For the last 20 years I've founded and invested in many companies, built successful products that millions of people used, and consulted well-known companies, VC and PE firms.
People who challenge a specific market, and themselves, often go beyond what others think is possible. Those people fascinate me, and these are the ones I enjoy working with.
In Online Marketing, Software Development, Company Building and Growing. I've built succesful companies with several hundred employees and invested in a few super smart startups.
Have my products won in the past 10 years. Including best software in its category in Europe and USA. Additionally I've won European Search personality of the 2016 and the SEMY Awards for "Search Persönlichkeit des Jahres" in 2017.
Have I been speaker in the past 12 years. Conferences around the world incl. DLD, OMR, SMX, Pubcon, Web Summit, Webit and various SEO conferences.
When I founded Searchmetrics in 2005 (formerly known as SEO Solutions) there was no SaaS nor established subscription models in Berlin.
So we created many trial and error moments, lots of failures, many tears and an incredible amount of successes and joy. Over time we grew to 250 employees in multiple locations like Berlin, London or San Mateo (US). As one of the first B2B SaaS companies in Berlin we introduced many concepts we learned like CSM (Client Success Management) or Product Marketing in Germany.
We learned as well that success can have its downside, so we fought a 4 year long patent infringement lawsuit in California, US that we won. But it cost us time, money, people and this is more precious than the win.
But all experiences are priceless and will lead to not making the same mistakes again.
This is exactly my mission with every project grow from all the ones before.
Neither does the size of a company nor its budget really matter to me - For me, the most important key to success is being able to challenge the status quo, having the freedom to be creative, and to make mistakes.
SEO is one of the most important online disciplines that mostly depends on the successful collaboration of many departments e.g., development, marketing, PR and business development. SEO is not free traffic, but it can be the most important and successful traffic channel if done right.
Content Marketing is all about the user (personas), their problems and how you as a company can solve them. It's also about the stories you can tell to win the hearts and the minds of the potential users. In the end, Content Marketing need to be persuasive.
Building products is less about the great idea itself but more about smart iterative approaches to design, test, fail, learn and repeat. Don't ask your customers what they need, try to understand their problem and build the solution.
Seeing people engaged and passionate about a speech is the best experience a speaker can have. An important goal always is to be specific and give people not only great entertainment but also things they can adopt immediately. Speeches should be backed and powered by data.
Challenge and think ahead of the status quo. Every product can be re-thought and at any point in time even market leaders can be disrupted. Think about why and how to build better products.
A coach or sparrings partner for a startup might be significant to avoid re-inventing the wheel when it comes to Go-to-market, growing products, internationalization or a reality check. What makes a startup so special is their energy to change the world and combined with the sparring partner this can be a powerful combination.