HOT SEAT - OLIVER THYLMANN:
What are three words to describe yourself?
What was your very first business or creative idea? Did that make any money?
An analytics Service like Google Analytics today in 1998, worked well, didn't survive the bubble though as only ad driven.
What was your biggest challenge when you started your first business?
Getting a server for our hosting location in New York from Dell, that had to be ordered in Belgium, where the company was (went to school there), but I was living in Germany. Bought in Belgium, picked up to Germany, sent to New York (with all the right import codes) ... and it was from Dell!
What was the best advice in life or business you've ever received?
Raising more or less money or money at all, doesn't really remove your problems, it creates new ones.
Which three people, famous or not famous, dead or alive, would you most like to invite to a dinner party? Why?
Depends on the dinner party. My wife, my co-founders, colleagues, friends, people I like to be with over dinner.
How do you define success?
I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom. - George Patton
What makes a founder successful?
What do you do in order to keep on learning and developing?
I can't not do that. It's in my DNA.
Which resources are you recommending to first time entrepreneurs?
Talk to people and learn, but be stubborn at the same time. Probably start working at a startup first.
What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?
All risks are calculated, so there is no biggest, they are all different.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I wouldn't. I am doing just fine.
What's something you don't want to regret when you're older?
I don't want to regret anything.
What's your favourite book?
Maverick by Ricardo Semler and Birth of the Chaordic Age by Dee Hock.
What character traits of other entrepreneurs have impressed you?
Resilience never gets old. And pure brilliance is always amazing.
Do you believe successful ventures require something meaningful?
As you are going against common belief, doing something new, you need to deeply believe in the long term vision, otherwise you will never succeed as startups are too hard if you do not believe deeply. Hence, yes. We want to allow companies to focus on their innovation instead on their infrastructure. We believe that's important for a lot of people and we can help them.
What's something that first time founders should avoid at all costs?
Taking on inexperienced investors.
Why are you getting involved with Best of X?
Because Germany needs to get louder.
Final question - where can people find you online and why would you like to be contacted?
http://thylmann.net it's all linked there.