Profiles: Lars Windhorst – From Boy Genius, To Surviving The Tide

Often what is reported in the business press is without context; businesses rise, businesses fail, and what is behind these outcomes is usually confined to a sound bite in Business Week or on CNN. Behind every company, large or small, is the IDEA that created it, and behind that are the INDIVIDUALS that gave that idea life. Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc., don’t exist in a vacuum, and you can be sure they’ve faced many unique obstacles to get to the position they’ve achieved – and once they’re “there”, that brings a whole new set of challenges.

Eurocheddar is starting a new monthly profile column aimed at looking at the personalities behind businesses, and attempting to illuminate what made them successful and, more importantly, inspirational.

“A life less ordinary” would be an apt catchphrase to describe Lars Windhorst. This story begins with a boy, who by the age of 15 was assembling computers, writing software, and selling the machines from his father’s humble garage in the small town of Rahden, Germany.What started as a moderate, local success, soon became a global initiative after realizing that the domestic market couldn’t fulfill his ambitions. Windhorst, soon traveled to China (still as a teenager) to secure cheap components and ended up in a partnership with a Chinese entrepreneur. While most of his peers were busy worrying about acne and video games, Windhorst had, by the mid-90’s, created a global empire with an annual turnover of more than 200m DM.

The German press dubbed him “wunderkind” and the Chinese were no less glowing in their appreciation. But, like all miraculous ascensions (and Hollywood story arcs), Windhorst was caught out, like many others, when the boom times of information technology and the “new economy” hit turbulent waters. He filed for insolvency several years ago, only to re-emerge phoenix-like in May of this year, holding a brand new CEO position for global investment company, Sapinda Deutschland GmbH.
The resilience and drive to not be a victim of circumstance, make someone like Windhorst always worth watching and always an interesting case study in not ever counting out an individual with that amount of entrepreneurial intuition and audacity.
Something tells me many more chapters will be written about this man, and after all, he’s still only thirty-three years old.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share on Facebook1Share on Google+3Share on LinkedIn1Email this to someoneShare on TumblrTweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest0
  • Jac

    This article stimulates attention. Yes many skyscraper companies owe their glory due to a single humble but genius man. When one concentrates upon his inner intuition sooner or later he breaks history for fame and recognition.. Thanks for sharing this reality. A truely inspiring episode

  • AnnieZ

    Very interesting. Many people usually say that to create a successful business, you need a great idea and that will propel you forward. But It essentially is much more than that, as you need drive and ambition as your propellers. I’ve never heard of this man before, but his story is truly inspirational, and I do hope that more people can learn of his work.

  • Annie Zhang

    Very interesting. Many people usually say that to create a successful business, you need a great idea and that will propel you forward. But It essentially is much more than that, as you need drive and ambition as your propellers. I’ve never heard of this man before, but his story is truly inspirational, and I do hope that more people can learn of his work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=778068376 Domeng Unson

    Clearly and evidently, life is just a cycle. In his hardwork, Lars Windhorst set out a very ambitious endeavor which earned him great success, only to find himself down and under the growing obstacles that overcame him. The real essence of his victory is not in what he has accomplished or earned, but rather, on his ability to overcome obstacles and rise again. Quite a motivation that can be shared to many people, as I myself have so much to learn from this person.

  • Jimmy Hale

    At the age of fifteen, I was only making mistakes! Had I spent that time making computer instead (or anything useful for that matter) I’d probably be a lot more successful now. Either way, that is an inspirational story. To still be so young offers even more opportunity for him. Maybe my kids will be smarter than me and take care of me in my old age. I should read them this article.

  • Johnathon

    Stories like this one go to show that everyone can bounce back! Just remember everyone that no matter how things go in life there are always other opportunities. It seems that mister Lars Windhorst is a great example of how one can bounce back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/owais.kashif Owais Kashif

    I have already heard his name but this article explained a little more about the personality. He is really an inspiration for young businessmen. He really showed them the new horizons.

  • Lokita M.

