Interview with Matthias Reinholz, CEO of Berlin-based startup getaway
02.10.2015 INTERVIEWS 0.0 0

Matthias Reinholz is a Co-Founder and CEO at getaway, the first travel platform of a new generation that allows to discover and book citytrips to Europe the smart way.  Getaway analyzes all the travel data all over the web and digs for amazing citytrip possibilities inside Europe. Prior to starting getaway, Matthias worked in music industry and acquired experience in digital marketing, social media, business development and startup field. Magazine MN caught up with Matthias to talk about his entrepreneurial journey, lessons learned and find out more about getaway.

Magazine MN: Matthias, tell us a bit about your background. How did you start your entrepreneurial journey and what do you like the most about being entrepreneur?

Matthias: I started to be an entrepreneur when I was 16. It all began with organizing events. I have always loved the internet and the latest in tech.

 

When I turned 18, I founded my first company where i provided digital marketing services to clubs and event agencies. After my Bachelor studies and some years of work in the music industry, I enrolled in a Master’s Program at Zeppelin University in the field of business model innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

I was always pursuing the dream of building a startup and, therefore, i had to learn what it takes to launch a successful startup:

  • an outstanding team that’s fully committed to the project
  • fast execution
  • pragmatic thinking and some money to skip the first hurdles fast

 

As an entrepreneur, I love to embrace the power of “creative destruction”, the concept coined by Schumpeter. It’s all about thinking outside the box, finding new ways of enriching our lives with technology and taking the full responsibility for your own life. I’ve never been someone who worried a lot about financial security or tried to get a safe job. For me the adventure of pursuing new paths is what gets me up in the morning.

 

Magazine MN: As a startup CEO, what is your favorite productivity hack and how do you keep yourself motivated?

Matthias: My definitely best productivity hack is something I discovered very late: getting up early and tearing down the hardest tasks of the day at first. Today, I start to work at about 6 a.m. every morning. As I used to be a late riser, I had to find some tricks to keep me motivated to get up early. Probably the best thing was to clearly plan my next day every evening, so that I know exactly what to do every morning when I wake up.

 

Magazine MN: What are the 3 important business lessons you’ve learnt so far?

Matthias:

  1. Execute pragmatically. I used to be an absolute perfectionist. Sometimes “good enough” is just good enough and it’s more important to keep things moving fast.
  2. Love feedback. Expose your idea/work to as many people as possible. Every single opinion counts and provides some new sparks of inspiration to sharpen what you do.
  3. Progress is never linear. There are days when a lot of great things come together and you think that you made a major step forward. And there are days when you think that nothing works. Progress is never linear - it happens in waves. The trick is to know about these waves and to use the lower days for stabilizing your fundament.

 

Magazine MN: What are your favorite startup/marketing tools?

Matthias: I love automation and creating processes. Therefore, Zapier provides amazing value to me. When connected with Google Spreadsheets and publishing tools like Buffer, you can do crazy things.

 

In terms of early growth, Twitter works pretty well for me. You can reach out to influencers and early adopters, and foster your initial userbase.

 

Social media and a conversation with your users is key at the beginning of a Startup. What I love about Sprout Social is its unified inbox for all your social media messages.

 

Magazine MN: What is your best piece of advice for someone who is about to build a startup?

Matthias: Do! Stop planning a lot, simply start to build something and bring it in interaction with your target group. The chance of success increases if you validate your ideas fast.

 

Magazine MN: What business book(s) would you recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Matthias:

Zero to One by Peter Thiel.

The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

 

Magazine MN: Tell us more about getaway. How does it work?

Matthias: Getaway pursues a different approach of delivering citytrips  to people. Existing travel websites provide users with an overload of options and train us to do a lot of research. You receive a newsletter with an offer and it’s no longer available.  You discover a great flight offer, but have to spend days in research for your accommodation. These existing travel websites are great if it comes to a longer tour or your annual vacation. But they’re not suitable for a short and convenient citytrip.

 

Getaway analyzes over 1.2M citytrip possibilities every day and provides the user with the highlights of the day. With this large amount of data, we can exactly identify  what offers are attractive at the moment. You cannot search for something on our platform, but will receive inspiration on what you could do next. A getaway always consists of flight plus hotel and is bookable in seconds.

 

Magazine MN: How did you come up with an idea of creating getaway?

Matthias: The three founders of getaway are all entrepreneurs by heart. Our second passion is travel. Personally, I love to jump on a plane and visit a different city for a short trip. In my circle of friends, it was always me who did the research on great travel opportunities and then offered to attend a complete tour to my mates. There was a time when I had to work a lot and didn’t find the time to do the research. And one day I realised that I haven’t been on a plane for more than one year. The next thing I did was to start the research of some citytrip. It was a very annoying experience as I didn’t have a lot of time for this. In the end I just booked anything knowing that I’m going to miss the exceptional experience which I would have discovered if I’d spent more time on research.

 

Magazine MN: How big is the team behind getaway?

Matthias: At the moment I’m am lucky to work with five other amazing personalities! In terms of responsibilities, there is our CTO and a second developer, one product manager, one designer, one growth-hacker and me as the CEO and responsible for marketing. We’ve always been looking for the personalities, and not only the hard facts in the CV. At getaway it feels more like “friends on an adventure” and less like “going to work”. And we want to keep that feeling.

Magazine MN: How can readers get in touch with you?

Matthias: Simply send me an Email to matthias@gtwy.com or reach out via Twitter: @LiveMatt

 

Matthias Reinholz was interviewed by Natalie Myhalnytska

 

 


TAGS:travel platform, Getaway, Berlin startups, Matthias Reinholz

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