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Kevin Spacey is a two-time Oscar winner and startup investor. In 2016, a year before his own life story ended his previously illustrious career, he spoke in Munich risks as an opportunity and the power of storytelling and virtual reality.

Born in New Jersey in 1959, Kevin Spacey grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs. He left the renowned Juilliard School without a job or prospects, later Jack Lemmon became his mentor. From 2003 to August 2015 he was Artistic Director of London's Old Vic Theatre. He supports the Democratic Party and is friends with Bill Clinton. He was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. As part of his “Kevin Spacey Foundation” founded in 2010, he is heavily involved in the Vocational Training and nurturing young talents in acting, as screenwriters, producers and directors. He also invests in start-ups in the field of virtual reality such as WoofbertVR or Wonder. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexism debate, Spacey was confronted with allegations of sexual harassment starting in October 2017. In the course of this, his career came to an abrupt end, among other things, Netflix ended their collaboration with him for his prime role as power-hungry politician Francis "Frank" Underwood in the television series House of Cards and director Ridley Scott had all scenes with Spacey cut out of his latest film. Against the background of these events, his positions on the opportunities and risks of entrepreneurship, which he spoke about at Bits and Pretzels, are of particular interest.

What significance does storytelling have?

Stories are what brings us together, touches and moves our hearts. A good story can make us closer together, a bad one.

There is no better way than to be Audience to reach: Take Starbucks for example: Actually, the coffee is only worth one dollar, but with the story behind it, people are willing to pay four dollars. What makes the difference? Is it really the better coffee? I doubt it. It's the story that does it Company tells.

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And each of us has stories to tell - on stage, on TV, around the campfire, on Snapchat, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix - and even on Pornhub. Time could not be more exciting than it is today - because there are so many new tools and techniques to tell stories alive. The only question is: who listens?

What is the story of Kevin Spacey?

I was 13 when I met Jack Lemmon as part of a high school theater class that taught me talent as an actor. Years later, with 25, I was studying acting in New York City - and wanted to get a role on Broadway as Jack Lemmons son. My God, how stubborn I've been trying to get an audition for 8 weeks.

Eventually coincidence helped me: the director of the play, Jonathan Miller, held one Lecture – and I sat down in the audience with him Objective to intercept him. Next to me sat a chic, older lady from the Upper East Side, pearls and a Chanel handbag, very wealthy - and she had fallen asleep during the lecture.

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But an invitation to a cocktail party with Jonathan Miller that evening stuck out of the open handbag. Angels and devils were now fighting on my shoulders. “You can't do that,” says the angel. But the devil was more persistent: "Come on, she's tired, she probably won't even go there yet," he whispered. Finally I took the invitation out of my purse, put it on my jacket and changed seats. At the cocktail party, I talked Miller for a really long time to let me audition - and got the role. I don't want to encourage theft, of course, but it made Jack Lemmon my friend and mentor - and as an actor that role was my breakthrough.

A look into the future - are the opportunities or the risks outweighing?

The World is changing rapidly and is no longer linear: Remember, just a few years ago Netflix was still shipping DVDs in the mail. Imagine that: DVDs in the mail! Pretty soon, that will sound just as weird as "I sent you a tape of the carrier pigeon."

If you wanted to watch something on TV in 2009, you watched the program and then waited for the show to come on. It's unimaginable today: You zapped through the entire channel with the remote control and then consumed it, including advertising. Or you taped the show to watch later. Do you remember? That's how it's been since the beginning of the TV age - until today. Nobody has this System challenged. From day one on the set of House of Cards, we had discussions with Netflix about how to release the series in a way no one had done before. Netflix has messed up the TV convention in a big way.

What does this mean for companies?

The viewer wants Control and watch TV shows when and how he wants. If people want to watch Netflix series after weekend over the weekend, then we should let them do it. Let the people binge! In principle, binge-watching is nothing new. We've consumed content this way since the invention of the Gutenberg press - books like "Gulliver's Travels" or "50 Shades of Grey".

I think the movie industry has learned a lesson that the music industry hasn't: give it People what they want. when you want it. In the form you want it. And at a reasonable price. Then there is a greater likelihood that people will pay for the content instead of stealing it.

Keyword Virtual Reality - what does that mean for storytelling?

Virtual reality will be a powerful empathy machine for telling stories and interacting 1-to-1 with our audiences - and the entertainment industry is just the tip of the iceberg: just think of the numerous uses in medicine, engineering or in the Education.

Our lessons are essentially the same as they were hundreds of years ago - and this is where virtual reality will become a game changer. Think about it: Do you know someone else? Workplace, which has hardly changed at all since its existence? In principle, the classroom today looks exactly the same as it did 1000 years ago. A teacher, a blackboard and students writing in their notebooks. But what if we could give all students access to the best teachers in the world? What if we could use VR to transport students out of their boring classrooms and into an environment where they learn best? For example, at the bottom of an ocean where students are most effective Deselect can be taught about marine biology.

Chris Milk, a pioneer in VR, names these Technology a 'strong empathy machine'. And I think he's right. Nothing gives a person a better understanding of a world that is not theirs than living in it virtually. We will directly influence how other people think and feel by making their experiences directly tangible. Then you walk around with them ideas other people. What an idea.

What advice should entrepreneurs take?

Artists and entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they always take risks. Taking risks is worthwhile. Bet on the people who challenge the powerful and their standard.

Even if they call you crazy, laugh at you, accuse you of senseless deeds or call you a bad person: Don't be with him Status Quo satisfied, surprises and inspires your audience, takes you to a point where you never were. Fight mediocrity. Because it is those who take risks that are rewarded in the end.

Find out what's in the fuckin black box. And always send something back to the elevator from where you came from.

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