An EICAA partner's point of view

Risk-taking or safety first? – Adsata

One of many ways to define an entrepreneur is taking risks. Venturing into the unknown, unforeseeable and beyond what you could calculate from the starting point – that precisely what motivates many entrepreneurs to take up the challenge of creating a new product or company.

Often this goes hand in hand with a (glorified) expectation of extremely long workdays, self-exploitation and focus on the venture beyond everything else. Working extremely hard, moving fast and taking financial risks, from very low incomes to very large private bank loans, are often expected in order to receive much needed funding.

However, not just since the concept of “new work” has been established, there is a tendency towards working smarter, not harder. And with more and more support structures and public funding options, some are wondering: does that work for entrepreneurs, too?

At Adsata, we have more than once reached moments where people asked us to go “all in” in order to deserve their support – or money. And while developing our core product cost us a lot of time and energy, we have always remained open to new projects, people and ideas. Relying on various projects, institutions and income sources was important to us and gave us some financial safety but also slowed down the development of our core product. Picking up side projects was not only helping us financially, but also to learn new skills and build a bigger network.

In a way, we exchanged a financial risk for the risk of being too late with our product and failing as a startup. Of course, in the end failure was not the result, but rather an independent mindset and a more skilled team. Looking at the exciting projects that came our way (such as EICAA), we would do it again!

Author: Jonas Kühl (EICAA Core Staff), Adsata