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Fireside chat with Maximilian Conrad

Who is Maximilian?

Maximilian Conrad is co-founder and CEO of Hype1000, a leading corporate audio tech startup in Europe, corporate podcast expert and lecturer in audio & voice marketing. Since 2021, Max has been developing innovative audio and podcast solutions for companies with the team at Hype1000. With Hypecast, the team has developed a super simple Corporate Audio software that helps companies communicate more personally, more inclusively and better.

Tell us more about your role in Hype1000.

In my role as co-founder and CEO of Hype1000, I mainly focus on the business side of the company. This includes the strategic positioning of the company and it’s products, marketing, business development, as well as investor relations, finance and partnerships.

And while I focus on the business side of Hype1000, my co-founder and CTO Simon Kapell is in charge of technology and software development. This setup really helps us to be extremely effective and maximize output.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

With Hype1000 we work with major international organizations and anyone who as worked in B2B sales knows how long and complex these sales cycles can be. Especially when you are a fairly young startup offering a new and innovative software solution. Personally, I love these types of challenges and having worked for big companies in the past, we knew what to expect. And of course winning a big customer for our solution is always great, the most rewarding part about our business is receiving positive feedback or when a customer or partner refers us to another company. These are the moments that make us really happy.

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

My co-founder Simon, who is also my best friend, and I are in our mid-30s which nowadays is probably not the youngest for founding a startup. We both had successful corporate careers for some years and either had started a family or were about to start a family. This doesn’t make it easier to ‘start from zero’ without knowing the exact outcome. Sometimes I wish we had started our business 10 years ago while still being in university and with less responsibilites. But then again, 10 years ago we would not have had the same experience, know-how, and network and audio/podcasting would not have been as big as it is today. So, in the end I am happy with the way everything turned out and I am thankful for all the experiences I was able to make during my professional path. It all paid out with Hype1000.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

This is a great question. It is a twofold answer. From an internal perspective we focus on creating super simple Corporate Audio solutions. Everything we do is based on that guiding principle.

The second part of that answer is: “Build what the market wants!”

Whenever you think about building a new product or feature don’t just ask existing or potential customers if they like it, ask them to pay for it. You will quickly learn how good your ideas really are 🙂

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

We see that this new work environment and business climate challenges companies to change in many ways. One of them is internal communications and communications in general. This is not just influenced by the way we work but also by the new generation of employees entering the market. Better communication in companies is key in improving employee engagement. This results in higher productivity and profitability as well as lower turnover rates and cost savings. Corporate Audio is playing an important role in making communications more personal, authentic, and inclusive.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

As in many industries AI has great impact on our business. With modern text-to-speech solutions, AI-driven semantic analysis, automated content creation and AI-powered audio production tools, new use cases pop up constantly and content production becomes easier, faster, and cheaper. It is really exciting!

What books do you have on your nightstand?

Well, as an audio enthusiast I listen to podcasts and audiobooks 🙂
I can highly recommend the following podcasts:

  • Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
  • The Diary of a CEO
  • Revisionist History
  • The Prince
  • Most of the stuff from Wondery
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