Second inventor interview with Tobi Deckert, founder of ShredRack and Tronature

Tobi Deckert ( Website / Instagram ) is our second inventor at GLUCE. Tobi is the founder of ShredRack and Tronature. To get to know the person behind his products, such as the ShredRack, an inflatable roof rack, we conducted an GLUCE-inventor-interview with him. We find the interview very interesting and therefore do not want to withhold it from you.

Of course you can also buy his products, so visit his shop: Tronature

With the voucher code “ GLUCE_10 ” you can even save 10%. 

The GLUCE inventor interview with Tobi Deckert:

We make the interview with Tobi available to you in two ways:

– As a video on our YouTube channel:  GLUCE inventor interview with Tobi Deckert

– As an interview transcript in this blog post:

Gluce: Please introduce yourself briefly:

Tobi: I’m Tobi Deckert, I am a product developer and industrial engineer and actually come from the extreme sports sector and have always carried it through my whole life and am now here with you. Thank you very much for letting me introduce the product or my company and I’m looking forward to it. I am 33 years. I now live in the south of Munich near the Chiemsee, up here on the mountain and here I also have my office, my small workshop, and from here I can work very well.

Gluce: Your best advice on a personal level:

Tobi: So my best advice on a personal level is to study the Pareto principle. So many people probably already know it, the 80-20 rule, but really to understand it in detail that you only have a very small part of your personal issues that are decisive for the results you achieve. This small part takes just that you optimize it again and apply this Pareto principle again and then in the end you have an activity that is decisive for everything. Just as we are speaking right now, it’s just a super cool thing to continue to illuminate the company somewhere or just to introduce it.

Gluce: Your best purchase lately?

Tobi: Well, one of my best purchases is actually my drone, which I always have with me and it just takes super nice pictures that I enjoy because I just like to capture memories and look at them again later, cut out a video that I use somehow for marketing and it’s a good mix of business and sport and leisure.

Gluce: Which book influenced your life a lot?

Tobi: An essential book that I really devoured was “Hirn Tuning” by Dave Asprey, the guy who researches the brain in Silicon Valley and also the Bulletproof Coffee, which most people know, which provides a bit of energy. The book is about staying productive. So he also introduces how the brain works, what you can do for it and I am also a blatant advocate of it, because I think a lot can happen in life, that things also go wrong, that you are financially difficulties somewhere, your environment is difficult, but the brain continues to work and you can come up with new ideas again, can implement new things and as long as it works everything is fine and relaxed with me and for that I do the maximum and there are a couple of super cool approaches in the book. So above all when it comes to nutrition, exercise, what you can still do as a routine, with light and surroundings in order to stay productive in the long term.

Gluce: Which habits have had a lasting impact on your life?

Tobi: If you had asked me five years ago if I was doing yoga, I would have said: “Hey, you’re crazy ?!”. In fact, I now do a bit of yoga every day and this habit helps me or really brings me forward, so it’s not just that you somehow move a little, but it solves things for me in the morning, it’s also part of my morning routine, so that I’m just a lot more relaxed during the day and I feel better. So both professionally and privately in the sports sector it really brings enormous benefits. I totally underestimated it.

Gluce: Do you have a typical morning routine?

Tobi: Well, my morning routine, which is now almost an hour long, has built up or it has developed over the years, I have to say. It’s not like you say “snap” and now you have a morning routine, but you try out a lot of things and then see what works for you. It starts with me that I first drink a liter of water in the morning, I have a few nutritional supplements, for example ginko, OPC or magnesium and just make sure that I give my body what it somehow wants, what is good for him and then it starts: I roll out the fascia first and that is the moment when I trigger myself or I set myself different triggers in order to get to the next level in the morning routine. That means nobody can get out of bed and immediately do 30 push-ups, but once I get up, do the fascia and so on, then I get in such a mood that I want to do that and then I have a little hit training, which is an interval training that I do. Then a little yoga session, then I’ll try meditation if it works. But only works if I have the peace. Then I make myself a nice breakfast shake in which I always pack funny things that are just there in my kitchen. While I drink it, I make the daily plan, so I write down what I plan to do, what I’m grateful for, what I want to achieve during the week and then I prioritize everything and then go full throttle.

Gluce: What do you do when you feel overwhelmed or unable to concentrate?

