Summary: Ultimately, winning in life comes down to two things: (1) Having good options to pick from and (2) picking the right ones. To this end, I’ve created a framework called “Opportunity Universe” that can help you think through your opportunities in a systematic manner. Moreover, I’ve developed an approach for choosing the right opportunities based on your capabilities, market forces and your passions. Following this approach, you will be able to pursue the right opportunities and be successful doing so. While this article focuses on career success, you can ultimately use this framework for all domains of life.

Image for post
Image for post

Introducing the Opportunity Universe

First, I’d like to introduce a term I coined: The “Opportunity Universe.” It is a very valuable tool for visualising the concept of possibilities. The easiest way to think about this is as a cloud in the sky. Each of the rain droplets in this cloud represents one of the opportunities you could pursue. Mathematically speaking, it’s the set of all options at your disposal. …

Summary: Many people strive for success as an entrepreneur, yet few succeed. One of the main factors driving success as an entrepreneur is the ability to control outcomes. However, to achieve this, entrepreneurs must first do one crucial thing: Assume responsibility.

Let’s first look at the lives of people who do not have this trait: People blame the job market for their unemployment. Managers blame their staff for missing deadlines. And people blame their Uber drivers and traffic for showing up late to an appointment.

Image for post
Image for post

All of these examples have one thing in common: The people blame others for the misfortunes happening to them. Early on in my career, I’ve learned that there is a better way: Assume responsibility for all bad things happening to you and think through how taking different actions could have prevented them.

Summary: Fundamentally, wealth creation depends on two things: Providing value to customers and capturing part of it. In this article, we will study how to pursue opportunities to create billion-dollar businesses. Essentially, there are two ways to go about: Firstly, you can become an “Aggressive First Mover” in a newly emerging industry. Secondly, you can use a technique called “Element of Certainty” to become the “Contrarian Last Mover” for less obvious, but equally interesting opportunities in a more developed sector.

Quite frequently, people ask me how to find a great business idea. This question is important for both people who want to create a company or investors who want to beat the market. The reality is that there is no shortcut. …

Summary: Success in a start-up can often be achieved by thinking big and going after very ambitious goals. In this article, I will describe a three-step process for entrepreneurial achievement: First, establish a baseline of your current goals. Then, elevate your thinking to what seems impossible. Finally, retrace a new baseline that represents the sweet spot between the old baseline and “Beyond-Possible.”

Image for post
Image for post

The virtue of seeing as a novice.

Five years ago, when I joined Rocket Internet as Managing Director for one of their portfolio companies, I had a reputation for being very ambitious and sometimes even asking for the impossible from my staff. This mindset was driven mainly by my determination to win, but also in part by my lack of knowledge about practical limitations in our sector. Still, setting impossible targets drove our staff to think outside the box and come up with novel approaches to achieve more. …

Summary: Success in life and business ultimately depends on the quality and speed of decisions and their implementation. This article sheds more light on this profound insight and guides readers on how to reach more success.

Recently, I was having dinner with a friend working at a large private equity fund. He told me an interesting story about a buy-out deal and three people: A founder selling his company, the partner of the private equity fund and the partner of a Big4 accountancy.

All of them were in a room to discuss the final details of the deal and all three had one thing in common: Intellectually, they were able to discuss the finest details of the deal on exactly the same level. All three of them were equally smart, yet, the founder would make 500 million in the deal, the PE partner would make 10 million, while the Big4 partner would be lucky to make 100k. …

A few weeks ago, I put my last notes into the thick, worn-out leather notebook that was given to me on my first day at Rocket Internet five years ago. This notebook had always accompanied me during my travels in Asia, when I was building an e-commerce group from 10 people in Pakistan to 400 people in 5 Asian markets and more recently when I was in charge of finding new ideas for Rocket’s incubator and making investments as part of Rocket’s investment team.

Personally, I started earning my own money from side hustles when I was 8 years old and created my first company aged 16. The entrepreneurial force has always been strong in me and that’s why I joined Rocket after my studies at WHU. I believe that for young people Rocket is the ideal training ground for entrepreneurship. There is no other place in the world that puts as much trust in the hands of smart, hungry and driven youngsters willing to get their hands dirty. I’m extremely grateful to my colleagues and the management board of Rocket that helped to acquire a toolbox for building and operating hyper-growth companies as well as selecting winning business models over the past 5 years. …


Christian A. Schröder

Founder & CEO of 10x Value Partners. One of the world’s most successful angel investors. Follow me to learn my secrets.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store