Blowin' his horn: Software board member busts out trumpet to make good on bet

Greg Kahn/Staff
Erwin Staudt, right, a board member with USU Software, the third-largest IT company in Germany, plays Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World on the trumpet at the Naples Pier in front of USU management and board members during sunset Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Staudt, the former CEO of IBM-Germany, said in 2008 that there was no way the company would double its goals in revenue and earnings by 2012. He said if they did, he would play the trumpet on the Naples Pier at Sunset.

Photo by GREG KAHN // Buy this photo

Greg Kahn/Staff Erwin Staudt, right, a board member with USU Software, the third-largest IT company in Germany, plays Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World on the trumpet at the Naples Pier in front of USU management and board members during sunset Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Staudt, the former CEO of IBM-Germany, said in 2008 that there was no way the company would double its goals in revenue and earnings by 2012. He said if they did, he would play the trumpet on the Naples Pier at Sunset.

Erwin Staudt didn't believe four years ago that he'd have to blow his own horn at sunset on Naples Pier.

But Staudt — a board member at USU Software in Stuttgart, Germany — lost a bet and paid up musically Tuesday night by belting out Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" on his pocket trumpet.

Staudt told USU Software executives four years ago the company wouldn't reach its goal in 2011. But it did, posting about $12 million in earnings and about $70 million in revenue, all in U.S. dollars.

"I did not believe in their ability to reach this goal, so I have to play on my trumpet on the Pier," Staudt said earlier Tuesday.

Staudt and other USU Software executives are attending their annual management summit this week in Naples at the Bellasera Hotel, 221 U.S. 41 N. Part of their reason to visit Naples was to celebrate the company's success, but also to see Staudt make good on the friendly wager.

Naples was probably chosen because USU Software chairman of the board, Udo Strehl, owns a house at Kensington Golf and Country Club in Collier County. USU Software is the third largest information technology company in Germany.

Benjamin Strehl — the head of USU Software's business development — remembered the meeting four years ago when Staudt cast doubt on the goal.

"He said, 'There's no way you can do that,'" Strehl recalled.

Staudt said his questioning of the company goal was sincere.

"I wanted to inspire them, but I always wanted to express my doubts," he said of the bet at the time.

As for breaking out his horn, Staudt said he hasn't played in 15 years but was in a jazz band in Germany for 25 years.

"Absolutely, I know the song," he said of "What A Wonderful World."

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features