Here's a little bit of French Swiss television news which features the swissnex conference Dania and Gregory attended yesterday (Greg already wrote about an interesting acquaintance earlier today). Dania was interviewed by the news team and the whole Gerhardt family can be seen in the first part of the report.
Yesterday Amazee Labs had the pleasure to be invited to present at the SwissnexDay 2010 in the Rolex Learning Centre, Lausanne.
The event was focused on the internationalization of Swiss higher education institutions and the role of swissnex network. It featured participants as prominent as our Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter.
Let me tell you about the most impressive acquaintance I made; the personified counterpart to our high speed, low-depth pancake generation:
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Urs Hochstrasser (the guy on the left), born 1926, retired professor for mathematics and physics at ETHZ and Uni Bern. He worked on projects and devices as broad as "Flutterspeed calculations on the P-16 jetfighter"...
..."calculations for nuclear reactors in the US" and, of most interest for our dear geek readers: the Z4 computer, the first programmable calculator in Switzerland - yes, this cupboard is probably the grand-grand-grandfather of the computer you're just reading this blog post on:
But that’s just the warm up; Urs Hochstrasser got a call to work for the Swiss confederation. In 1958 he became the first scientific counselor at the Swiss embassy in Washington D.C., then in 1961 he took up responsibility as delegate of the federal council for atomic energy. In this function he built the administrative apparatus for the use of nuclear energy and organized the federal support for the efforts of the Swiss industry to develop their proper nuclear technology (no, not nuclear weapons, Mr. Hug). Three federal councillors he served during that time: Spühler, Gnägi and Bonvin (Spühler being Hochstrasser's favorite).
Then came his next challenge as head of the 1969 newly created office of education and science in the federal department of the interior (the precursor of the state secretariat of education and research). Here he worked with the federal councillors Egli, Hürlimann, Tschudi and Cotti. Some of his main responsibilities: Administer the support for the cantonal universities, take care of the Swiss part of scientific international cooperation and implemention of the federal policy of research.
Next to Urs Hochstrasser's rich book of life I felt like a tweet.
Zurich is getting another boost on its way to becoming the preferred habitat for the European Web industry: Our city council has declared "eZurich" to be the focal point of the upcoming legislative period. A great move we think; and what a better start than kicking the whole thing off today with an eparticipative contest where all citizens are invited to contribute their ideas. Below some pictures from the opening event, just down the stairs at Technopark - lots of ties, few sneakers, no open WLAN but a promising opening speech that wasn't much longer than a tweet. Definitely a fine breeding ground for some digital ideas to sprout! Contribute your ideas over here.
And another premiere is over. As we regularly do, we went up to Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland once again in order to work on the future of our business. Only this time was the first time we did it under the Amazee Labs banner. So, naturally, two out of three days we talked agency biz, with the last one set aside for the Amazee platform.
Of course we can't say too much, other than this kind of regular getaway is still highly recommended from all of the team. Being out of the office and working focused on the present and future setup of our day-to-day work helps to regain a bird's-eye view and make more intelligent choices.
We have been brainstorming a lot, sorted out the bad ideas and are pretty confident that we are well-prepared for 2011, both as a Web Agency and a platform provider.
Below are a couple of pictures, some work, some play. Find all of them at flickr.
Politnetz was just in time with their latest release when the UX flock gathered half an hour later to scrutinize their latest user interface. Tough like always it was! The bottom line after two hours of niggling and naggling: Politnetz provides an enviably simple and good user experience; now get the ruble rolling to sustain a great Swiss Web project!
Today is all CEO day for me. The networking event for Tech entrepreneurs is organized by Switzerland's Technology Promotion Agency CTI and was kicked off by Chairman Christian Wenger. Christian warmed us up stressing the importance of an exit orientation. What makes you important for a potential buyer? What are the needs of a buyer? What's your market value? Counterintuitive for an entrepreneur who has just started his own business you might think. He has a point: Better exit (if you can) before you go out of air. However, not my philosophy: Rather replace exit with cashflow and you'll do fine.
Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier did a great job energizing us participants and off we went!
The first workshop I attended was Vendbridge's session on sales: Understand your client and start with a STRONG VALUE PROPOSITION i.e. is the perceived added value that a company/solution proposes (promises and delivers!) to customers summarized in a simple statement. For Amazee Labs this would be: "Community solutions that empower communication with stakeholders." Too abstract? Have a better value proposition for us? Let me know with a comment! The rest of the workshop goes like this: Once you got your value proposition right go tour client, create an exciting storyline, solve his pain and become rich :) Here are the slides
The second workshop was on Incentive Plans, presented by PWC: After a deep dive into phantom shares, the tricky details of share and option valuation, taxation and other mean subjects we learned what possible building blocks of a total compensation are: 1) Long term incentivation (LTI; e.g. shares, stock options), Bonus, Base Salary, Pensions and Social Security and last but not least Fringe Benefits (car, housing, cool team, allowances etc.). Below a view on the classic development phases of a compensation model. Here are the slides.
