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“Zoom sucks, we started having editorial meetings in Red Dead Redemption instead. It’s nice to sit at the campfire and discuss projects, with the wolves howling out in the night” — Viviane Schwarz

Games are turning into platforms facilitating human interactions beyond “just” gaming. After private social gatherings, concerts and graduation ceremonies in games like Fortnite and Minecraft, here is the next evolution: Business meetings in games.

Read more about how ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ turned out as a perfect platform for work meetings in this article.

Our Media Tech team at Samsung NEXT is looking for startups and technologies that will define the future of media. Please reach out if you’re working on something disruptive in this space.

#gaming #media #meetings #business #remotework #futureofwork #mediatech

Swim with the Dolphins — The Four Types of People

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Looking for a new team member — or maybe a new boss? Looking for a VC — or maybe a founder worth investing in? Partnerships are a necessary and valuable element both of business and of our private life. To make the path toward a common goal smooth sailing, however, you need the right kind of partner.

Most of us are looking for partners that are both friendly and intelligent — let’s call them Dolphins. …

Top Leadership and Management Book Recommendations

I’ve asked my network via LinkedIn and Facebook which 3 books they would recommend founders to improve their leadership and management skills.
I’ve aggregated all recommendations and sorted them (roughly) by the number of mentions and likes. Here we go:

The hard thing about hard things; Building a business when there are no easy answers by Ben Horowitz

Suggested by Jonas Weber, Malte Gosau, Igor Kostyuchenok , Maximilian Birner , Jaap Dekter, Tim von Toerne, Paul Jozefak, Michael Oschmann, Ertan Can, Finn Age Hänsel , Michael Schrezenmaier +4 Likes

Principles by Ray Dalio

Suggested by Christian Schroeder, Dr. Darren Obrigkeit, Robert Kindermann, Alexander Tezlaw, Mike Mahlkow, Jasper Masemann, Andreas Thorstensson, Miguel Vicente +8 Likes

High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove

Suggested by Mike Mahlkow, Paul Jozefak, Felix Petersen, Andreas…

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I’m a tech and design freak. I love AI. I love design (UI, graphic, product, fashion, interior). I love great visuals, storytelling and conveying (complex) knowledge in a simple and visually striking manner. The intersection of (deep) tech and creativity is fascinating me.

This resulted in a new “visual whitepaper” I prepared in the last months:
The Simple Guide to Deep Learning — or What All These F*cking Buzzwords Actually Mean.”

✔ The whitepaper IS for you if you notice all the hype about Deep Learning around you, are interested in the topic and want to learn the basics.
✘ The whitepaper is probably NOT for you if you know the differences between a CNN, a Sequence Model and a GAN. …

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The following article was published on:

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘deep learning’ bandied about in conversation, or maybe you’ve read about it in a post like this one. It seems like almost every tech conversation happening today somehow touches on the topic of AI, machine learning, or deep learning.

These technologies are coming into their own, and are poised to usher-in massive changes not only to the tech industry, but to every aspect of the global economy and society overall. But…what the heck does all of this mean?

In my position as a VC and as a managing director of scale-up program, I’ve worked with a number of startups that are leveraging deep learning along with other AI technologies. I recently created a white paper to help non AI experts understand the potential of deep learning to transform their business. …

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{🚨 Please find an updated and extended version of this article here on the FundraisingCOUP website }

There is lots of advice and many blog posts out there on how to structure a pitch deck. However, I’m still seeing pitch decks and presentations given by even very experienced founders that are far away from what I expect as a VC.

That’s why I created a pitch deck for a fictional startup (“DoggyHut”) — a “perfect” deck that I would love to see when being pitched.

Meet DoggyHut — A totally awesome and totally made up startup:

Download the Pitch Deck in high resolution under:

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The role and job profile of the marketer will change dramatically. Marketing will change dramatically. I summarized my thesis around the AI driven future of marketing in a onepager, please find it here:

If you’re interested in a journey through the everyday life of a marketer in 2028, find me in Hamburg at the Online Marketing Rockstars Expo stage at the 23th March.

News of companies replacing marketers with AI solutions are starting to hit the ground. NOW is the time for every marketer to work and further develop the skillset that will match the requirements of an AI driven marketing world.

Iskender Dirik

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Did you set your learning goals for 2018? I strongly advise you to ask yourself: “What knowledge would I like to have gained by the end of this year?”.

Your time is limited. So is your time for reading and learning. We are overwhelmed by information, interesting articles, blog posts here, TED talks there, newsletters etc.

If you don’t set a clear plan for how you want to invest the time you reserve (yes, you should reserve dedicated time!) for learning, you’ll very probably end up diluting your learning efforts, jumping between diverse topics, areas etc.

If this is actually what you want and get excited about — go for it. But if you want to master specific areas or even become an expert on a certain topic, you need to focus. You need to invest most of your learning time to master that specific topic. …

I just updated my Paper “A Manual for Corporate Venture Capital” with the following new chapter about Microsoft’s Startup Motions and how they contribute to Microsoft’s core business and to each other:

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Microsoft provides an excellent example for a 360 degree startup strategy and a seamless integration of a Corporate VC (CVC), Accelerator and Startup Evangelism motion (“motion” is a term often used at Microsoft).

There are currently only a few corporates on such a scale that are more serious about digital transformation than Microsoft (see “Microsoft’s successful transformation: From Microsoft to Microcloud”).

The cloud is Microsoft’s number one priority going forward. The whole organization and product roadmap is designed to shift the core business to cloud offerings. …

There are many articles out there explaining the mechanics of investment rounds. However, there are a range of founders who are still not confident enough about such VC and investment mechanics.

That’s why Iskender Dirik (MD at Microsoft Startup Growth Partners and Venture Partner at EQT Ventures), Christopher Mohrmann (Investment Associate at Bauer Venture Partners) and Peter Möllmann (Partner at Schnittker Möllmann Partners) decided to create a very striking, visual explanation of the most important mechanics via infographics.
The set comprises 5 infographics:

1. Basic Calculations in Financing Rounds

The very basic calculations of investment rounds, considering pre- and post-money valuations, stake and number of issued shares, share prices, etc. …


Iskender Dirik

venture capitalist, entrepreneur, startup fanatic, tech + AI freak, product guy, design maniac / MD Samsung NEXT + Venture Partner EQT Ventures /

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