Blog

At irregular intervals, you can read a lot of interesting facts about entrepreneurship and my thoughts on it in my blog. To stay up to date, you can subscribe to my newsletter.

My latest Insights

Are you ready for two-day hikes?

Are you ready for two-day hikes?

Nothing beats getting out in nature to get a new perspective. Two-day hikes are the key component of my coaching program for entrepreneurs - two days of intense one-on-one work, reframing your...

Not enough

Not enough

"Why am I trying to do something more than this?" This line on WhatsApp this morning sums up a struggle that most of us know too well. Things aren’t good enough as they are. Just one more business...

The fear that keeps you from being happy

The fear that keeps you from being happy

All successful entrepreneurs are driven.We have our own compass. We operate at our own speed. We aim for Mars instead of the Moon.  Many of us know exactly the inner driver, which...

My journey from founder to coach

My journey from founder to coach

For nearly a decade, I have been coaching a few other successful entrepreneurs consistently one on one. But in Summer 2022, the feedback I got for my coaching sessions changed. While earlier it was...

How to find ‘What’s Next”?

How to find ‘What’s Next”?

As a serial entrepreneur, I went through seven “What’s Next” phases. I guided countless founders through phases of searching for their next thing. Here are some points that I learned. 1) We tend to...

Founders have three jobs

Founders have three jobs

When I coach entrepreneurs, a part of the conversations centers around the organizations they build. Most of them have never learned that founders don't need to do everything themselves. As a...

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Some more blog posts

Connect to your feelings…

Connect to your feelings…

In my own coaching sessions, my coach kept repeating: „I want you to connect to your feelings.“ I had no idea what she was talking about…I’ve always been emotional, even impulsive sometimes. Yet,...

Learning to learn from others

Learning to learn from others

I’ve always been a ‘self-starter’. As a kid, I learned to code by myself. I prefer reading versus listening to podcasts as it allows me to accelerate to my own speed. When I wasn’t great at certain...

Planning your life for the new year

Planning your life for the new year

Most entrepreneurs can name the #objectives in their business plan. But what are your objectives in your #life#plan? Here are 15 questions that I use to plan my new year. What were your best...

My Life Story in the Podcast

My Life Story in the Podcast

No amount of studying prepares you for entrepreneurship. "Experience sharing helps. That's why I'm telling you here in the podcast how the stations in my life have lined up so far. Why I was already...

7 Destructive Core Beliefs of Entrepreneurs

7 Destructive Core Beliefs of Entrepreneurs

Core beliefs determine our understanding of who we are and how we go about life or work.Entrepreneurs are no different from other people: We can have core beliefs that help us or destructive ones....

Coach for Entrepreneurs

Coach for Entrepreneurs

While working on Qype, the most extensive local reviews website in Europe, I was under immense pressure: VCs were demanding, we had just our second child, and I was functioning above my limits. The...

My Business Insider Interview in 2022

My Business Insider Interview in 2022

I recently got a call out of the blue from Gruenderszene, a subsidiary of Business Insider. They asked me rather personal questions. In the end, this turned out to be a nice story. Please read the...

An update

An update

What is Stephan up to? Mentoring startups through Creative Destruction Lab Product strategy and organizational structure for larger startups. Researching sustainable aviation. Spending more time in...

Departed. An update on FLIO.

Departed. An update on FLIO.

(I am writing this from a cottage in Quebec with 5% battery left, so no perfect formatting...) FLIO is in process to be sold to SOS Travel SPA in Italy. If you are a user of FLIO, this means that...

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.

One of my favorite bits of experience sharing with entrepreneurs is: "It's a marathon, not a sprint".And when I coach other founders, I keep telling them that it takes a long time to build a great...

Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster.

Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster.

I recently did a couple of speeches for founders. One was in front of 1400 people at the Bits and Pretzels event in Munich. I've found that one of the keynotes that gets the most attention is my...

The Lost Art of Selling

The Lost Art of Selling

I love growing companies. I love this so much, that I have done nothing else for the past 15 years, with companies like TravelChannel, DocMorris, Qype, 9flats, avocadostore. Sustainable growth...

Basics for Organizing a Startup

Basics for Organizing a Startup

A couple of days ago I was keynote speaker at an EO Accelerator meeting. I was sharing my experience as an entrepreneur in building fast growing companies. While preparing my talk I realized how the...

in Wired UK: Taking startups cross borders

in Wired UK: Taking startups cross borders

This text is a slightly longer version of my contribution to the May 2012 edition (http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/05/how-to/scale-into-other-markets) of WIRED UK  Taking companies...

Painting your own painting

Painting your own painting

This is a very short post but it contains an essential guiding principle for investors in dealing with CEOs. At this years Annual Meeting at Berkshire Hathaway, someone asked Warren Buffett and...

My three favourite Buffett & Munger quotes.

