entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned, startup

On Location Based Services

Painted in Waterlogue

Writing on the Wall: A Business Model Canvas, complete with festively colored Post-Its, Atherton, CA June 2013.

This post has been gather digital dust in private draft form since May 2013. I thought I’d finally publish it to share with anyone interested in location based services.


In what now seems like eons ago, I founded a location based tech startup called “Gauss — The People Magnet”. It took me on a roller-coaster ride around the world — from the front page of The New York Times to near personal bankruptcy in the course of about two years. It folded before we got somewhere significant. If you’re interested in the background for founding ‘Gauss — The People Magnet’, there are a couple of old posts for that.

In this post I’m completely cleaning out the closet with my thoughts and experiences related to that startup, including potential revenue sources and business models. It’s a long and winding read — a very mixed bag, assembled from scattered notes.

Caveat Emptor in 2016: If any of this looks familiar or straight forward today, rest assured they weren’t when we started out back in early 2011. To wit: successful monetization of non-dating social discovery apps arguably still hasn’t happened yet.


Continue reading

Events, hustling, startup

Startup Ambassador @ SXSW 2016

Hanging with the legend Guy Kawasaki at the German Haus @ SXSW 2016

Hanging with the legend Guy Kawasaki at the German Haus @ SXSW 2016

I was honored and delighted to be invited back as an official startup embassador to the state of NRW and join the German delegation to SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Last year, I couldn’t make it as I was teaching in Iran – but this year it fortunately fit my schedule. And what a blast we had showcasing the best our region has to offer of early stage startups!

Continue reading

Education, entrepreneurship, Lean Startup, startup

Lean Launchpad DUS is a wrap!


The very first Lean Launchpad DUS Powered by PwC is a wrap! 9 teams entered the 5 week program – and 6 teams made it through. Have a look at the final public presentation day in the video below:

The Lean Launchpad is the world’s premier pre-accelerator program for startups. It’s an intensive 5 week, in-person, mentorship-driven 100% experience-based course to create more capable regional entrepreneurs and prepare them for their first investment round, an application to an accelerator, launching their first minimum viable product or setting them off on a self-funded, bootstrapped path.

See you again soon – Lean Launchpad is coming back to Cologne again for 2016 – so stay tuned for the dates!

Education, Lean Startup

The Lean Launchpad goes to Turkey


Presenting the Lean Launchpad curriculum to the faculty of the Dokuz Eyül Üniversitesi Izmir, Turkey

Recently I was honored and delighted to be invited to introduce the world’s premier startup entrepreneurship curriculum, The Lean Launchpad, to the faculty to one of the largest universities in Turkey, Dokuz Eyül Üniversitesi.

Here are the slides I used to introduce it to the faculty.

Teaching the Lean Launchpad in Izmir Turkey! #llp

A photo posted by Vidar Andersen (@blacktar) on