Dietmar Hopp’s life story is the stuff of legends. We all grow up wanting to accomplish great things, rise to the top and make an imprint on the world. He has done it. Starting from his humbe beginnings and building SAP into a global giant. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from his life.
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Dietmar Hopp, the Beginning
Dietmar Hopp is a German billionaire software entrepreneur. He was one of the founders of SAP AG in 1972 with other IBM employees. He reigned as CEO of SAP AG from 1988 until 1998, Chairman of its supervisory board from 1998 until 2003, and a member of the board from 2003 until 2005. Under his and his colleague’s leadership, the company soared to great heights in the IT industry. His areas of responsibility included development and sales, press and public relations, national and international consulting, and administration. Handelsblatt, a German-language business newspaper, named Dietmar “the best of the best” is its analysis of the most successful CEO’s of DAX companies since 1988. The newspaper asked Mr. Hopp what his recipe for success his. He replied, “hard work” and “having the right idea at the right time”. Take note people!
Dietmar Hopp may be a wealthy man, but he is certainly not greedy or selfish. He is a host of many charitable projects, including youth sports, medical, educational, and social programs. Since his retirement from SAP, he has been investing in the biotech industry. Tubingen, Germany-based CureVac, was able to score $104 million from Mr. Hopp in September 2012 to advance experimental messenger RNA-based vaccines against prostate and lung cancers. Developing these complex therapies will take a long time. All in all, Hopp aims to support biotech in German partially to drive economic growth as well as to advance new therapies for serious illnesses.
Let’s Play Ball!
Mr. Hopp supports TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, the rising-stars of German soccer, and as a boy, he played for their youth team. Since receiving financial support from Mr. Hopp in 1990, the club has soared through the footballing ranks, climbing from local-league level up to the first division of the prestigious German Bundesliga. However, there has been some controversy. Since 1998, Mr. Hopp invested over $128 million in 1899 Hoffenheim. After eight games, they had already advanced to hold a leading position. People speculated that there was a master plan to kick FV Bayern Munchen from the top spot. In an interview done with SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL, Hopp said that “there is no such plan. We will never be able to seriously compete with the Bavarians. They get twice as much television advertising and 10 times as much money from their jersey sponsors. The Bavarians have 140,000 club members while Hoffenheim has all of 2,00…. I’m not overmodest when I say that we will be please if we can manage to keep up with the rest of the class this season without too much stress.” The interview continues to grill Hopp over whether or not he has intentions to take over the football arena, and not in a good way. The link to the interview is here. Take a look!
Dietmar Hopp said it well when he said that “hard work” is the key to his success. That is the secret, folks. Short cuts are easy, but at the end of the day, we all must get out of bed in the morning, put on our thinking caps, and get ready to work hard today, harder tomorrow, and even harder the next day.