Enabling instead of Blocking – How Etsy’s approach to Security is Different

Stefania Druga, one of my fellow-attendees of “Code as Craft: Crafting an Effective Security Organisation”, a talk given by Rich Smith, Director of Security at Etsy (on Tuesday at Etsy’s Berlin offices), already has written a post about it. Since she has done a good job summarizing several of the key points of the talk, you can get a good idea about the content as a whole from her post and Rich’s slides. I want to focus on one single aspect that stuck to my mind after the talk.

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Recommended Reading: Tesla / Bubble talk / Kickstarter stories / ex-Pirate astray

The last one I just published a few days ago, but I feel like another edition of Recommendation Reading again – so here it goes!


 I guarantee that these articles are slightly more fresh. Just slightly.

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4 Questions 4: Sissel Hansen (Startup Guide / MOVE-MENT)

Another edition of 4Q4, with Sissel Hansen, founder of Startup Guide and athlete participating in MOVE-MENT.

1) Denmark and Germany are neighbours and somewhat similar, but there’s also some differences. How do you think the entrepreneurship and business culture are different in Denmark?

In general, I only lived and worked in Berlin (and I guess the German entrepreneurial culture are different from the culture in Berlin), but there is something that is common for Berlin and the rest of Germany, which is the bureaucratic process of starting up a company.
It is extremely difficult to start a company in Germany in comparison to Denmark. In Denmark you can start a company in 5 min on the internet, in Germany it is a slow and sometimes expensive process.

2) I just signed up for my first run over a more or less long distance (7,75km). As you are a rather experienced and accomplished endurance athlete, what advice can give you me for that? 😉

Start slowly with the training. Remember that 90 % of the time you go for a run, you should it enjoy. The motivation to go out and train should not only be to accomplish the race but because you enjoy it. Then you will also get the training you need, and then you mind will do the rest when you are racing.
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Recommended Reading: Thiel lands in Berlin / EyeEm’s Flo on their Round / Volo-Rocket / Congress & Cybersecurity

Some interesting news and articles again this last couple days:

  • Peter Thiel changes course with funding of two Berlin start-ups*, in the Financial Times, by Jeevan Vasagar and Murad Ahmed: After two investments in London, Deepmind and Transferwise, and one investment in Berlin in 2012 (Research Gate, via Founders Fund), Peter Thiel invested again in Berlin – twice, in Number26 (€10 Mio) and EyeEm (€18 Mio). FT more accurately describes Number26 as a “mobile banking app”, whereas some other outlets like to call them a “Fintech startup”, for some reason. In any case, 10 Million is quite a bit of money, for a B2C startup that itself just claims 8.500 current active users!

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Berlin Events: Silicon Drinkabout Berlin on April 24th

… and on most other Fridays as well. Silicon Drinkabout Berlin is a regular, frequently reoccuring event, yet it is definitely worth a mention here anyways. As far as I know, it’s originally a London-thing and started (mainly) by developers. This somehow makes for a different, more interesting crowd than most events in Berlin. Since you also have some “regulars” around which come almost every week, one nice additional benefit is that you do not have to constantly introduce yourself to everyone. Also, the event moves around from one bar to another every week, so you also get to know some new cool places in Berlin.

This week, which is the 36th edition, it will be at Salt n Bone, a bar in Prenzlauer Berg. See you there!

freeCodeCamp – Part 5: More Bonfires & Node.js on Nodeschool

Since the last update a month ago, I made some progress, yet not quite as much as I liked. This is probably because I now moved beyond the very basic programming concepts and skills, which I have worked with multiple times, even in different programming languages, in PHP, Pascal, Basic and partly also in Python. In other words, I got to the content now that is more or less completely new to me, like proper frameworks and, in the current bonfire, more advanced things with objects than simply adding to or creating them. Learning new stuff obviously takes a bit more time and effort than merely repeating what you already know, even if it is in a different programming language, or a somewhat more complicated application of the same concepts.

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Berlin Events: Startup Night – Traction With Viral Marketing on April 14th

Another Society3 meetup for startups  is coming up tomorrow. As the organizers, an accelerator, is active in several cities now, their Berlin events have become a bit more rare. I am not fully convinced by the concept of their accelerator – I’m sceptical of most accelerators, actually – but their events so far usually had a good crowd. At one of the past editions, Sergiej, the founder of CleanAgents pitched, for example. (He pitched in many places though, of course. Just one example.)

Resources & Links: Pitch Decks & Pitching

If you want to learn pitching from the best, you should probably start with watching some demo days from the leading accelerators (like YC, Tech Stars or 500 Startups), check out old pitch decks from startups and take a look at what smart people wrote about pitching and pitch decks. Afterwards, at some point, you might want to get into touch with a pitching consultant, if you can afford that. Here is a collection of useful links for these things that I will update continously (whenever I feel like it).

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4 Questions 4: Herbert Hellemann (Buddyguard.io)

This time on 4Q4: Herbert Hellemann, a Berlin-based founder of Buddyguard.io that has been around for a while.

1) You previously worked at ReBuy, an E-Commerce startup that buys up used goods from consumers and sells them again. What is that market like and how have things changed, over your time there?
I had the impression people were not so open to buying used stuff in the beginning, mainly because they thought the quality was not good enough. We really tried to work hard on that and I think people got the point. They started seeing used stuff as still useful and were open to the idea to buy things that were pre-owned.

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Dark future for regional crowdfunding platforms ahead?

The viability of many small, regional crowdfunding platforms was questioned from the beginning, simply based on the economies of scale some of them will not be able to reach. In Germany, some platforms like Seedmatch also face image problems now, based on projects and companies, like in the case of Vibewrite, going terribly wrong. Vibewrite went insolvent, basically right after their crowdfunding campaign was completed, which made some people wonder how that even was possible. (The explanation that made it seem a little less strange was that part of the funds collected are already paid out during the course of the campaign, in several tranches.) Some startups seem to have problems getting traction for their campaigns on Seedmatch, which is one of the leading platforms in Germany, now and these cases – beyond Vibewrite there’s many more, an extensive list you can find on the Crowdstreet blog – might have something to do with it. Now there’s potentially even bigger problems coming up though, for all the (comparatively) small platforms.

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