Holger von Krosigk was one of the most famous German professional skaters in the 90s. Today, together with Stefan Dongus, he runs the publishing house Monday Media and publishes the two successful magazines Sneakers Sneakers Magazine & Spectr Magazine and the eyewear search portal Favr. The focus of the magazines is the high-quality presentation of the respective products with photo series, designer interviews and more.
How did you get the idea of becoming a publisher?
I think that self-employment in general is somehow in one’ s blood. Of course, there are people who decide to do it late, but it is a question of attitude. For us it was obvious because we as a team had already worked together on magazine projects more than ten years ago. So if you can work successfully for others, you simply consider whether you can go one step further. For me, it’s the best way to work because you’re in charge, you can make quick decisions and no one else but yourself can be responsible for your own success or failure.
What challenges do you face as a publisher and how do you deal with them?
The challenge for us is, on the one hand, that we have a very small team and work a lot with freelancers due to the quarterly publication of the magazines. This means that you have to be good at building up a network, working with many different people and still deliver reliable quality. This requires more flexibility than having a large, permanent team around you. The other challenge is the transition of users to digital media consumption. Since our origin and also one of our strengths is print, the challenges are obvious.
Where do you see the big opportunities for the future?
For us, specialisation is important, which is also a unique selling point. We think that quality always prevails and we believe that we have quite high expectations of ourselves and our products.
What changes in the market make you think?
If something makes me think, it is perhaps the superficiality of today’s digital media and the sometimes blunt cry of marketing for pure reach without questioning the quality of the message.
What was your greatest success for your company?
I believe it is a success, in this day and age, to make print magazines that are appreciated by readers and the industry alike. In a generally declining market we are receiving positive feedback and some advertisers are even increasing their focus on us because they value quality. That is nice.
If you couldn’t do something, you taught yourself – whether it was photography, video editing or making magazines.
In the 90s you were one of the most popular skaters in Germany. To what extent did this time later shape you as an entrepreneur?
The analogy between skateboarding and working life is often made – falling down and getting up again. The other day it was even quoted by Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians in Cars getting Coffee. Sure, there may be something to that, but maybe it’s more the experience as a skater, at least in my time, you made the best out of few opportunities. If you couldn’t do something, you taught yourself – whether it was photography, video editing or making magazines. This do-it-yourself spirit is definitely there with us and runs through all areas. It’s a great feeling to have been involved in designing an article down to the last detail, because you were involved from the photo shoot to the interview. Of course this does not mean that you can do without a great team of employees. But the approach is the same – roll up your sleeves and go for it instead of resigning.
What does a typical day look like for you as an entrepreneur?
There is no typical daily routine, this is the only typical thing. Every day is different, depending on the task at hand.
If you could start over again, what would you do differently?
Of course you can say that you would not make certain mistakes again. But then I wouldn’t have learned from them either. You can only learn and develop if you have the experience. And I can only pass that on to everyone: Don’t be put off by negative experiences, but learn from them.
What 3 advices would you give to young entrepreneurs who want to start their own business as publishers?
- Be flexible because the world in which you learned something may no longer exist if you want to apply it. Constantly question your old assumptions.
- It is not about making as much money as possible, but about giving the reader or advertiser something that is valuable and useful. First give, then take.
- Stamina is the most important quality you can bring to the table.
Which 3 criteria do you think distinguish a good entrepreneur?
Stamina (see above), social competence and foresight. Every entrepreneur defines his role differently, of course, but that’s how I see it.
How do you balance your professional and private life?
I also try to switch off completely and do things that are far away from my professional life. Other people immerse themselves 100%, I also try to do the opposite of what surrounds me. So I like outdoor experiences, sports or seeing friends. I make sure that all this is not neglected.
Which media do you use to stay up to date or get new ideas?
When I’m lazy, I let my Facebook feed with the useful Zuckerberg algorithms pour on me. When I have more time, I scan individual news pages or blogs selectively. When the weekend comes, I like to scan a newspaper from time to time. On every trip I have to go to the kiosk and buy a stack of magazines from all areas.
Is there an entrepreneurial personality who has inspired you in your life?
Because our company is so small, I can hardly make any helpful comparisons. Of course there is always inspiration, but here I can only use clichés like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. But since I neither invent life-changing devices nor fly to Mars in my professional life, all that remains is general admiration.
What else do you want to achieve as an entrepreneur?
To constantly develop further, that is the goal. I believe that the danger of a fixed goal is that you achieve it. And then?
Photos: Sneakers Magazine