Too Many Hamburgers?

22. September 2010

  Date: 22-09-2010
 Source: THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
To visit China today as an American is to compare and to be compared. And from the very opening session of this year’s World Economic Forum here in Tianjin, our Chinese hosts did not hesitate to do some comparing. China’s CCTV aired a skit showing four children — one wearing the Chinese flag, another the American, another the Indian, and another the Brazilian — getting ready to run a race. Before they take off, the American child, “Anthony,” boasts that he will win “because I always win,” and he jumps out to a big lead. But soon Anthony doubles over with cramps. “Now is our chance to overtake him for the first time!” shouts the Chinese child. “What’s wrong with Anthony?” asks another. “He is overweight and flabby,” says another child. “He ate too many hamburgers.”

That is how they see us. Read the rest of this entry »


Muhammad Yunus: Social Business

12. May 2010

Das neue Buch von Muhammad Yunus ist vergangene Woche erschienen:

Social Businesses werfen Nutzen statt Gewinn ab – Das von Friedensnobelpreis-träger Yunus vorgelebte Wirtschaftskonzept fasst auch in Österreich Fuß

Verkehrte Welt im wirtschaftlichen Denken: Oberste Priorität hat der Nutzen für die Menschen, nicht – wie gewohnt – der Profit. Diese Idee greifen Social Businesses auf. Maßgeblich entwickelt hat dieses Wirtschaftskonzept Friedensnobelpreisträger Muhammad Yunus. Es ist ein Geschäftsmodell, das auf die innovative Lösung sozialer Probleme mit unternehmerischen Mitteln abzielt – und das langfristig. In Österreich gibt es ein paar große Vorreiter, die zeigen wie es funktionieren kann und eine neu eröffnete Plattform bietet Raum für kleinere Unternehmen. Read the rest of this entry »


McKinsey conversations with global leaders: John Chambers of Cisco

19. August 2009

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The CEO and chairman of Cisco Systems explores approaches to decentralized management and leadership and also offers perspective on the future of Web technology and the opportunity that an economic downturn provides for strategically minded companies.

Full video and transcript


Why It’s Smart To Be Optimistic

16. August 2009

aus der aktuellen Business Week:

Sure, it has been a harrowing storm. And now is no time to discount the dangers that still exist. But opening your mind to optimism can help you seize the opportunities ahead

By Peter Coy

The U.S. economy is in such bad shape that the loss of (just) a quarter-million jobs in July was greeted as good news. Long-term unemployment and foreclosures continue to mount in the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Health-care costs are out of control. An aging population around the globe is driving government spending through the roof. And scientists say we need an expensive crash program to fight global warming or we’ll incinerate ourselves. It’s little wonder that despite some positive news lately, the daily Gallup Poll on U.S. economic conditions as of Aug. 11 found that 53% of Americans think the U.S. economic outlook is getting worse (yes, even worse), vs. 42% who think it is getting better.

But before you assume a purely defensive posture—knees pulled to chest, hands on head—remember this: Just as people become overly exuberant in good times, they tend to get too pessimistic in bad times. While the economy remains deep in a hole, and could indeed get worse, the truth is that nobody really knows what will happen next. Prudence demands that you prepare yourself for all possible outcomes, including some highly positive ones. Read the rest of this entry »


Radical Paradigm Shifts

22. July 2009

This great cartoon was posted on Facebook yesterday – creator unknown. Something to laugh and seriously reflect about.

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Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen

20. June 2009

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Hans Rosling, doctor, researcher and global health professor, is looking at some of the world’s most important statistics in a very exciting way.


The New New Economy: More Startups, Fewer Giants, Infinite Opportunity

27. May 2009

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So now, in the graveyard of giants, it’s worth asking: Was Malone right? Was his age of nimble mammals simply delayed by the final march of corporate dinosaurs into the tar pits?

This crisis is not just the trough of a cycle but the end of an era. We will come out not just wiser but different.

Read the full article by Chris Anderson, Wired’s editor in chief.


