Digital Proust Questionnaire #2: Gerhard Handler

Author: Thomas Halter

Emakina Group has rapidly grown in recent years, in part thanks to our managing directors leading the way. But who are these MDs, besides leaders in digital, creative and business growth? Let’s sneak a peak inside their heads with this new series: Emakina’s Digital Proust questionnaires!

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlour game popularised (though not devised) by Marcel Proust. The French essayist and novelist believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. This is an adapted basic Proust Questionnaire for the digital age.

Chairman of the board of directors at Emakina Central & Eastern Europe, Gerhard Handler was CEO of diamond:dogs group for almost 17 years. The company, based in Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich and Zagreb, joined the Emakina family in late 2015 – a new challenge for a man whose idea of happiness is moving forward and who hates being bored. His inspirations are varied to say the least, ranging from French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to controversial pop singer Miley Cyrus.

Gerhard Handler was CEO of diamond:dogs group for almost 17 years before the company joined the Emakina family.

1. What is your idea of happiness?

Moving forward.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Being bored.

3. Which historical figure do you most admire?

Napoléon Bonaparte.

4. Which living person do you most admire?

Miley Cyrus. WTF…

WTF indeed…

5. Who is your favourite writer?

Rainer Maria Rilke, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Max Perutz, Léo Malet, Umberto Eco, François Villon, Franz Kafka, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Brel, Karl Kraus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Frank Wedekind, Roberto Bolaño, Milan Kundera, Jean Anouilh, Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Beckett, Robert Musil, Philip Roth, Michel Houellebecq…

6. Who is your favourite fictional character?


7. What part of the digital media industry makes you happy?


8. What part of the digital media industry makes you unhappy?


9. Who inspired you the most during your career?

David Bowie.

10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having survived my 30th birthday.

11. What tech company do you wish you had started?


12. What digital project would you have loved to be a part of?

The invention of Microsoft PowerPoint.

13. What is your favourite digital app or tool?

14. What digital app or tool that does not exist would you like to create?


15. Which trait are you the proudest of in yourself?


16. Which trait do you most admire in others?


17. What is the trait you most dislike in others?


18. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?


“Also known as: this guy.”

19. What is your most treasured possession, and why?

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions. (Anthony J. D’Angelo)

20. What is your motto?

‘Gird thee for the high endeavor;
Shun the crowd’s ignoble ease!
Fails the spirit never,
Wise to think, and prompt to seize.’

(Goethe, Faust II)

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