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Regrets, I have had a few

Michael Haase1. February 2017

I was on national Danish radio on Monday. It was an entrepreneurship talk-show, where 3 locally famous angel investors talked about Plant Jammer. If you feel like practicing your Danish: http://www.radio24syv.dk/programmer/de-6-hatte/15413079/de-6-hatte-plant-jammer/.

The experience was great. I had a good time, and I think I performed decently. Most importantly I learnt a lot.

Particularly, the panel’s strong advice was to 1) Articulate a clear vision for how Plant Jammer will facilitate tomorrow’s ‘smart home cooking’ and let that vision drive our efforts, rather than falling in-love with a particular product or technology; 2) Be more granular on our target group so we can be more surgical in our marketing; and 3) Focus on the core business, instead of spending energy on creating ‘adjacent businesses’.

It went great. However, we all experience these feelings after a big meeting: “I should have said …”. “I should have banged in the table when…”. “If only …”. I have never had a big meeting without having such reflections afterwards.

Particularly, here are my top 2 regrets during the radio show. I believe they say a lot about how I feel about Plant Jammer.

Regret 1: I should have supported Tommy Ahlers when he said “this is a big market” and he was challenged by Jesper Buch. Particularly, food is being cooked for 85 bn DKK a year in Danish homes, and the number is not falling.
Despite the higher growth rate of take-away, restaurants and home delivery food, Danes still spend 70% of their food budget at home cooking. Meanwhile, they spend 16% at restaurants, and only 12% at take-away, and 2% in ready-meals. Even at current growth rates of take-away and ready-meals, 63% will still be cooking in their home in 2025. As I mentioned in the radio show, these ‘home cooks’ today largely cook without tech and without recipes, and they shop in retail chains without price transparency. Enter Plant Jammer

Regret 2: When I was called a ‘religious philanthropist’, I should have said “I believe there are two kinds of entrepreneurs in the world: 1) Jesper Buch entrepreneurs: Find an unmet need in a large existing market and then try to design a solution for that. 2) Elon Musk entrepreneurs: Identify an overarching problem in society and find a solution that happens to make money solving it”.
Either you start with the money, or you start with the vision. The world needs both, and I do not say one is preferred. Plant Jammer is the second type. We were labelled as ‘Philantropists’ in the radio program, which is fair in its original meaning: “the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing, and enhancing what it means to be human”. However, it is important to realize that philanthropy is NOT equivalent to charity. We plan to be ‘doing well by doing good’.

Thank you for your support and time Anders Kanberg, Tommy Ahlers, Ulla Brockenhuus-Schack, and Jesper Buch!