How Do You React to Mistakes?

I hear it all the time – “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying anything new.”

While it’s comforting to hear that everyone makes mistakes, they can be a small blow to the ego. I’ve made lots of mistakes over my professional career. Some still stick in my mind and return from time to time to serve as cautionary tales.

It’s great to learn from mistakes and look back on them. But another important factor in the experience is how you react to the mistake at the time. Continue reading

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“Do the Essential” – and other advice from Valley in Berlin 2017

Valley in Berlin 2017, hosted by Scout24, brought together close to 400 professionals in Berlin’s startup industry for a day of talks, pitches, and networking. There were many speakers whose words I found valuable and inspiring. One thread that connected several of the presentations was the importance of “fluid intelligence” in the new economy – the ability to use past experience to apply to new problems.

It’s not just a matter of individuals needing fluid intel to bring all of their experience and knowledge into the new economy. It’s a matter of vital importance to corporations that have been around for decades, and who must adapt to the new marketplace with either new products or new uses for the products they know how to make. Scout24 is an example of this, itself: it began as an online classified marketplace but has moved into creating a networked marketplace – “to inspire people’s best decisions.” Christian Bubenheim, Senior Vice President of AutoScout24, said in his remarks that this has come to include inspiring innovation not only within larger companies, but also from outside the companies, arising from the needs of the marketplace. Continue reading

Things I’ve Learned from Podcasts – #6

Here’s another installment in my series of posts about podcast episodes I’ve listened to recently, along with “my takeaways” from each.

The Accidental Creative Podcast – Todd Henry, “Overcoming Creative Roadblocks”

My takeaways: Henry relates the way a friend’s teacher described the process of a creative endeavor. It’s a U-shape, like standing atop a mountain and looking over at your goal, which is on top of the mountain across a valley. When you start on your journey, you can see your goal clearly. However, when you get down into the valley, that’s where things get thick, and it becomes easy to lose sight of the goal. Henry says the great lie we tell ourselves is that the hardest part of any creative project is getting started but, in reality, the hardest part is in the valley, where we are tested in the following ways. Continue reading

Report from Startup Safary Berlin 2015 — Part 2

If you missed Post #1, click here.

The second of three events I attended through Startup Safary Berlin 2015 was held in the offices of Remerge, on Oranienburger Strasse in the Hackescher Markt neighborhood of Berlin.

Remerge, which launched in 2014 in Berlin, helps app developers re-engage users who may have gone inactive, by targeting those users through personalized ads or messages outside of the app – across more than 330,000 other apps.Remerge_App_Retargeting

The office event began with a brief overview of the origins of the company by co-founder and CEO Pan Katsukis. In his presentation, Katsukis referenced a blog post he wrote in 2014, as the company was acquiring seed funding – How We Raised $1M Seed Money in 5 Weeks in Berlin. In August 2015, Remerge announced a $3M Series A round, to support the opening of a San Francisco office.

While I enjoyed hearing about the history of the company itself, the presentation by co-founder and CTO Martin Karlsch really resonated with me. Continue reading