Christian Henschel follows a simple philosophy. “I identify a problem and then I look for a solution”, says the 40-year-old German entrepreneur. “All too often, entrepreneurs decide to create a start-up, think up an idea and only afterwards do they wonder if there’s even a market for it.” With a degree in economics and communications, Henschel began his career very early. “When I was 23, I started a magazine called 1200, which became one of the main publications in eastern Germany before going bankrupt.” He then became the head of digital revenue for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at MTV and Viacom before joining Madvertise, one of the first European start-ups that took an interest in the mobile advertising market.
But Henschel always had an idea in the back of his mind. “At Viacom, I launched an application about the cartoon SpongeBob. It was hugely successful, but we couldn’t figure out who was actually downloading it.” At Madvertise, he came across the same problem. “We struggled to measure how effective mobile advertising was.” He discussed the matter with two colleagues, Paul Müller and Manuel Kniep. “We realised there was a hole in the market.” In the spring of 2012, the three colleagues launched Adjust, a start-up that provided developers with analysis to help them understand who was downloading the applications and how to communicate with them. Today, the start-up has 150 employees and big-name clients such as Yelp, Uber, The Guardian and Spotify.