…and How First-Time Founders Can Avoid Them

Illustrations handmade with ❤ by Ariane Frida Sofie

Forgive me, founder, for I have sinned!

While I raised 10m EUR as a first-time entrepreneur, I made every mistake in the b̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ book. I didn’t talk to enough investors. I let rounds drag on. I took rejections personally. One unclear legal clause cost us millions when we sold the company years later! You name it.

Now…

What Founders Pitching Investors Can Learn From Eminem’s Rap Battles

Illustration by Ariane Frida Sofie

Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

In the final rap battle of the movie 8 Mile, Eminem crushes his opponent by doing the opposite of what’s expected of him…

How Business Owners Must Cater To ‘Generation Mute’

Mobile messaging — the future operating system for business communication. Illustration: Ariane Frida Sofie

A nasty spider bit my friend Josh! Here in Bali, Indonesia, it happens more often than you’d think. Paradise has its price. But don’t worry! Josh sent a photo of the bite to his doctor over WhatsApp. Moments later, he learned the name of the right medicine. …

How to Stay Sane as a First-Time Founder When Things Go Wrong

Yoda. He’s always calm, clear, and powerful. I love Star Wars. Illustration by Feliks Eyser

Sunglasses

So, we had just closed our first round of funding when my key employee quits. I had sold the investors on that employee's skills, and everything was horrible. I felt like a faker, and our company would never work despite the funding! That night I slowly walked to the bus…

One of them is overlooked by most founders.

Let it grow. Illustration: Ariane Frida Sofie

Your role as an entrepreneur is one of an architect. You plan and design. You balance physics with art. You strive to create a beautiful building, but also one that’s sturdy and built to last. You ponder over function as much as over aesthetics. …

Problems create entrepreneurial opportunities, and 2020 is not lacking in problems

An illustration of a unicorn emerging from fiery ashes in the shape of a phoenix.
The year 2020: Unicorns rising from the ashes. Illustration: Ariane Frida Sofie

I started my digital marketing company in 2009 against the backdrop of a global financial crisis. Most people thought a young university graduate — like I was at that time — should play it safe and wait for the business climate to get better before starting a company. …

Your job isn’t about finding the best option anymore — it’s about finding the option that is least bad

Illustration: Ariane Frida Sofie

Dear startup CEOs: It’s time to shift your mindset.

Last week might have been about growth and funky new initiatives. It could have been about hiring employees and closing that new financing round and launching that new product. Last week was about shiny things. Growth was your religion, and your…

There’s a much better term you can use

Illustration: handmade with ❤ by Ariane Frida Sofie

In the early years of my company, we did not extend an employee’s one-year-long contract because their performance was okay, but not outstanding. Also, we were in the middle of a financing round and had to save on cash. It was a perfectly rational decision. However, since it was the…

There might be ways to keep them happy without breaking the bank.

Illustrations handmade with ❤ by Ariane Frida Sofie

Welcome to the beginning of the year. It’s a beautiful time when the snow is falling, new year’s resolutions are not yet broken dreams, and employees suddenly demand a steep salary increase in your chronically underfinanced start-up. You check your bank account with the usual anxiety and realize that this…

Here’s what serial entrepreneurs change about their next business

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

The sun was setting and starting to melt into a creamy orange color over the beautiful fields of Mallorca’s nature. Our group of 15 entrepreneurs had gathered on the island to learn from each other. One of my core beliefs is that if you surround yourself with extraordinary people, good…

Feliks Eyser

Tech founder & investor from 🇩🇪. Sharing experiences for first-time founders💡🛠🚀

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