That's it for the moment. Off to some networking before Amazee Labs will dive into the afternoon's program with the venture leader ceremony and 1to1 meetings.
After a good lunch the steam train of ideas took off for the next two hours... what a speed, here we go...
Corsin Gwerder and Lukas Limacher demo their one-wheeled robot
Since this presentation just consisted of equations and formulas we'll spare you the text - what can be stated: This wheel robot worked in front of our eyes (and makes up to 3.5 m/s)! I just had this vision of me sitting in my armchair in 40 years, being served french fries and beer by one of these ballrobots!
Heike Bruch on Organization Energy
Heike gave an - of course - energizing preso on how to assess, mobilize and stop waisting the power of people. Basically four energy profiles can be differenciated: Low and negative = resigned intertia; high and negative = corrosive energy (e.g. strikes); low and positive = comfortable energy; high and positive = productive energy! Now, how mobilize high and positive energy? Dragon strategy: Bring back confidence to your people and make them fight (cp. ABB). Winning the princess strategy can be another way: Paint a wonderful picture of a fantastic opportunity. All starts with a spring clean out, however. In doing the princess or the dragon, most companies go to fast, however, creating a acceleration trap where people can't regenerate anymore and end up in a collective burnout. Peter Drucker coined it as follows: Take charge of your own energy and then orchestrate the energy of others.
Martin Werlen on listening to people from whom we expect nothing
Abbot Martin Werlen invitated us to listen to those from whom we expect nothing (unlikely agents referring to St. Benedict). An attitude of listening enables us to welcome strangers and find insights (benedicted people). That's why he likes Twitter (good laugh; follow him @AbtMartin) and always travels by train or hitchhikes.
Reto Ringger explains why he wants to build a sustainable bank
Between 1935 and 1980 the avarage holding period of a stock was 3-8 years. Today it's not even a year at the NYSE (Warren Buffett still holds his shares for 7-8 years, by the way). Reto calls for a re-orientation towards long-term perspectives. With the DJ Sustainability Index's overperformance against benchmark MSCI World, Reto could show that sustainability pays in $ - next to that fact they could affect corporations looking to increase shareholder value. His next project is a sustainable bank where clients will not only know about their profit but also about their financial footprint.
Bruno Giussani on the idea of TED
Ideas meet and mate! Ideas are sex! What a start into presentation! According to TED's European Director Bruno Giussani TED is the global platform for ideas to spread - a live show so to say where ideas of all languages, geographical origins, cultures can have intercourse. A fruitful mix indeed, and there's more to come. Self-celebration allowed - never under-estimate the power of human story-telling! Go TED, go!
That's it for me today, so many great ideas indeed. I need to digest and want to get back to work. Thanks to all sponsors and organizers for this good day! For all of you readers interested in more, go here. For more pictures over here.
Today the Amazee Labs team took some time off to join TEDxZurich, the conference for ideas worth spreading. The event was worth every minute and next to a series of inspiring presentations we enjoyed the opportunity for some high-density networking.
The WWF chapter of Switzerland today calls for a national climate-friendly lunch day ("nationaler Klima-Zmittag"). The reason behind this call for action is the fact that starting with the way we eat we can help to reduce our personal carbon footprint.
This of course mainly goes for not eating meat, since meat-production is also puffing out a lot of CO2. (It is basically the reason why I have almost completely stopped to eat meat.) But also by buying regional foods one can help to reduce carbon emissions.
If you are out for lunch this noon, try and be on the local for fresh, local and seasonal foods like fruit and salad. Switzerland already has quite high standards, at least in their two main supermarket chains, Migros and Coop, when it comes to organic food. And they also offer regional produce, so participating in the national "Klima-Zmittag" shouldn't be much of a problem!
This is a blog entry by Ana, who is part of our science team.
Andreas Ladner of the IDHEAP institute presenting.
“Amazee science” is on tour again. This time I'm visiting the third International eParticipation Conference ePart2010 in Lausanne. Host of the great event is the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration IDHEAP.
The conference is dedicated to topics like e-participation and e-democracy for e-participation researchers and practitioners. The program looks very promising and I really had some difficulties to decide which presentations to see. During the sessions I visited so far, a lot of interesting discussions evolved about online deliberation, the visualization of arguments and also a lot of promising new projects were presented.
During yesterdays last session I presented Amazee science's latest results on the topic "Impact of Web 2.0 on e-Participation". I was a bit nervous to speak in front of an international research community but everything went well and the audience gave some very good inputs.
In the evening we all went for the social dinner at the Olympic Museum where the Mayor of Lausanne held a little speech and the most outstanding papers were awarded.