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Introducing: Josef Hofstätter

Published on 26. April 2023
PATCHBOX CEO - Josef Hofstätter

Hi Josef. It’s a pleasure to interview you today! Could you please let our readers know who you are?

Hi, I am Josef or “Sepp”, an Austrian Nickname for Josef, and I am one of the two founders of PATCHBOX.

When Alex reached out to you about launching PATCHBOX what did you think?

When Alex told me about the idea of the PATCHBOX, I was just in my studies of Agriculture, and I had no clue what he was talking about. However, one year after he proposed his idea, I thought back, and together we went to a place called happylab. There we started prototyping together, and it all got kicked off.

Can you describe your average work day at PATCHBOX?

I honestly cannot say that there was something like an average day for me at PATCHBOX ever since. Every workday is different. Not even the place where I work stays the same. For example, I write these sentences from a remote working week in Fuerteventura. Hmmm … but maybe what remains the same is that everything tends to change and evolve, which I really enjoy.

If you look back to your first day at PATCHBOX – what changed most?

Back then, it was the two of us – Alex and I – now we have a passionate team with us!

What was the most challenging task back then for you as a young founder? And which one the most beautiful?

In the first years, the most challenging task was to plan the business financially while having a high risk of failing with substantial economic consequences in the back of the head. The most beautiful task was the prototyping.

In the last 8 years a lot of companies installed the PATCHBOX. Can you remember the first big deal?

The first big deal I felt was a project of an Austrian gambling company equipping their branches with PATCHBOX. The next big one was Decathlon starting the rollout of PATCHBOX in their stores in Germany.

Looking back, what are you most proud of?

We have dedicated team members that stay with us when the sun does not shine for some time and always help us get back to where it’s sunny.

Which IT trends or trends will become relevant for PATCHBOX in the next years?

The lack of skilled IT professionals will continue to grow as more and more services and products become digital. This is where PATCHBOX comes into place. We significantly reduced the time needed for working on network cabinets. This way, IT professionals can spend more time on other challenges than fighting with tangled patch cables.

What will be the biggest challenge(s) at PATCHBOX in the next years?

We have ambitious growth plans. This means we need to grow our team. The challenge will be to find the right people who are fast learners with positive attitudes towards challenges. Overall, find people who believe a challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. (You think you would be a great addition to our team? Click here to join us!)

Now to get on to some easier questions and fun facts about you:

I know you like windsurfing & wing foiling. How did you get into that sport?

I have wanted to learn surfing ever since I was a child. In my early 30’s, I finally went for some surf courses. It was fun, but I soon realized that I needed to spend way more time on the sea if I wanted to reach a certain level. But in combination with founding a company, there come some time limitations. Some friends of mine, however, always were into windsurfing and kitesurfing. And as there is a good lake for those sports just one hour away from Vienna, I tried windsurfing and enjoyed it a lot. Especially when you are in open water, you have to focus only on what you are doing at that moment and nothing else. The next evolution is now wing foiling – instead of me explaining it, you should check out some videos on YouTube 😉

You are a very active person. Are you more of a daredevil and go for it or are more of a calculated risk taker?

A calculated risk taker when it comes to business. A bit more on the daredevil side regarding sports – sometimes the brain also needs a break.

What is the first thing you do when you get into the office?

Preparing tea while starting with the tasks that require a fresh mind.

What topic could you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?

Different types of camping vans and their advantages and disadvantages.

And now to end everything on a high note:

What would your ultimate dream house look like?

I believe there is no “ultimate” dream house for me. I even prefer to have the flexibility of a rented flat. Hmmm, but a dream house … should have a lot of light, natural materials and a brilliant view.

If you could make any activity an Olympic discipline. Which one would you have the best chance of winning a medal in?

At almost 40, winning an Olympic discipline will be challenging, but I would try Nordic Skiing. I believe you need a lot of persistence for this sport, which I think I have. And even more important – it is fun.

What was your best holiday experience?

Definitely, Surfing and Camping in Fuerteventura.

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