HOT SEAT - KLAUS SCHMIDT:
What are three words to describe yourself?
Adventurous, Analytical, Ambitious
What was your very first business or creative idea? Did that make any money?
My first business was a delivery service with a bike trailer at the age of 14. Yes, it made money and it also taught me about customer service.
What was your biggest challenge when you started your first business?
Funding (not for the bike service though :)
What was the best advice in life or business you've ever received?
Be open to what’s around the corner.
Which three people, famous or not famous, dead or alive, would you most like to invite to a dinner party? Why?
Steve Jobs -for always being true to himself Richard Branson - for his adventurous spirit combined with true entrepreneurship My wife - for making every event an experience
How do you define success?
Success is to have great ideas and bring them to life.
What makes a founder successful?
Sharing a vision and empowering others to run with it
What do you do in order to keep on learning and developing?
Be out there and be open
Which resources are you recommending to first time entrepreneurs?
TWIST (This Week In Startups) weekly podcasts by Jason Calacanis. He is the most inspiring interviewer in the U.S.
What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?
Sailing around the world and facing nature’s challenges
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Challenge yourself, build long-lasting relationships and give more things a try (you might like them)!
What's something you don't want to regret when you're older?
Not focusing enough on my health so that I can enjoy the longest ride possible.
Is there something you know you should stop doing?
Not getting enough sleep
What's your favourite book?
Flatland, by Edwin A Abbott because it illustrates how perception always depends on the perspective
What character traits of other entrepreneurs have impressed you?
I like seeing in other entrepreneurs: boldness, risk-taking, integrity and being able to empower others enough to be “hands-off”
Do you believe successful ventures require something meaningful?
Yes - successful ventures always require a great team. That is especially true in technology because of rapid change and scarce resources.
What's something that first time founders should avoid at all costs?
Avoiding the “naysayers“, especially the German ones!
Why are you getting involved with Best of X?
Because I enjoy what BoX is doing and I like to meet new entrepreneurs and hear their great ideas. It would also be great to get Hamburg on the map.