"Mission: Startup"

“Gründer in Deutschland schildern ihren Weg von der Idee zum Unternehmen” — Book review (English)

„Mission: Startup“ by Christoph Warmer and Sören Weber is the German counterpart to Jessica Livingston’s „Founders at work“. 25 German founders share stories of their startups with the authors.

The founders and companies portrayed in „Mission: Startup“ show there is more to the German startup scene than the Samwer brothers’ copy cat model of creating businesses, which gave Germany’s tech scene a bad reputation abroad.

The businesses portrayed include some of Germany’s most successful startups, ranging from productivity tool creator 6Wunderkinder to restaurant chain Vapiano.

The stories offer a deep individual analysis of the founders’ ventures. The high number of interviews and the range of stories offer the reader a broad view of Germany’s startup scene, but discussions about what distinguishes Germany from other startup ecosystems and especially the often cited comparison to Silicon Valley are not the main purpose of this book. Rather it is individual stories and experiences and many of the interviewed share their advice, which can be very helpful to new and upcoming founders facing similar situations.

„Mission: Startup“ left me with the sense that in the end it is not so much about the environment the startup is created in, but about the founders that create the startup. It is their drive, passion and perseverance that overcome obstacles, no matter if they are caused by regulation, cultural skepticism or anything else. Great founders thrive in challenging environments. The question that arises is if less challenging environments, (e.g. more supportive startup scenes) allow for even more ambitious ventures to be successful (beyond Germany and Europe).

* This post also appeared on medium.com, including a German version.