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Sharing the "less conventional" knowledge to the next generation of Startups

Late last year I had the honour of keynoting and presenting the winner trophy at the Paperjam Startup Stories Awards 2021. For me especially, it was a great moment, as it had been us on many similar stages just 10 years before. When asked to keynote, I spent a significant amount of time pondering as to what I would talk about? The interesting future insights from a book I recently read - "The Future is Faster than you Think" (I suggest you read it) or maybe how to raise early stage capital? Product market fit? Hiring top talent in Luxembourg? The importance of a strong product team? The topics were endless...

Then, after a while longer, I asked myself this question... what had I wish I had known, when I was in their shoes? What would I wanted to have heard that would really make a difference? Suddenly, I got reminded of a time at Pioneers Summit in Vienna in late 2013, when I heard a talk that changed me as a founder. Sure, it briefly covered a few conventional topics, such as product development and testing, raising cash at the right time, the lean model etc., but the speaker also when into the details about some of the topics less talked about. The topics about that formed the base of companies at a human level.

So with that in mind, I prepared a less conventional talk centralised around three main areas: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the halo effect, and the tendency for humans (and animals) to underestimate their ability to adapt to a dangerous situation when it's onset is progressive, rather than immediate. Although it may not be immediately apparent exactly what these concepts have to do with entrepreneurship or running a business, they are actually more important than one might think and each and every single day the are discreetly shaping the journey's of companies around the globe, big and small.

What I wanted to get across to the budding young startups (and companies in general for that matter) was that in order to truly grow, scale and future proof our companies, we cannot neglect the influence and power of the thousands of implicit, mental processes that help (or harm) us in our every day decision making.

So if you are a founder or curious about these topics, check it out, there is a link to the video here.

(Oh and lastly, congratulations to Ta-Da for taking out the Startup Stories Award and a big thanks to PaperJam for setting up such a great event!)



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