    I admire his perseverance and his dedication to his craft. This is one of the many of inspiring and fascinating “success story” that will truly move to motivate our young entrepreneurs out there. Despite Lars Windhorst humble beginnings he manage to survive the tide with full of courage in their heart.

  • http://rajeevkumarsinghblog.blogspot.com/ rajeevkumarsingh

    It’s true that no one came as a boom suddenly rather they work hard and came in to existence. Every individual who got success had learnt from their failure. The example of Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates given is quite right, they didn’t came from vacuum rather build thier empire with hard work.
    Also the whole story you tell inspires to be a good business man as well .

  • http://www.stine1.info Christine

    Well, I am from Germany myself and was eager to read this. But honestly, I have never heard of this guy. What company did make him so successful? I really have never every heard of him and neither have I heard anything about the company he now works for *lol* Just strange… I am really curious and would appreciate a short answer. Thank you :-)

  • Janice

    The story above is very true. Success is jumping from one failure to another .Just like abraham lincoln, he undergo a lot of failures before he made it to the point of success. It just need diligence and never quit to try. Quitters never wins.

  • http://sauza joan

    Nothing is impossible to those who persevere. Most of us have dreams but those who have the drive and diligence to go for it are the only ones who are most likely to achieve their dreams. Success(or failure) has nothing to do about age. It is mostly about believing in yourself and believing in what you can achieve. This man’s story is similar to the story of Santiago, the boy who traveled and search for his treasure, in the book The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho. Truly an inspiration.

  • http://www.mylot.com moazzam ali

    Very interesting. Many people usually say that to create a successful business, you need a great idea and that will propel you forward.Clearly and evidently, life is just a cycle. In his hardwork, Lars Windhorst set out a very ambitious endeavor which earned him great success, only to find himself down and under the growing obstacles that overcame him. i believe that more people will learn from this article!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nstylo2 New Stylo

    excellent blog and very informative,this blog is very helpful for those who believe that to create a succefull bussiness we need an idea,and the idea only works when individuals work hard to complete the idea.now i also beleive that nothing is impossible.thank you for this nice blog.

  • http://Alsamud.tk Mahmud

    Actually this is the kind of initiatives that we need online, the blog and its contents are all great. Keep the good work….information is the only way to make us aware.

  • http://gravatar.com/tanaselan tanaselant

    To start a business, there are many attitude which will give you a great success and one of this attitudes are you must be hardworking and a strong believer of never think about failure and learning from every mistake he did. This story is simple amazing and it will be a inspiration to others.

  • Delbin

    This is really an awesome article that inspires people. I get slightly motivated by reading this article and i am sure others too will get motivated. In business field, ideas play powerful role. We have to be good in making and implementing ideas. And need a strong mind and hardworking, but the profit is too big.

  • Tom Broadhank

    I really am inspired whenever I see new entrepreneurs coming up with brand new business ideas, and working hard to make them successful. It really annoys me though, when i see other people just copying other business’ that already exist. Come up with your own idea and then maybe you will feel proud and accomplished when the business succeeds.

  • Ioana Bise

    A wonderful story which could consist in a great source of inspiration for a lot of people. This is how one can learn to find his way to success by fighting obstacles and overtaking them. The key to all this is firstly having confidence in yourself. Believe in your power to succeed and in the end everything will pay out.
    Great blog, thank you for the inspiration!

  • Shanker

    Liked the success story of Windhorst.
    I appreciate Eurocheddar’s initiative to start a new monthly profile column aimed at looking at the personalities behind businesses. It’s good to know what made them successful, and yes! These can be inspirational.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rambansal5 Ram Bansal

    A very inspiring project indeed. By throwing light on great achievers, you inspire new entrepreneurs to outshine by being in the shoes of the pioneers. My best wishes for the project.

  • Zahedul Mahmud

    These kinds of spotlights on brilliant minds should be more widespread throughout the internet. These articles bring recognition to those who rightfully deserve them, and bring their genius to a wider audience. Furthermore, it serves as a greater inspiration to those who have the drive to achieve greatness. Windhort’s story is a prime example of what the average human should seek to do.