Beginner's Mind

#109: Philipp Baaske's Journey: From Small Village to Biotech Entrepreneur

April 04, 2023 Christian Soschner, Philipp Baaske Season 4 Episode 18
Beginner's Mind
#109: Philipp Baaske's Journey: From Small Village to Biotech Entrepreneur
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join us in this episode as we talk to Philipp Baaske, CEO of Nanotemper, and explore the ins and outs of building a successful biotech startup. We cover topics such as bootstrapping, finding customers, developing effective leadership skills, and more. Gain valuable insights and advice from Philipp's experiences as a business angel and entrepreneur. Tune in to learn how to build and scale a successful biotech startup.

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If you like the episode, become a subscriber and support the show: https://lsg2g.substack.com/subscribe
Philipp Baaske
Christian Soschner

📖 Memorable quotes:
(36:18) "First of all, I disagree with Steve Jobs, it's important to talk with customers about their problems, but it's really about the problem, not talking about a technical solution." 
(48:17) "If you don't fail, you do something wrong because if it always works, you don't do the risky thing; you just do the easiest thing."
(01:10:20) "This is my advice on startups: sell. Sell a product before you have it because if the customer gives you money for it, you know that it's worth developing it."
(01:12:39) "We never thought about failing. Failure was not in our mind." 
(01:19:31) “I strongly believe that every disease is treatable.”

⏰  Timestamps:
(00:00) Introduction
(02:30) The Impact of SVP Bankruptcy on Entrepreneurship
(06:41) The Importance of Proper Risk Management
(09:51) Absolute Focus on the Things You Can Influence
(12:05) Managing a Global Team: Trust, diversity, and decentralized decision-making 
(14:56) Trusting the Best People
(17:01) Hiring with Gut Feeling and CV-Application Letter Match
(20:32) Marketing and Cultural Diversity
(28:43) The Importance of Product-Market Fit Over Funding and Investors
(29:12) Finding Customers vs Finding Investors
(33:43) Milestones and Helping Customers
(38:00) Talking to Customers About Their Problems
(40:06) Identifying Markets and Competitors
(42:56) Unlocking New Cancer Treatment Pathways
(45:26) Overcoming Failure in Startups and Drug Discovery
(48:49) Breaking Out of Confinement and Pursuing Goals
(56:37) Impact of Upbringing on Entrepreneurial Spirit
(57:33) Stop complaining, start improving: lessons from Vienna
(01:00:04) Curiosity-driven education: finding a passion for physics
(01:03:21) Experimenting in microgravity: sending projects to the ISS
(01:14:20) Startup advice: focus on sales and steady growth
(01:12:39) Overcoming adversity: believing in our technology
(01:15:31) The potential of every disease being treatable
(01:18:22) The impact of smoking on cancer risk
(01:23:17) Leadership lessons: walking the talk and starting with yourself
(01:26:35) Emotiona

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6:30

I think I saw it first on the LinkedIn post yeah yeah I think it was pretty

6:36

amazing because it happened last week if I remembered right on Wednesday and Thursday and on Thursday so the first

6:43

post on LinkedIn it's pretty amazing how social media works these days yeah yeah it's quite

6:51

quick and it's I think it's very important for all people in in the tech industry so in our

6:58

networks which are all about deep Tech I think it was natural that it flopped

7:04

up because it's so important yeah natural was good Twitter was filled with comments from chasing color

7:10

counties for example from the audience podcast and David sucks he was one of the founders of PayPal and they were

7:17

communicating a lot about the impact on the entrepreneurial landscape what's your opinion about the impact of the SVP

7:25

bankruptcy on entrepreneurship here in Europe do we see any I think we will know afterwards as always in this crisis

7:32

you know also with 2008 is what we call now financial crisis what will be the impact of this let's

7:39

call it maybe it's a crisis maybe not I think we all know said the predictions

7:44

are hard especially about the future so we will know afterwards what the

7:50

impact was what I see is as an entrepreneur for me it's more important

7:56

does it impact me and what can I do it maybe impacts the whole industry but

8:03

I can't change it I can't do anything to improve the situation for the Silicon Valley Bank

8:08

also the whole Bank thing what I can do is to improve the situation for my company

8:14

and this is what I do I focus on the things I can do I can change I can influence

8:21

and I don't let myself be disturbed with all this news is panic there's a lot of talking about it what will happen to us

8:28

I can't change it so I focus on the things okay what can I do with my company what can I do with my people and

8:34

this is what I try to focus on and not to get myself distracted I follow the news yes

8:40

it's because it was interesting to me what happens here but I don't let myself be disturbed by

8:46

it or to get to be afraid of something and really focus on the now what can I do and send

8:53

that c in in one year what's interpretation of this incident will be

8:58

how do you do that I mean social media is Fields these days with bad news actually and I learned during the

9:04

pandemic to use social media on a daily basis and Facebook Twitter and Linkedin when something happens like SVP is just

9:11

filled with bad news and I see the same way that you do actually accounts to

9:16

anything against it yeah so why focus on that how do you tune yourself out of social media when you see there is a lot

9:23

of negative negativity coming up how do you do that there's a lot of speculation so on the serious talking talking about

9:30

speculations but the big changes always live on a longer time scale

9:36

and now I I Source it's a US Government took some action Biden made a statement

9:41

so they do something and this is fine for me and I think they will stay with a statement

9:46

and I just don't read the things I just okay yes it will happen something and

9:52

then trust people have a good Network and I think if it really gets dangerous and something will really happen to us

9:59

I will be told I mean what we have checked is I mean trust your guts feeling tells you

10:04

never have all your asset at One Bank we have several Banks and we also look

10:10

okay do we have a a certain risk there with everything at one account and we don't

10:17

have so this is what I watched that do we have a principal risks here and now you have a lot of reading about

10:24

what should have been done to avoid this but you know afterwards you always know

10:29

it's the trick is to know it before and no one knew before no one predicted this

10:35

so I just don't don't read the news about it yeah I think this is what they mentioned is the key Point get a good

10:41

Financial guy in the company who is doing proper risk management so what

10:47

I've saw on LinkedIn very often was that companies complaints that all the liquidity was in One Bank tied up during

10:56

the crash of SVP and they didn't have any second bank account or third bank

11:01

account so I think your advice is really great when I compare 2023 with the year

11:08

you started your company Nano temper it was in 2008 yeah it feels to me today

11:13

that we have a similar situation in 2023 like it was in 2008 how did you

11:18

experience 2008 back then the financial crisis when you started your company well we started a company out of PhD

11:26

studies and when I when I sit back and think about

11:31

this time what happens here so I was so focused on starting Nano Timber

11:36

I knew there was something happening with lemon Brothers and it was anyway tough to get money

11:43

but this financial requires a hotel every everyone it was difficult at this time to get money because it's a

11:48

financial crisis but this is looking back during this time my crisis my whole Focus was Nano Timber

11:56

to get it started to get money to get products to get customers

12:02

so I was so much in those daily operational thing so they had no time

12:08

to be afraid of this crisis or to have it top of her mind and this is also a thing which I think is important

12:15

focus on what you do and this also helps you to ignore

12:20

these things maybe ignoring is the wrong word I mean it's something happening you

12:26

should take it seriously but not put your focus on it I think yeah is it a

12:31

bad word let me just think about it I was I have a business background and in 2008 there

12:38

was part of some let's say interest groups and there was this whole discussion about will we survive next

12:46

year what will happen is the economy failing is the financial industry failing and the entire Focus was on the

12:52

problem so I think what you said I read it very often for our inbox um from Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk that

12:59

they also have this ability to focus their retention on the task at hand rather than all this chatter around it

13:07

advice that you would give entrepreneurs these days to do it similar like you did in 2008 to focus on driving their

13:14

business forward instead of getting distracted from Market to evalences Absolute focus on the things you can

13:20

influence you have an impact on and set up your company in a way that you can react

13:26

as always I mean Germany entrepreneur is called unter Nima some under name I mean

13:32

someone who does something so you always have to be in a position where you can do something

13:38

and you this is what you have to do you bring you have to bring yourself in a position where you can act and

13:45

react and only think about the things you can change

13:51

how do you how do you do that on a personal leverage a lot of curiosity um when something happens in your

13:57

company um what's what's your North Star to decide is it an important thing to focus

14:03

on or is it something that you can prioritize a little bit down on the list

14:10

how do you do that I would say in a very pragmatic scene when something happens

14:16

I sleep over it and if I can't sleep well during the night and I dream about it

14:22

I know there is something serious happening at least emotionally for me

14:28

and the other thing is I trust my people so say all selected it's a great team

14:34

and I trust them and I'm I'm sure that we can adapt to everything

14:40

which is coming and this helps me to sleep most of them of the nights so I think there's a trust

14:47

in your people if you if you can't trust your people you have a problem you have to change this but trust in your people

14:54

really your team together you can achieve a lot this will help you whatever the situation is you can adapt

15:00

to it let's talk a little bit about your company Nano Temple uh mentioning people

15:06

and the team is a great hook for the for the next question when you reached out to me asking if we can do a podcast

15:12

together as a nano Tempo it's a barbarian company and you automatically ended up in my

15:18

small company pocket so I thought now temperatures the usual European life science company 15 to 20 employees and

15:24

it's rather small then I started I didn't do my research very properly so sorry for that and then I started doing

15:31

some research on your company and started posting also on LinkedIn and put

15:37

the event website up and every day another employee popped up and

15:43

the next employee and the shared all the content I posted and then I thought

15:49

this hour already 15 and then we have the number 16 and number seven so I must be wrong this was the first time when it

15:56

looked at accidentally your LinkedIn profile for your company and so that you have 197 employees on LinkedIn and if I

16:05

read the internet properly I think it's close to 230 employees that you have currently in your company uh can you

16:12

give me the right picture of a company to size and where it's operative in which countries

16:18

if you know 237 people we have 30 nationalities in the company

16:24

in fact it is a lot third year we were just sitting in Copenhagen with a team and counted how many nationalities we

16:31

have and we counted 30. so I was also surprised with so many may I ask you which nationalities it's from Trinidad

16:38

Tobago Japan yeah it's from South Africa to Norway so very International very

16:44

diverse a great team and we are headquarters Munich but we have also subsidiaries in

16:52

San Francisco in the Boston area in Bangalore Shanghai peaking in Tokyo just

16:58

to name a few of them so very International as a business is international so this is a flying word which means

17:05

business is local so you have to be it's a customer so we have the customer in

17:10

the focus so we are as a customers and this is a hot Sports everyone knows Boston area so

17:16

hotspot for biotech so very strong in Boston area so so we follow the market and the

17:22

customer how do you do that if you've mentioned you have employees in Japan in Boston in

17:29

San Francisco and the Munich so it's basically a global operation how do you manage that on a daily basis having

17:35

phone calls during the night during the day it's basically 24 7 business so management is all about trust when

