EP 84 – Inspiration session #11: The Oliver Samwer and Max Finger startup bible

EP 84 – Inspiration session #11: The Oliver Samwer and Max Finger startup bible


Episode Stream



Welcome to our last episode in 2023!

🚀 This episode takes a unique twist as we journey 25 years back in time to dissect a master thesis that was written by two of the German entrepreneurship world’s most influential figures – Oliver Samwer & Max Finger.

📜 Oliver & Max, renowned for their groundbreaking entrepreneurial ventures, penned this remarkable thesis called “America’s Most Succesful Startups” at the dawn of their illustrious career when doing their masters at WHU. Now, Dries and Gerrit dive deep into the pages of history to meticulously examine the propositions made, debating their relevance in today’s fast-paced entrepreneurial landscape and whether the two founders walked the talk on their self-proclaimed recommendations.

💡 Some of the results indeed were visionary for the time, while other principles seem to have been forgotten…It’s not just a look back; it’s a conversation about enduring principles in the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship.

We wish all our listeners delightful holidays and a happy new year!



(0:08) Intro to the episode

(3:50) First impressions of the thesis from Gerrit

(7:25) First impressions of the thesis from Dries

(11:50) Discussing visionary propositions: Spend a tremendous amount of time and for market research

(16:25) Hire people who have failed

(23:30) Be open with your idea

(26:30) Put your ego aside and let your ideas flow

(35:00) Never solely rely on a regulatory environment for an advantage

(42:05) Discussing ironic propositions: Do not steal ideas and pay attention to the terms of your employment contract

(47:40) Try to get an educational background and an experience that support the venture 

(55:06) Choose an opportunity that does not have a lot of competition

(1:06:50) How would such a master thesis look like today?