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Physicist Gone Founder: Meet Matu

November 10, 2021

Matthias Strodtkoetter is one of the three co-founders and the CEO of Angle. The story of Angle starts in Tokyo, where he was longing for a way to easily connect and talk to experienced physicists from around the globe during his research in quantum information theory. Soon after, when he had to pay lavish fees for an expert-network to get to talk to someone, the idea for a match-making platform for relevant conversations was manifested in his head. There must be an easier way to connect the curious with the wizards, right? Our Head of Marketing, Sarah, sat down with Matthias to find out more about the person behind the idea.

You founded a company in the year of a global pandemic. Are you crazy?
I wonder…

I take that as a yes. So, generation TikTok & Insta stories. What sparked your idea to launch an audio product during a time when video applications are experiencing hyper-growth?
User research! People do love to watch interesting stuff…

"But, turns out, most people don’t like to be watched."

In a group call experience that you do for enjoyment, not being watched outweighs being able to see the others. Grand total: all cameras off creates a better experience. And since our goal is to mass-produce the magic of great conversations, the cameras stay off.

What has been the biggest surprise so far in your one-year Angle journey?
Ugh. Many! Maybe this is the biggest: Building a product that people want is an order or magnitude harder than I expected.

Moving on to some other questions… Who is your idol? Why?
I know everyone is going to say “booooooring!” but it’s got to be Elon. A disagreeable physicist with larger-than-live entrepreneurial ambitions and an unhealthy work-ethic. I identify so much! 🙈

What is the best advice you ever got and who gave you that advice?
In life, if you want to have anything to harvest in 5 years, you better start planting seeds today and keep planting non-stop for the next 5 years. My SO told me that.

How do you stay connected with other entrepreneurs and founders during the pandemic?
Duh. You join Angle and participate in the Shark Tank, All Things Venture Capital, Swiss Startup Networking Lunch and all the other amazing entrepreneurial conversations!

Microsoft or Google products?
It depends.

On what?! But ok, moving on. You spent some time in Australia before studying. What did you do Down Under?
Manual labor in the agricultural sector. Live in a car. “Shower” in rivers. Find out what I want to do in life. Meet heaps of amazing people. Stand on my own feet. You know, backpacker things. I can recommend it. If ever you don’t know what to do in life — go to the end of the world, live in a car and travel the land. Things come to you.

You know, backpacker things.

Milk coffee or black coffee?
As long as there’s coffee! ☕️

You are a quantum physicist by education. Would the world be a better place if more physicists founded their own startups?
Maybe. Maybe not. I mean, any physicist spent at least 4 years trying hard not to be lost and to figure out how to solve the darnedest problems. I’d say that’s a pretty relevant preparation for starting a company.

Newton or Einstein?

Schroedingers Cat: Alive or dead?
It depends. 🤪 Honestly though — what a great example. Us humans always want to simplify, even if things can’t be simplified. The alive-ness of Schroedingers cat is in a superposition. Why don’t we deal with that fact for a change. Here’s a quote by Einstein more people should internalize:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

Should Twitter have banned Trump or not?
No. Not because I agree with Trump, but because I am worried if we lose the ability to deal with opposing opinions or to have difficult conversations. Censorship can’t be the answer. That’s like having weak legs and therefore stopping to run, because it’ll make the legs hurt.

What’s a topic you would love to learn more about?
I am knee-deep into trying to learn Mandarin and it’s so much fun. More of that!

Back to Angle: Who would you love to have a conversation with on Angle?
Feynman! But he’s dead unfortunately. Then I’ll say Andrew Yang.

Still got more questions for Matthias? Connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

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