17:43

you trust the people and I trust the people you don't have to manage them you don't have to micromanage them you

17:49

trust them they are selected we believe in them we trust them we work together very well

17:54

so it's not about talking every day say no to do that job

18:00

you know when you when you start up a company you have to hire really peoples that are better than you

18:05

who can really do such up this is tough you know you started it and send you hire new people and say do

18:12

the truck better than you do it's tough when you see them okay wow so you're doing so much better what have

18:18

I done the last years but this means also you have to let them do their job you don't have to disturb them for doing

18:25

such a job so you trust them and sends they do their business and Japan in San Francisco wherever they do

18:31

it and say we'll call you when the need advice of course you synchronize the

18:37

company you have tools web tools like assana which are Global in the cloud which

18:43

helps you to synchronize everything in a synchronous communication is very

18:49

important in transparency so that people can see what is happening and use their brain power to interpret

18:56

it and to become to get into doing so the assumption is we trust the people we have the best people

19:02

and we enables them to do their job so this is how we set up the company

19:08

I think this is an important part not micromanaging your team to create a larger entity

19:14

you mentioned that one of your most important criteria is to hire people

19:19

that do their jobs better than you can do it I'm curious now how do you what's your

19:27

decision criteria when do you feel that somebody is doing a better job than you do I mean I always have the problem when

19:34

somebody is better than me I mean I can try it because it's it is better but uh how much better and is he really better

19:40

is something which is beyond my expertise how do you manage that

19:46

but experience and learning in the beginning I had to learn how to touch this what tough maybe in 90 life been

19:52

wrong so it was tough times to learn a lot of mistakes hard for both sides so

19:57

you hire people you touch them wrongly I've been also not you know a bad leader

20:03

or in manager so we had to adapt and learn and most importantly learn my guts

20:09

feeling so it's a lot about the CV and the application letter if this fits together

20:16

and from the cvcv you learn about the technical skills and with the application letter

20:23

if it matches to the CV so in the CV for a certain skill set you have a certain personality and when you write it in the

20:31

application it has to fit so this is and send a personal meeting

20:37

and God's feeling I figured out that a meeting a job interview via teams does

20:43

not work for me it has to be in person on teams that do misjudgments

20:48

and I also and since God's feeling just got sphere is

20:55

as simple as it sounds it's God's feeling but this is not scalable with the company of our size

21:01

this is not scalable and also have some problems it's only my gut's feeling

21:06

but it's not about me it's about the company so I know we also need people to come

21:12

forward where maybe my gut's feeling is not working anymore and since it was one

21:18

learning in the last year to scale the company also Stephanie become bottlenecks and

21:24

hiring and you you have to hire diverse people

21:29

also people you may be personally you don't have a perfect fit

21:36

and so you can do this with your executive team with your leadership team you can scale up the hiring

21:43

you you talk about the culture and the value of the company and just gives you a Direction

21:49

what kind of people you can you can choose I think it's always challenging

21:54

when I mean when starting a company initially it's just people around the core expertise of the company where it's

22:01

easy to charge who is good so it's not so good uh when it's a promotion who doesn't need a promotion who is

22:06

ambitious who is not ambitious but when entities are getting bigger as you said the skill set becomes more and more

22:13

diverse so from coming from a technically scientific perspective what's your North Star to charge for

22:20

example business people uh and to church with your gut feeling uh lawyers for

22:25

example how do you how do you feel that they are the right fit for your company and that they provide the right expertise

22:31

there's a lot of personality of if I can trust some I don't work together with people I can't trust I don't work

22:39

together with people I would need a contract to work with them we always made make a contract it's it's

22:44

professional but it's a judgment of personalities yeah this is

22:50

really it's about trust if they're honest transparent and if we can trust them this is the

22:57

main sometimes if it's not the case I don't do the business because it's

23:03

driven we can decide and if we do if we don't feel good with it we don't do it there's a thing

23:09

we are we only say company fully we are independent we have the freedom so if we have a bad feeling with someone

23:16

We Trust our feelings and our experience that means in a multinational business a

23:22

lot of traveling basically you said you manage your operations personally in

23:28

person not so much via teams and you have companies in U.S Japan so you're

23:34

basically all the time on the road no we can do it if I mean if I do a job

23:40

interview I can't judge a person with your teams but if I know a person if there was one

23:47

person in a meeting or a few of them it works very well about teams and the thing is because we have so great people

23:54

we have very low fluctuations so a lot of people stay very long with us so we

23:59

know each other very well we fill up the trust we build up a communication level where we really understand each other

24:05

and this makes it very effective and efficient because of this good knowledge when you have the leadership team where

24:12

most of the people have been with the company for five or six years you really know each other sense and communication is

24:19

easy also about different time zones and different locations but for me a few times especially in the

24:26

beginning I need this personal contact to to get to know each other and

24:32

the good thing is we can also invite some to Munich it's Oktoberfest every October

24:37

it's Oktoberfest it's September you invite the people and get to know each other yeah and often beer is a good

24:44

Icebreaker we can sell it as Europeans that with the Oktoberfest it's a great event

24:50

um I mean what I see on the internet from your company uh your marketing is great

24:56

it's perfect you have uh I think it's free slong so that I remember one is creating a world in which every disease

25:03

is curable I like it very much and then there are one or two

25:08

correct me if I'm wrong making the invisible visible to make the untrackable trackable

25:14

these were the first songs that I saw on your website and they jumped really into my eyes

25:20

um how did you come up with these loans what was the process behind it so we have a really good marketing team

25:27

and and Trust lean she's working on the

25:32

west coast she's really great in condensing the messages and the feeling to this so

25:40

she just lean brought up this a greater world where every disease is treatable

25:45

or better it's we want to help to achieve this and send me a Creed on the team we

25:52

discussed it how we feel about it and then we've we've chosen it and then you see I mean you see what's

25:58

sticking if you write down a sentence you talk about it and no one remembers

26:04

it if it doesn't stick it's not a good messaging if it sticks like this hair

26:09

creative over everything is treatable or we mix the invisible visible to drugs and druggable

26:15

the sticks and it's a good message let's let's come to a tough topic you

26:23

started a company in Munich and your marketing is in San Francisco out of curiosity you don't have to

26:29

answer but you have experience with marketing people in Europe and you have experience with marketing people over on

26:35

the West Coast where do you see the differences what's what's different between marketing approaches in Europe and in the United

26:42

States are pretty much the same or are there different strengths that you can use for your company

26:47

yes they have different strengths so this is a good thing when you have a global company

26:53

I mean we have Italian design for the products we have this German engineering

26:58

and we have West Coast marketing so and also we have studied nationalities in

27:04

the company we don't think about okay who is better than the other you think where's the strengths and then we

27:11

combine it and and make something great from it so take the best basically from our

27:18

cultures yeah German internship you started a company in 2008 with your co-founder Stefan tour

27:24

and you had the idea to start nanotember Technologies when I remember my time in

27:29

the 90s when I finished my university studies and got my degree basically the majority of people got one

27:36

advice from their parents Golf and the job in a real company and don't do anything adventurous like funding a com

27:42

starting a company what was your motivation to not go down the farmer

27:48

route or the academic route and this is decides I start my company

27:54

I think there was an opportunity to start it so we during our PhD teases

28:00

Stefan we had a project together and send weave we redef discovered and infected covers

28:07

called time of reasons the funny thing is that time of releases was you know here in Vienna

28:14

in time of reason it was first described here in Vienna in Vienna really Mr Ludwig described it it was in 1856.

28:22

there's a publication it's a one-page so if you read it you don't understand it it published it in the academy media

28:29

so we rediscovered this effect during our PhD teases and the thing was

28:35

it was described in the wrong way so everyone thought what we do is

28:40

impossible because the theory told it's a publication told it's impossible but

28:46

experiment showed it's possible and so it was good for the patent application if everyone thinks it's

28:53

impossible your inventive step is there so we found this effect we realized by

29:00

talking with peoples and it was Mr finals from Roche he brought us to

29:06

the protein business and say our technology is missing and we realized there is a opportunity

29:12

say to do something and this is also typically for entrepreneurs as I said

29:19

under Neymar Neiman you do something and the thing

29:24

you have an opportunity and then you do it a single maybe it's a singers

29:32

I'm not a person seeing the risks first I'm seeing the opportunities first so there was an opportunity and we just

29:40

took it so you started with Stefan tour in 2008 based on a Patent filed in Austria in

29:48

1856 it was basically the time of the monarchy so yeah almost 170 180 I don't have excellent

29:55

unfortunately here under 170 years roughly ago I think our politicians could be happy here in Austria so it's

30:02

basically an Austrian patent is uh successful in the world thanks to your team in 2008 you were two people

30:09

when you started the company now you're to over 230 and in 2008 it

30:15

was Germany Munich and now it's Japan it's Europe Munich

30:21

it's Boston it's San Francisco when you look at this pathway in this

30:27

timeline from 2008 up to now what were the most notable free Milestones on your

30:33

journey one thing I can remember very well was how we sold the first device so we did a

30:40

lot of demonstrations to the research group also to companies

30:47

and I think 30 of them failed but we we kept them on trying we really had a strong belief

30:53

and since there was a commonly in Munich it was grelogs and we had to say gave samples to us

31:02

and told us if you get system running we will buy a device from you

31:08

so can very well remember I was sitting it was a 23rd December of 2009

31:15

so day before Christmas I was sitting on the in the lab on the microscope a very basic setup

31:21

and it was doing the experiments and was working really hard until the night because I want to get it

31:27

finished to visit my parents for Christmas so we finished the experiments there

31:33

send the data to gray looks and win for Christmas and New Year's Eve

31:39

in January 2000 2010 greylocks fondas

31:46

yeah you can win Stars we will buy super and San

31:52

bought the device before we headed just a

31:57

transferred money to us and this is money we bought the parts for the first device and we built the

32:03

device receptive to Sam in March and from the money we got we bought say parts for the

32:10

next two devices cool and since this time we are profitable and I think in 2000

32:17

10 we already sold 30 devices that's super it reminds me of it I don't I think it was both airplane Microsoft

32:24

didn't start similar I think they also had the first customers got some upfront

32:30

payments and then produced what they needed to produce I mean when we stay a little bit that

32:37

this is what you did from 2008 to 2010 getting your first customers in basically product Market fit when I look

32:43

on the market before 2023 and uh think about my experience with incubation

32:48

program acceleration programs it always felt to me that the utmost priority was

32:53

founding investors also when I read through Linkedin these days maybe it's just my power but there are a lot of

32:59

info it's a lot of information how to find your investor how to pitch to investors how to get your company

33:04

fitting with the investors need and vice versa and you went down a different route you found customers

33:12

in your opinion when you look at the markets today what's your advice to entrepreneurs would you rather go for if

33:19

you just make have to make a decision would you rather go for product Market fitting these economic environment or