Facebook, MySpace, Twitter & Co – Trenderscheinung oder Revolution – auch in der Businesswelt?

10. February 2009
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Snapshot 1:

“Carrotmob is a network of consumers who buy products in order to reward businesses who are making the most socially responsible decisions. In a boycott, everyone loses. In a Carrotmob, everyone wins.

(Quote: http://www.bestfriendsforlife.net)

In San Francisco breitet sich ein neues Phänomen aus. Basierend auf Social Networks und Web 2.0 organisieren sich Hauseigentümer als Aktivisten für “Green Energy Campaigns” in Form von “Buying Clubs”. Unter dem Community Brand “One Block Off the Grid”, 1BOG.org, wird beispielsweise versucht, Wohnblock für Wohnblock auf Solarenergie umzustellen. Mitglieder der Community erhalten Rabatte auf Solar Panels, die durch die Community ausgehandelt wurden. Andere Aktivisten stürmen organisiert Shops, die als Gewinner einer Wahl zum umweltfreundlichsten Geschäft ermittelt wurden (Watch Video).

Virgance, das Unternehmen, das hinter diesen Kampagnen steht, orientiert seine Erfolgsstratgie an der Art und Weise, wie Obama Barack während der Wahl zum US-Präsidenten seine Aktivisten motiviert hat: Man nehme ein Netzwerk an begeisterten Freiwilligen (“boots on the ground”), eine “activism presence in Facebook”, ein Team von bezahlten Bloggern, die die Kampagne promoten und trendige YouTube Videos die im Schneeballsystem verbreitet werden – fertig ist die “Campaign 2.0”, die klassiche Kampagnen schnell alt aussehen lässt. Geschindigkeit und Anzahl der Stimmen sind matchentscheidend – das ist nichts Neues, in der Form aber schon.

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Snapshot 2:

Im Herbst 2008 trennten sich Virgin Atlantic und British Airways von mehreren MitarbeiterInnen, welche sich über Sicherheitsmängel in den eigenen Reihen lustig machten, sich über Passagiere oder ihren Job beschwerten und dabei Facebook und Twitter als Kommunikationskanäle für ihre Meldungen nutzen. Aufgrund der Skalierungseffekte von Web 2.0-Tools in der Kommunikation, eine Meldung erreicht in Sekunden tausende Empfänger und kann sich dann blitzschnell weiter ausbreiten, sehen sich Unternehmen mit einer neuen Bedrohung konfrontiert. Geschwindigkeit und Anzahl der Stimmen können wiederum machentscheidend sein. Im Falle der beiden Fluglinien erfuhr die Corporate Communication Verantwortung erst selbst aus den Medien. Kommunikationsexperten raten dazu, Online Communication Guidelines für Mitarbeiter zu überarbeiten und Aktivitäten in Social Networks selbst stärker zu überwachen um nicht dann reagieren zu müssen, wenn der Schaden schon ins Unermäßliche gestiegen ist.

Stellen Facebook, MySpace, Twitter & Co eine Gefahr für traditionell organiserte Unternehmen dar? Sind junge, Net-Gener-Unternehmen mit ihren disruptive Business Models und Arbeitsweisen schon im Rückspiegel, bereits auf der Überholspur oder sogar schon wieder beim Einordnen?

Sind Facebook, MySpace, Twitter & Co nur kurzfristige Trenderscheinungen und werden sie die nächsten Jahre selber überleben?

Wie kann man Social Networks als Chance für das eigene Unternehmen nutzen? Welche Erfahrungen haben Sie gemacht?

Diskutieren Sie mit uns Ihre Gedanken und Erfahrungen!

