture partner, as this is too strategic to outsource completely.

I’m in Bangalore from the 7th-10th of July, with the aim to finalize a deal.

(email to chl @ tradeshift.com )

When You Really Have To Pee

I feel exactly like when I have to pee while parking my car – its easy to manage. But then when I open the frontdoor to the house – and the toilet is so close – then it’s really hard to manage… :)

I’m getting so close to really ending my bankruptcy.

I run EVERBREADAND we are making a kill/homerun (and its ABSURDLY DIFFICULT TO MANAGE THAT MANY PEOPLE and EGOs)AND I advise (Chair) Tradeshift and they are always a bit ahead of EVERBREAD or just a bit behind (in new clients, technology, strategy and sky rocketing valuations). I get paid insanely well – AND when I speak I charge a fortune (AND I meet incredible interesting people + go first class around the world). AND I am still helping people to raise lots of money and I get paid really well – like really. This is  the only reason why I can pay a lot of cash (all+) every month to the creditors – but its over in 5 months (I made 18 month payment plans on most of the dept).

I’m almost 100% out of $ obligations – but the closer I get – the harder it feels to manage …

I’m getting close and thereby more nervous and that makes me wonder:

Why is it no one talks about MANAGING and BEING NERVOUS – in business . And why doesn’t anyone talk about BEING NERVOUS within all these startups and especially RE-STARTUP  – conferences and books…I think its weird.

Urgency

I am more than happy. The only problem is – that it’s much less worrying to be bankrupt – than being almost all at the goal – and SO CLOSE TO NEW VICTORIES… Its feels much more difficult being so close to the bathroom… I have started to get a bit more nervous somehow. The companies where I’m involved are all going trough the roof – simply amasing or amassing (yes someone (called Edward) told me how to spell it). I don’t really have something to loose – but I’m so shit ass afraid of failing again. So much – that I have 10.000x more attention on everything. Nothing can fall between chairs now – I need to really make it – I don’t want everyone to look at me as the dude – who didn’t make it out of bankruptcy for real… Weird – but not really.. the only problem ever – for me – was the fact that I spent 6-7 years as too wealthy and without any real feeling of URGENCY. I really like it (but NOT AS A PERMANENT STATE OF MIND) – but for now it tickles in that upper part of my (not small) belly. And maybe this is why I’m about to succeed again – the sizzleling nervousness sharpens the sense of urgency.

My Rules For Playing High Stakes Business Poker


HIGHEST ETHICS

1) It really pays of to play by the rules – with extreme ethics.

DONT JUST COPY

2) Be original and be careful with copying – it so dangerous – you might end up copying a failure.

BLAME YOURSELF

3) The best thing is when you can blame yourself – then you also know where to start if it fucks up.

That is it folks. I love you comments – so shoot shoot.

UPDATE: If you want to have the background behind this post – we are back in 2008 – read here (250.000 people has been visiting this post).

Posted on April 18, 2011

What Investor To Take

think it over

I get the question all the time:

What kind of investor should we take..

Well its really hard to say – I will go as low a making a small list of things that it depends on:

THE “How hungry are you for cash” TEST

1) Its too yearly – we dont need $
a) It would be fun to try – but we havent got a clue
b) We are confident and have an uncle who can help with the language
c) We have done it before and know some VCs
d) We are just teasing until someone talks to us
e) We are silly bad at selling but the product is HOT LAVA

2) We have quit our Jobs (if you ever had one)
a) and forgot to raise (product ate the attention)
b) we heard it was so easy / but shiaat…
c) running this so much more exspensive the we thought
d) we are selling a bit and have interest
e) my partner Joe can pay the kids school

3) We are burning CASH IKE HELL and the end is near/here
a) The investor are smoking us out
b) the big client is delayed
c) my Grandmothers money is gone
a) My Car is gone
b) My house is gone
c) Im thinking about robbing a bank
d) We have already fired 50% and rent is an issue
e) Things r A OK – but we think 9 mothers can deliver a baby in 1month
f) The VCs are at the door – so why not
e) The big Ass VCs have started their Electric Jets
f) We are GOOD – and it “Fuck You Money” time…

When you have gone trough these questions 5 times – and added 10 new points (please put them in comments underneath). Then you will have a fine clue – weather its the local drug dealer or the big boys from Accel/Kleiner/DJF’s of the world  – you should talk to. There is not that much difference :) (did I just use a smiley).