33:26

would you also spend some resources on finding investors to move your company forward

33:31

my advice would always be Focus make a decision so it's about look inside

33:36

yourself what do you want is independence and freedom important for you

33:42

or want to have will become rich or want to have a lot of money I mean went to Capital private Equity

33:49

dominates the news so social media companies are backed by Venture Capital private equity and we read social media

33:55

so it's obvious that they will talk about funding how they've been founded

34:00

because they have to promote their own story but this is not the only way I mean

34:06

important is that you have a choice you have the choice between bootstrapping or Venture Capital both are okay

34:13

you have to be aware in venture capital you have to make them Rich they give you

34:19

money said you make more money out of it than others can do this is why you say give you money and they want to sell

34:26

and then you have to think okay okay I have the first vendor capital they want to sell in five years what

34:32

happens then the next venture capital guy or comedy bias it and send the next the

34:38

next and you have to do an IPO or a strategy guy company buys you or

34:45

you're bankrupt these are the options it's you have to be aware if you start with venture

34:51

capital you take this route this is absolutely fine this is a good route

34:57

but you have to be aware what you do and say as a route is

35:02

maybe it's a bootstrapping route you may grow slower you know but you

35:07

grow with some money of the customer and since money you earned it before you

35:13

get it with the products you build and you really own some money you can do whatever you want

35:19

with this money then you have freedom and Independence hold both sides

35:27

not better or worse I think you see my tendency

35:32

review yeah because it puts away I think we try to venture capital way we looked

35:37

for money no one was giving toward us we was no good in presenting but you

35:43

have to make a choice I think it's the worst thing you can do is following both routes in

35:50

parallel because then you don't Focus you don't focus on product you don't focus on on your pitch decks and getting

35:57

some money so you have to take a decision we have to risk not to do everything and this is the most

36:02

important sing what what the founders to do what the CEO have to do you have to take the hard

36:08

decisions you have to say no I'm not doing this I go this route and then you fail

36:14

and you'll stand up and maybe you take the other route but when you try something you have to fully try it not

36:20

just a little bit it's full focus on the one thing really push it

36:26

that it works and if you send fail it's fine you tried it but it's really about trying The One Thing

36:32

when we stay at the first Milestone finding investors or finding the first customers I think they're all they are

36:37

always Market cyclists and starting a company in 2018 I'm not aware of any company who was

36:44

successful in fundraising especially in the Venture Capital space the market was pretty much dried out so I think it must

36:50

not necessarily be a judgment of the quality of the company to not get Venture Capital it's probably just bad

36:55

luck to start in the wrong time it's it reminds me of 20123 which we have now that we also

37:02

have a complete different Market environment today than we had three years ago so three years ago it was

37:08

basically easy to find money there were new Financial models on the market like the Intel SPAC industry and now it's

37:14

completely tried out um but I think it's necessary when the companies to get a good Financial guy on

37:20

board and uh always as you mentioned explorable throughout so is it possible to get venture capital in or is it more

37:26

time to find more customers and sell more to get more Capital into the

37:32

company it's always about growth at the end of the day and having the right skill set in the company's key to success

37:38

my next question when we stay on the Milestone route so the first one was finding the customer what was the second

37:43

milestone not every Milestone between 2008 and 2023

37:49

for me a milestone is to really see that we help the users and customers

37:55

we first will get the product done and send experience what the customers do with it we had

38:03

this PhD student I think her name was Tanya she visited us

38:09

and she told us I have to assemble I have to get it working for my PhD teasers and I'm working three years on

38:15

it and no progress and since you put in our device and one hour later she had

38:20

the data and that means he had tears in her eyes it was really emotional and sadness since the point where we

38:27

really experience did you do something important which really helps the customers also an

38:33

emotional level and so this is still also the energy

38:38

I get a lot of energy from visiting customers and seeing what they really do with our products because so send you

38:45

experience it helps it's not only on a financial sheet where you see some Revenue numbers

38:51

you really experience that someone use your device for a good

38:57

thing and feels good about it and so I have a lot of milestones

39:02

I said was just recently it's a slis one customer approached us

39:07

and told us your dinos device is almost revolutionary cool and then we ask him

39:14

why almost why not revolutionary what is missing

39:20

and so we now do a lot of things to remove the almost yeah but this is what

39:26

drives us to really see that we have the say customers I think it I like your

39:31

customer approach let's stay a little bit with that I think it was Steve Jobs who said never

39:38

ask customers what problems they have because they don't know them so as an

39:43

entrepreneur an entrepreneur must have the ability to observe the customers find out what problems they have and how

39:50

to solve them what's your approach with nanotempa is it like Steve Jobs that you

39:55

go to your customers that you observe them and uh finds out this way which problems they have or are you doing it

40:03

more the traditional marketing way finding a focus group bringing some customers together asking them about

40:09

their problems what do you think is successful on the market in your area first of all I disagree with Steve Jobs

40:18

say it's important to talk with them about their problems but it's really about the problem not talking about a

40:26

technical solution I had one case where it was about we need a cooling

40:33

State Force assembles and it was in this case it was very

40:38

difficult to build a cooling stage and everyone was talking about how to build a cooling stage

40:44

so I was talking with a customer okay what do you really want why cooling stage what do you want to do with a cooling stage

40:50

yeah you know I want to prevent evaporation when I cool it down

40:55

evaporation slows down and send it was about okay via cooling station

41:01

why not having something to close it so it's a thing you really have to find

41:07

the problem and no don't talk about the Technical Solutions about really understanding

41:13

the problem and really get to the same we're understanding with a customer it's

41:19

also I said we make the invisible visible

41:24

and I was this was also learning I talked to a customer and he was talking

41:30

about invisible particles he comes from Pharma I come from the sake for me invisible is

41:38

below 170 nanometers because the diffraction limit for him invisible

41:43

means like he can't see it with his eye okay the same word for the different

41:48

meaning understanding so it's a lot about communication really understand what's the other person means

41:55

and so there's also different between what's the user wants and what's a user

42:00

needs so I fully disagree with Steve Jobs it's about talking with a customer about

42:08

their problems they're all scientists they really know what they do and they really know what

42:14

they want they need and it's very cool to talk with semen who finds his own it's also about trust

42:20

you have to like our communication you have to do a lot of small talking in

42:27

other approaches to reach a certain level of trust so we can talk openly about the problem

42:34

so that another person doesn't feel stupid to tell you about something I mean you

42:39

have a problem you can't solve it so you need a certain trust level to be able to

42:45

talk about this and just comfort it needs a lot of transparency and

42:50

honesty to reach this level and we are working really hard on on having this

42:57

trust of our customers so that they can tell us their problems and we can help them

43:04

yeah maybe it's also difference between business to business customers and I think Apple Steve Jobs is more in the

43:10

business to Consumer area nano-temper is not producing custom

43:16

Solutions if I remember it right you scale your solutions to Industry level

43:21

so you can make thousands and hundreds of thousands of uh machines in your area

43:28

how do you decide that and I'm just curious on your decision criteria when you talk with Scientists I mean they all

43:34

work on important problems uh how do you find out whether it makes sense to scale

43:40

a solution to Industrial scale Auto just drop it how do you how do you find this this

43:47

point where you'll say okay this makes sense because many scientists have a similar problem uh while other problems

43:53

are just personal individual problems which one or two scientists have which doesn't make sense to scale to Industrial Level what is a decision

43:59

criteria in that part so we look at some markets so it's about okay when several users or customers

44:06

have the same need you can call it a market for example the project Market in our

44:12

area you see it's a booming Market it's also we also see so Venture Capital guys are really

44:18

clever so you do say chop very good they have good search teams we also look where money is flowing

44:24

I mean when a lot of money flows in a certain area a market is forming up

44:31

and the other thing is also sounds very simple look what's a competition does

44:37

if a comedy door sells hundreds of devices in a certain area for a certain application

44:45

there is a market and you just have to build a better product you just have to do better

44:51

marketing you just have to do better sales it's very tough

44:57

but from the thinking it's easier it's always easy it's always

45:03

there's a misunderstanding I often also founded Founders they say okay and system says already one company or two

45:10

companies in this market we are not the only ones this is good if you're the only one in the market maybe there is no

45:16

Market there's a lot of people are clever it's normal that you are not the only

45:22

one who identify the market so it's good when other companies are there you can follow them so also

45:28

Commerce are really good in identifying new markets we are not so good in this insists but

45:34

we know the communist or good answers so we see where Sego and then we follow Sam with a better

45:41

product this is why we invest so strongly in r d I said when we see there is a market we

45:48

really try to understand the market talk with the customers identifies a need

45:53

and then we trust builds a better product this is very interesting

46:01

I think it reminds me of Star Trek where to go where nobody else went before

46:07

something like that I think was the initial change I think it's always challenging when a

46:13

company is the first company in the area it's always the question am I the only stupid person here and

46:20

does a market not exist basically or am I really the first one who experienced

46:26

also um the opportunity and went for the opportunity so your approach is rather

46:33

being not the stupid person who is going in the wrong direction but looking at competition looking at other areas

46:39

venture capital for example to find out where is the money flowing and where are the big problems and I would like to

46:45

stay a little bit in that area in 2023 which big problems do you see on

46:50

the market in science what are scientists working on currently what do you see in your research

46:56

as this Pro-Tech area which is very cool where you have a new pharmacological pathway

47:02

where you where you have a molecule maybe a cancer molecule you want to

47:08

destroy and what you do is normally in the former times you just blocked it with a

47:13

molecule it is not always working now they have a new approach you get a molecular touch to it and says

47:20

molecules brings a a kinase from the cell to it

47:25

and you just mark it as trash and send your site kills it and send your molecule move to the next molecule

47:32

cancer molecule and marks it at trash and this is a completely new password this is very exciting and so also

47:40

there's a market it's called intrinsic disorder proteins

47:45

so your new targets and they were considers untrackable before

47:50

because they're we're also not good methods to approach him and see some assets

47:57

our devices look like just as being made for it it works it's like the market

48:03

from our devices whenever someone tries one of these molecules with our devices as protects

48:09

intrinsically disorder proteins so if I had it once because it works and

48:15

yeah it seems to be that we are the only one who are so good in this market so sometimes the market also

48:22

found you but I want to get back it's the feeling you describe sometimes you you think

48:28

yeah am I stupid the solution I have this is so simple so easy why have no one done it or tried it

48:36

before so it's a natural feeling so I know this is feeling very well it happens so often

48:41

in product development it sounds so obvious so simple so easy

48:46

there's so many clever people white doesn't have any one

48:52

done it this is absolutely wrong question if there is a Mark and I need go for it

48:57

don't think about the past the wise no one has done it

49:02

it could be in the past that technology technological Technical Solutions like

49:08

lasers or LEDs or super power CPUs haven't been there and it has been

49:14

impossible in the past and now it's just so easy how how sort of interrupt you how do you

