Q -Stefan, what does PriceHubble do? What’s the 30 second elevator pitch?
SH -PriceHubble aspires to create a totally new dimension of transparency and convenience in Real Estate Markets by building digital, data-driven product solutions for the Real Estate and Finance value chain.
Q -Where did the idea for PriceHubble come from? How did you decide to found PriceHubble?
SH -The idea came out of my role as founder and CEO of MoneyPark and when realizing how little equipped we were, even as a fintech company, in creating insights from data and developing product solutions that win, excite and retain customers.
Q -Is there a specific event in your life which made you decide that you want to build a company from scratch?
SH -I dreamed of an entrepreneurial journey pretty much as long as I can think back, but I wouldn’t have started a company just for the sake of starting something and becoming self-employed. I want to change markets, break up old patterns and inspire customers to change their behaviors. The moment I started thinking about my first company which had all these ingredients, the moment I got hooked. PriceHubble is my second build-up from scratch company but follows exactly the same ideas: it’s the appetite for change and leaving a mark that drives me in my entrepreneurial vision.
Q -What is the characteristic that has helped you most in your role as founder / CEO?
SH -Not being afraid of uncertainty, competition, challenges and even failure. Also, my academic background in law and economics helped me a lot, not so much content-wise, but in dealing with structuring complex problems and approaching them in a very structured manner.
Q -What is your own personal leadership style? Why does it work?
SH -You would better ask my colleagues, but I guess a mix of “demanding, yet giving a high degree of freedom”.
Q -What values do you aim to instill within your team?
SH -Always approach problems from an outside – in mindset and a customer’s lens; never lean back but keep pushing. Collaborate openly and not just work as a team but be a team.
Q -Do you have daily habits - personal or work-related - that shape you and your work?
SH -Not really. I still do a fair bit of sports and would die otherwise, but as each day looks different for me anyways, I never bothered much trying to get into daily habits.
Q -What learning experience was the toughest, but got you the furthest in your career?
SH -How little tolerance for error one has as a start-up entrepreneur who is not blessed with deep family pockets. Time is of such crucial value that I find it challenging and humbling to always keep focused on the results and the progress each decision might carry at the same time.
Q -What has been the best mentor advice you ever received? And maybe the worst advice?
SH -A very senior mentor told me early on in my McKinsey career that everyone can become a partner and take a seat at the partner table – just bring your own chair. I found this very honest and enlightening. There is no free lunch, but it’s within our own capacity to make our dreams come true. The worst advice probably also came from (another) partner who advised me strongly against starting MoneyPark as the business model might work in all countries but would not work in Switzerland as customers here are different. Thankfully, he was completely wrong.
Q -What are the biggest shifts that you see in technology which will define the next 10, 20 years?
SH -Technology already dominates a great part of our lives, but in the financial and real estate industry, where I feel most at home, technology was (and for many companies still is) considered as a tool to make the lives of traditional advisors easier. In other words, machines follow men. I fundamentally believe that this will change, and men will follow machines. When I see how we make data speak with our PriceHubble products and how information and transparency impacts the lives of our customers, I have no doubt that we will see a new finance and real estate industry evolving over the next 10 to 20 years – for the benefit of the customers!
Q -Where do you get information about your industry and about startups in general? Any reading tips you would like to share?
SH -Nothing unusual or particular. From networks of friends and colleagues, from market and (cross-)industry observations, from travelling and observing customer behaviors in different parts of the world, from reading a lot of (auto-)biographies and other relevant literature.
Q -Finally, what is one interesting thing not a lot of people know about you?
SH -I’m catholic and still practicing. Probably one of last few remaining in my generation. 😊