"Keep the venture as operationally independent from corporate HQ as possible" Karsten Wysk, Start-Up-Founder and now Director at BCG Digital Ventures


Instead of a short bio, let us know what are your top 3 books everyone working on digital transformation needs to read and top 3 tech gadgets one needs to have?

 

Books? What are books? Kidding aside I would recommend not to read books on digital transformation but rather books on economics or politics. I also like Ken Follett :) (Available in Germany, United States, UK, France and Spain) For digital transformation I would rather read TheVerge or other websites on the topic. 

 

You went from developing games as to building companies for BCG Digital Ventures. How did that happen? Is there a secret sauce to successfully build up ventures? What could start-up founders and corporate managers learn from that?

 

There is no secret sauce. You can build a successful venture if you solve a problem for a specific target group, if you can make money off doing it and if its technically possible to do it. As a corporate customer you should also consider if you have an unfair advantage doing it. If all of this comes together you have a good chance of succeeding! I like building ventures in the B2B context now because most of the time they rate better in the dimensions given above. You solve a real problem, companies are easier to persuade to pay money than teenagers and websites are easier to build than games. 

 

In your opinion, what will be the next 3 tech trends that will shake up industries in Germany? Do you see already promising use cases?

 

The current buzzwords are clearly IoT, Blockchain & AI. Out of these I personally think AI will have the biggest impact in the next 30 years. A lot of existing (digital) processes can be either augmented or replaced by AI which will bring new products & services and also reduce costs a lot. This will be super exciting!

 

You build new ventures for old companies. What are the top 3 tips you advise your clients after you hand over the ventures?

  1. Keep the venture as operationally independent from corporate HQ as possible 
  2. Don't have too specific KPIs. e.g. rather set a general revenue target and leave it to the startup how to reach it. 
  3. Hiring is important. Don't treat the venture as a graveyard for unwanted corporate employees. You need to hire people with a startup spirit. 

 

Biography:

Karsten has over 15 years of experience in digital product management and gaming (PC, console, mobile & web with over 10 products & services released). He created a franchise of three AppStore games with over 20 million users & 7-digit revenue. His products were featured by Apple, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA. He founded three startups, raised over 2m EUR in several funding rounds, hired & lead teams of up to 30 employees, negotiated exit to Goodgame Studios. He has management & hands on experience in MVP definition based on ethnographic research, agile development, live operations and KPI driven iterations. 

 

Others were also interested in the interview with Daniel Schreiber, CEO of Lemonade: "It's not enough to change the design" or Work-with-me.


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