49:20

draw the line how do you draw the line I mean when you look at the statistics it's still 9 out of 10 startups fail so

49:26

9 out of 10 ideas that qualify for becoming a startup don't work when you look at drug Discovery track development

49:32

I think we're talking about 99 out of 100 ideas fail

49:37

and one works when you look at clinical development I think we are at the same ratio of 9 out of 10 failed and one

49:43

works in clinics overall just simplified I think it's always interesting

49:50

to how how do you decide where to draw the line where to stop a project because

49:55

it can still be that I mean when 9 out of 10 fail that the one idea that I'm

50:01

Clinging On whether I think it's the right approach the right direction to go is the one that doesn't work because uh

50:08

I mean this is the reason why nobody else is doing it while it might also really be that I'm the only one who sees

50:16

the right route and the others don't where do you draw a line in your company

50:21

to say okay guys we went this way it's too far we burned a lot of capital

50:27

it doesn't work while people in the company might say no we don't believe that it will work that's just a pour in

50:35

another million what is your decision criteria where do you draw the draw the line in your decision making to say okay

50:40

this project goes forward and we abandon the other project because it doesn't work I don't draw lines and it's it's a

50:48

problem since the stopping it's a problem is the beginning as you mentioned everyone knows that 9 out of

50:54

10 fail 99 of out of 100 fail everyone knows this so the problem is not just

51:00

stopping the problem is the beginning the openness it is custom should we really start this

51:07

it's it will not work or you have a new idea and then

51:13

all the engineers say Okay problem so when you talk about say

51:22

if should we start it if a problem so this is what I call This And when I switch to science fiction mode

51:29

I tried to describe a world versus product exists

51:35

and then to get this great problem solvers in the mode basis thing about how get I how do I get it done but then

51:43

you have to believe that it's possible so I'm going away from should I do it from the if

51:49

to okay to say how how should I do it because a lot of things are just not began

51:55

and this is what it's not stopping it's not the problem the starting is a problem and I mean you

52:02

you start something then you fail and then you have to restart the new things this is tough and this is where you what you have to

52:09

do in management and Leadership you you have to start these things despite you failed because otherwise you

52:17

if you don't fail you do something wrong because if it always works you don't lose the risky thing you do you just do

52:23

the easiest thing it's about the starting and this is what I see

52:30

in Germany in Europe we have a problem is when 9 out of ten fail we see the 9

52:35

out of ten in USA it seems to me say c71 who worked not the nine who failed yeah

52:44

and so this is why you say try some risky things well I'm European after all but there's

52:49

also I mean um some people believed in flying that's why we have the aviation industry and

52:55

some people still believe that the Earth is flat which is uh Ultra stupid

53:01

um you mentioned in one of your posts that you grew up

53:07

on the countryside and help us at your post right on

53:13

LinkedIn that your teacher stored your parents that you don't qualify for uh

53:19

higher education is that really is it related I think you here have a strong

53:25

franconian dialect yeah so

53:32

and some teachers consider them or sister like they're stupid because I can't yeah if you can't speak like an

53:38

educated person they think you are not an educated person you're not so clever and since I told my parents this guy is

53:46

not level enough for the gymnasium really suffice great again but just safe very

53:54

good grades and then went to the gymnasium because it was an obvious

54:02

I think my parents say also had an IQ test for me so it wasn't based the

54:09

decision wasn't based on on data and the funny thing is this teacher who told my parents I'm not

54:15

clever enough had to give me the book price of the Sherman Society of physics was the best Abbott doing for six this

54:21

was quite he can't he couldn't remember it it was just

54:27

I don't know how this could happen yeah because otherwise not a temple would not exist

54:33

yeah I mean it's I experienced pretty much the same here in Austria I'm also from a small village for Austrian so

54:39

it's my grandparents had their Farm in a small village with I think 200

54:45

inhabitants my parents lived in a small city with a little bit above 10 000 and

54:51

teachers had power roads in society so they charged this guy is

54:57

should go down this route and that girl is qualifying for that job and parents

55:02

believe that why did you break out of this pattern what made you break out uh and say okay

55:08

I mean I don't care what teachers say I just go my own my own way what what was your decision criteria back then

55:14

I care I cared what what's he say so I care a lot about what people say but I

55:20

also have a strong will I would say I take a lot of things serious but then it was

55:27

yeah why because I could I would say it was so it felt obvious that this is the right

55:33

rule because I was interested in learning more or does this Village it was just I think it was eating books or the

55:40

knowledge I could get I was just a sucking it up I want I wanted to learn

55:47

and I want to to get to know more from the world especially I'm very much interested in people so

55:54

people excite me I like people people like me and I wanted to learn

56:00

more so it was yeah I had to do it was away I just

56:07

couldn't stay in a small world I have to broaden my my borders this is

56:14

what I still do I want to to learn more I want to broaden my borders I I often or always

56:22

fight with myself to come overcome my ego to get out of my comfort zone to learn

56:27

new things for me it's always a fight I'm always afraid of new things it may look like I'm doing a lot of new

56:34

things but I'm afraid of them it's really for me a fight with a new some

56:40

are very emotional maybe sometimes aggressive thing I have I really have to fight with new things

56:47

so I think I sometimes pissed off people because when they tell me something new

56:53

I had a defense reaction now I have this under control but I'm somewhat afraid of

56:58

the new but also excited and then I I fight with it in my mind and send curiosity always wins but I'm

57:06

very I have a lot of fears and afraid of new things but some of my curiosity is stronger how

57:13

do you fight through this wall I think I read a book if I think it was the art of uh the war of arts and the author

57:20

described that all artists have basically this tendency to have to fight

57:26

for the art to get going uh what's your secrets to get going and not to just get

57:32

stuck into something else even procrastination for example is uh in my opinion um

57:37

the the strongest way to not pursue the own goals so maybe it's what you

57:42

describe is basically what happens also in my life I see ago I want to go in the direction and then I feel something is

57:48

holding me back and it's so tempting to then pull out the smartphone um do a little bit of watching Netflix

57:55

or gaming or something else but not pursuing at all how do you how do you

58:00

get yourself motivated initially to take the first steps towards the direction of

58:05

your goal but rather than doing what 97 of society is doing uh playing games

58:10

doing nothing I have a lot of people helping me also

58:16

my girlfriend is pushing me forward Stefan is pushing me forward a lot of people in the company and my network are

58:22

pushing me forward so there's also something I realize that it is a lot a

58:27

lot is about collaborations mentorship coaching having people supporting you yeah and say help me when I see when I'm

58:34

completely let's say not open door do a thing and I see my girlfriend is very open to it it helps me to go sir it's

58:42

not always easy for both of us but it really helps me and so is it's also with

58:48

Stefan we have completely different personalities so sometimes I'm defended to something

58:53

and Stefan really likes this and this helps me to get there alone

59:01

I'm not sure if I would achieve this alone I don't think so it's really about I have to talk with

59:07

people about it and people help me to overcome my hurdles it's a good thing you're not

59:13

alone yeah there are people and people's like people like to help you

59:19

yeah it's a I think it's a good point to have a team that helps overcoming resistance I would call it that way it's

59:25

one of the most important things and I think also what you mentioned as an entrepreneur it's important to like people it's really difficult to build

59:32

the people's business without having a passion for for people around you

59:37

when we go a little bit back to your upbringing what impact did your

59:43

experience in your village have on your entrepreneurship spirit

59:51

so experience so my my parents my father and my mother my father worked as an

59:57

electrician my master in kindergarten in my grand bar as a farmer

1:00:02

and my parents were complaining about their jobs and their bosses and my grandfather was not he had his

1:00:11

own business I mean as a farmer you're very much influenced by by vesser

1:00:17

and if you think about it you you have in your whole lifetime you have only 50

1:00:24

or 40 opportunities to get the perfect say read out of whatever's the best it's

1:00:32

a perfect Harvest and you Sylvester is as it is it can be bad or good

1:00:37

but it doesn't help you to complain about service because you can't influence a vessel and this was my

1:00:45

learning what I also said was the Silicon Valley Bank I can't influence what is happening here

1:00:52

as I can't influence sevisor so if there is bad vesser

1:00:58

I still try to get the best possible Harvest and so if there is a bad Finance

1:01:03

situation because of of a bank Rises I can't influence us but I still try to

1:01:09

get the best out of the situation and this is what I what I learned learns there if there is

1:01:16

something I mean I can't complain I can't complain about people because I mean I'm the

1:01:22

entrepreneur I can't blame anyone I can't blame Sylvester I can't blame the Silicon

1:01:28

Valley Bank I can only play me so I I have to focus on the things I can

1:01:33

do and it's not about complaining we have to change the situation so don't waste

1:01:39

your time in complaining put your time into improving sound advice for Vienna I guess so it's

1:01:46

a bit in which decade did you grow up it's basically the 80s or was it 80s 90s

1:01:53

born in 1979 so grew up in the 80s and 90s I also be at the same age group

1:01:58

basically it was pre-internet times and then you decided to study Physics and

1:02:05

start a biophysics company when I think back to my experience on the countryside I think physics and

1:02:13

Mathematics was not on top of the list it was also more a rural rural area now I have it

1:02:20

um with more farmers how did you find your passion for physics

1:02:25

and I had good teachers in physics so as a child I remember I was most interested

1:02:30

in biology but in in school I had bad teachers in chemistry and biology so I somehow hated

1:02:37

it but now I'm doing it it's very good and a very good teachers in mathematics and physics and had a talent for it and

1:02:44

then when it comes to studies I didn't start with physics so in I finished

1:02:50

school in 1999 and it's a civil civil service

1:02:55

and sensor versus it boom I was in Germany MP3 format was discovered by Mr

1:03:01

brandenburger and he he joined Irma now a small town

1:03:06

University as Professor so I went to England now to start with a engineering informatics because you know from a

1:03:13

village business six what can you do become teacher I had no idea what to do with physics

1:03:19

later on maybe astronaut which is cool yeah that's true or science but serious

1:03:25

maybe also find no job at least in my regions there was no job for infosix so I started with

1:03:32

informatics in instance engineering informatics course you also listen to physics and

1:03:38

then I had my first Physics course and then I said okay no it's not informatics

1:03:44

it's for six and then I changed to physics so I tried I failed I changed

1:03:50

you know I'm doing business and biochemistry and not physics

1:03:58

and what what formed your decision I mean basically on

1:04:04

the countryside finishing school was enough for most people and getting a University degree was for

1:04:11

the majority of the society back in the 80s just out of scope it was just okay you need a few doctors who treat

1:04:19

patients so in that sense and a few lawyers and that's it basically the

1:04:25

majority I think went down the safe shop route and you decided to go for a PhD

1:04:30

studies what what formed your decision I think my father my parents supported me

1:04:36

and also it was this curiosity I wanted to learn more

1:04:42

to also to go to a new city and also also I realized that there was

1:04:48

a lot of knowledge out there and big science fiction fan I think you mentioned this Star Trek yeah and as we

