A couple of days ago the German magazine gruenderszene.de published some New Year's Resolution of mine for 2013 and a general recap of 2012.
(here is the link for those who speak German: http://www.gruenderszene.de/allgemein/fab-neujahrs-resolution)
2012 has been an intense year for me personally, and for most of the people that have been involved with me both on a private and professional level. There are not just enough words to express how much we have accomplished at Fab, how impressed I have been by so many of our team members and how the internet world itself developed over the past months.
Here are 3 observations of 2012.
1. PEOPLE I am extremely proud and humbled by all the great people that we hired - it's been amazing to see them grow and develop into leaders.
2. MACRO-SITUATION We all witnessed the preliminary culmination of the internet hype (be it justified or not) with the Facebook IPO. Although there have been some huge financing rounds afterwards, including the $105m of Fab, both VCs and start-ups have a harder time raising money and achieving valuations that seemed plausible just a couple of months ago. In particular the second financing round, the so called Series A, leaves many start-ups struggling globally.
3. EUROPEAN TECH Although there has been much hype about certain cities and Europe and plenty of conferences and get-togethers, only a few promising up&coming start-ups evolved in Europe in 2012 - and unfortunately even fewer that have been truly innovative.
This leaves me with 3 wishes for 2013:
1. PEOPLE I plan to continue working together with people I trust, enjoy being around with and who have high moral standards. A shared framework of ethics and principles is essential. Life is short and i decided a while ago that it's definitely too short to work together with people that don't share the same framework.
2. MACRO-SITUATION As interest rates, bonds and alternative investment tiers still struggle to generate returns I am fairly confident that there will be plenty of interest from institutional investors and their backers to support promising businesses, especially in the high-growth areas of mobile, SaaS, Big Data and Consumer Internet. I expect the Series A crunch to disappear and we might even be ready again for some companies going public again, potentially also in Europe.
3. SUPPORT Last but not least, over the past months and years I have benefited from advice, mentorship and investments. Without the generous help of many experienced entrepreneurs and business angels we would have not succeeded in following my passion and starting Casacanda. Over the past years my co-Founders Sascha, Christian and I learned plenty when it comes to Business Intelligence, Marketing, Mobile, Social Commerce, Internationalizing - and we decided that it's about time to give back and support young and promising entrepreneurs with exciting ideas.
Wishing you all a great start into 2013 and may your ambitions be high and come true.