Forecasting the Internet of Things and IoT start-ups to watch

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The forecasts sound almost incredible. Gartner estimates that Internet of Things (IoT) products and services suppling companies will generate incremental revenue of over $300 billion by 2020.

The analyst company IDC sees the worldwide market for IoT solutions to grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.

Brands like the electric company GE predict the Industrial 4.0″ will add somewhat between $10 to $15 trillion to the overall global GDP over the coming 20 years.

Samsung will invest more than $100 million for IoT startups that will help the technology manufacturer establish new ecosystem for connected devices.

The Internet of Things is at an all-time high until today. Companies want to connect consumer devices, appliances, and services in order to connect their services with devices and then generate some smart data to leverage their value chain.

Interestingly enough Google owns some of the most promising IoT companies (Nest and Dropcam) already which will make some people look sceptic how the search giant will move more and more into their lives.

Smart devices are definitely the big trend for 2015. Whether it will be Jawbone though. After testing the wristband and it’s usability, I am not quite sure if this will be the way into the future. The car industry seems to be catching up though with their smart watches replacing keys and other driver necessities.

Even the whisky industry works with smart bottles now telling us how old the whisky really is, according to Venturebeat.

The guys at WRIKE just recently pulled together the 11 most ambitious IoT start-up companies should have an eye on. Furthermore, they added to their infographic three established brands which they think will have their big breakthrough in 2015.

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The virtual office – Good reasons why your business may start here.

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Share Word on Round Button - GenerosityIn days of Facebook, AirBnB, Tumblr & others, when new business models and start-ups spread all over the world, some marketing freelancers might think about the option to appear big. Or shall I say for some interim period of establishing a business, these people might want to look bigger than some decision-makers might imagine? Whatever their driver might be. When starting a business, marketing consultants have got the challenge to look professional all over their brand. An address in the right context location seemed to be a must-have. It’s all about the brand, right? However today, the overarching value of a new business brand might have changed. What was a shiny office address in the middle of town in the year 2000, isn’t important any more (and maybe never was). There are new and probably better options that virtual offices can offer.

Thinking back around millenium days, when we launched a start-up with some good business partners, the venture capitalists would have loved the option of a virtual business. The resons were obvious: The business model puts a foot on the „valid business reasons'“ groud instantly. Operationals can start immediately. Being first to market, cannot be taken away from you. „Land and expand“ is the option. All set. In 2000 this sounded like a dream for founders and their investors. Our company’s rental costs were the biggest liability we had those days (also when we bought the business and sold some years later). We couldn’t just leave and sign off our contracts. The landlord was clever enough to keep us in our rooms for at least six more months. The virtual office is much more flexible and usually offering shorter termination periods.

Talking about liabilities, you might also think about getting a secretary? Another cost topic. Virtual offices have got their own secretaries who will look after your business. Calls, postage, or even emails if you may want to leave it to them: all sorted out by them. Whether it is PR requests, marketing topics, sales inquieries or any other service related business, the virtual assistant is giving clients and business contacts what they are asking for (if you brief them properly). No overhead business. No extraordinary employee costs. If it is your own staff, you have to find replacement for them on days of illness or family issues. In virtual offices, the service is available 24/7/365. These days, you do not necessarily have to pay for health treatment if someone is ill. And speaking frankly, this harms your business in the start-up business three-fold: cost-wise, additional workload and underpaid founders doing processes and projects they should not be looking after in the start-up period.

Later, when I started some other consulting business, I used a virtual office place to start the business. The benefits were quite interesting then:
a) Pay-per-stay. When I was in London for business, my virtual office would have been fantastic. Why do you always have to commute around London and waste expense budgets, when from time to time you can just have gotten people to commute to you?
b) Pay-per-use. When clients came to visit, I did one phone call to the virtual office desk and paid for hourly use. That was really handy. Do I need to „own“ (and pay) a meeting-room that is unused for 35 out of 40 hours a week?
c) Pay-per-need. When I needed a desk, I paid for a shared desk. If I wanted to stay at home, I just told the office desk the day before. Do I need to rent a place where „my“ desk stands and is waiting for me too many days in a month? Traveling is the key to starting a good business. Meet as many people as you think is necessary.
d) Pay-per-inspiration. When I needed business exchange, new innovative approaches or even looked for some new networking opportunities, there were people from many industries to talk to at the coffee lounge in the virtual office. On a good talk, I paid for the coffee. No cheaper way to get consulting. And: Who goes a floor down in his office, just to meet someone as they are tenants like you are in order to speak about business?