My three favourite Buffett & Munger quotes.

I am a regular visitor to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. I don‘t go there because I hope that something  magic rubs off, but because it is a lesson in sanity...

Entrepreneurial Fads

Entrepreneurial Fads

It is surprising how quickly entrepreneurs tune into the latest trends. As a group, we seem to do no better than other humans in our judgement. Remember "Second life", or the now gone "beta" era?...

Hiring: The Spark in the Eye

Hiring: The Spark in the Eye

Arguably the most important task of an entrepreneur is to assemble a truly outstanding team. I am proud that I was able to bring many great teams together in the past. And I am grateful to work with...

The Power of Single-Tasking

The Power of Single-Tasking

For most of my entrepreneurial life, I was proud of being able to handle a multitude of things at the same time. And I did get a lot done. Over the past years, my multitasking has become more...

What to look for in an Angel

What to look for in an Angel

Angel investors have the most sexy name in the industry. They provide startups with money when nobody else does. Some aren't actually angels, but that is another story... Many people ask me if I...

Do less

Do less

I am a master of the to do list. I' m quite good at getting stuff done. Both in business and in private life. I do even better with my long term goals: Write them down, forget about them and a...

The real importance of the iPad

The real importance of the iPad

When the iPad was presented 3 months ago, the web prophets were not very enthusiastic. No flash and so on. Now it's the big hype. In 3 months at the latest we will have the Android Pad and next...

The Fab Four

The Fab Four

There are four excellent companies who dominate how we search, how we shop, how we communicate, and which gadgets we use: Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. The first three of these companies also...

It’s not about who you know…

It’s not about who you know…

I admit to be totally biased as I am naturally a big fan of the power of reviews. However, I need to highlight this little feature in the new Qype personal page called 'Insider Tips'. It does not...

Loving what you do

Loving what you do

I spend quite some time these days coaching friends, former colleagues or fellow entrepreneurs about "what should I do next". There are some interesting parallels in these discussions. Strikingly,...

Book: Spent

Book: Spent

Spent - Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behaviour by Geoffrey Miller I've been postponing to write about this book simply because I still am overwhelmed. Geoffrey Miller works in the field of...

Qype’s European footprint

Qype’s European footprint

When I founded Qype more than four years ago, I always dreamed that this should be a Pan-European business, not just a German one. I remember vividly how hard it was, particularly in the UK, to get...

Book: Cradle-to-Cradle Design

Book: Cradle-to-Cradle Design

I recently read the book “Cradle-to-Cradle,” which is an international bestseller. Brad Pitt was quoted as "one of the three most important books I have read". Michael Braungart takes a committed...

Next Steps…

Next Steps…

I deliberately took a while while to decide how I want to work and where to get involved. I pondered to join a VC (too far away from the business) and looked at direct investments in other people's...

Success of persistent entrepreneurs…

Success of persistent entrepreneurs…

Cem Basman brought this interesting article from Harvard Busines School to my attention: There is a new study out that measures the success of first time entrepreneurs versus repeat entrepreneurs....

What does your company do better?

What does your company do better?

Whenever I work with web entrepreneurs, the discussion quickly goes onto one point: What is it that your company does better than anybody else? In an era with unprecedented low barriers to entry,...

Business ideas that excite me

Business ideas that excite me

Finally getting to talk to people again. Discussing ideas, market developments, the underlying trends, barriers to entry, business areas worth disrupting and all these things just plain fun for me....

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“Germans will have to drive different cars and live differently, spend more money on food and monthly heating costs and work harder if they want to maintain their standard of living. And most...

Conferences

Conferences

Just received a nasty comment (anonymous) about unnecessary air travel to conferences. This exactly the point. I have not yet been to great conferences like reboot, SIME, leWeb, Picnic. But the few...

Nearly forgotten: Turboprop planes

Nearly forgotten: Turboprop planes

Even the smallest regional commuter planes now come as jet. I recently had the pleasure to fly with a Dash 8 Q300. Did you know that the fuel consumption per passenger kilometer is considerably...

Feeling Guilty?

Feeling Guilty?

I just arrived in Greece for a conference. There is a saying that all religions are based on guilt, just with different holidays. Maybe this whole CO2 discussion is a new religion. The more you...

Cars versus Homes…

Cars versus Homes…

If you spend a lot talking to people from other countries, you discover how odd certain things are in your own country. Statistics always show that fewer Germans live in their own home, as in...

Greenwashing visualised…

Greenwashing visualised…

On the right hand of this picture you see Germany's leading brand on eco friendly household cleaners with biodegradeable ingredients. On the left hand, you see a very non-eco friendly cleaner, which...

How green is your startup?

How green is your startup?

Although I am part of the web 2.0 startup circus, I have never really come across a discussion on the ethical implications of business. In Germany, there has been B.A.U.M (German Environmental...