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"Experience is often overvalued."

He sold his first company for $12 million. Later Dave Goldberg took SurveyMonkey from a small startup to a billion-dollar enterprise. At the CeBIT Global Conferences the entrepreneur will speak on his recipes for startup success.

11 Mar. 2015

As a young man Dave Goldberg had a dogged notion that the Internet was going to revolutionize the music industry. Together with his best friend he founded the "Launch Music" website in 1994. This website turned out to be the precursor to Spotify, iTunes Radio and all the rest. Here you were treated to your own custom concert every day, as your favorite tunes were just a click away. What seems commonplace today was ahead of its time at the beginning of the Nineties – it was even a declaration of war on MTV. Success didn't come at once, but Goldberg stuck with his project and grew his company gradually. A few years later, he sold it to Yahoo – for 12 million dollars.

Today Goldberg is 46, but his passion for innovative ideas which can revolutionize entire industries remains unbroken. For five years he has been the CEO of SurveyMonkey, a Cloud service for creating, conducting and evaluating surveys. Virtually every Fortune 500 corporation uses the service, along with countless individuals. The company has annual sales of $113 million. On paper SurveyMonkey long ago ceased to be a startup, but Goldberg continues to maintain the company's youthful spirit.

No CV can ever tell you whether a person is going to fit in.

At the CeBIT Global Conferences Goldberg will be sharing his thoughts on the digital industry and the enormous significance of having a corporate culture that motivates people. For him, having the right staff members is the ultimate goal. Most companies go about recruiting their personnel the wrong way, says the Harvard graduate: " Some of the worst mistakes I've made in hiring came from hiring someone who looks like they've had great experience, but they just didn't fit in with our culture. Their experience didn't translate to the new business."

"Recruiting talent is expensive. Recruiting the wrong talented person is even more expensive."
Dave Goldberg

What Goldberg considers more important than years of experience is a spirit of openness to new ideas and things. Only then can people grow with the company and have a significant impact on its corporate culture. And this culture has nothing to do with how many recreational offerings an employer puts out there. Or whether he or she subsidizes the company canteen. It is a matter of interpersonal relationships, which only ripen after a period of years – even at a startup.

How founders can contribute to the right kind of corporate culture, why 2.5 meetings a week is the right number and how to get your staff members truly motivated without burning them out – that will be the topic of Dave Goldberg's presentation at CeBIT.