People who think that Business is the "Art of War" are wrong. It's not.

I'm back in business since a few weeks and have taken a few advisory roles. Part of my new work life is still to talk a lot with company leaders and customers about how to do business the right way. And this is not only thinking about growth and selling a company, but building something that you like to do, where you are passionate about, and that also serves something bigger (see also my article about vision and mission). Today I like to write down a few thoughts on business ethics.

The title of this article is taken from my interview with Gary McGraw and I like to repeat this as a recommendation for leaders (and those you want to be a leader:

Business is "I want to get this done" and "you want to get that done" and together we can walk for a while because we have the same direction.

Taken from: Number #9: Episode 001: Interview with Gary McGraw, PhD, about the state of security and successfully growing a business

I have always tried to be gentle to my team mates, to customers, and to competitors. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win and you usually meet more than only once in life. One of my colleagues and friends often quotes Michelle Obama in this context. Let me add some quotes here too (taken from this CNBC article):

"Going low is easy, which is why people go to it," Obama said. "It's easy to go low. It's easy to lead by fear. It's easy to be divisive. It's easy to make people feel afraid. That's the easy thing and it's also the short-term thing."

"When I want to go low, it's all about my own ego. It's not about solving anything.... It's about seeking revenge on the thing that happened to you."

Michelle Obama at CNBC

I completely agree on that and that's why I don't see business as the "Art of War". Just as in your private life, being respectful is much more fulfilling than fighting others.

And "going high" doesn't mean you won't feel the hurt or have emotions when faced with a challenge, she told The New York Times in 2018. "It means that your response has to reflect the solution. It shouldn't come from a place of anger or vengefulness. Barack and I had to figure that out. Anger may feel good in the moment, but it's not going to move the ball forward."

Michelle Obama in the New York Times

My advice: leave your anger behind and work on solving issues in your way. In the long term, this is a) more successful and b) much more rewarding for your ego and everyone else involved.

Death to (corona) viruses: good and healthy air for all

The Corona pandemic has shown us how susceptible humanity is to viruses. There were certainly "worse" pathogens before, but not on such a scale for a long time. And I am sure that both Corona and future pathogens will be part of our lives. And I am also of the opinion that the cuts in all our lives and large parts of the economy, but also culture and gastronomy must not remain the only answer. That is why I found it extremely exciting to make another investment in SecureAir GmbH.

The policy essentially relies on vaccination and AHA rules: Distance, hygiene, everyday life with mask. Today, FFP2 masks are the required standard. I think that's okay for shopping, but I find it very difficult to breathe through the mask for a longer period of time. In situations where masks have to be worn for a longer period of time, this can lead to problems. In addition, the environmental impact of the masks, which are disposable, is considerable. As far as vaccination is concerned, I don't think anyone can say how a) the protection against virus variants is, b) the long-term effects are and c) what will happen with new carriers of the disease in the future.

The SecureAir solution addresses all of this: by combining different technologies, the disease carriers are not filtered but destroyed. The air you breathe is 100% purified before you breathe it in. A nice double effect is that the exhaled air is also purified and thus the environment is also kept clean.

Since the solution, currently still somewhat bulky called "Securer", is designed like a kind of headset, there will be other applications in the future (such as audio and voice interface, integration with headphones, etc.). One might spontaneously think that not everyone will put it on, but there are already many obvious scenarios in which the Securer makes a lot of sense and offers both security and comfort. Examples are:

  • Air travel and rail travel
  • Working in confined spaces, e.g. in production or on construction sites
  • Hospitals and medical practices
  • Visiting concerts
  • Sports events (as long as they are not handled as negligently as the current European Championship)

You may ask why I can say that? On the subject of safety, we are working with laboratories, but we will also arrange for a global test certificate. On the subject of comfort - well: I had a prototype on my head for the first time today - you don't notice the device at all.

Prototype Securer
Prototype Securer. Even works with (sunglasses).

The next steps are now a) to provide larger quantities via crowdfunding and then b) to find partners for large-scale production. For me, this is and remains a very exciting topic - it's not just about an investment, but about an area of life that affects us all.