1:04:55

are now on TV some pictures there's one thing I want to do engage

1:05:03

yeah so I had my parents supporting me strongly do you have still a passion for

1:05:09

space I mean I think the 80s it was Star Trek it was Star Wars uh I think many people our generation

1:05:17

started dreaming about space space exploration Elon Musk went down this route so he's still having quick SpaceX

1:05:23

has the vision to build a colony on Mars what's with your company is there any uh

1:05:29

Visionary Space Project going on and also like space very much and we indeed

1:05:34

have a project with International Space Station yeah so I think it's now the launches planned

1:05:40

now for 2025 we will send experiments to the International Space Station it's a

1:05:45

formulation topic formulation of proteins how to stabilize them so I'm very excited about this project

1:05:52

you started already in 2014. so long time project and say launch has

1:05:59

been postponed for several times now but it's now planned I think May 2025

1:06:04

and then we will send and experiment with another space station so rocket science cool why space why do you need

1:06:12

space for your work and special you have nearly no gravity and you have we do a lot of this

1:06:18

temperature and uh and all our samples are in liquid so an antibody a truck like had septino

1:06:27

trusted zoom up has to be stable in liquid and so you have a lot of temperature

1:06:32

influences in temperature means you have some convection

1:06:37

and some convection means if we eat something up it becomes lighter and then sudden it moves upwards insists

1:06:44

into it induces flows which makes something loses antibodies and why do it move upwards it's the warm

1:06:52

thing is lighter but it only is lighter because because there is gravity

1:06:57

and to really understand what what temperature alone does to it without

1:07:03

flows you have to switch off gravity what you can't do on Earth but on

1:07:09

International Space Station if microgravity so nearly no influence of gravity so we can study accessibility

1:07:15

so serviceability of antibodies without the influence of

1:07:21

gravity without thermal convective flows and since this whole problem becomes

1:07:26

simpler and we hope to learn something from this how how can you imagine that I mean it's quite it's really exciting to

1:07:33

imagine that uh company that films basically is also

1:07:38

your post with uh with the Oscar on uh on your LinkedIn profile where you

1:07:43

posted it you're the first person who touched the Oscar uh here on the in the podcast studio uh who is going to space

1:07:50

on top of that how can I imagine that is it do you just call it London's a needs peemy up

1:07:58

Scotty when we stay in the Star Trek picture how do you organize such a space project is it is it tricky to get into

1:08:04

that program or is it just like uh calling a number and say I want to

1:08:10

experiment shoot me up when I do it as they approached us so scientists approach us it could be interesting for

1:08:16

us to do this because it's for science it's very interesting

1:08:21

to switch off gravity in the studies of problems here so they approached us if it's also

1:08:26

interesting for us and it's now running for more than nine years

1:08:32

and it's not clear if you can make money with it so I think

1:08:40

this is why I like the freedom Independence we have if I'm Venture Capital driven company I have to focus

1:08:46

on getting money yeah and I won't I think I think I wouldn't have done it

1:08:51

but it was just and there was an opportunity to do rocket science and I'm a science fiction fan I love

1:08:58

space and then scientists approached us and

1:09:04

then we took the opportunity because it's cool it's very exciting and this is why I

1:09:09

like it supposed to have this freedom and Independence of a bootstrapped and found on company we can only I don't

1:09:16

care if I earn money with this I do it because I can I do it because

1:09:21

it's interesting and there may come something out of it I don't know it's

1:09:26

very risky but maybe it's a really cool thing and at least a lot of fun I mean in life it's a lot about fun we

1:09:34

trust don't live to earn money or whatever it's also about entertainment and fun and this is a super exciting

1:09:41

project so we do it because we can you mentioned a couple of times that you

1:09:47

like science fiction books yeah and I'm curious which was the most influential

1:09:53

science fiction book on your work I think it's a it's called Lucky Star

1:10:00

Space Ranger from Isaac ashimov there is a a guy it's a detective stories

1:10:08

with with a guy who studied physics in a citizen science Council having the

1:10:15

government due to solve difficult problems and this was somehow a hero for

1:10:21

me who solved let's say science fiction problems with

1:10:26

with science so he started for six he was a cool guy a hero and so somehow

1:10:32

resonated with me in my teenage years and I like the science fiction

1:10:38

mode where they build up a new universe they set up rules not real rules but rules and stick to

1:10:45

the rules so they built a setting and stick to it in Syria and you complete a

1:10:50

new world evolves and this helps me to get out of

1:10:55

this operational mode and to open up my brain for new things and new new ways of thinking yes was a

1:11:04

great writer yeah yeah I love his books uh you mentioned bootstrapping

1:11:10

when I've when I connect the dots to the

1:11:15

acceleration decoration programs in my opinion it's all about fundraising and very often I get the feeling then I

1:11:23

talk to entrepreneurs who were part of these programs which are pretty much good

1:11:29

um that they feel a little bit insecure when they get a lot of rejections from disease because not every business idea

1:11:35

qualifies to become a VC case it's just basic basic VC science let's call it

1:11:40

that way that they invest in certain kinds of projects that guarantee

1:11:45

basically a 10x to 100x return and the majority of the startups ideas are not

1:11:52

really qualified to have such a perspective um many of the scientists or

1:11:58

entrepreneurs give up then and say okay when they don't get funding I don't continue on that route

1:12:05

you said you started a company with bootstrapping did you feel like a second thing you wrote in your post uh we were

1:12:12

a second hand entrepreneurs I think was it a related way that you felt that we

1:12:17

see route is superior to bootstrapping so I think I there was a

1:12:26

woman from it from Handel's blood who asked me in a posting do you feel second class and I trust

1:12:32

picked it up a second class was it yeah it was second us to do this bootstrapped companies feel like second cars class

1:12:39

because I complained about you know normally don't complain a

1:12:44

little bit complaining to find them I complained about said they only talk about Venture Capital because

1:12:50

most important is that Founders knows that they have options if you only get

1:12:57

told there's only the Venture Capital races is wrong we have also the other way it's not about getting Venture

1:13:04

Capital it's about getting money you can also get some money from the customer you can invest in a financial guy

1:13:11

getting venture capital or you invest in sales getting the money from the customer and then it's all about it not

1:13:18

talking about technology is really talking about products it's a technology made for a market fit

1:13:25

it's a product it was with a certain need and it's about selling this product I

1:13:30

mean you have to get you have to force send money to come to you and say this is a good way of course I mean if you

1:13:37

are the text starter when you come from University you have the tendency to go on to move on with this development this

1:13:44

is your comfort zone you can develop you know also know how to write grants so in

1:13:49

science you write grants you get money it's like writing a Quran for Venture Capital to get money

1:13:55

you're always doing the same but it's not about development it's not

1:14:01

about hiring the next developer you have to do sales and this is what we did the

1:14:07

right way from the beginning we focused on sales and we still focus on sales

1:14:13

because besides we get the money we are profitable and then we fully own some money and can invest it

1:14:20

so this is my advice on on startups sell

1:14:27

s a device sells a product before you have it because if the customer

1:14:34

gives you money for it you know that it's worse to develop it and if you build up trust they will give

1:14:40

user money before I mean it's a slow way of growth but it's a steady Way Forward

1:14:46

and you have the freedom and you can always bring inventory Capital this is

1:14:51

always possible but if you have it once venture capital in

1:14:58

I don't have any idea how to get it out without more venture capital or an IPO send your enters one-way thing with

1:15:06

bootstrapping you have the freedom and always the other option

1:15:12

I couldn't agree more I think uh selling is also important for Venture Capital finance companies to always have an eye

1:15:19

on the market and find out what potential customers need and how well that really works I think theranos is a

1:15:26

is a good example how well selling works on the market even when you don't have a product

1:15:31

um it was I think it was in the podcast with Sebastian malappi he wrote the book The Power law which is basically I call

1:15:38

it a brief history of venture capital and I think he coins the term premature truth so it's just important to be

1:15:45

honest and open about the development situation and not treated like this awareness team to just say we have what

1:15:54

we don't have then I think put tripping bugs really really well and there are always customers on the market who are happy to be the first ones yeah but when

1:16:01

you don't find a customer when you're on the market it's the same with fundraising when a company is on the

1:16:07

delivery really diligently on the market for more than one year and there is no not one investor showing up and not one

1:16:13

customer basically it might also be the the idea is wrong I think we I mean we found it's a

1:16:20

company in 2008 but the whole journey began in 2006 and I think we had no

1:16:26

customer for three years there was nothing [Music]

1:16:32

nicer customer no Venture Capital Money what kept you going we never thought about failing yeah it's

1:16:39

a very tough situation maybe bankrupt the next day but failure was not in our mind we we had to believe that we have a

1:16:46

powerful technology in our hands and if it fails it's because us and said we don't do it the

1:16:53

right way said we don't try hard enough so

1:16:58

this failure was not in our mind we were completely convinced cerebral work and

1:17:04

this is I think what finally convince the first customer this was also also founder

1:17:10

base company and the founder knew our situation and so we had a we had a connection and it

1:17:17

was I I think they've seen said we fully believe in what we do

1:17:24

this is also when I'm a business Angel and look at teams I look at them if they believe if the founders

1:17:30

don't believe in the idea who else should we have to believe if I

1:17:37

don't believe in your own idea I mean sleep at night over it but maybe you should your sense should stop it we

1:17:44

have a question from the audience you see uh which I think is quite interesting and funny so let's get it in

1:17:49

the conversation when are the medicines available for every person that every disease is treatable what's your what's

1:17:57

your guess on that hopefully before it's too late for me so my master had cancer and was saved by

1:18:04

trusted someone had said team so am I afraid of getting cancer so my family is a certain history of cancer cases

1:18:12

and so I'm also afraid of getting cancer and so this is a thing also one reason

1:18:18

why I founded Nano timber because the so-called what can I what can I do to

1:18:23

improve the situation with cancer I don't want to be a victim of the Fate and one thing I can do

1:18:30

it can develop a drug but then it's one drug against one one cancer thing

1:18:36

but where have do I have the biggest Leverage and it was about tools for the

1:18:41

scientists so there are a lot of clever scientists thousands ten thousands of them if they have better tools

1:18:49

they can develop better drugs faster so this was

1:18:54

we have around 20 000 users now and if you're trusting about it if we improve the usability

1:19:01

of our device in a ways that we save the to sign this one hour per week we have

1:19:07

50 hours a 50 weeks one hour per week times 20 000

1:19:13

scientists is one million hours and there's a huge leverage one million hours more time doing to discover new

1:19:20

cancer drugs so as I said prediction about the future

1:19:25

especially tough but I strongly believe that every disease

1:19:31

is treatable and I hope so people get there and that everyone

1:19:37

has access to it it's very important that people have to access those as drugs and

