Challenges 2 with Thilo Semmelbauer

Challenges 2 with Thilo Semmelbauer

By Dave Carvajal on October 3, 2016


Failure is a necessary part of the creative and building process #Insights @ThiloSemm [Click to Tweet]

#Respect, #communication & shared #goals help people to work better together #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Tapping into the diversity of different generations #Insights [Click to Tweet]


Thilo Semmelbauer: I think another failure, kind of on a personal level, I think earlier in my career, I probably was too afraid of failure. I think what was drilled into me in school as an engineering-oriented person and analyst.

Thilo Semmelbauer: I’ve viewed my success as getting to the right answer and not making mistakes. And I think it took me a while in my career to get comfortable with, failures as a necessary part, hopefully, small failures as a necessary part of the creative and building process.

Thilo Semmelbauer: You know, there are stylistic differences and cultural differences across the generation but I think what makes good people in a workplace is largely, I think, has not changed significantly. I would argue, I will argue.

Thilo Semmelbauer: I think simple problems are easy problems in a company can be solved by one person. Hard problems require people to work together.

Thilo Semmelbauer: Well, if they’re going to work with each other successfully, they need to have an ability to respect each other, they need to communicate well and they have to have some shared goals.

Thilo Semmelbauer: I think that is evidently possible and I’ve seen it over and over again across generations. So I put the commonality across generations of people who are effective in a workplace. To me, that is the most important thing.

Thilo Semmelbauer: And yeah, of course, then you’re getting to some of the stylistic differences and it’s common today that you go into a meeting and everybody has some sort of a screen or device in front of them.

Thilo Semmelbauer: 15 years ago, that was considered bad behavior because you could be doing something else instead of paying attention. But today, it’s a way of paying attention. Maybe people are taking notes on their laptops, who knows.

Thilo Semmelbauer: So those things, I think, are more superficial. For me, on the precipice of my 50th birthday, I love working with young people. For me, it’s very energizing.

Thilo Semmelbauer: I remember there was a moment at Shutterstock, I won’t go into the whole story but suffice it to say that we needed to get a hold of some BitCoin. And all of the 40-year olds were looking around the table like, “Uh, I don’t know how to do this.” And of course, the 25-year old that the company wound up producing the account and knew exactly how to navigate that world.

Thilo Semmelbauer: That’s one plus one equals three when you have that diversity around you and you can tap into different generations.