Posted by Bernhard Hoetzl


And the winners were…

8. December 2008

The economist, a business publication, recognises successful innovators through a yearly innovation award in eight categories. Here are this year’s winners:

  • Bioscience: Martin Evens, director of the school of biosciences and professor of mammalian genetics at Cardiff University, for his work in stem-call research and the development of “knockout” mice.
  • Business Process: Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia for the promotion of online public collaboration as means of content development.
  • Computing and Telecommunications: Matti Makkonen for the development of Short Message Service (SMS), or text messaging.
  • Consumer Products and Services: Steve Chen and Chad Hurley of YouTube for creating an easy way to share video.
  • Energy and Environment: Arthur Rosenfeld for his promotion of energy efficiency.
  • No Boundaries: Sumio Iijima for the discovery of carbon nanotubes.
  • Social and Economic Innovation: Bill Gates and Melinda Gates for developing of a philanthropic support platform.
  • Corporate Innovation: Nokia for its ability to respond tp social and technological trends while maintaining its position as the world’s largest handset-maker.

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Mr Wikipedia, Source: economist.com

Congratulations!

By Bernhard Hoetzl


Killer Startup: mygazines.com

20. August 2008

1 month in (beta-)operations – 16.000 users!

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Mygazines is a site that allows you to browse through, collect, and personalize all of the magazine articles that interest you. The site is based on uploaded magazine articles, brochures, and pamphlets done by its users, and makes it possible for the community to check them out with a whole bunch of options. Magazines can be viewed in their entirety, or searched and read based on specific articles. When users find articles that they want to hold on to for later, they can save them, bookmark them, share them, or store them for later use. Once articles have been selected, a mygazine can be created, which is basically a magazine including all of your chosen articles organized according to your design. You could search for or upload various nutrition articles and recipes and then create a mygazine with all of those tidbits organized and browsable, so that you don’t have to go sorting through each different publication later on. When viewing the articles from the site, you can flip through the pages as if you were reading and checking out an actual physical publication. The difference is that this version doesn’t waste paper, can be tagged and saved without taking up space or wasting time, and can work as a scrapbook of sorts for all of your favorite articles.

Source: http://www.killerstartups.com/User-Gen-Content/mygazines-com-uploadsharearchive

Some thoughts:

  • Are we experiencing a digital déjà-vu from the music business?
  • Should information be free – at all?
  • Are illegal sites such as mygazines.com stealing intellectual property and about to kill an entire industry?
  • Will the iTunes business model work in the same way as it did in the music industry?
  • Are we looking at the future of journalism?

Legal competitors such as http://www.digi-zines.com, another online digital magazine aggregator, who also try to grasp the enormous user benefit, seem not to provide the same value of content.

Starting at step 1: the production of the content of a magazine, book, or newspaper is not possible without costs. If those costs will not be covered, this will have an impact on the production of the content. But before publisher associations and big media companies start suing mygazines.com, which provides a fantastic technical solution on meeting a clear user demand, they should reconsider their actions and rather ask whether premium content, even if production costs are involved, could not be for free? Will people really stop to buy and read paper magazines if they can access the content online for free? Or will even more users get in contact with magazines they never had a chance to buy in the store next door? Just think about the Austrian snowboarder being able to read Australian surfer’s magazines? Some time ago I read an interesting case about online publishing a book: for all kind of network, community and behavioral reasons – the sales of the paperback version increased after it was completely downloadable online.

I think the clash of old economy and new online business models will continue in different industries and there is only one way out of it:

1. Start re-inventing your business before others do!

2. Consider the opportunities of the online world rather than the threats!

Magazines should improve the quality of their online portals. Publications such as the Economist, a weekly business magazine, add value to their content which makes it worthwhile to pay for a subscriptions – and harder to copy the model. For example, I regularly download the complete read out mp3 articles onto my iPhone for later audio listening.

Further, publishers should consider the impact on sales if they find smart ways to provide content to a global rather than a local community, i.e. they could find other ways of making revenue such as cross-financing and advertising to cover production costs of content, their are even very successful in the real newspaper world – just consider all those daily free subway and train-station newspapers.

It will be interesting to watch if the industry has learned from the music business – in any way “when the wind of change is blowing, you can build walls or – windmills!” (old chinese saying).

By Bernhard Hoetzl