Fabian Pfortmüller on The Rewards of Project Collaboration

In Chapter 8 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, community builder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller answers "What Do You Find Most Rewarding About Collaborating With Others on Projects?"  Pfortmüller shares how diverse perspectives make collaboration rewarding.  He notes how both senior executive collaboration and volunteer young professional collaboration can both be so valuable educational experiences.  Pfortmüller is co-founder of the young leader accelerator, Sandbox Network, and HOLSTEE, an apparel and design firm that sells meaningful products to mindful shoppers.  Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its school of General Studies. 


Erik Michielsen: What do find most rewarding about collaborating with others on projects?

Fabian Pfortmüller: I'm fascinated by every person you collaborate with has quite a different perspective on life, on your project, on your situation and being able to think yourself into that perspective and understand where they’re coming from and then kind of connect there, I think is super valuable.

I’ll give you an example, at Sandbox we work with a variety of stakeholders and every one of them is quite in a different position in life. We work with very, very senior executives on our consulting side. We have volunteer ambassadors who run our 25 hubs across the world and they’re young entrepreneurs, they’re super crazy busy and at the same time they’re as volunteers running our community. And collaborating with that kind of crowd is super different than collaborating with someone like a very senior executive.

And thinking about what is going on in their world and understanding what is it that drives them and how do they approach this problem has been an incredible experience for me to learn from them and I would say that not one of them is better than the other. I learn just as much of collaborating with a Sandboxer in Brazil than working for an executive here in the US.