After a long – almost 2 months! – hiatus, another edition of Recommend Reading for you, dear reader!*
This week, again, Recommended Reading for… everyone that likes to read! 😉
Startup Guide Aarhus: Also recommended – if you are interested in Aarhus.
- ‘Berlin isn’t really a beer city yet.’ Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch Embraces Opportunity in Germany by Julia Neumann at Silicion Allee: Widening the perspective beyond actual startups, it’s interesting to hear where Berlin’s development is at, in terms of (craft) beer.
What was interesting in the last week? Let’s see…
No posts in non-European languages, this time around.
- My friend, the software-fraudster (in German) by Hans Bonfigt: Hard to verify, but Volkswagen might have been cheating already in the early 80s (with their catalytic converters) , according to this story. The author seems to have a pretty clear bias though, to be fair.
Recommended Reading is back yet again for another edition!
- Selling Out and the Death of Hacker Culture: Rodney Folz on Hackathons and why everything was better in the old days.
- You keep using that word—“MVP”…, by Eric Karjaluoto: As it happens quite often, people use a generally sound concept, misinterpret its most important message and thus make bad decisions with even more confidence. Continue reading
After a long “break”, it’s about time for another edition of Recommended Reading!
Time for another round of… recommended readin’!
- Asset prices are more sensitive to very low interest rates than most suspect, by Fabrice Grinda: Another article that tells you to be sceptical about current valuations of startups. I seem to like that kind of article, quite a bit, right?
- The changes in the German VC scene, by Thomas Grota of T-Venture Holding: Lots of people changed jobs in the VC industry in Germany lately, new funds have been raised… and so on. Or, in short, things are changing.
It’s all in the books, man!
This time, two “leftovers” that are two weeks old that I did not get to post then and one actually recent post:
- Kelsen is not a killer startup (in German): Some things – or startups – are not what they seem. When I heard about Kelsen, I thought it was pretty interesting idea. A more specific, domain-focused version of one of the startups I worked for before. Looks like this did not really actually have anything much at all (yet?). Interestingly, the Microsoft Accelerator thought they had good potential though…
A whole new stack of stuff to read. Continue reading
This time in 4Q4, Mengühan Ünver, one of the founders of StartupCVs.
1. You have some recent experience in startups in your team, but also some corporate or consulting experience. What can you bring from these other experiences outside of startups into your current work?
The differences between working in a corporate environment and working in a startup are immense. In a corporate environment, you take a much more reactive role where problems are externally generated and need to be solved by you. In a startup on the other hand, you actively have to generate problems and initiate things, otherwise you and your employees simply have nothing to do. Adjusting yourself to this type of working is quite difficult for new startup founders/employees coming from the corporate world. Nevertheless, the most important experiences I could take from corporate were:
- Knowing organizational processes and structures: learning from a highly developed organization makes it far easier to create your own structures and processes
- My skills in sales and (online) marketing: my technical knowledge was very handy many times, I was not required to hire someone until the later stages of our company
- The fact that I know I do not want to work in corporate as an employee in the near future – this one is the most important. Quite many professionals do not know which type of environment suits them best. This is something that you have to experience yourself.
Coding keeps me from reading as much as usual, but… I still came across a couple interesting stories the last couple days:
- Discounter opens first charging station for EVs (in German), by Georg Weishaupt in Handelsblatt: Discounter supermarket leader ALDI makes a move to supply the growing number of electric vehicles in Germany with “juice”. 50 stations will be build across the ALDI Süd territory until June.
Keepin’ it old school (like ALDI used to?)
After a rails course-related break during this week, it’s back to action with another edition of Recommended Reading:
- The birth of a new publication on Politico Europe, by John F. Harris and Matthew Kaminski: Politico launched in Europe, with coverage focused on the European issues developing in Brussels. Will it be any more relevant here than the Huffington Post? Probably, but that’s not exactly setting a high bar, especially for Germany, where these days it sometimes seems like I know more people proud of writing for HuffPost, than people reading it overall.
Read. Read. Learn.
The last one I just published a few days ago, but I feel like another edition of Recommendation Reading again – so here it goes!
- Elon Musk had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013, by Ashlee Vance on Bloomberg: Headline pretty much says it all. Do I need to say much more? I guess probably not. I think Ashlee Vance could get quite a few books sold.
I guarantee that these articles are slightly more fresh. Just slightly.
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!
The next round of recommended reading:
- Free your data, by Protonet, covered on Techcrunch, by Natasha Lomas: Interesting move by Hamburg startup Protonet – they started a data privacy campaign, including a petition on change.org. Let’s see how that goes!
- The Moment I Knew Twitter Had To Buy Periscope, by Shane Mac: In case you don’t know Periscope, it’s a livestreaming app like much-hyped Meerkat. However, that’s not the point. This article is bizarre, that’s it. You have to wonder how it ended up on Techcrunch. Or maybe you don’t have to, anymore, these days. Not sure.
In case you did not see it yet, now you have time to look, as there’s nothing new here (yet): I wrote a second guest post on the Startup Guide Berlin blog, on startup definitions (of Blank, Graham and others), which got published last week.
Time for another edition of recommended reading. This time, it is going to be a bit more extensive, in terms of the number of articles, at least.
- How to create a €100 Million-Startup in 10 days (in German), by Ehssan Dariani, founder of StudiVZ: Ehssan explains how to create any valuation you want (on paper) with some very simple arithmetics and pricing in in-kind support, like shared services of an incubator or company builder (like Rocket Internet). I hope this article gets translated into English at some point, because the same kind of “mechanism” is probably also at work elsewhere, outside of Germany, and helps understand some of the things happening here. Explains why one should take any valuations and investment rounds that do not involve true outside investors with a grain of salt.
I came across three rather interesting articles the last couple days, which I think you should read, too:
- Y Combinator and 500 Startups — A founders comparison, by Milan Thakor, founder of Unwind Me: Individual results may vary, of course, but nevertheless it’s quite interesting to read this comparison of two of the most hyped accelerator programs in Silicon Valley from someone who went through both programs.
- Kreditech – Wucherkredite*(in German), by Daniel Brückner: If the previous article got you in too positive of a mood about startups, this one will certainly cool you down a bit. Despite the strange SEO-ish domain name “Toptestsieger”, Daniel’s blog is one of the go-to places if you want to read about the dark side of startups, in particular questionable business practices. Here he shows how Kreditech, which likes to portray itself as a fancy big data play, operates as a loanshark with absolutely ridiculous interest rates, north of 3.000%, in countries such as Poland, Russia, Peru and Spain (which apparently have less stringent financial regulations than Germany, where Kreditech did not have a micro-loan platform open for long…).
- Customer Development Resources, by Vidar Andersen, Founding Principal of +Andersen: Finally, if you’re looking for something (more) useful rather than interesting or infuriating, this is the post you should read. Customer Development is a pretty extensive topic and in this post Vidar clarifies a few things and points you in the right direction for some resources to really get into it.
If you think these posts were great, or useless crap, or you want to point me to some good articles for future editions of “Recommended Reading”, let me know on Twitter!
* That’s the German word for “loans with extremely high interest rates” – today you learned.