11 Mar Startup Webinar: Old Problem – New Solution
HUFW Startup Team started 2021 season with a fresh initiative to host a webinar for the fellow students. Young companies and entrepreneurial talents have tremendous opportunities to develop their small ideas to the unicorn level startups in one of Germany’s innovation hubs – Berlin. This startup ecosystem embraces enormous number of insights and experiences. How do some ideas strike even though there is already a similar solution on the market? What must one do to develop a sustainable competitive advantage? To support and promote knowledge transfer, share the wisdoms of the young corporate world, and inspire the next generation of founders, HUFW invited Berlin-based startups to a Webinar with the Headline “Old Problem – New Solution”. Scott Chacon (GitHub co-founder and Chatterbug CEO) and Felix Stremmer (Vice President of Finance at Bitbond) joined us on the 28th of January 2021 to share their views on how one can find a new working practical solution to an existing problem and which approach the startups they founded or work at took to concur the market.
We first addressed the topic “5 Why’s Product Design Philosophy: Lessons on Thinking from First Principles” with Scott. He shared a simple, but amazing framework of how one can develop a great product just by asking the right questions. After sharing some anecdotes about his journey at GitHub and why he founded Chatterbug, Scott explained the fundamental question with which one should approach every problem:Which problem is actually trying to be solved and is it being done it in the best possible way? Scott made his idea clear with the example of cellphones: The first principle, what phones want to do, is faster transmission of information. So improving the keyboard or the audio quality of a phone makes it more comfortable to use, but doesn’t tackle the underlying problem. By thinking from first principles and wondering how phones should be designed to transmit as much information as possible, Apple was able to design the smartphone. The same principle should be applied whenever we want to solve a problem: Why do we want to solve that problem? Asking “Why” over and over again will eventually lead us to the problem which actually should be solved.
The second half of the webinar was devoted to the topic of “Strategic Positioning in an emerging technology market”. Felix first introduced us to the company and highlighted how blockchain technologies and tokenization are shaping the future of capital markets and securities. We then heard a fascinating story of how a simple coincidence and a bit of luck led to tremendous success in filling the business niche. Felix shared that the company has been building a completely different business model for years prior focusing on the security tokens. To follow this winning idea they had to step away from the working business model and restructure. Lessons learned: it is highly important to stay open to many opportunities, but even more important to take one and execute it right.
We would like to thank Scott Chacon, Felix Stremmer and all webinar attendees for valuables insights, challenging questions, and fruitful discussions. Stay tuned for the next events and join HUFW if you also want to make a difference.