Meet the Startupbootcamp Berlin Teams: Liquid State

Meet the Startupbootcamp Berlin Teams: Liquid State

05-Dec-2012 by Startupbootcamp

This is the second post of our blog series called “Meet the Teams”. Learn more about what motivates them, what they have learned during their time at SBC and whether they will stay in Berlin or not. Today we would like to introduce to you the guys from Liquid State, who moved to Germany all the way from Australia to join Startupbootcamp Berlin.

About Liquid State

The Liquid State team is made up of four people: Philip Andrews (the experienced one), Karen Andrews (the organised one), Kit Kriewaldt (the young one) and Cyril Doussin (the French one).

Their story begins with Philip trying to publish his successful series of magazines and books on the iPad. After being frustrated by the cost and complexity of current digital publishing systems, Philip met Cyril and they began working on their own solution. Thanks to Cyril’s world-class programming skills, they were soon producing digital magazines that had Philip’s publishing colleagues asking, “How did you make this?” Liquid State began as an answer to those questions. To add sophistication, style and awareness of deadlines to the team, Karen joined as COO and Kit became Head of Marketing.

With their charming Australian accents they easily win everyone over, although some of Philip’s very colourful Australian expressions are harder to translate. The best news is that it seems like this entertaining and cheerful group will stick around for a while or at least long enough for Karen to look through Berlin’s shopping paradise. Thankfully, we all know that this will probably take a while.

Philip

1. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned at SBC so far?

Being an Australian startup in Berlin makes you a novelty, which is useful when you want to stand out from the crowd. Oh, I’ve also learned where the best kebabs are, too.

2. What was your personal motivation to start your own company?

I’ve run my own businesses for a long time now and I could never go back to just being a faceless paper-pusher again. I really hate the office politics and power struggles of bigger companies – the person who is best for the job should get promoted, not the boss’ favourite. In a startup, everyone knows each other and has a different skill set, so there are no rivalries and good work doesn’t go unnoticed.

3. Will you stay in Berlin after SBC?

Berlin is a beautiful city and a very exciting place for startups right now. It’s also only one flight from the rest of Europe and even the U.S., which is a big advantage for us. With all the contacts we’ve made during SBC, we’ll definitely be back in Berlin after November.

Cyril

1. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned at SBC so far?

How important it is to focus. Simplicity and clarity both on the product and business sides are key too making things happen.

2. What was your personal motivation to start your own company?

Having the freedom to work on something that matters. In a creative industry, it can be frustrating to work on projects that don’t always carry a sense of purpose. By co-founding Liquid State I made sure I would enjoy working on something that is useful to other people.

3. Will you stay in Berlin after SBC?

We’ve come from Australia, far far away, to be part of SBC. It would seem natural for us to go home, yet the depth of of the startup community and the awesomeness of the city have pretty much guaranteed that we will maintain strong ties to Berlin in the future.

Kit

1. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned at SBC so far?

That it’s okay to contradict someone you’re meeting with, as long as you have statistics or experience to support what you’re saying. Many of the statements made in meetings are really just questions disguised to sound authoritative.

2. What was your personal motivation to join a early stage startup?

For me, it was all about the people. I’ve known Phil for many years and worked with him before, so I knew we would get on well if I worked for Liquid State. People say that putting money between friends can ruin the friendship, but I see it from the other side. Working for someone who you admire and who you genuinely want to succeed is a far better motivation to go to work than any amount of money. Just don’t tell Phil I feel that way, or he’ll never pay me!

3. Will you stay in Berlin after SBC?

I would love to stay in Berlin after SBC! There’s a lot going on for startups in Berlin right now, which is very exciting. More importantly, though, if you’re in a startup in Berlin, you have all sorts of perfectly good reasons to travel to other countries for a night or two at a time. In Australia, going overseas is so expensive, you can only afford a few business trips a year.

Karen

1. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned at SBC so far?

That Philip has obviously spent much more time playing table tennis than he has working at the office!

2. What was your personal motivation to join a early stage startup?

What I like about running your own business is that you get to make the important decisions yourself. Your salary and your future aren’t determined by someone else. You choose how to run the business and you’re responsible for the outcome.

3. Will you stay in Berlin after SBC?

I’ll have to stay long enough to look through the clothing and furniture shops, so I’ll be here for another year at least!

Startupbootcamp Berlin is hosted by Webworker Berlin and is supported by Lindenpartners and Axicom.