Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

Being first takes courage.

Founders need courage when being the first to tackle — let alone create — new markets.

Investors need courage when being the first to believe and invest in founders.

Oftentimes, there’s a courage-mismatch between founders and investors.

While looking for the most talented founders, many investors only want to invest after other investors have already committed funds. This notion leads to a problem many founders are facing:

If no one wants to be first, how do you get the first check for your startup? How can you overcome investors’ herd-mentality?

In this post, I’ll outline a…


Some founders hugely benefit from raising venture capital, others do far better without. What’s right for you?

On rocket fuel and startups

Just like rocket ships, many startups want to take off. If all goes well, a rocket can not only be an extremely powerful mode of transportation, it can also take you places other modes of transportation cannot. However, building a rocket is very difficult, which is why most rockets never make it to orbit.

Let’s compare venture capital to rocket fuel. Rocket fuel is one of the key components for a successful rocket launch. You need just the right amount at the right time. If you have too little, you might not take off. If…


Keeping digital monopolies honest and innovative is difficult. Here are two interesting ideas.

Image credit: James Petts, Wikimedia Commons

Let’s first look at two suggestions that most likely won’t work (despite being the most common suggestions).

  1. Shutting them down: Calls to shut down monopolies forget that some of the most powerful monopolies (e.g., Google, Facebook, Amazon) are not just threats; they also offer tremendous benefits to billions of consumers (and other partners in the ecosystem) every single day. Take the example of Google. Do you want to go back to a world without the opportunity to “google” anything or the opportunity to easily navigate anywhere with…

Dr. Marcus Erken

Endlessly curious about startups and technology. Deep tech VC @ Sunfish Partners & Lecturer @ WHU

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