1:19:43

so that we get this drugs quicker so every month's Council I mean every year

1:19:49

you have 18 million new cancer cases every every years is like the population of the Netherlands 18 18 million it's

1:19:57

more than one million new cases every month yeah so every month when we help a company to

1:20:03

release a cancer drug one month earlier you can save a lot of lives and if you are ill

1:20:10

and you really have the cancer every every month is every day is very important for you this is also why we

1:20:16

push so hard to be quick with our Solutions on the market because it makes a difference so I I don't know when this will be

1:20:24

but I push really hard so it will be sooner I think with with HIV HIV when I

1:20:30

remembered right was a deadly virus back in the 80s with a very very

1:20:37

short life expectancy after infection now it looks more like but correct me if

1:20:42

I'm wrong you're the expert here not me I'm from the final side um now it's like a manageable disease

1:20:50

and they heard from some scientists that people when they get the proper treatment can basically live a normal

1:20:55

life and don't infect anybody anymore which means they can also have kids and it's it happened at 80s 90s 2000s

1:21:03

2010 it's four decades uh do you see a similar development for cancer possible

1:21:08

I mean cancer is still a friend of mine died two years ago from cancer do you see that's possible also for

1:21:15

cancer to come to the same state like in HIV that it's a manageable disease and

1:21:21

that basically people can normalize can live normal lives yeah I think in leukemias you also had a YouTube

1:21:27

improvement over the last decades so some cancer cases are just not no

1:21:33

problem more but it's not only about drugs so we develop tools for for scientists that

1:21:39

develop drugs it's it's also about preventing the drug to happen I mean if

1:21:44

you look at cancer for men smoking alone is responsible for more cancer

1:21:51

cases and all see other things together can you repeat that because I still know people who say uh smoking is not if you

1:21:57

if you're a man and you smoke stop it if you want to prevent yourself to get

1:22:02

cancer stop smoking and women for women's it's also the case by the women's not so predominant in the

1:22:09

statistics there was a recent statistic in last year and Civil War said for the risk factors for cancer for men

1:22:15

the risk smoking impulses is more than all the other risk factors together

1:22:22

for women the risk is is it at all smaller because I think

1:22:28

they take more care of their of their health but also when smoking was not there was

1:22:33

also the biggest risk but not so dominant as a man but I'm stop smoking

1:22:38

prevention is the best thing and the funny thing is

1:22:43

our Munich headquarter is since the former Philip Morris fabrication oh really they produced

1:22:50

cigarettes in the fabrication and now we are in Syria to fight cancer

1:22:59

this is this is fate somehow funny life um

1:23:07

you said one million hours so basically you help saving time and

1:23:15

resources um the one question that I had in my mind when you mentioned that was I know

1:23:21

how much money I need to develop a new therapy so basically currently it's about three to four billion dollars to

1:23:28

develop something from the lab up to the market roughly statistics and also

1:23:33

checks canal in a previous podcast confirmed that he's doing a great research in the efficiency and

1:23:40

productivity of track development processes but then I thought I don't know the hours scientists have

1:23:48

to work to bring one track to the market just out of curiosity did you ever count the hours that uh scientists invest time

1:23:58

to develop a new truck no because the teams are different sizes is tough but what we know is we can

1:24:05

speed up so we had the case of a Pharma company with one of his new it was in the protag

1:24:11

OR IDP area where they struggle to get an essay in early drug Discovery is a struggle to get an essay working suspend

1:24:18

I think three months on it and got to know us they send us the samples we didn't know much about the

1:24:24

samples and we got the essay working the next day so we spent two days of work so

1:24:30

they they tried for three months and with our tools it was just two days cool

1:24:36

and now if you save several months I mean not it's good for the patient but

1:24:42

also if a blockbuster drug it's more than one billion dollar a year every month is around 100 million

1:24:49

dollar so if you are three months earlier on the market

1:24:55

it's 300 million euros our devices

1:25:00

processing in this case the device is 400 000 Euros invest 400 000 Euros

1:25:08

to get 300 million more easy calculation or yeah quite simple quite simple makes

1:25:14

sense makes sense logically um I mean you can do that now so when we switch a little bit away from the

1:25:21

science behind the Technologies and going more towards leadership Leadership Lessons don't I mean building a company with more than

1:25:27

200 employees is not easy and coming out of the lab I think uh

1:25:32

writing your PhD thesis getting the first customer is one important Milestone but then you have all the way

1:25:39

down to scale a company to a multinational business with more than 200 employees and what I see on LinkedIn

1:25:45

you're still hiring very very a lot of people it's called a lot of

1:25:50

people what are the three most important leadership lessons that you learned in

1:25:56

the last years when as you started Nano Temple the most important thing is walk the

1:26:03

talk you really have to live what you're speaking about you you have a culture

1:26:08

you have values and you have to lift them you can't

1:26:13

I mean when you say you treat everyone equally and your CEO and founder is not about

1:26:18

drinking champagne with your executive team and only with them it's also having a pier with everyone

1:26:25

with a beer with everyone in your production you have to treat everyone equally and it's your personality I mean

1:26:34

you can play a role for a certain time but over years it's

1:26:39

your personality you have to really have to live it and you have to start with yourself so

1:26:46

it's about in the beginning I did a lot of times wrong I complained about how others

1:26:52

behave and try to change them but you can't change others you can only

1:26:57

change your own attitude and your own behavior so as soon as I realized it

1:27:03

I got more coaches and also mentors and worked on myself and also got feedback

1:27:10

to improve things I did wrong and this is start with yourself

1:27:17

founder CEO or wherever you are you have to start with yourself

1:27:25

the first left in the second and third lesson I think the original second is start with yourself yeah yeah I always

1:27:31

experience that my own ego was my biggest hurdle to overcome when you hire better people you see

1:27:38

I could say to you it's tough to to see it or to let them go to trust them

1:27:43

also as a Founder you have been two people we were doing everything

1:27:49

and it's a Founder you grow if you give away things you give away things the responsibilities in another person

1:27:56

does it another way you do it your way another person does this a different way

1:28:03

and this is often tough to accept when we when we look inside your decision making processes

1:28:11

uh you mentioned this couple of times complaining so when I go

1:28:16

through the process step by step to work from realizing that there is a problem so that's the

1:28:23

solution and telling a person might be a solution threat solution what role does complaining play in that

1:28:30

decision I think just let me give a little bit more information about it

1:28:35

um when I look inside of me when I feel that something is wrong um I mean at the deal process would be

1:28:42

to the CR there is a problem here is the solution let's connect the dots and it's an easy and emotional

1:28:48

process a logical process unfortunately in my world it's not so it starts with

1:28:54

with this cat feeding it something is wrong then comes a phase of negativity

1:28:59

of complaining uh it might be internal it might be external but in my opinion it's necessary to come to the point that

1:29:05

they realize what the problem is that the fact that they can Define the problem so initially I don't have

1:29:11

clarity about the problem it's just an emotion and after just realized what the

1:29:16

problem is and they can Define it and they can name it then they can start working on the solution in your world how important is

1:29:24

complaining the complaint is one thing it's often you complain despite there is no

1:29:31

problem because it's a personal emotional thing for you there is no problem you just complain about the situation but in an

1:29:38

objective way there is no problem it's just a personal because something pissed you off someone pissed you off it's just

1:29:45

a personal thing and since you have to to stop to be honest to users just

1:29:51

complaining is about you and it's also saying negativity to

1:29:56

complain about politics also things you can't change for me this is an

1:30:01

excuse you know to work on the things you can change or you say oh it's so

1:30:07

tough to change but you can change you can help another person this has already changed a lot if

1:30:13

every person helps another person if everyone does it

1:30:20

you can achieve a lot and it's must I don't like this complaining it sets a wrong attitude

1:30:28

and then from the beginning if you start with with this attitude a lot of things goes wrong because you always have to

1:30:35

fight against and for misses mostly an excuse It's about us as did it wrong

1:30:41

says because I can't perform and this is an excuse

1:30:46

not always but often let's stay a little bit on the emotional side of leadership

1:30:51

how important are emotions in leadership in your opinion leadership it's all about emotions people follow you and we leadership it's

1:30:59

not about you it's about your people you're only a leader if someone follows

1:31:04

you and say follow you because you believe in you and the trust and you it's only

1:31:09

emotions it's personality it's emotions you have to talk with them in a very

1:31:15

emotional way because it's not about you it's about Sam a leader is defined by the followers

1:31:21

only by the followers only if you know the followers you can Define the leader

1:31:26

a leader alone is nothing it's just a person it's always a follower who are

1:31:32

important and so it's emotions how do you how do you treat employees

1:31:39

what's your what's your what's your learning in leadership what is the right way to approach employees

1:31:46

the thing you often read about eye level but if you talk about eye

1:31:51

levels the same eye level is already wrong

1:31:57

I think it would say normal I like people just normal

1:32:03

I I treat everyone equally at least I try

1:32:09

and this is the approach if I smile at one normal says person smiles back so

1:32:14

it's trust reading people know you always meet twice

1:32:19

Overstreet people nice and say always treat you the same way

1:32:26

when we talk about treating people in a nice and kind way if these days when you

1:32:31

read leadership books they are often about being kind and being nice to everybody then you look into the Sports World and

1:32:38

realize that athletes and top performing athletes very often seek people that

1:32:43

push them forward and the demand from them that they don't be nice so that

1:32:48

they just shouted them and scream at them to just get the best out of them where do you see in leadership in in

1:32:56

your world the balance between being kind and nice and also sometimes being unfriendly and pushy to move people

1:33:02

forward for their own benefit is their must be a balance or is it really either

1:33:07

or in your opinion I would say it's to be honest and transparent someone does something wrong

1:33:15

tells this person is wrong don't tell you a stupid or whatever just say it's wrong it's honesty

1:33:23

in transparency and it's all built on on trust the other things are just some mentality

1:33:31

things it's just like say how it is it's also learned in my from my Village times

1:33:37

with Craftsmen and farmers you take these things SAR and you

1:33:43

I think say area where I'm from Franconia we are known to be very direct and this is very efficient you don't

1:33:49

talk around you say what it is you try to get a image of the reality

1:33:55

and describes a reality and I think it's honesty when you say someone you did this wrong this person

1:34:02

can can learn you can you can say it a nice way or in a not so nice we're pushy way

1:34:09

but this is the second layer first you have to identify as reality it names a

1:34:15

reality and the rest is then communication and Communications also

1:34:21

it's bilateral I mean it's not a general thing you have to understand you have to

1:34:27

know the other person and then you can communicate it in a way but you think

1:34:32

it's best for the other person because there is information how you receive information is not about

1:34:39

how I talk is is about how you understand it so you have to give it to

1:34:44

you in a way I think you you can understand it and this can be a pushy some people like

