Why is DACH the region you’re most bullish on in Europe?
MAX — This region has always had the raw ingredients to build large international tech businesses: A sizable market, highly educated, English speaking, excellent infrastructure, comparatively inexpensive, and appeal to young people around the world. What has changed is that the era of its product light, top-line focused ventures is coming to an end. Over the past few years, the region has built-up an impressive repertoire of tech-first startups that became thought and category leaders on a global scale. This trend is set to continue and has us very excited for what’s in store.
What do you disagree with that most others in VC believe?
MAX — Pattern matching. As Phin Barnes once put it, pattern recognition is just another name for intellectual laziness. Most people in VC constantly look for things that match a pre-existing notion, while startups are often about ideas that have never existed before. When we are pattern matching, it stops us from investing in the future. In fast-paced markets, what worked in the past is less and less likely to work in the future.
What’s your one ask for anyone reading this?
MAX — If there is one thing the knowledge-worker economy can improve on, it’s diversity. I’m well aware that I’m part of the problem, but what I would love everyone to do — founder, employee or VC — is to always consider at least one underrepresented candidate for every role, to embrace their differences, and serve as a mentor to them. Diversity doesn't just happen, we have to chose to act on it.
Max is an early stage technology investor covering the DACH region. Prior to Index, Max held several positions at Google, most recently in its strategic insights & analytics team where he measured the impact of Brexit and identified global revenue leakage opportunities.
Max holds two master’s degrees (summa cum laude), conducted research on “High-Frequency Trading” and has lived, studied and worked in seven countries. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and playing tennis.