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It takes courage to speak openly about mistakes and flexibility to react quickly to changes. Topics concerning such difficulties were part of the Fuckup Night in Carinthia.

A total crash of the business idea. House, farm, company – all gone. A nightmare for every entrepreneur. But not necessarily the end. “Failure is part of success,” says Dejan Stojanovic, founder of Fuckup Nights in Austria. For years he has campaigned for the taboo to be removed from the error culture and brought the global format of the Fuckup Nights to the Alpine region as well. In cooperation with the WK specialist group UBIT and the Software Internet Cluster, the Fuckup Night took place in Carinthia for the third time. This time, however, at short notice as a live stream.

Learn from Mistakes

Economy and society benefit from a positively exemplified error culture. “Whoever gets up once wins the game – not only in sports”, emphasizes WK President Jürgen Mandl. Most projects are not immediately successful. Sometimes it takes several attempts before a business idea comes up.

Giving in is not an option“, says Marc Gfrerer, chairman of the SIC. Those who share experiences with one another can learn a lot from each other. “This year is no day like the other, which makes mutual support and the transfer of knowledge all the more important”, says SIC startup spokeswoman Anja Silberbauer. That is why the Fuckup Nights are not about celebrating mistakes, but much more about learning from the entrepreneurial hopscotch. Talking about it takes courage. The two entrepreneurs Herbert Wagger and Horst Exenberger proved this. Both have been in business for decades and have learned from their experiences.

Roll up your Sleeves and Restart

“Trust is good, control is better. Therefore, don’t neglect controlling from the start”, advises Herbert Wagger to founders and start-ups. Correct timing is just as important as the choice of partners. “Today I prefer to pay a little more here for good local people than to outsource to low-wage countries”, says Wagger. He has also become cautious with personal liability. After the initial turbulence, everything turned out well. Today he is successful with his company and also works in Silicon Valley. “Sometimes you need a little longer in Austria to get on the market.”

Choosing a Partner without Pressure

For Horst Exenberger, there is a wrong decision behind every so-called fuckup. But you shouldn’t focus too much on the negative things personally. Every bad day also has many small positive things. “As an entrepreneur, I have to leave the comfort zone every day”, says Exenberger. Clear communication, a good flow of information, the selection of partners and controlling, not in the sense of control, but as management of the company, are important. Those who also manage their operations can make decisions earlier and change direction. Hence his tip: find a partner BEFORE you are under pressure.


HINT! You can find the online stream at .

Program of FuckUp Night 2020 (PDF)

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