#260 - Dr. Max Gulde, CEO of constellr - on exponential thinking 

A story about leveraging technology to prevent a global water crisis

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to ensure that in 7 years, we can still drink and eat. My guest is Dr. Max Gulde, Co-founder and CEO of constellr. 

Max GuldeMax is a prototype of a tech entrepreneur on a mission. A massive mission. By training, he is an experimental physicist with a strong background in materials science, computational physics, image processing, methodology development, and the ingestion of scientific work into applications.

In April 2020, he co-founded constellr a German deep-tech company at the interface between agriculture and space. Max is the inventor of constellr’s core technology and holds several patents. 

Their mission: the provision of a robust data basis to drive ‘more crop per drop’ and help feed 10 billion people by 2050.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Max to my podcast. We explore the challenges Max has been going through to convince the nay-sayers and what he has learned from that. He explains what they have done to break a huge global problem into a manageable structure – and what choices have been fundamental to deliver remarkable impact – and grow remarkable traction. Last but not least he shares his recommendations for building a Software business that has staying power.

Here’s one of his quotes

What we were looking at were two things. It was impacting on the one-hand side, so what are the biggest challenges? But then also the timescale, i.e., when will these challenges have a really big effect? And that’s the reason why we then started with water because carbon, for example, is magnificent in scale. The amplitude of this problem is just amazingly large. However, water will probably overtake carbon in a few years, so now in terms of amplitude and it will be a lot more severe, a lot earlier.

It’s a lot shorter timescale; we’re not looking at 2050, we’re not looking at 2070, we’re looking at seven harvests from now. So, if we don’t have a good solution implemented, the world will, I wouldn’t say be on fire, but we’ll definitely live in a lot more stressful world.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why getting everyone to see and acknowledge the severity of the problem doesn’t mean they’ll buy or invest
  2. How to approach a problem that’s beyond imagination in size
  3. How to go about segmenting the market when no-one ‘owns’ the problem you solve best
  4. How to leverage positioning to grow momentum when the market doesn’t see the urgency of the problem yet

For more information about the guest from this week:


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.