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.
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.
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to pay, but stemmed from a deeper uncertainty about their general finances which could be traced back to sporadic and out of date bookkeeping.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'.
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.
Stress is going to be one of the most widespread diseases by 2020 according to WHO, and for those of us who spend quite some time in high pressure enviroments has most likely touched our lives in one way or another.
After mapping our the "consumer journey" of stress, I realized that the fixes are in fact quite simple, though "implementation" is another matter. Therapy is hindered by an array of factors like general accessibility, price and stigma on a corporate and personal level, which prevents a lot of people from seeking help in due time.
In the end we created a consumer membership program paid for by the employers, with strong connotations to the gym memberships that they already offer. Giving each employee and digital first connection to a real life coach and business psychologist. At it’s core, resulting in healthier, more resilient and happier individuals.
We believe that just as we saw a surge in taking care of ourselves physically in the 80's and 90's, we are in the midst of the same revolution when it comes to taking care of our mental health.
Headlight has been created to help promote this change.
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.
06.01The quality of an object
"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.
06.02Product design principles
"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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.