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Karl-Ludwig von Wendt Papego

Karl-Ludwig von Wendt
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My Startup and Me

When people ask me what I do for a living I reply:
I am an author and businessman in the book industry.

If I wanted to explain my business model to my grandmother I would say:
The Papego app makes it possible to continue to read your printed book on your mobile phone without the necessity to take your printed book with you all the time. This is a real bonus for the reader and it helps bookstores and publishers to sell more printed books. Publishers have to pay a small fee per title.

My idea will change the content industry because...
…perhaps half of all buyers read e-books from time to time. Thanks to Papego one does not have to decide between a printed book or an e-book anymore. We connect the benefits of both the analogue and the digital reading. By that we strengthen the retailer and publishing houses in the digital competition. We thereby contribute to the diversity of the book industry, which is a major concern of mine.

My motivation

My work makes me happy when…
…reader, bookseller and publishers tell or write me how much they love Papego.


To be able to work well I need…
…a great team, good contacts to the book industry and a lot of coffee. Luckily, I have all of that already.

My experiences

My best experience until now:
With reference to Papego
1. It always takes longer than you expect.
2. We are part of the book industry and well, they like to take it slow.
3. Papego really works.

With reference to my experiences in life so far:
1. It always takes longer than you expect.
2. Success is not defined by intelligence, talent or money but rather by perseverance and the willingness to learn.
3. Sometimes you need to fail in order to find the right path.

Never again would I…
…incorporate a startup in an already existing Inc. (which was temporarily closed) just to spare me the notary costs for a startup. By doing so I have not only learned that such a re-establishment involves disadvantages and obligations but I have also lost 100.000 Euro grants because we did not match their criteria – we were simply too old.

When I meet investors I…
…welcome critical questions. They help us to improve not only our business model but also our market approach, even if no money flows.

The future

When I overcome the next obstacle,…
…I am going to have a sleep-over in a shared flat for the first time in my live being  55 years old ;) But I am also going to profit from the publicity especially in the surroundings of the book fair. This approval will boost our self-esteem, which certainly every startup can use.

If everything happens as planned now, in five years my company will…
…be of more value at the stock exchange than Amazon, Apple and Google combined. No, for real: If we are going to do the same thing in five years what we are planning today, something went horrible wrong. But we hope that Papego will have a market standard which is as normal as the mp3 download today compared to the vinyl disc.

If I had a free wish…
…for an investor, who believes in our idea and the book industry, who not only supports us but also challenges us with critical questions. And someone with a long-term view.

In ten years content will be…
…be produced increasingly by machines*, adapted to individual wishes, tendencies and preconceptions of the reader – regardless if it is fiction, guides or news.  This is going to challenge the diversity of opinions and opinion making in a democracy. This might shatter the book market even more than e-books or Amazon.


*Comment:
1. This is going to take some more time.
2. Sadly, comment number 1 applies only for things you want to change yourself, not for market changes and/or customer wishes and certainly not for competitors.
3. This is already the case today: Every second tweet or post is produced by machines, see www.dw.com/de/twitter-bots-mischen-im-us-wahlkampf-mit/a-19349950.


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