1:34:51

the pushy way somebody who likes a very nice way so it's up to me as a leader or

1:34:56

manager to understand the best way of communication versus certain person

1:35:02

is it easy no it's very hard because you feel awesome and it's

1:35:07

I mean honesty and transparency in this trust help so I mean I often treat

1:35:12

people who are wrong and then you have to have the guts the ghost has the next day and say sorry if you can do this you

1:35:18

can solve a lot of problems and say we will very much appreciate it

1:35:23

if you say I'm sorry I treated you wrong this helps a lot if you do a mistake

1:35:31

be honest and stay to this mistake this helps and suspenserve a lot of trust

1:35:37

because it says you're open you're transparent and so this is what really people

1:35:43

appreciate if you're honest to them however tough it is you tell them they

1:35:49

will appreciate the honesty yeah I think especially in the the knowledge world that we have these days

1:35:56

it's important to keep people motivated and if leaders

1:36:01

fail in that I think they block a lot of energy and

1:36:06

Innovation cannot move forward when people feel blocked how do you see it

1:36:12

yeah when people have fear it can block innovation

1:36:18

some say it could also be a driver it's only it also depends on the person but fear

1:36:24

you should be you shouldn't be afraid of something you feel safe and I think it's also about feeling

1:36:31

trusted if you see someone believes in you you feel very confident to try the risky

1:36:37

things and there's also a way you have to control let's say say gossip sometimes people

1:36:43

are afraid because in the past something happened and since someone was fired and then people are afraid

1:36:50

to do the same thing but there's also a lot of assumption this is why it's

1:36:56

important to always actively communicate how you think and how you would react in such a situation

1:37:02

also when a new employee starts you tell them well I tell them I'm getting angry very quickly

1:37:09

and you will you will see it what's the next day I've it's it's over I'm fine again do you get angry very

1:37:15

quickly yeah I do really yeah and how do you manage that

1:37:22

I often have no stress ball I mean I need movement to control I think it's

1:37:28

really really helped about it I mean I read a lot from leaders that

1:37:35

they got into breathing exercises meditation have you ever explored that

1:37:41

route now for me it's running doing sports going outside walking around

1:37:48

I have to go into movement let's go to find your own some rituals what happens

1:37:55

then when you walk and it says to be outside so it frees my

1:38:00

mind I'm somehow stuck in a in a black tunnel with angry emotions and when I

1:38:08

when I changed my environment it happened to get out of this you know I can call it rabbit hole so we have to

1:38:14

change locations for it does it make a difference for you whether you walk alongside the easel in

1:38:21

other Outdoors nature compared to having a walk in the city

1:38:29

important is that it's outside can be City can be a forest can be a

1:38:34

river it can be a beach but it has to be outside not inside or the Oktoberfest

1:38:40

uh sometimes it's too much alcohol it could also go the wrong direction this

1:38:45

is true this is true let's stay a little bit with managing emotions and Innovation collaboration and success

1:38:53

when I was a student and I got my degree in economics business management

1:38:58

I had always this picture in mind that small companies are very Innovative and there were a lot of studies on the

1:39:04

market back then in the 90s already small companies are Innovative then defines the markets and then they have

1:39:10

the problem that to do the same thing over and over and over and over again and this is what takes the Innovation

1:39:18

out of the company because if when you want to serve millions of customers you need to do the same thing to deliver the

1:39:23

same product to the same customer group all the time and this also has the risk

1:39:29

that the company at a later point in time fails because customers move on competition arises and the company

1:39:35

already has lost the ability to be Innovative and successful so one part is

1:39:40

the leadership so to keep people motivated and moving forward and not being angry all the time and not evoke

1:39:46

emotions of fear the other side is structural I always thought this is the normal cycle you have a small company it

1:39:53

grows it fails it goes extinct and the next company comes and then there are these outlier companies on the market

1:39:59

like apple Microsoft Tesla for example and they seem to be Innovative over

1:40:06

decades what's your experience as a leader of an innovation company how can you maintain

1:40:14

the spirit of innovation while growing your company

1:40:20

this is a tough one I'm also not sure if Microsoft and Google and so could they explain because they're still quite

1:40:25

quite young maybe it's the old mark this German Mark was more than 150 years old

1:40:32

so you survive for a very long time or there's a hotel in Japan with more than which is more than 750

1:40:39

years 750 very old maybe sees also wants and I'm not sure if if Innovation really

1:40:47

helps you against Instinct Extinction it's just what we communicate that

1:40:53

Innovation is so I think it's a good customer or product Market fit with the customer you can

1:40:59

also innovate too quickly and it's so much for the market yeah it's tough to see I have no good

1:41:05

answer for it did you ever have a situation in your company where you felt you innovate too quickly for the market

1:41:11

the customers can't follow and we innovated too quickly for our own organization so we were launching

1:41:18

products new products so quickly is that we could scope up with the training of our sales team also with ramping up

1:41:25

the production so it was too many two new things in a too short time this can

1:41:32

happen I don't want to let you out of this room before we talk about one

1:41:37

question micromanagement so your success was basically focusing on sales very

1:41:43

early in your company which in my opinion qualifies you as the best salesperson in an organization

1:41:50

um but if you want to grow a company you need more sales people yeah uh and you said before that you want to

1:41:57

avoid micromanagement when you hire salespeople and you set up all the

1:42:03

structures you set up all the sales scripts uh you brought the first customers in

1:42:08

how can how do you manage yourself to stay away from macro management and

1:42:14

letting people make their own mistakes their own experiences how do you manage

1:42:19

that a single we hired people who tell us to stop micromanagement you always have the

1:42:27

tendency you have to try to have some influence or go into separations again because we have some pattern running and

1:42:33

you also need people actively stopping you so

1:42:39

maybe one thing is also to hire people who are allergic to micromanagement and tell you or leave it's a good science

1:42:45

and you said you did too much some people also like it maybe

1:42:52

but I think often you have to be stopped actively someone telling you hey you're too you're doing too many

1:42:59

things of micro management because often you start from your technical

1:43:05

experience you found it's a company you understand technology so your answer's leadership position

1:43:11

because you are an expert in technology then you hire more people then you have to manage and lead the people

1:43:18

which means you have less time for the technology but the technology was a thing which give you which gave you

1:43:25

power which which make you to feel secure but you're losing this all your

1:43:31

people in the team have more time with a technology so they're getting better than you

1:43:38

and if all your strengths is based on knowledge about the technology he wasn't afraid of the others

1:43:45

because they're not much better experts than you are because you'll spend most of your time in managing them

1:43:50

and out of this fear some people have the tendency

1:43:55

to control to gain power Again by micromanaging by controlling the people

1:44:02

in a sync this micromanagement is can be a symptom or sign for fear

1:44:09

I think what's also has me is I'm lazy I'm I'm too lazy to

1:44:14

to get all the details I'm just when I see it's the right direction

1:44:19

so I'm quite happy and I may be too lazy to go into the details I think this

1:44:26

helped me yeah I think it's important to to make to help the company thrive on the market

1:44:32

uh to let people just work to the work and not fall into the Trap of uh

1:44:39

sometimes employees come back and try to I would say delegate it back to the

1:44:44

leadership to get the work done it's also I think important to just really leave the task at the employee

1:44:52

until it's finished which then gives you the room to explore new routes outside

1:44:57

the company also read on your LinkedIn profile that you are a business Angel tell me more about it what is your life

1:45:04

as a presidential we as Nano demo we had a business Angel and we had a very very good experience

1:45:10

with Sim so we also bought back his shares to be completely independent but

1:45:15

the experience was so good we learned so much from him and he he was a guy in the beginning who

1:45:21

really believed in us and this is really we had a lot of Struggle No One believed in us and since this guy also a

1:45:29

non-entreneur in Munich from real estate business completely different business he believed in US

1:45:35

very strong and great personality and this really pushed us forward in the tough times they have such a person

1:45:42

believing in US and since now I want to give this also back to Founders because experience was

1:45:48

so great so for me business interest is not only

1:45:53

investing money I really have attitude also helps them to be fair some kind of

1:45:59

mentor and not going in testing here you have to do it this way

1:46:06

I can I can help them but they have to approach me what's the most important lesson that

1:46:13

you learned as a business angel I just started one and a half year ago I I think it's

1:46:21

more work than I expected and I'm I think most important lesson is

1:46:27

I'm I think I'm learning more than the founders

1:46:33

because there's no point of view gives me a lot of new insights what's

1:46:38

your investment criteria what are you looking for in Founders you say believe in the idea because they are the experts

1:46:45

the technical expert for their ideas they know it best often say I say one person in the world who know it best

1:46:53

and you can do a lot of due diligence or whatever thing do to feel safe

1:46:58

but it really look look at them do you believe do they have this fire this glow in their eyes when

1:47:05

they talk about their ideas of business and then look I'll say willing to learn

1:47:12

to say managed to go away from this technology development thing to to entrepreneur where we're selling and

1:47:19

getting money is important in several teams you have a no Sayer

1:47:27

there's a person who say everything in teams that don't invest because this

1:47:32

person this negative person can kill everyone this person is also the person who's not believing

1:47:38

in the idea and just got somehow into the team because

1:47:43

it's opportunistic I mean this this brings up a question that connects to the questions before

1:47:50

but also I think it's important for investors I mean situations in a company change companies

1:47:57

evolve and not everybody is a good fit at any stage in the company so sometimes it's necessary especially when it comes

1:48:03

to negativity to keep the team moving forward and not stopping in the development to also fire people what's

1:48:11

your approach as a business initial do you also give honest and open advice and say okay guys look I mean you have five

1:48:16

great people uh get rid of the sixth person because it really holds you back and you can't move forward with that

1:48:22

kind of negativity in the company up to now in ancestry Investments if I didn't have the situation but in my own

1:48:28

contact you and this is a I think it's the one very important thing which also

1:48:35

discriminates good company for let's say normal companies everyone can hire Everyone likes to hire

1:48:41

because it's a nice thing and the tough thing is firing talking

1:48:47

with someone looking this person's design and saying we have to separate

1:48:54

and seriously a lot of people fail they are afraid to fire someone because of the knowledge

1:49:01

of this person so long it's a company what will happen to it and then this is assignment of things we

1:49:07

can't fire this person because it's so important then you have to do it immediately because the next day will be even worse

1:49:14

and in my experience whenever we had have to let go someone

1:49:21

it has never become bad it just changed but it was never a big problem we're

1:49:29

still doing this too late because it's really really tough I know when you tell the other person

1:49:35

you know this person will have a tough time afterwards

1:49:40

but believe me I have this time before a lot of my gray hairs are from this

1:49:47

these things but this is what you have to do this is this is leadership the

1:49:52

tough decisions are about you and this is not hiring it's firing in one toxic person can kill

1:49:58

your whole team yeah that's true and you have nice people they won't tell you that you have to fire someone but

1:50:05

afterwards they come hey this was a good decision and tell you what what went wrong but not beforehand you have to

