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NOBODY’S FAULT
BUT MINE…
My 6 Stages of Startup Founder Depression

and the Lessons I Learned from it
Vidar Andersen

FUCK...
MORE
VIDARANDERSEN.COM
VIDAR ANDERSEN
• STARTUP FOUNDER
• EDUCATOR
• INNOVATION ADVISOR
FOUNDING PRINCIPAL
+ANDERSEN & ASS...
CONTACT

YOU@PLUSANDERSEN.COM
+ANDERSEN 

& ASSOCIATES
INNOVATION & GROWTH
THROUGH
SCIENCE + ENTREPRENEURSHIP
FOUNDER…
FEATURED & RECOGNISED
AND MORE…
LECTURING AT E.G.
Cologne U
“[VIDAR ANDERSEN] ONE
OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
PERSONS IN THE GERMAN
STARTUP SCENE.”
CERTIFIED LLP EDUCATOR @STANFORD
LLP LECTURE QIA UNI, IRAN
MY NAME IS VIDAR…
AND I’M A…
FAILURE
FUCKING
SUCKS!
HERE’S
MY STORY
OF #FAIL
IT’S 2011
The People Magnet
TECHNOLOGY
• Rexter
• Objective C
• Django
• HTML5
• Zepto
• AWS S3
• Rackspace

Cloud
• Python
• Werkzeug
• Gevent
• ØMQ
...
VANITY METRICS
SUCCESS THEATRE
AUSTIN, TX
Literally all
the cash
I had left in
the world
on landing
at SFO
June 2013
All my 

credit cards
where
cancelled,
bank acc...
DEPRESSION 

SETS IN
Of course you don’t notice yourself at first
STAGE 1:

SHOCK & SURPRISE
This can’t be happening to me
STAGE 2:

DENYING 

ANY OF IT
IS MY FAULT
Everyone else is screwing up.
I am doing everything right.
STAGE 3:

GETTING ANGRY,
BLAMING
EVERYONE ELSEThis is all your fault, you fuckers!
STAGE 4:

GETTING
DEPRESSED
Days of not getting out of bed,
not going out of my apartment
STAGE 5:

GRADUALLY
ACCEPTING 

MY ROLE IN
THE FAILURE
What could I have done differently?
STAGE 6:

GAIN INSIGHTS,

CHANGE MY
BEHAVIOURNobody’s fault by mine
LESSONS
LEARNEDMy Main Take-Aways
IT WAS ALL
MY FAULTNobody’s fault but the founder’s - 

ALWAYS
A-PLAYER IN GAME X 

!=

A-PLAYER IN GAME Y
I should have stuck to my game -
A-Player in Game X attracts
C-Players in Game...
IT’S ALL
ABOUT
PEOPLE
Be VERY VERY VERY careful with
who you get into bed with!
GET EVERYTHING
IN WRITINGBecause love is NOT all you need -
Get the co-founder’s agreement up front!
NEVER EVER 

RUN OUT OF MONEY
Do WHATEVER it takes to keep you afloat -
as a startup AND personally
YOU WILL WIN
SOME 

YOU WILL LOSE
SOME
Do NOT put all eggs in one basket - diversify - 

DO NOT listen to the VC investors
STARTUPS

NOT FOR
EVERYONE
It takes a special kind of crazy to survive it -
YOU WILL MOST LIKELY FAIL
BUT FUCK IT…
I’M READY
TO GO AT IT
AGAIN
So either I’ve learned a lot -
Or nothing at all
LET’S CONNECT:
VIDARANDERSEN.COM
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017
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Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017

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Fuckup Nights Cologne, August 23. 2017

  1. 1. NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE… My 6 Stages of Startup Founder Depression
 and the Lessons I Learned from it Vidar Andersen
 FUCKUPNIGHTS Cologne, August 23. 2017
  2. 2. MORE VIDARANDERSEN.COM VIDAR ANDERSEN • STARTUP FOUNDER • EDUCATOR • INNOVATION ADVISOR FOUNDING PRINCIPAL +ANDERSEN & ASSOCIATES
  3. 3. CONTACT
 YOU@PLUSANDERSEN.COM +ANDERSEN 
 & ASSOCIATES INNOVATION & GROWTH THROUGH SCIENCE + ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  4. 4. FOUNDER…
  5. 5. FEATURED & RECOGNISED AND MORE…
  6. 6. LECTURING AT E.G. Cologne U
  7. 7. “[VIDAR ANDERSEN] ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSONS IN THE GERMAN STARTUP SCENE.”
  8. 8. CERTIFIED LLP EDUCATOR @STANFORD
  9. 9. LLP LECTURE QIA UNI, IRAN
  10. 10. MY NAME IS VIDAR… AND I’M A…
  11. 11. FAILURE FUCKING SUCKS!
  12. 12. HERE’S MY STORY OF #FAIL
  13. 13. IT’S 2011
  14. 14. The People Magnet
  15. 15. TECHNOLOGY • Rexter • Objective C • Django • HTML5 • Zepto • AWS S3 • Rackspace
 Cloud • Python • Werkzeug • Gevent • ØMQ • MongoDB • Neo4j • OrientDB* • Titan* *experimental
  16. 16. VANITY METRICS
  17. 17. SUCCESS THEATRE AUSTIN, TX
  18. 18. Literally all the cash I had left in the world on landing at SFO June 2013 All my 
 credit cards where cancelled, bank accts frozen… (Thank heaven for PayPal)
  19. 19. DEPRESSION 
 SETS IN Of course you don’t notice yourself at first
  20. 20. STAGE 1:
 SHOCK & SURPRISE This can’t be happening to me
  21. 21. STAGE 2:
 DENYING 
 ANY OF IT IS MY FAULT Everyone else is screwing up. I am doing everything right.
  22. 22. STAGE 3:
 GETTING ANGRY, BLAMING EVERYONE ELSEThis is all your fault, you fuckers!
  23. 23. STAGE 4:
 GETTING DEPRESSED Days of not getting out of bed, not going out of my apartment
  24. 24. STAGE 5:
 GRADUALLY ACCEPTING 
 MY ROLE IN THE FAILURE What could I have done differently?
  25. 25. STAGE 6:
 GAIN INSIGHTS,
 CHANGE MY BEHAVIOURNobody’s fault by mine
  26. 26. LESSONS LEARNEDMy Main Take-Aways
  27. 27. IT WAS ALL MY FAULTNobody’s fault but the founder’s - 
 ALWAYS
  28. 28. A-PLAYER IN GAME X 
 !=
 A-PLAYER IN GAME Y I should have stuck to my game - A-Player in Game X attracts C-Players in Game Y
  29. 29. IT’S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE Be VERY VERY VERY careful with who you get into bed with!
  30. 30. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITINGBecause love is NOT all you need - Get the co-founder’s agreement up front!
  31. 31. NEVER EVER 
 RUN OUT OF MONEY Do WHATEVER it takes to keep you afloat - as a startup AND personally
  32. 32. YOU WILL WIN SOME 
 YOU WILL LOSE SOME Do NOT put all eggs in one basket - diversify - 
 DO NOT listen to the VC investors
  33. 33. STARTUPS
 NOT FOR EVERYONE It takes a special kind of crazy to survive it - YOU WILL MOST LIKELY FAIL
  34. 34. BUT FUCK IT…
  35. 35. I’M READY TO GO AT IT AGAIN So either I’ve learned a lot - Or nothing at all
  36. 36. LET’S CONNECT: VIDARANDERSEN.COM

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