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#04 The difference between Big companies and Startups – Michael von Roeder

Michael von Roeder CEO of Sensorberg, works both as entrepreneur and corporate executive. Currently he serves as CEO of Sensorberg, a SaaS IoT company merging the physical with the digital world. He founded and invested in a number of startups in the areas of Mobile, Energy and FinTech. Until mid 2016 he was responsible for Vattenfalls pan-european IT and communication network and IT operations. Before that he worked for Vodavone and Icon Mobile.


  • The interviewee has a background in both corporate and startup settings, experiencing the contrast between the two. (00:00)
  • They talk about their startup experience, building a company from scratch, and the excitement of creating something new. (03:18)
  • The interviewee emphasizes the importance of finding the right co-founders and building a team that complements each other’s skills. (04:58)
  • They discuss the challenges faced during the early stages of the startup, such as securing funding and managing cash flow. (07:10)
  • The interviewee highlights the significance of product-market fit and how they achieved it through iterations and customer feedback. (09:00)
  • They explain the role of investors in supporting the startup’s growth and providing valuable guidance. (11:53)
  • The interviewee shares their perspective on failure, the lessons learned, and the importance of embracing setbacks as opportunities for growth. (13:28)
  • They talk about the evolution of their startup, expanding into new markets, and adapting the product to meet customer needs. (15:34)
  • The interviewee discusses the differences between executive life in a corporate vs. startup setting, including decision-making processes and politics. (23:50)
  • They highlight the need for changing incentives to promote innovation in a corporate environment. (26:28)
  • The interviewee talks about self-organizing teams and the importance of a technical architecture that allows for flexibility and innovation in a startup. (33:34)
  • They discuss the challenges of scaling sales and maintaining quality as demand increases. (46:50)
  • Advice to their 20-year-old self: Pursue what you love without fear of risks, get a coach earlier, and be authentic in interactions. (48:57)
Interesting Quotes:

„If you communicate as leader be aware of context.”

„Encourage employees to be independent.”

„beeing coachable”

Book Recommendation:
Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it) by Salim Ismail
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business –  Clayton M. Christensen
Spotify Organization Videos:
German Interview:
#being coachable, #get a coach, #Big company good for CV, #Clear goals to everybody, #Complication comes with size, #encourage employees to be independent