Sebastian Stockmarr

Founder & Product designer

00.Introduction

I am Head of Design & Partner at Founders where I build companies with a talented bunch of misfits.

I am a humanist. I believe that people should define technology and not the other way around. I am fascinated and worried by the impact of technology on society and spend my time trying to improve both.

My role is that of a founder. I build companies and products in a hope to impact the world in a way that reflect my ideals and political views.

I believe in design driven businesses and specialize in managing the processes that make this happen.

Below is a series of my ventures.

01.Founders

  • Partner

  • 2014 - Present

  • Built design team & creation processes

Founders is a startup studio. We partner with incredible entrepreneurs to build products and companies that improve how we work.

We focus on bringing ideas from zero to traction, by taking the role of an active investor and co-founder.

We are a pre-angel, pre-seed, pre-accelerator.

We work hands-on on product strategy, design, development and distribution, and help the founders scale to independent companies when they gain traction.

As the head of design my role is shaping the product and often leading the vision in the first 3-6 months of the new companies we build. In addition I manage the internal design team and our creation processes.

02.Kontist

  • Co-founder

  • 2015 - 2016

  • Vision & concept
  • User research
  • Product design

  • Built initial team

Kontist is a bank for freelancers and self-employed. I developed the first version of Kontist out of Berlin for Founders over the course of 8 months.

The core idea showed itself after having interviewed freelancers in search of a smarter solution to invoicing and payment between them and their clients.

We discovered that the core anxiousness around the topic, wasn't the individual client and their ability to pay, but stemmed from a deeper uncertainty about their general finances which could be traced back to sporadic and out of date bookkeeping.

To be able to give a complete real-time view of this information we had to become to the core of their finances: their bank.

In this process we learned just how much of an underserved demographic the self-employed truly was, and that all the benefits that the average employee receive from employers and unions are far from the world that the freelancers live in.

A mission was born: to empower each of these individuals to act as a 'union of one'.

03.Tempo

  • Co-founder

  • 2018 - Present

  • Vision & concept
  • Product design

  • UX/UI design


Tempo is the email client that protects your focus.

Email, as we have known it recently, is a disaster. Since the first message was sent almost 50 years ago, its use has exploded, and with it its misuses. From spam to endless reply-all threads, to the proliferation of newsletters, email is used for anything and everything. It is evident that the time has come for email to be unbundled.

But if Slack is better for rapid in-company communication; if Messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat are better for chatting with your friends; if Google Drive is better for sharing files; if a to-do list is better for, well, reminders; what’s email good for?

I shaped a product around the concept of long form communication which still has a place in this world, combined with simple mechanics for managing the incoming chaos.

04.Symposium

  • Co-founder

  • 2019 - Present

  • Vision & concept
  • Branding
  • Fundraising
  • Hiring
  • Organizing

We created The Symposium as a way to feed our curiosity and see our work in a new light, by living, working and sharing meals with people from other fields of technology, science and art.

We're a small rotating group of 10 people who live together for a month in Italy and work on our own projects and research.

A few times a week, a participant presents their thoughts about their work, profession and the more abstract concepts and underlying truths. The rest are then encouraged to present those truths in the light of their own profession and build upon them.

We're open for applications for June 2021 via stockmarr+symposium@gmail.com.

05.Magma

  • Founder

  • 2010 - 2012

  • Vision & concept
  • User research
  • Product design

  • UX/UI design

  • Fundraising

Having worked in traditional print publishing of lifestyle magazines at the time when software was starting to eat up the world, I saw an opportunity for creating a better tool for editorial teams to collaborate.

Despite an extremely established industry with advanced software there was some unique mechanics that made this a perfect fit for a online product.

Unlike normal businesses, the publications with the biggest editorial teams are in fact not the established ones who employs a steady editorial team, but rather the small to mid-level publications that hires a changing roster of freelancers for each issue.

I started Magma along with two co-founders in 2010 as a part of Startupbootcamp, built the product and team over the next year after a small seed investment. Magma was acquired by Issuu the following year.

06.Essays

06.01The quality of an object

  • 02 Mar 2018

  • 933 words
  • 4 minute read time

"What defines the quality of a product and how do we know what to strive for when creating something new?”

In order to create the best possible products, I’ve been thinking about the word “quality” and what defines the quality of an object.

In particular for products in the shape of services and software like the ones I spend most of my days working on.

Read the essay on Medium

06.02Product design principles

  • 06 Jan 2017

  • 1.022 words
  • 5 minute read time

"One thing is design having a seat at the table, but for it to have a profound impact we we need to be able to communicate it in an actionable manner.”

Most companies deliver vastly inferior products compared to the abilites of the people working on them.

Proper management of design processes and with that, Product Design Principles, are at the core of creating great products.

Read the essay on Medium

07.Undefined

I’m always open to discuss new ventures.

If you’re creating something ambitious, humanistic and original, we should talk.

There’s a good chance I can get excited about it – or at the very least offer some perspective on the journey you’re about to embark on.

You can reach me at sebastian@founders.as.