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.
Rise and shine, early birds! Michael and I kicked off September with yet another early visit to the Social Media Gipfel, the Zurich meetup of Marketing and Social Media experts. For the fifth installment, it was all about Monitoring.
Oriana applies the pro tool Buzz by Meltwater for checking out what people are saying about Postfinance on the Web. However, currently, she is only listening and not (yet) engaging in a conversation with Postfinance customers. Buzz itself looks interesting, but comes at a hefty price of 10,000 (Swiss Francs, I suppose, about 9,840 USD) per licence per year, so it is probably out of a boot-strapped Start-Up's league.
It seemed that there is no grand strategy behind what Oriana is doing and she seems to put quite a lot of time into setting up the monitoring mechanisms and into the monitoring itself. It was especially interesting to note that even the biggest of Swiss institutions don't have a masterplan when it comes to the basic proceedings of Social Media business. However, we are of the opinion that merely listening can not be the ultima ratio, after all Marketing is a conversation about your product.
Markus goes even more basic: He mainly uses Google Alerts and Hoosuite for Social Media Monitoring on his company Ypsomed and product-related topics. Since this is basically how we do it here at Amazee (and I've done before with other companies), there was nothing much new here. But it seemed to strike a nerve with some of the other attendees (which only speaks for the diversity of the crowd).
The next Social Media Gipfel meeting will take place on November 3rd, you can sign up a couple of weeks ahead of the date on their own site. To ensure you are not missing out on anything, follow @smgzh on Twitter. And thanks again for Marcel and Peter for organizing! – Also, you can see the rest of Michael's pictures in his flickr account.
As you may know, Amazee is built on Drupal, and if Drupal has created something other CMS don't have, then it is a really awesome community.
Because of this there are the DrupalCons, where people can meet, discuss, learn about Drupal and so on. Right now the DrupalCon is taking place at Copenhagen, Denmark, so of course I need to be there!
After the first official sessions day I can only say: I'm impressed, the roughly 1,000 participants are great, the sessions very interesting and the parties in the evening awesome. The food today was mediocre, but there is always space for improvement! :)
As it is connected to me, when I'm attending an event, my camera is also with me, so I did some shots:
The DrupalCon will take two more days, stay tuned for updates!
Tonight we gathered for another UX Chuchi down at Zurich's lively Langstrasse. This time it was our friends from Gbanga to suffer the heat of merciless UX nagging and ego massaging (at least we didn't go wild this time). Below a little impression. Summary in a nutshell: Great game, but still much too much of everything.
Yesterday Switzerland's UX Book Club united on sunny Turbinenplatz to share thoughts on our latest read: Search Patterns by Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender. It's a short yet comprehensive guide into the gigantomanic subject of information retrieval and gives a good overview of the basic principles of search design: Autocomplete, autosuggest, federated search, faceted navigation, personalization, you name it. Even if you shouldn't be working in product development - Search Patterns is worth a read and a good eye-opener for one of the most disruptive innovations of our times - that obviously goes way beyond Google. If you're in a hurry: chapter 3 and 4 will do. If you're looking for inspiration, do the rest too.
Last night the 16th Web Monday Zurich took place at the local.ch offices overlooking Zurich's Bellevue square. Well over eighty attendees had signed up for the event, during which the host local.ch and the Zurich-based Cloud Computing firm Cloudsigma did presentations on their respective businesses.
While local.ch's CEO Alfonso gave some insights on the future business prospects of the official provider of phonebooks in Switzerland (it's not all, but mostly online, with a heavy focus on mobile devices and services), Patrick of CloudSigma held a crisp talk on their business model and products (Cloud Computing obviously still is one of the buzzwords in the Web Scene in 2010).
The evening was, as usual, kicked off and rounded off with a good deal of networking, catching up and gossiping about the latest from the Zurich and Swiss Web Scene. If you'd like to attend, present at or host the next Web Monday Zurich, feel free to join the group on Amazee or get in touch with Dania (who is admin of said group). And, as usual, our Michael took some pictures at the event.