“A good team can achieve anything!”

We spoke with Frank Martin, the CEO of the hotel technology company base7booking, about his role as a mentor, making mistakes, the digitalization and which innovation impressed him most recently

1) What do you bring to the table as a mentor? What do you contribute?

I started my career at a school of hotel management and have built up companies in four different areas of the service industry, including the retail, hospitality, hotel and hospitality-tech sectors.

As a mentor, I can tell startups about the mistakes I made and what I learned from them for my future decisions. I think that as an entrepreneur, your mistakes and learning from them are your greatest capital. When you make a mistake once, you don’t make it twice – I would like to pass on this knowledge.

2) Where do you see the greatest need for digitization in the food and hotel industry?

I think the food and hotel industry is at a turning point. So much is happening in terms of digitization in these areas: a lot of hotels and restaurants are adapting their analogue systems to digital systems.

Digitization opens up so many new doors for hotel and restaurant owners, be with saving space in their archives, saving time and money in almost all possible operations, or minimizing mistakes with better monitoring options. Wherever you are in the world, you can always access your system. That makes a lot of things possible, reduces hidden costs and gives restaurateurs and hoteliers more freedom and versatility on their job.

3) Which innovation caught your eye recently?

One example from the mobility sector, which affects and excites me personally, and comes to mind first, is carsharing – for example, with DriveNow. I’m on the road a lot, a large part of my time is spent between Germany, Switzerland and Spain – but I don’t own a car. The possibilities with carsharing change the way you experience a city, the way you move, and provides totally new possibilities for getting around.

4) What is your advice for startups?

An important piece of advice that I would like to give startups is: never lose your focus. As an entrepreneur, you often get a hundred different ideas and options when you follow your vision. This runs the risk of getting lost and going in all directions. It’s important to stay focused on your goal and work towards it without allowing yourself to be distracted by too many possibilities.

Which leads me to another piece of advice: always take one step at a time. When one step in your work is completed, test it and ensure that your next step builds on the one you just completed.

Also, the human factor should never be forgotten: in my opinion, the human factor is more important than the product. Even a mediocre product can yield extraordinary results if the team working on it is extraordinary – it generally doesn’t work otherwise. Mutual respect, having fun on the job together and good working conditions where you can work well together are the end all and be all for a good team. A good team can achieve anything!

Frank Martin is the CEO of BASE7BOOKING, a hotel technology company operating in 45 different countries. base7booking creates web products such as a cloud based hotel property management system, which makes the administration of hotel businesses easier for hoteliers.

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