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„Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.“
What a remarkable phrase. This single sentence has accompanied me my entire life and has shaped my style of life and work more than any other. It is a phrase that eradicates boundaries, questions every presumption, and demands and enables us to challenge our way of thinking and forge new paths. It inspires a unique freedom of thought and action – it is truly a magical phrase..
As a child, I followed the first flight to the moon with fascination. Everything about it inspired my imagination, from the visionary words of John F. Kennedy to the footsteps of Neil Armstrong on the moon – even today, it reminds me what is possible with a clear goal in sight. These are ideas that inspire people, things that bring them together to make what was thought to be impossible possible.
Many will say that this magic is just a memory from a past time, but anyone who really tries to understand the principle of this truly incredible achievement can learn much from it – I certainly have.
I too had (and hopefully have) new visions and ideas again and again. There are too many things that I want to do, to experience, to create – regardless of complexity or effort to make them reality. Many of these ideas have found a home in P‑ton.
I have always dreamed of running my own restaurant, since cooking and food are an essential experience of culture to me; I have always imagined directing a film, writing a book, or inventing the next “cool” gadget. Now, that dream is finally coming true. The need to create, to build an idea and bring it to life, has caught hold of me, not “someday” but here and now.
P-ton as a factory of entrepreneurs
That is how the vision of P‑ton began, but there is much more behind it. I have been lucky to meet many brilliant and creative people to whom I owe much thanks. This is a network I wish to pass on to the next generation – a living contract between generations.
P‑ton will be a „Factory of Entrepreneurs“ comprised of young, highly-motivated professionals, combined with a network of us „Seniors“ and refined by the knowledge of branch experts. Significant and disruptive is that the P‑ton itself will be led by our young professionals. The „Seniors“ build a framework, a supporting structure that guides and supports, but no more.
The real art is passing on what we have built not at the end of our lives – no, what matters is to be brave enough today to give the next generation THE chance of their lives. I am fully convinced that they will manage it perfectly.
Diversity is a fitting word here. It is a phrase that is often claimed, but rarely lived. To me it is not a matter of politics, but a high value of business culture. Diversity should be understood clearly as difference and variety. I want diversity to be lived truly on all levels, regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity. Every individual can – no, must – actively join in decision-making, every opinion counts. No matter how seemingly absurd, every perspective must be heard to lead to the best possible collective decision.
Innovation as a principle and the freedom to make mistakes
I am a friend of people with cross-disciplinary backgrounds, with high intelligence but little specific branch-related expertise. This background enables a unique boundary-breaking transference of knowledge.
A remarkable instance of such cross-disciplinary collaboration brought us the Apollo-Program in the late 60s. Experts within NASA struggled to develop space suits with enough flexibility – each individual team ran against a wall until a disruptive cross-disciplinary group developed a ground-breaking solution: who at the time understood elastic plastics best? The makers of brassieres! The engineers brought these experts on board and transferred their knowledge onto the demands of a space suit – the result: thanks to cooperation with a completely different branch, NASA was able to develop suits with the flexibility needed for the demands of space travel.
P-ton follows the same path – we create space for disruptive innovation through a unique combination of “wild youth,” “senior” advising and expert knowledge, completely independent of background, origin, or gender – a spark of lived diversity within our own little P‑ton cosmos.
I’d like to close with the following quotation:
“Nothing is impossible – The word itself says I’m possible”