Tobi: Overload, important point, so you develop a bull skin against it at some point, I’ll say. I often have the moment when I reach my nervous limits because a lot is bombarding me. The first thing that helps is just to go out. Get out, fresh air, take a deep breath. And then, in my case, it’s just completely exhaust myself, so I have to run up the mountain, then slam myself down and basically give me an adrenaline injection. Somehow on the paraglider, on skis, on the kite or whatever, and then I’m reset again and then I start again. But of course you can’t go somewhere quickly anytime, on the water or whatever, and you have to find your own way. For example, if I have a migraine attack, then I just have to lie down and then I have an MRI mat (= magnetic resonance therapy). It has different programs that go through and that has helped me a lot over the last few years and is good for me in stressful situations.

Gluce: Do you have a hidden talent?

Tobi: I think my hidden talent is my spatial imagination in combination with my implementation power. I go through the world relatively openly and then see the world through the eyes of a developer: Where are products that you might need that serve exactly this purpose. I can immediately imagine what they would look like and can also implement them straight away so that a prototype can be made out of it, and I really enjoy doing that and I’m good at it.

Gluce: What did you study? Does that help you in a current position?

Tobi: Professional career, an exciting topic. I think about it a lot, even now. Now I have already invested 30 years in my development and I think to myself, has it all helped now, yes or no? Even back then, for my Abitur, I had English-advanced, Economics-advanced and then physics and maths basic course, because I always had an interest in technology, economics and so on. Then I also continued my studies as an industrial engineer, was able to do a lot of internships, gain professional experience and now I’m at the end of it and think to myself, what do I still need from it? In the end, I am already using this knowledge, applying it. But the half-life of knowledge is so short these days, especially because of our online networking. In online marketing, for example, the university can no longer keep track of what the state of affairs is. That’s why there are really many topics that you better acquire quickly on the Internet, look for them and actually get the selected content. On the other hand, to have this stamp with the signature on it, you are now an engineer opened a lot of doors for me. Without that my company would not have worked at all or it would not have been possible to get a bank loan or any credibility at all. Our products have a safety-relevant factor and this theoretical input, which you can take with you from the past, still helps me now.

Gluce: What are the milestones in your career?

Tobi: I’ve always been looking for this compromise between technology and sport. In the beginning I was in the aviation industry, I was interested in a lot, I worked on the Eurofighter’s engine, designed parts for the space stations that fly around up there and built weightlessness experiments and then realized: It’s all just too dry. I decided to add a master on top. I traveled, studied abroad and then came to the company Skybox, here in Chiemgau, a small company that produces or develops and sells paragliders, kites and event tents. And I found the nice compromise there, from a cool team, with cool products and at the same time the sporty and technical demands were somehow there. I was able to learn an incredible amount, was abroad a lot, was in China for several months, was able to make a lot of contacts, learned a lot and then at some point I realized: Okay, I just need a little more in life and have a lot of ideas that I somehow want to realize or also I see a lot of problems that can be solved somehow and then I gradually managed this slow transition to my own company.

Gluce: How impatient are you on a scale from 1 to 10?

Tobi: If 10 is the highest, then I’ll be on a 12. So clearly, terribly, I also struggle with it every day, I always have to pull myself together with it and unfortunately my surroundings also struggle with it. So my co-founders or business partners, friends, family are the ones who suffer from it, of course. Maybe because of this i chose some extreme sport components so that I can relax again. I could never sit still so the topic is very, very sensitive for me.

Gluce: Your best advice in the business world?

Tobi: My best advice in the business world is clearly networking. So I’ve noticed, even in the last few years, how far you can get if you just have the right contact. There is this saying: “You are the average of the five people who surround you.” Many people say that and I support it 100% because you are always faced with challenges somewhere when you get stuck. Both mentally and physically and then it’s always good to discuss, to know someone you can ask and that brings you back to a completely different level at such a speed, which is absolutely necessary no matter which area or in which life situation.

Gluce: Do you have any experience with blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

Tobi: Blockchain, crypto … very hot topic. I find it super exciting. We also use blockchain in our company for all of the IP management. So all the ideas that I protect, I upload them all to a platform called Bernstein and there they are then added to the blockchain, so the idea is given a time stamp. I’ve also presented this in other podcasts. But now in general our society can no longer be imagined without it at some point, that will come as such an avalanche now the whole topic, I am firmly convinced. So just the whole tokenization that a service, a company, shares etc. have a measurable value somewhere and a piece of cake in which an employee can then participate, that’s something new and that will revolutionize everything. Anyway, I’m an advocate of the modern working style that you don’t have an employee relationship and get the money from one employer to your account every month, but that you perform somewhere with in the field with your expertise and then you have the opportunity to have a part of this company, to trade with its value, to grow, to be motivated. That the company’s value grows somewhere through the performance that you bring in and you benefit from it yourself. So this is just a win-win situation for everyone and I’m excited to see where the next few years will go. 

