In recent months, the topic of cryptocurrency has been on everyone's lips - even small investors who actually have little idea about the subject are jumping on the bandwagon and investing.
But while the hype around cryptocurrencies is still new for many, I have been dealing with the topic for years - just like with the topic of blockchain.
Even in the early days of zapliance 5 years ago, we recognized the importance that blockchain would play for companies and auditors.
At that time, I not only gave numerous workshops on the topic but also invested diligently in cryptocurrency myself.
Among other things, in a currency that was supposed to revolutionize food trading.
If you fail, you don't just lose money. But often also courage.
The other day I received an email from the Exchange with the news that the cryptocurrency I had invested in was now worth (almost) nothing and would be delisted.
This was not a big surprise for me - after all, this development had been foreseeable over the last few years.
Nevertheless, I was annoyed and carried the thought of my own failure around with me for a few days.
Until one thing became clear to me:
Failure is part of life - and especially of entrepreneurship.
By the way, I recently published an article on how best to deal with these lows - you can find it here.
A saying that came to my mind in connection with failure is: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
And there is some truth in that.
Because while this one investment failed, I have also made many other investments in recent years that have developed very positively.
It's a similar story with blockchain:
while many didn't believe in the concept at the time, we at zapliance jumped on the bandwagon early - and were proven right.
Companies that oversleep trends are quickly out of the window.
The problem today:
many companies often do not even take risks - and then painfully realize years later that they have slept through an important trend.
This omission can sometimes be made up for, but sometimes not.
A prime example of missing a trend is the company Kodak.
For decades, it was one of the most successful major international companies, bringing numerous groundbreaking innovations in the field of cameras as well as photographic and film materials.
However, having underestimated the trend of digitalization and digital cameras, in particular, Kodak was never able to catch up with its competitors in the years that followed.
The result: today, Kodak is only a comparatively small company in a niche market - no trace of the glory of its heyday.
If you don't take risks, you take risks.
But how did this failure come about?
I don't know - but the assumption is that failures at the management levels led to the downfall.
But what I do know is that each of us should do everything to ensure that our company does not become another Kodak.
Because only those who risk something can also gain something.
Those who don't risk at all have already lost.
Of course, failure is no fun.
But we should see it as part of a journey that consists of ups and downs.
So don't be discouraged!
About the author:
Alexander Rühle, CIA, CISA, is the CEO and CO-founder at zapliance. After 15 years in the finance and auditing world and having met his partner in crime, Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke, at PWC, they started zapliance together, with the mission to change the way business professionals of the future work with data.