Monthly Archives: May 2006

Forum Kiedrich: Seminar on Creativity Techniques

 
Today I attended another instructive seminar, hosted by Forum Kiedrich: Creativity Techniques taught by Prof. Dr. Horst Geschka.
 
Though most of the participants were already familiar with the concepts of brainstorming etc., it was nevertheless interesting to have the chance to compare the suitability of several "techniques" on different real world (from the participants’ companies) case studies side-by-side and therefore to learn which method to use on which occasion.
 

Additional Insight:  The traditionally reserved and tidy-minded locals clearly prefer the less emotionally loaded ‘writing’ methods over the more vibrant concepts, that live by their goup dynamics.
 

In spite of that, I personally always used to prefer the productivity of that typical creative chaos during brainstormings.
 

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Wolfsburg: New Location for SemaWorx ?

Update: No, we finally decided not to go there, as Wolfburg AG had to step back from their initial proposals, due to consequences from current financial constraints at Volkswagen.
 
Yesterday I followed an invitation to Wolfsburg: a pretty far way to go from here, especially if you miss the connection train at Hannover… :-|
 
The visit was hosted by Wolfsburg AG, a Public Private Partnership of Volkswagen AG and the city of Wolfsburg (which is where VW‘s headquarters are in Germany).
 
Since their initiatives to improve the regional economic structure include establishing (not too) automobile-reliant industry in that area.
 
SemaWorx applied last Febrary, as we are looking for some affordable office-space (at Mainz it’s been rather expensive for years…) as well as reliable network to spread the news about SemaWorx technology and foster new collaborations with other companies.
   Within the almost four hours I spent there, I was given the oppotunity to discuss the SemaWorx business model with two of their business developers, as well as enjoying a tour across their facilities and having a look at the rather beautiful offices we are offered to rent at very reasonable conditions.
 

Finally I was invited for a meal at their canteen, however I skipped the (in)famous VW-Curry-Sausage and stayed with some of the other offerings and a big plate of Antipasti.
 

My overall impression ?
 

Tremendously positive. Absolutely worth more than a consideration.
 

If it just wasn’t these 400 km in between from here… I’ll provide you with updates on our decision process.
 
 

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Back from Zaragoza

 
I savely arrived home from almost one week in Zaragoza where I attended the Innovate!Europe ’06 conference. It was an awesome experience.
 

To get so many smart people come to one place at a given point of time may be something, that only Chris Shipley (the conference’s executive producer) whith her huge reputation from more than 11 years of organzing the DEMO can do.
   And I did not meet a single conference attendee, not confidently stating that he or she intends to come back next year.
 

The organizers luckily allowed me to skip the staged presentation, since I really did not want to bore the highly sophisticated audience with a slideshow and early prototypes of a concept, while the other innovators mostly had at least nearly finished products.
 

In spite of that, both potential customers and investors, intersted in helping us pushing this project forward, visited me at our innovator station; I’ll keep you updated on what is coming out of these contacts.
 

Another amazing opportunity was last Tuesday’s networking-dinner: Not only we had very delightful conversations at our table (or at least half of it, as the other half did not speak any English, and therefore let the someone tell me, I was a ‘nice guy’, though clearly required to learn some Spanish before even thinking of attending next year’s conference…), but I also had not eaten such great mediterranean food for years !
   And you know, I’m quite demanding when it comes to finding a place to have really high quality food. ;-)
 

For any details on the conference itself, I highly recommend you reading the conference blog.
 

Furthermore: Do you know where the progress lives in Europe ?  Come to Zaragoza. It’s not just the ZH2O, the Expo 2008, that throws its shadows on all the refurbishing of public buildings etc., but the comparably young population of this old city, with its loads of small businesses, gives it this vibrant and lively image.
   You can also get free Wi-fi at literally every corner !  So if you haven’t been there yet: It’s just an affordable two-hour direct flight from Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
 

I can’t wait to get there again — though I may have to hold back myself until next year’s conference…
 
 

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Top lies venture capitalists would like to hear from a start-up company

Inspired by Guy Kawasaki’s “Top Ten Lies…” lists, I finally decided to start one myself (not sure if I can ever get to ten items on this list) about what investment experts I recently talked to obviously wanted to hear from me or tried to push me into:

  1. There are many other companies building a product like ours (proving there is a BIG reliable market), but all the people come to buy it solely from us at our special high-priced website or ‘shop-in-shop’ outlet.
     
  2. I’m in the internet-business, but our company doesn’t compete with Microsoft or Google.
     
  3. Q: Aren’t you afraid, your customers might buy their stuff on eBay instead from your Website ?
       Expected A: No, our company is so small, you just cannot compare us to eBay.
     
  4. There isn’t such thing as a long tail — to make real money on the web, we just need to deal with a fistfull of big customers.
     
  5. Yes, we have big German clients, but the finished software product is cheaply delivered to us from Hungary at practially no cost.

 

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