''I'm fine with people laughing at what I'm doing until we win''
Stefan is the Founder of Veecle - An Adaptable Operating System That Supports Manufacturers In Integrating Digital Technology Across A Wide Range Of Vehicles. He has taken the challenge to answer our 20 Truth Questions, For us to gain some insight, And learn the Truth about the person behind the venture.
I'm Searching For:
Ambitious embedded programmers, Best that they are familiar with the Rust programming language.
My TRUTH Story:
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON TO A CROWD OF 10,000+ PEOPLE?
Stefan has always been the one to question and challenge everything. This behaviour led to bad grades in school and a PhD with honours. He sees where improvements can be made and is not afraid to get his hands dirty. After becoming an accomplished professor for vehicle software security, He wasn't afraid to venture into the unknown because he wanted to solve an obvious problem: Car makers are not getting their act together when it comes to developing modern, modular, and usable software. That's exactly what he does at Veecle - And they've hit a nerve.
2. WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A TRUTH FOUNDER? A Truth Founder is someone who thrives in consistently trying to solve problems. They develop resilience and intuition to manage daily challenge. They understand that experience, not just knowledge, is key. Successful Truth Founders are motivated by impact and purpose beyond financial gain, using money as a tool for freedom and creativity in their ventures.
3. WHAT EVENT OR EVENTS HAPPENED TO YOU THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A FOUNDER?
Being employed in a company. In my opinion it prepared me perfectly. Becoming a founder without knowledge of how an employee lives, feels and what it means to earn money is not advisable. But also the endless frustration for creative people like me, watching companies go their way with little room for shaping or improving them, is a great source for motivation.
4. WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE & RITUAL? Taking a shower, having breakfast, brushing my teeth. Nothing special.
5. WHAT MANTRA,QUOTE,LINE OR PHRASE DO YOU SAY OFTEN TO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOURSELF? "It is what it is" and "What can I do today to achieve what I want to achieve this month?"
6. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD CARE ABOUT YOUR VENTURE? Because software is the driving factor behind making vehicles more sustainable, faster to develop, more individual, smarter and more fun.
7. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE THE ONE TO MAKE YOUR VENTURE A SUCCESS?
I'm fine with people laughing at what I'm doing until we win. And I have the necessary technical expertise and depth while seeing the great picture with a strategic eye.
8. WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOUR VENTURE? ( START WTIH: IMAGINE A WORLD... WHAT IF...WE WILL BE... )
We will be the standard for vehicle function development. The operating system of a smartphone (Android, iOS) is not the differentiating factor - but it's the necessary puzzle piece to success. This is what we are striving for with vehicles. All built on the same platform, but differentiated through their brand's identity and apps.
9. ANSWER THESE AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE - I BELIEVE... I DON'T BELIEVE... 1. I believe in perseverance.
2. I believe that true satisfaction for an entrepreneur comes from values deeper than monetary gain, rooted in impacting and solving real problems.
3. I believe in the importance of understanding one's working style and preferences before venturing into entrepreneurship.
4. I don't believe that problems can ever be truly solved; instead, they need to be consistently dealt with and evolved.
10. WHAT'S ONE DECISION YOU MADE AS A FOUNDER THAT COMPLETELY CHANGED THE COURSE OF YOUR JOURNEY? Having setbacks have changed the course of my journey. Making negative experiences is crucial as it can demotivate us and challenge us to think carefully, And ask ourselves if we're (still) doing the right things. It led to us pivoting how we communicate our product and vision, so that it meets the lingo of the customers more precisely.
11. WHAT DO YOU REGARD AS YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS PERSONALLY & AS A FOUNDER? Having the courage to go beyond what still feels comfortable.
12. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY? That I'm reflective and question whether I'm still on the right path. It makes me stay humble and not turn into a megalomaniac (I think).
13. WHAT'S ONE THING YOU CAN IMPROVE ABOUT YOURSELF, AND WHY DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NOT DONE IT BY NOW?
To care more about the important stuff and less about the urgent stuff. It's hard to get better at this as it might hurt the feelings of others, Because it means they get ignored more often.
14. WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED OR GIVEN, OR BOTH?
Trust your gut instinct; it often knows what your rational mind hasn't realized yet. Decisions based on rationalization rather than genuine gut feeling can lead to regrettable choices, whether it's renting an apartment or hiring a candidate.
15. ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 10 - 10 BEING THE BEST. HOW WELL DO YOU THINK YOU AND YOUR TRUTH STORY IS CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY YOUR COMMUNITY? ( WHY NOT 10? ) 7 to 8. Not 10, because information is always lost in translation. Every message we send has a receiver. And this receiver has a different vocabulary, different expectations and so the exact semantic meaning is never 100% received by the other person.
16. WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY? Not a single person, But in general people who are great thinkers and make me see and realise new things.
17. DESCRIBE YOUR VENTURE - ELEVATOR PITCH STYLE?
Veecle, established in 2020 by software specialists and researchers from the automotive sector, is a pioneer in vehicle software innovation. It's flagship product, an adaptable operating system that supports manufacturers in integrating digital technology across a wide range of vehicles. It works seamlessly with existing ECUs and controls those while enabling a broad array of advanced features on top, transforming vehicles and tailoring them for specialized use cases.
18. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT MISSION STATEMENT OR MESSAGE + MARKET FIT FOR YOUR VENTURE?
All Cars. One software.
19. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AFTER A LONG WORK DAY?
Going for a walk or swimming.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU TREATED YOURSELF TO AND WHAT DID YOU CELEBRATE? A nice dinner with all our employees when we celebrated closing our seed investment round at the end of the year :-)
BONUS QUESTION: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE SUPPORTING YOU ON YOUR AMBITIOUS JOURNEY?
I'm super grateful all the time, even if I don't constantly say that - Because it's the people who do business, not companies. And it's people who support each other on their journey's.
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