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Founding Is Contagious

In con­ver­sa­tions with fam­ily and friends, it becomes clear time and again how many of them would like to embark on the “start-up adven­ture” them­selves. But in the end, only a few dare to do it and are not afraid of fail­ure. Even a look at the stat­ist­ics is hardly motiv­at­ing. Espe­cially con­sid­er­ing the very low per­cent­age of female founders, we are all block­ing a lot of potential.

Our view of the future

For this reas­on, we dis­covered early on that we would also like to motiv­ate oth­ers to take this step.

We nat­ur­ally focus primar­ily on the present and our chal­lenges as we devel­op our product and our com­pany. But we always take the time to spec­u­late about the future. We think about where we want to go. We talk about vis­ions and goals. This reg­u­lar deep ques­tion­ing is very import­ant for us to get a com­mon under­stand­ing of each other’s priorities.

A jointly for­mu­lated vis­ion was: we help oth­er founders to real­ize their dreams. We firmly resolved that at some point, with a lot of exper­i­ence, a net­work and per­haps some cap­it­al. We would help oth­ers to make the world a little bet­ter. For us, this is espe­cially true for our own employ­ees, if they want to become founders them­selves. This strategy was often met with incom­pre­hen­sion: “Oth­ers are scram­bling for new employ­ees, and you still want to help your people leave the com­pany!” We see it a little dif­fer­ently. Why should it be in our interest to talk our Peers out of start­ing their own com­pan­ies, if appar­ently their inner voice says oth­er­wise? Our strategy is not fight­ing against devel­op­ments, but steer­ing them in the right dir­ec­tion. In line with that the strategy also makes good busi­ness sense in our eyes.

  1. We live the per­son­al devel­op­ment of our employ­ees. We stand by this prom­ise, even if it does not serve our interests.
  2. If we can sup­port oth­ers from with­in Peer­ox and achieve a shared suc­cess, it is a suc­cess and return for all Peers.
  3. We are cre­at­ing a trust-based eco­sys­tem. That’s why the star­tup-focused Peer will also go full throttle in the Peer­ox spir­it to even­tu­ally enable us to make this vis­ion a reality.

But back to real­ity! We struggle every day with bugs, dif­fi­cult decisions, sud­den chal­lenges and long sales cycles. Until we help oth­ers get star­ted, we have to make sure we do our home­work first.

With the found­a­tion of Peer­ox we have ful­filled a dream – the great free­dom to be able to decide everything for ourselves. To be able to determ­ine what we do, how, and when, and to bear full respons­ib­il­ity is a great feeling.

Things never come out the way you expect

How­ever, the vis­ion of Peer­ox is not only the vis­ion of the two founders. We also addressed the idea of found­ing start-ups out of Peer­ox at a joint vis­ion even­ing. And also dur­ing job inter­views, includ­ing that with Willi Son­topski. Willi applied to us as a soft­ware developer and told us about his own start-up idea. He had an app in mind that would make find­ing friends easi­er than ever. Even though we wer­en’t imme­di­ately blown away by the product idea, we were fas­cin­ated by his pas­sion and fire. While he got off to a tre­mend­ously impress­ive start at Peer­ox and now leads his own small backend devel­op­ment team, he worked tire­lessly and with seem­ingly end­less energy on his app in his spare time. Sud­denly, he stood in front of us and said, “I’ve fin­ished the pro­to­type and would love to get this out there with you guys.”

Logo Conngenial - Apfel und Birne

Thanks to AI, the Conngeni­al app can “com­pare apples with oranges” and still identi­fy the com­mon­al­it­ies that con­nect at the core.

Conngenial – Much more than ‘just another’ social app

We were pretty flab­ber­gas­ted and let him show us his pro­to­type in detail for the first time. It quickly became clear to us that our first thought of “not-yet-a-social-app” was way off the mark. Willi has designed and imple­men­ted some­thing that neither of us had ever seen before. It’s simple, intu­it­ive and down­right ingeni­ous. The app “Conngeni­al” is based on describ­ing your interests, pref­er­ences and per­son­al­ity via free tags. It also defines your search goals (friends, romantic rela­tion­ships, etc.). A machine learn­ing algorithm uses NLP (Nat­ur­al Lan­guage Pro­cessing) to ana­lyze this inform­a­tion and cal­cu­late a sim­il­ar­ity score. For example, dog lov­ers and cat lov­ers have a com­mon pref­er­ence for pets. Anoth­er example is that down­hill fans and moun­tain bikers share a fas­cin­a­tion for bicycles.

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