1:50:11

find ways to figure this out but send if if you keep this bad person

1:50:17

or toxic persons for your company your good people believe because they

1:50:23

Block in Minnesota it sounds very rude when I talk about bad or toxic persons

1:50:28

so often you start nice and then something in private life change or it's

1:50:33

just when your company evolves in the beginning you've been five people all in

1:50:39

the same room everyone knows everything about everyone and then company grows complexity

1:50:44

increases then you have to change and some people who are perfect fit for

1:50:50

10 people commonly are not for 100. and since they realize say candy go on

1:50:57

and sometimes have safer Behavior like building their own kingdom protected and

1:51:02

blocking the growth of the company and then you have to react so I I I've even been in friend

1:51:12

with some of these people and had to fire them which kills a relationship but it was about the company it was

1:51:19

it's all about as a person is it's bad it's just a fit between comedy and the person is not a fit anymore

1:51:26

how what did you find toxic behavior in a company what Behavior do you consider as being toxic for an organization

1:51:34

talking bad about other people blocking new ideas building Heavens is protecting

1:51:39

and stopping everything and also gossiping behind your back just gossip people

1:51:46

who who say hey you're nice guys and behind your backs you say you are back

1:51:52

it's it's a no-go and what about productivity

1:51:57

when you see that some people are not so productive it is also a reason why I say you have to draw a line or is it really

1:52:03

more on the behavioral behavioral inside team spirit now productivity is I said we trust our

1:52:11

people and we do and you have good days you have bad days sometimes you have a problem in private

1:52:18

life you're ill and you have to talk with each other and be honest and say hey I having a hard time at home

1:52:26

it influences my work please be patient with me

1:52:32

and this it has never been a problem when you being aware of the situation a person

1:52:38

has so honesty and transparency helps that's true that's true I had a

1:52:44

discussion recently on LinkedIn and I would like to ask you for your opinion on the topic especially when it comes to

1:52:51

Angel Investing in my world an investor is someone that

1:52:56

deploys Capital into a company to help the company grow so basically in a business essential way a company starts

1:53:02

has an idea needs some Investments their product does not qualify yet for finding customers International investor can

1:53:09

help the team to gets to the next step so this is my investment fuel on investment generally

1:53:17

it doesn't matter if it's a company if it's a business angel or a venture capitalist it's pretty much the same

1:53:23

road deploying Capital against equity in the last 10 years in the startup

1:53:28

world I learned that some startups have more uh let's say demands to their angel

1:53:36

investors that you also would like to see them bring in their Network on an operational level that some said

1:53:44

that they would like to see the angel investor working basically for free in the company where I always have this in

1:53:50

a conflict in USA but this is not investing so business Angel deploys Capital into a company to help the team

1:53:55

okay it can also be mentoring once in a while but the team needs to operate the

1:54:00

business and lately on LinkedIn I had the conversation via comments with some

1:54:07

initial funds some seed funds I will say yes of course I mean the investors need

1:54:13

also to bring in the network and also bring in their expertise and experience what's your opinion how do you see the

1:54:18

role of a business angel in a company and not not working for free it's also investing in being there as a mentor

1:54:26

but you have to define the role and you have to speak with the founders and Define Your Role what are your expectations this is more than money is

1:54:33

it's a network and then you have to agree on it it's also a communication there is no General

1:54:39

rule I would say it's about talk talking about it and agreeing

1:54:44

what do you expect from it other than what one site would deliver

1:54:49

it's about talking I don't like this general rules that's good you have something you can

1:54:55

you can hold on there are rules yes I mean you have found everything is new the crisis adventure and say no I have

1:55:02

this rules I can stick to the rules no it's you define your own rules within a

1:55:08

legal laws but you define the rules and you talk about it and while this complex accepts the

1:55:14

complexity and talk with each other this is most important you have to break the

1:55:19

rules as a startup you do new things dialect Clarity in in also in startups I

1:55:26

mean what I like is seeing investors on cap tables uh people especially and

1:55:31

organizations who can bring in capital into a company if they have expertise in the field of the company I think in my

1:55:37

opinion remember it's always a second contract so advisory contract or executive contract why not so it's one

1:55:43

is the investment contract the other one is the operational role or a mentoring role I don't like mixing up things so

1:55:49

seeing a lot of people on the cap table that provided Services some years ago in the start of the company and still own

1:55:55

two percent doesn't make sense to me have we all said this case since the

1:56:00

very early days we had a business age approaching us more or less it was

1:56:06

can we call him business entry maybe not but a person approaching us I give you 100 000 Euros I invest in you

1:56:14

and you hire me and I earn 100 000 Euros per year

1:56:21

was just okay you said you have it on your CV this makes no sense to to invest money in the company to take it out and

1:56:28

invest so this is completely unlaudible this is also what I

1:56:34

with some Force I think it has been Heidi grinder for also before they force you to have advisors so you

1:56:41

get money from them and then you have to spend 50 000 Euros for foreign

1:56:55

so to also why why investing 500 000 Euros and taking out 50

1:57:02

phone advisor why not trying to make the most out of the money it means also you don't trust the

1:57:09

founders you have to trust the founders as they do the best with your money if you don't trust them and you have to

1:57:15

control them with advisors don't invest yeah and I thought it's a waste of time and money I don't understand this

1:57:21

concept I understand it's you invest most of his managers are responsible for

1:57:27

foreign monies they don't own some money so you just got some money from family office whatever it's

1:57:33

it's not their own money so a risk aware so she tries to manage the risk and we

1:57:39

associate waste money I mean my personal preference is to have on the cap table fans who can capitalize

1:57:46

capitalize the company in tough times or when the company opens a new market and can it has the ability to grow quicker

1:57:52

with more capital are an investor can be on the payroll when the investor brings expertise to

1:58:00

the table that's necessary for the stage of the company but but I mean if I

1:58:06

invest money I don't need money I should pay myself it's I mean investors standard on the payroll

1:58:12

you invest the money because you have it you would work for free for the company I don't work for it for the company I I

1:58:19

help them and they need me but I won't it makes no sense to me because when I can invest money it means I have enough

1:58:25

money and then putting yourself on the payroll is

1:58:31

it's not it makes no sense to me because as a business agent you have to be aware that you lose this money it's high risk

1:58:37

business you believe in the team you want to help them so this money is a wave for me and I

1:58:45

getting on a payroll it's also not

1:58:51

know it makes no sense I mean so companies here in Austria where basically the business Angel

1:58:57

um dedicates uh their full work time 40 hours per week to the company

1:59:04

um where I would say okay I mean but this is work for the company it is I don't it's not an investment role

1:59:09

anymore yeah so it's more a combination of executive and investor and in such cases they would say why not separated

1:59:15

and say okay when you're an executive let's be open and honest with a lot of people that this is an important part of

1:59:20

the company and for future fundraising it would also go down the drought to

1:59:25

find a solution with future investors to also pay a remuneration when a person dedicates for the hours of their lives

1:59:31

to the company you know like I said you said you separate the roles I couldn't produce that I invest

1:59:37

and take over the CEO role or whatever this trust means I don't believe them and suddenly it's just a lot of work if

1:59:43

you want to have a lot of work but it's it's for me it's much nicer to

1:59:50

to help the guys and to see how they evolve as an outsider sitting back and

1:59:56

looking at them makes me makes me proud and I don't want to have

2:00:02

to spend work real work into it I believe them they are the

2:00:09

experts they know it best when they need help they approach me and this is perfect

2:00:14

so I think we have the same opinion then if I understood you right as an investor as a natural investor you invest in the

2:00:19

company you deploy Capital yeah but you don't work for the company exactly and you want to have teams that you can

2:00:26

trust that they are the best solution for developing the product forward and finding product Market fit yeah and you

2:00:33

don't interfere with them is accept some mentoring or some some support factors but you don't go to

2:00:39

their office and tell them how to do that oh they know it best I mean it makes absolutely no they could have started say when they

2:00:46

know something best it starts a business by myself yeah so we come back to trust yeah exactly

2:00:51

Philip I could go on talking with you and the sleeper I see on the clock that we already coming close to two hours

2:00:58

talking uh I would like to ask me two final questions if this is fine with you

2:01:05

uh didn't miss anything in this episode is there any question open that you

2:01:10

would like me to ask I'm a Singapore because it's two hours I think we talked about a lot

2:01:19

no we also we even had trolling bikhar in our conversation that's great that sounds great yeah this engage thing no I

2:01:26

didn't miss anything then let me ask you my final question you have a lot of experience as a

2:01:33

scientist you grow up you grow out of a small village in Bavaria went to a

2:01:38

university started your company uh you have built a really impressed pressing

2:01:45

success story with Nano Tempo I mean scaling a company to over 200 employees in a multinational environment is not an

2:01:52

easy job especially in the last three years with all these shutdowns and you mentioned before that you like talking

2:01:58

to people in person I think lockdowns must have been a tough time to change the leadership style you amended that

2:02:04

perfectly you kept your company growing and you are still hiring and flowing with a company

2:02:11

when you would have a chance to step into I think it's also Star Trek

2:02:17

start records of this time travel yeah or H2 Wells if you could get a time machine and travel back to your younger

2:02:25

self let's say around 2000. uh what advice with all the experience

2:02:32

you gained in the last 23 years what advice would you give your younger self

2:02:38

so I would never do this because knowing my younger self because what I do is I like to listen to

2:02:45

people and but I do my thing so I get all the information

2:02:51

but it's about information or influence so my advice would be not only to my

2:02:56

younger self because afterwards you always know no better

2:03:01

do your thing and thing is really about do get all this information available talk

2:03:08

with a lot of people gets advices but two and no

2:03:14

people's experience with you experience experience are from the past experience

2:03:19

are limited when something was impossible in the past reconsider it

2:03:24

because situation the past was different and now and in the future is a new technology things who have been which

2:03:31

have been impossible in the past may now be possible so take the vices takes the

2:03:37

experience particular you are now and there is a future

2:03:42

so to it to your sink that's great advice get going get

2:03:48

started Philip had a great time in the last two hours talking to you you shared important Leadership Lessons important

2:03:55

lessons how to move company forward I wish you and your team all the best thank you please please please keep

2:04:01

going and really work hard on making every disease treatable I think it gives back so much quality in life when people

2:04:08

know that there are other people working to keep them safe and healthy it's a

2:04:14

it's the best thing I ever heard uh in the last 108 episodes in my opinion saving the world thank you that's great

2:04:20

that's awesome thank you enjoyed it very much me too me too and normally now I

2:04:26

would push the I would click the mouse to end the recording uh here I think we

2:04:31

have to I need to wait engage

2:04:36


 

(Cont.) #109: Philipp Baaske's Journey: From Small Village to Biotech Entrepreneur
(Cont.) #109: Philipp Baaske's Journey: From Small Village to Biotech Entrepreneur