Gluce: What is innovation for you?

Tobi: The subject of innovation, according to the textbook is really the marketability of an idea, so that on the one hand you not only have your invention as a weirdo in your closet, but that a product can really emerge from it, which does not yet exist, which has added value for society, that solves a problem and with which I can ultimately generate money in order to keep the whole thing alive, to drive it on, to improve it. So that’s clearly an innovation for me.

Gluce: Do you have a mentor?

Tobi: Well I don’t have a mentor or anyone with whom I would say, I’ll do everything like he does. But I have a lot of friends in different areas, both asset management and corporate or sporting matters with whom I am in regular contact. Now the question is whether you call it a mentor or a mastermind group or whatever. I think it’s good that you talk about all these thoughts and about these topics so that you get further and in the best case the other has something where he is already further, who helps you and you help him in another area where you are better and that is the way I like to do it.

Gluce: Please introduce your company:

Tobi: About the company: I founded ShredRack GmbH in 2017. I had the idea of ​​building an inflatable roof rack as early as 2015 because I was traveling with friends to contests with a lot of sports equipment and then all the equipment never fit in the car. And then the guys just said: “Hey Tobi, can you build an inflatable roof rack?!” And so it happened and it worked out quite well. Then we immediately built a few thousand more and then there was a gradual transition. So I developed completely in 2016 and then founded it in 2017 and then production started slowly. At that time I was still employed. That was such a gradual transition that I cut my time and at some point the tasks in the company grew so much that at some point I had to quit completely and then the first sales started. In the meantime, several brands are already included, so we now have Tronature, for example, which will be a travel and adventure platform in which a lot of content is made available. I would like to network a lot with other companies, other start-ups and introduce us to each other. And then there are other products. So ShredRack is currently a pure product brand, so the roof rack is also called ShredRack, but there are also other products in the travel and sports sector, which then come either as a brand module or as a separate product / company or however we handle it will.

So with Tronature it is mainly travel and adventure products. These are carbon carabiners, for example, which are also made in Germany, there are also inflatable tents with the same technology as the roof rack. We are currently developing a poncho that doubles as a hammock. So lots of small, innovative things. At the same time I am working on other external projects that are indirectly related to us. For example, I’m also working on a lavine rescue system that I’m currently developing.

Gluce: What problems did you have with your product development?

Tobi: Unfortunately, the problems in product development are often that you exceed the time frame and thus the costs explode. You always do something new and you can never say at the beginning, in two years I will have finished developing this and that because there will definitely be stumbling blocks along the way. So you have unforeseen topics, then you don’t know what to do next, there is a lack of creativity, then there is more pressure, then there is even less creativity, then you have to break away and so on. Then again networks helps, good friends to talk about the topics, to exchange ideas, to get feedback and then you come up with new ideas or you have new contacts from suppliers who have different technologies or you find other ways. And above all, you have the chance to foresee a lot of errors in the early phase of product development, because if you say I am sloppy at the beginning, then costs arise later that I could have prevented. But the costs later are so much greater than if I had somehow thought of it beforehand and had done it wisely, or something like that you can imagine and this is how you can act against it.

Gluce: Final advice for your fellow inventors?

Tobi: Talk to the right people. Get the right partners. Doesn’t start on your own. These are my greatest learnings. At a startup you are faced with so many decisions that you have to make every day and the capacity to make decisions  will eventually be used up. That means you definitely have to divide up the areas. In today’s world it is much easier for us to launch products and to launch them on the market. But in the end: There are still enough challenges, they are just different than before. There is another way to get money. But there are challenges and they break your neck quickly. Out there in the world there are a lot of charlatans, a lot of people who put an incredible amount of marketing ahead of them, especially when it comes to their services, their agency business in the form of: “Now passively generate xy 1000 euros a month with us.” And so many dangerous offers so that I can just say: “Please keep a lot of distance from it! Acquire the knowledge yourself, briefly understand that you can then really hand over these task packages individually and in isolation to a partner, to a friend who helps you, so that you can start together, because in the end it is still a real business. 

Gluce: Where can you be reached and where can we find more about you?

Tobi: If you have any information or have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I have a personal website that is not always up-to-date, on which there are definitely a few projects that I’m currently involved in. I am mostly present on LinkedIn and Insta, but also have a YouTube channel and the company websites of ShredRack or Tronature, the travel platform. It will definitely be exciting what is going on and you are welcome to come over and ask questions and visit me. I look forward to the contact. Many thanks for the interview.

Links to Tobi and his companies:

Of course you can also buy his products, so visit his shop: Tronature

With the voucher code “ GLUCE_10 ” you can even save 10%.