Lasse is a purpose driven serial entrepreneur.
While pursuing his purpose of improving the lives of millions of people in a significant and positive way he founded several companies such as FounderBlocks.io or Hofly.de.
While Hofly helps transforming the way we create food to a more sustainable way, the vision of FounderBlocks is to create more meaningful startups which are actually purpose oriented rather than just money-machines.
Where did the idea for FounderBlocks come from?
From our customers of course!
We are a startup, so like any other startup we started doing semirandom things and then through listening to our customers we transformed our business over years into what it is today.
A great idea… doesn’t exist. The journey of any startup is turning a semibad idea into a business model that the market actually needs. (Yes, that implies changing it :))
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Super different. There are a couple of rules though:
1. Meetings only happen in the afternoon
2. The whole morning is reserved for doing either random or semiplanned deep work
Mornings start between 8 and 9 usually
3. Wednesday afternoon is off
3.b. I tend to work pretty long when things get hot, so having a break in the week is useful and relaxing.
4. At the end of the day, I reflect what happened and which of my actions were most impactful and what I can learn from it.
5. At the end of the week, I reflect at the learnings of the week as well as look through my time tracking entries to classify what helped me with my goals and what actions to avoid.
5.a. You can see an example weekly reflection here: https://community.founderblocks.io/founder-diaries-reflection-7di0ufh6/post/weekly-update-D90TnMxWQgom2V6
5.b. This reflection thing sounds like work but it allows me to ideally spend 10% more time next week focused on my goals -> that’s a long lasting effect!
Generally, by now, the whole ops part is mostly run by the team. I oftentimes end up doing pretty random things that I just “feel like doing” and I found that over time they all yield extensive good results for us and our team. E.g. I once wrote the SameRun (https://same.run/) app over a weekend which ended up being an experimental project that changed our tech stack for all our startups and made us as a whole team a lot more effective in delivering our products.
*The ultimate goal I’m working for is to essentially make this world a better place (this is more important to me and our team than our company KPIs!).*
How do you bring ideas to life?
This is basically our business, here’s the steps:
1. We check wether we are the right fit to bring an idea to life.
2. We test the idea with real customers.
2.a. Read more about our Taped MVP approach at https://community.founderblocks.io/the-founderblocks-process/post/Q4nuzepfJUxMype
3. We design the system such that it is actually usable
4. We build it
5. We iterate on it, this is where the real work starts
We obviously do this with SaaS founders every day but the same pattern holds true for getting any idea done! This can be done in weeks (e.g. I’ve done that with SameRun (https://same.run/)) or Months (for real startups with more complicated models and teams).
You can also see a screenshot of the process we use with our startups at https://community.founderblocks.io/the-founderblocks-process/post/the-founderblocks-process-aMWRKKoREH4FNC2 .
What’s one trend that excites you?
Steward owned startups!
It seems that very few people know about this but companies can be built differently than pyramids with a top down ownership.
*We can build startups which own themselves and are bound to the purpose they want to achieve.*
And yes, this is more than just saying “we are impact driven”. This is culture but can also be put into legalities. Rather than being “a few founders with an impactful vision” we can build “a system with an impactful vision” – and THAT is strong. You can read up on it here: https://community.founderblocks.io/legal-governance-o82vudug/post/are-you-purpose-or-capital-driven-TlyEbVWp1JRAZFT
I strongly believe we need more such companies to fight the challenges we have as a planet, we need organisations built by AND FOR people rather than for individual founders.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Not more productive, but more focused and targeted. I’m not doing “more”, I’m doing the things that I believe matter most. That implies:
1. Finding your lifes purpose (not more, not less)
1.a. This tool can help a bit: https://www.angstrom.life/goals
1.b. Finding a purpose that is externally motivated helped me more than internally motivated ones, i.e. a purpose that affects people not me rather than a purpose that affects me.
2. Reflect daily, then weekly on what actions are impactful to your purpose
You can see one of those reflections here: https://community.founderblocks.io/startup-updates-ucvivxh4/post/weekly-update-D90TnMxWQgom2V6
In the above calendar/time tracking based reflection, the green parts are the ones that can have a long lasting impact on my goal. Red ones are basically wasted time.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Nothing, we don’t want poor young Lasse to go crazy seeing his older self violate laws of physics 🙂
Seriously though, no regrets. Life’s a journey and if I made it easier for him it wouldn’t be worth it.
If I had to give him content, I might try to help him find his purpose and think bigger sooner.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That’s quite hard, usually I am able to solve disagreements by either questioning my opinion or logically disassemble the opinion of other people, if it’s about objective things that can be logically reasoned about.
I don’t often form opinions about things that cannot be logically reasoned about, which might be weird but saves a lot of time ;).
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
If I start a new project, I’ll bring it out to people and work with them ASAP rather than thinking it through 10x – it turns out different than we think in any case.
Every action we do, every project we run, every step we take is NOT IDEAL and thus can be interpreted as a failure.
If we see that, we can take that failure and turn it into learning.
If we assume that learning means better progress to our goal in the future there are few things more valuable than learning and thus failing. (Side constraint: if you never use this learning, the argument doesn’t stick.)
So every step you do is a failure, a learning, a success at the same time.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Delegate properly. As a founder it’s super super important to give space to the team that you hire even if that means allowing some things to go less than ideal – how is a new person supposed to take over a job that you have done for years better than you without having the space to make their own experiences?
Shut down that perfectionist, add guidelines, always be there for help but also force people outside their comfort zone, allow them to take real responsibility and give it a go!
There is no worse thing that can happen except you being involved in everything and hindering your team from growing.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Many. I fail every single day.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Ideas aren’t worth much. I’m sorry, it’s not as simple. So I really can’t come up with a business idea that is useful to just give away :/.
* First find your purpose. Make your vision.
* Then talk to people and find their problems.
* Consider getting help with people who founded a bunch of companies (like FounderBlocks (https://founderblocks.io))
* Don’t fill a business model canvas, it asks the wrong questions, we’ll be publishing
* Use the FounderField (https://founderfield.founderblocks.io/) or something simpler like it instead.
* Build the idea from your purpose and from the problems
*Then* you’ll have something that is truly yours.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
In that budget range, food. It makes me happy. I recently got a really awesome high quality 3 course meal as well as our Hofly Box with just-harvested veggies to cook for myself.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There’s no single one. I’m a bit interesting here: I jump tools a lot.
Every time I use a new tool, I am following a process that the authors of the tool want to help me follow. Through doing that, I learn their process and way of thinking.
Thus, I change tools like clothes and my productivity doubles as soon as I switch a tool 🙂
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Sorry, I don’t read a lot of books. Don’t have one – yet 🙂 We’ve actually set aside a weekend in about 2 months where I’ll put all my learnings into a book together with a couple of other serial entrepreneurs.
What is your favorite quote?
IDK, I’m not good with quotes 🙂
- Every failure is a learning and every step is a failure – so do the step rather than waiting while being afraid!
- If you hire, give people enough space to fail on their own, to experience and grow – and never penalize them for learning.
- Becoming aware of your purpose along with reflections can help you gain incredible focus on your work and start doing things that matter.
- But sometimes random things can matter too – and are fun.
- Think hard on wether you really want to just create a money printing machine orr wether you can use your skills to make the world a better place, e.g. By building a real impact focused company.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.