... oder wie alles mal anfing! 

Oft wird Carsten danach gefragt, wie er zum Unternehmertum gekommen ist. Mit 15 Jahren hat er angefangen eine Schülerzeitung herauszugeben. Oft hat er Texte geschrieben und ist nach der Schule rumgefahren um Anzeigen zu verkaufen. Schnell hat Carsten gemerkt, dass das Geschäft funktioniert.

Heute würde man überlegen, wie man das Business skalieren kann. Damals kannte Carsten das Wort aber noch nicht. Also hat er überlegt, wie er mit dem gleichen Aufwand mehr Geld verdienen kann. Also hat er die Schülerzeitung nicht nur an einer Schule herausgebracht, sondern an mehreren Schulen. Und schnell waren es alle Schulen in Essen und in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Dann leitete er die nächste Stufe der Skalierung ein.

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Carsten's long-time friend Marco Schmidt, who is now also a godfather to his daughter Greta, did exactly the "same thing" in Bochum and Herne. And so it went on to become Germany's largest student newspaper of the era, X-PECT! During the 1990s we distributed 250,000 newspapers in North Rhine-Westphalia and 100,000 copies in Berlin each month. Carsten and Marco’s parents found them somewhat funny and different, but the pair were already thinking outside the box at the time. They also helped to organise Germany's largest youth fair, YOU’96, during this exciting and formative phase.

Carsten was 21 at the time. They represented the German Association for the Club of Rome at the trade fair, organised parties and conducted market research among pupils under the label "Trend System” without any digital aids whatsoever before selling their results and findings to industry. Their customers included companies such as MARS, the IKK health insurance fund, which granted them the rights to write its youth magazine, and many other branded companies... That's how it all got started back in the 1990s. A real highlight for Carsten back then was an interview with Alicia Silverstone about her film of the time, ‘Clueless’.