☰ Being in Berlin

Last week we’ve been to Berlin. It’s not like I’m a big fan of the city, somehow it’s too fucked up for my taste. However, this is not about Berlin, in fact the weekend we’ve stayed there was quite nice, this post is about me and what’s going on and coming up in my life.

Some of you may remember myself about two years ago. Started to study illustration, not a real plan, but the urge to do something awesome. Stuff like Hallo Unbekannt, this blog and several small projects were built, nothing was really important, but everything sold in on what was coming up:

The idea for QUOTE.fm changed my life as much as nothing has before — and it was last weekend, that I realized what’s going on. This is not just another one of my small projects, this is not “playing” anymore, this is, as unreal as it feels, the real life. This is what I’ll do hopefully as long as possible.

We’ve been to Berlin to talk about the present and future of QUOTE.fm without being distracted by our everyday surroundings. Our plan was to talk about things like business plans, who’s going to do which job when the company grows, and here we are at the point I’ve tried getting to: Company. This is not longer about myself or this blog or some small project, this is about a company. Something with people in it, people that are not only my friends, but humans that make a living by working for the company I’m somehow responsible for.

Ben invited us to take a look around the 6Wunderkinder offices in Berlin and it was fascinating. Not the offices themselves, but the combination of rooms, people and the underlying knowledge that everyone is pulling the same string (I’m afraid I’m making up sayings here). I was stunned, I thought “I want to work here.” and then reminded myself what would be even better: What if I ran a company like this? A company filled with great people, people that are psyched to build something incredible together. That was the moment I understood what’s actually going on in my life right now.

The next day we talked about our goal, what we want to achieve with QUOTE.fm, what’s the “Why?” that drives us. We found it, we defined it, we talked about what we need to achieve it.

And that’s where stuff got serious. Not serious as in tie and suit serious, but serious as in “At the moment we’re four people, in two month we’ll be six and in March 2013, we’ve our own office and 18 people are working for QUOTE.fm.” That’s not a number we’ve pulled out of thin air, that’s the number of people we need to achieve our goal. That is: Let’s revolutionize the celebration of written text. We’re talking about discovering, recommending, reading and publishing(!) written stories and how to make money, to ensure that 18 people can make a living.

It’s not about playing around in Photoshop anymore, two weeks ago was the first week in which I only opened Photoshop twice. The first week in… years. The rest of the time I wrote e-mails and talked to people. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating facts. My life changes so drastically at the moment, it’s fascinating. It looks like we’ve found our next employee and he’s Brazilian, so we’ll talk English from now on, I’m not just the designer anymore, I’m talking to people from big publishers, because they’ve heard of QUOTE.fm and are thinking about how we could cooperate, I’ve to think about the big picture but also about small details, I’ve to think about investors and investments, presentations and seeding.

It seems like playing is over and life begins and it feels good. Somehow it’s like I’ve done everything in the last years to get where I’m now. And where I am is not even somewhere. It could just be the starting point of something much bigger.

I’m excited. In fact I’ve never been more excited and I’m so looking forward to learning so much new stuff, talking to even more interesting people and building many awesome things together with great people, that I’m incredibly happy and excited at the same time. We’re not in Berlin or San Francisco, we’re in Hamburg, but nothing keeps us from building something great in this great city — so we will.

Strange times. Incredible times.

Let’s bring “playing” to the next level.


  1. I feel happy for you and I hope this thing is gonna get as huge as possible. You guys are awesome and just reading about your improvements over the last couple of months made me happy and excited as well. It’s always great to watch a small idea grow big until it becomes something real so keep going, keep getting better and better as you’ve done in the past and keep creating great stuff.

    Be awesome.

  2. This text makes me smile luckily, I’m really happy for you! Even though I just read your blog/twitter and don’t know you in person I kinda eagerly anticipate your development! Good luck!

  3. Sounds great. To be honest, i’m keeping an eye on quote.fm from the beginning and i like how the product evolves. I’m especially looking forward to the “Read Later” function. Instapaper is great, but it’s missing the social sharing aspect from quote.fm. So play on!

  4. Irgendwie hatte ich während des Lesen die ganze Zeit ein Lächeln auf den Lippen und am Ende richtig Gänsehaut! Ich wünsche euch, dass alles klappt, wie ihr euch das vorstellt!

  5. I like all your posts about your strategy and developments at QUOTE.fm very much. It’s so interesting to see the thoughts behind your decisions, the vision and the way you go. Chapeau!

  6. I just put this here because I wouldn’t know where else to post this.

    On your QUOTE.fm page, you state:
    “Marcel Wichmann recommends stories worth to read on QUOTE.fm.”.
    While this isn’t strictly gramatically incorrect, it sounds kinda weird.
    “Marcel Wichmann recommends stories worth reading on QUOTE.fm.”
    Now, I don’t know whether this has been noted before, I just wanted to point this out.

    Have a good day, QUOTE.fm’s looking great!