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LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke about hiking meetings -1 / 2: Rattlesnake as a memory support

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Konstantin Guericke is a co-founder of LinkedIn and makes his meetings while hiking. In the interview, he explains why this is so and how hiking is more productive. Gueircke

Konstantin Guericke, son of a North German teacher couple studied at US University Stanford. Together with Reid Hoffmann, Allen Blue, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant, he founded 2002-2003, the LinkedIn LinkedIn Marketing Network. 2006 to 2008, he was a manager at StartUp Jaxter and also worked as a LinkedIn consultant. Since then, he sits on boards and advisory boards of various technology companies and is a mentor to young entrepreneurs at Stanford University. Since 2012, he has partnered with Earlybird, a Berlin-based venture capital firm.Company, which invests in StartUps from Europe.

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Simone JansonSimone Janson, German Top20 blogger, Appearances in ARD, occasionally articles for WORLD, TIME, WIWO, t3n, W & V, makes Best of HR - Berufebilder.de & HR communication.


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Mr. Guericke, how did the idea of ​​organizing meetings during hiking?

Of course I went as a child with my parents a lot of walking, for example in South Tyrol, have also made a hiking badge. There was already a certain reference.

Later in California I had a lot of work and very little time for sports. With a co-founder Reid Hoffmann, I often met at the "Peninsula Creamery" in Palo Alto.

There the breakfast was very good, but unfortunately also quite greasy. We found this in the long term not ideal. We had also thought about a meeting room with practice bikes, but then rejected again. So we came to move our meetings on the trails.

Did the idea for LinkedIn also turn into hiking?

I remember that we talked about certain design ideas. But, of course, several people were involved in LinkedIn and it was a longer development process because there was not a hike.

In most hiking meetings, the focus is not on ideas.

What is it then?

It's usually about building trust. I think that if you walk together and maybe share special experiences, that already welds you together - as is the case when eating together.

In my career, I have gone through very different positions: I was founder, manager and investor. Accordingly, the nature of the objective also varied.

What do you prefer when hiking?

Very important were the hiking meetings for me during my time as CEO of Jaxter: We often talked about strategy and personnel questions when hiking. Also in the context of my mentoring work I can use the hiking well.

Here I talk to the students from Stanford and give them feedback on their career plans or foundations. Or I'll go with StartUp founders, into which we want to invest earlybird with potential, as it is, of course, about building trust.

However, hiking is not as well suited for board meetings. In principle I have however still no topic found, in which it would not work.

Is not there a medium for presentation and the usual PowerPoint slides?

Sometimes someone is looking for something very concrete, and then I look at it briefly.

If someone wants to show me a product, then we do it at the beginning or end. But for the really important things you usually do not need a PowerPoint or demo.

Do not you forget all the good ideas?

I usually do not search for ideas, but try to help my chat partners. So I do not have to memorize myself.

When I got important information, I usually remember it. As we humans think spatially, it helps me to remember the places where something was said.

When I try to remember something, I go back in my memory ("that's right, we talked about it shortly after we saw the rattlesnake"). At meetings, everything is always the same, and I tend to forget things. Sometimes I make a note of something immediately afterwards, when I have a direct (walking) meeting.

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