Advice on investors

No matter the size of the deal – its all about chemestry. Find someone you really respect HIGHLY (dont need to be a new best friend – that will only happen if you make an exit and become richer then him). But think about the fact that you will 99% (for sure) go trough REALLY UGLY SHIT TOGETHER – burning his money and your name/brain/vision/youth or marriage…

On the other hand – if you cant get the one you love – then love the one you can get. And get moving – speed matters and fundraising takes all your time (away from PRODUCT – SALES SALES SALES & MARKETING). Off course you should not give your company shares away – but dont shop too long. Get a good lawyer – or take a VC that dont want TOO MUCH BAD PUBLICITY if they fuck you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: VCs are my friends (I will be one again – one day) and I love the Venture Capital model – its where I work every day!!! I really thank the american foudners of venture capital – otherwise we would not have has this very sophisticated investment climate and ecosystem).

But some VCs and specially old school private Angels – they steal companies.

All in all I think you can do the math on mytest on top – and see there are endless stages – and therefor there are endless number of investor types. But somewhat Most important is:

1) Does HE have the MONEY and POWER to invest
(quite some funds cant fundraise them self now – and some (specially associates/juniors) at the VC funds pretends to be Warren Buffet – with the attitude of Godfather. And those guy cant even buy you an Ice cream without asking upstairs.)

2) Does He/She look like an idiot
(then he probably is)

3) Does He/She Understand Your Idea
(some dont – but if they are nice..)

4) Can He/She SELL
(most cant – they are money nerds who lured the trick of starting a fund – while everyone else in the class tried to build a business. And VCs are important when/if you want to SELL the Company – but also when you have to raise ore cash. Sales skills are required. You dont want an investor who are not friendly with the bigger fish in the foodchain. And He/She even has to be able to sell this to his partners)

5) Is  He/She Trustworthy
Dont be afraid to ask for references and call most of the people they say they know – be extremely hard on EVERYTHING that He/She promises in the beginning (just like girl/boyfriends) – here you need it on paper. And dont be shy to demand A LOT – specially from the non MONEY PART. They wil try to get in as cheap as possible (well thats the game) – but you have to put all the promises you get while they are talking down the price – into the contract.

CONCLUSION: There is no rule – its all one big illusion game. And my only real advice is to inform everyone about your weeknesses and be clear about the fact that this is HIGH RISK. The only thing you can give away is your word – so be carefull and act with all the possible honesty you can.

If you fail (and sometimes you do – its a huge part of the game) – very soon after you will be back at the knocking the same doors.

NOTE2: I think “The Social Network” Facebook movie – gives the wrong impression of how companies are build – ists a movie it is NOT REAL and IT HAPPENS PRETTY SELDOM that things fuck up so hard. So dont be scared.

Gosh – that became a long one.. And sorry not to publish more often – its just crazy busy here … See you soon.

Posted on February 12, 2011

A Real Hero – Bill Gross

Morten Lund speaking

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.

Twitter

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

Morten Lund speaking

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):

Index Ventures
First Round Capital
SV Angel
Betaworks
Steve Case
Jason Calacanis
Jeff Jarvis
Lerer Ventures

Bill (Wikipedia) has did GoTo.com, Inc. (OVERTURE) – the first reason to Google’s commercial succes – he has done an endless amount of amassing companies.

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…

Morten Lund speaking

Posted on February 2, 2011

Why i love THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY

The Strategy - not

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 :)