EP 38 – Learning From Your Customers with Jochen Ziervogel
In episode 38 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Jochen Ziervogel, WHU alum and Co – Founder at Enpal GmbH. Jochen had a short stint in investment banking before entering the startup ecosystem and eventually founding Enpal – a unicorn disrupting the renewable energy industry in Germany.
In this episode, Jochen goes through his founder journey and shares key learnings with the listeners. He throws some light on how the founders came up with the idea behind Enpal, the importance of founders spending time on building great products and why it is essential to listen to your customers.
Hope you enjoy listening to the episode as much as we did producing it.
(00:57) Introduction by Gerrit
(02:13) The founder journey of Jochen Ziervogel
(04:19) How is Enpal disrupting the renewable energy industry in Germany?
(07:10) How the founding team came up with the idea behind Enpal
(09:02) Did Jochen start with a problem or an idea?
(10:41) Enpal’s rationale behind entering the solar energy market
(12:58) Enpal’s pivoting story – how did Enpal do it?
(14:45) Switching from sales to rentals – how Enpal change internally for a smooth pivot?
(16:55) How many customers does Enpal have?
(18:33) What is the sales process at Enpal? How does Enpal tackle the issue of educating customers?
(21:00) Reducing sales cycle in B2B businesses – how is Enpal managing this KPI?
(22:33) Jochen’s role in the sales cycle at Enpal
(23:26) Being a founder of a small team v/s being a founder of a 1000+ people organisation – How Jochen evolved with the evolution of Enpal?
(26:59) Having mentors within the company – learning from people within Enpal
(28:55) The impact of geopolitical conflicts on the solar industry and Enpal
(32:07) Jochen’s view on future of renewable energy in Germany and Europe
(33:56) Is solar going to be the dominant player in the future?
(34:55) Enpal’s geographical expansion plans
(36:00) Rumours of Enpal IPO – How Enpal handled this crisis
(37:20) Jochen’s message to the next generation of budding entrepreneurs
(39:33) Balancing intuition driven v/s data driven decision making
(42:00) Jochen’s book recommendations
(43:43) Is blitzscaling the future for startups in Germany?
(44:35) The fragmented renewable energy market in Germany and Enpal’s competitive landscape
(45:42) What’s cycling on Jochen’s playlist
(46:56) Gerrit outro