Importance of Natural Resources

Teams and Ecosystems with Dr. Arne Hessenbruch


[MUSIC PLAYING] The most important
thing, and I think investors are looking
for this, is that they have a good chemistry. They actually have to get on. I know investors who have
looked at stuff they like, but they can see that there
are people on the team who don’t like each other. And they just say no, this
will be dysfunctional. Just don’t even bother. So chemistry in
the teams is key. And then I think, after that,
the most important thing is there are so many things
that you need to get a grip on, so many uncertainties. And all of them
are very difficult. I mean, it could be very
difficult technologies that you’re dealing
with where you really need deep understanding
of technology. You have to understand markets. You have to understand
how you sell into markets. And understanding
selling into hospitals and selling into retail and
selling into the military are completely different things. You have to understand
the finance. There are so many things
that you need to understand. And so a team has to
complement knowledge. You have to have many different
players, different in the sense that they have
different backgrounds so they know different stuff. And you have to get that in
as few people as possible because you have a
burn rate of cash. And you can’t pay a lot of
people to cover this stuff. So you need people who
are jacks-of-all-trade. When I grew up, it was a
good idea to be a master. You know, you shouldn’t be a
jack-of-all-trade and a master of none. But I think in the 21st century,
and when things are moving so fast, you have to be
a jack-of-all-trades. And in innovation, you
absolutely have to be a jack-of-all-trades, because
the problem is covering this multitude of uncertainties
with as few people as possible so that it becomes
as cheap as possible. So those are the key things– chemistry and
jacks-of-all-trades that complement each other. As I said before,
the Europeans really notice this thing
about tolerance of failure, which is huge. And the flip side
of this is the shame when faced with failure, which
makes it hard to accept risk. And there are
many, many cultures in the world where it’s just
too difficult to risk anything. It’s shame for you. It’s shame for your family. That I think is the main issue. Of course, then,
you also need to be able to assemble teams
that complement each other. And I mean, I think
in Boston, it’s really amazingly easy to
form teams because you can go out and network. And you meet new
people all the time. And there is also a culture here
that I think is quite special. I’m not really
sure to what extent it exists in Silicon Valley. But there is an
understanding here that you want to help
people when you network. And it’ll come home to
roost at some point. You just help. So it’s very easy
to say, you know, we’re looking for a team member
who can do this kind of thing. And then people will say,
well, I know somebody. I know somebody who
might know somebody. And here’s the email and
have a chat with him. So that you can reach out to
a great many people in Boston with great ease. I think this is much harder if
you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Not picking on
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But a place that doesn’t have
a large population and very diverse population. This is the thing. Boston has, I mean diverse
in every sense of the word, I think. Diverse, just say you
need to have the finance skills, the sales skills,
the technical skills, just to mention three. And it’s very easy to
find people like this. And then you need mentors. Very easy to find
mentors in Boston. So there are places
on this planet where you can, with greater
ease, assemble teams. And then there are places
where it’s more difficult.


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