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Mr. Wondrich, since when are you at Continental?
I started here in 2004, first as software developer. Then I did an extra-occupational MBA in Leipzig. At the same time I changed over to Controlling, afterwards to Business Development of CES and now I work as Sales Manager for PSS.
How did you go for an own start-up?
I have wanted to do something on my own already during my studies. I remember a mountain-bike tour in the forest. At one stop I thought: “How beautiful everything is – the nature.” Back home I heard of oil pollution and all those things again. With increasing age you start to think more about the future und ask yourself: How can I help? What started vaguely in 2009, became a business in 2016.
A start-up beside the job – isn’t that strenuous?
It’s all a question of balance. Of course the job mustn’t suffer from it. I agreed on that with my boss. Because in the long run it is too demanding only working on it on my free days, I found three co-founders.
What do you take with you from the founding to your everyday work at Continental?
Sounds trivial, but especially an independent, responsible work style. In times of challenges I ask myself: “How would you deal with this at Aidletics?” My approach became more pragmatic. For my function in sales I have an integral mindset now. I pay more attention on what is important for the company and I see my work in the overall context.
How does the innovation process in start-ups differ from the one in companies?
A general difference are financial issues. Profit is important for both of them, but a big company clearly has to make more profits to finance its structures. Innovations need freedom, space to give it a try, and sometimes even for failing. This is a risk, established companies often can’t permit themselves to take. Ideas of course need money. But for start-ups investors often aren’t primarily interested in the sheer numbers. Important are the people behind it, their motivation and willingness. And of course the idea itself.
And how will you go on?
I am happy that Continental decided to offer an Aidletics challenge for its employees as well. I had suggested that and suddenly everything went really fast. I am very excited about the feedback of my colleagues.
For more information have a look at the Aidletics imagevideo.