Spot On!
There are valid business reasons to use a virtual office company when you start a business. When the business grows and you have got paperwork to store, you might think about using a bigger version of the virtual office components and features. Still, the reason for renting an office in days of cloud computing, bigger WIFI access and coffee bars in virtual offices is becoming smaller and smaller. And even, if your business grows, there are many ways to leverage the virtual office s long as you act in start-up mode.

dmexco 2014 – Flashback in Quotes & Discussions

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dmexco 2014 Debate HallThe growth trend of the digital marketing show dmexco is impressive and continues to write a promising (hi)story.

Visitors: 31.900 – increase by 16% compared to 2013
Exhibitors: 807 – means over 65 exhibitors more than 2013
Speakers: 470 – as of various stages with new start-up village and work labs

This year I wanted to wait some days before I am writing my little review to see what really stayed in my mind, and what people were talking about after the event. This is what stayed in the brains of my friends – maybe it should reach you.

1. „dmexco is like the Lumascape brought to life.“
#Quote in Breaking Down Silos for Brands Panel
Damian Burns, Director of Global Strategic Partnerships, Google

2. „Nerd is the new black“
Brad Rencher, SVP & General Manager Digital Marketing, Adobe

3. „Online is the new offline.“
Quote by Joko Winterscheidt, TV-Moderator

4. „The play is to work out the first against the second screen.“
Quote in „Addressable TV – A Marketers‘ Dream Panel“
Jim Clayton, Executive Vice President, HE New Business Division, LG Electronics

5. „The digital revolution is over, we are now in the digital evolution.“
Quote in Digital Revenue optimization 2.0 Panel
Sital Banerjee, Global Head of Media, Philips

6. „The brand in many ways need to take the back-seat. It can’t be all about the product if you move into the content section.“
Quote in „The Content Summit“
Jimmy Maymann, CEO, Huffington Post

7. „@ft presence at #DMexco so big they don’t even have a stand! They are on every phone and tablet! @dmexco @ftbized“
Quote from #FT rep/via Oliver Matthews

The three main takeaways from the event for me were…
a) Trend: dmexco stages are challenging global TV stages.
b) Topics: TV goes mobile. Digital is leading corporate strategy.
c) Town: Cologne needs more taxi drivers and/or UBER subscribers.

Really looking forward to moderate the next dmexco, 16th and 17th of September 2015.

CU there!

Native Advertising: Will these brands turn the advertising industry around?

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Last year, I had the pleasure to announce this gentleman for one of the main dmexco stage panels. And I can tell you, it was not fun to complement him to go off stage when their speaking time was up. Terence Kawaja is a funny character and great speaker, and he doesn’t like being stopped talking. Now, the investment banker and founder of LUMA Partners introduced his latest chart of the Lumascapes which will define a new status quo in the advertising industry.

After their numerous Lumascapes on search, display, video, mobile, social commerce, and so on, this time we get to see their perception world of native advertising. Although the definition on native advertising is still evolving and may seem some kind of „rough in barriers“ and not very much detailed, it is making it’s way through the brand campaigns of companies. Not even the IAB playbook on native advertising gives us a clear definition on what exactly native advertising is, and how it differs from content marketing, branded content, or even how it can be located against approaches like story advertising.

To the guys of Business Insider, Kawaja said about his latest version…

„Given how consumers ignore banner ads, these new consumer – friendly formats are proving to be the engine for how marketers can engage audiences, especially in social and mobile contexts.“

Let’s hope he his right with his perception. I realized some brands of emerging companies are missing in the chart, maybe as it is an American view, maybe because we are often getting invites to the latest new start-up in this field, maybe as we see the world a bit different. Still, Kawaja and his team have done a good job again. Let’s hope he is joining dmexco 2014 again.

Lumascape Native Advertising

The Social Travel Revoluton (Infographic)

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There is not one industry today that is not effected by the way we interact through Social Media. The Swedish start-up Tripl illustrates with a fantastic infographic how much the travel industry is influenced and effected via modern online conversations and check-ins. The necessity for hotels, airlines and restaurants to engage and understand Social Media is obvious: 50 Mio. reviews have been created on tripadvisor only 495.000 rated hotels!

Some key facts…
– On a daily basis, 72% of social network users access their social network sites while travelling
– The top 5 airlines have 2,566,000 fans on Facebook
– 200 Mio. passengers will board GOGO-WiFi flights in 2011
– Traffic growth of travel companies from social networks? Facebook 69% and Twitter 46%!

…and that is only 7% using mobile internet while tarvelling internationally!

Contest: Let’s create a new logo for The Strategy Web

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After one year with my old and self-created amateurish logo (via Logoease), I have made two decision in one go. First of all, I definitely want a new logo and secondly, I like to see how a logo contest website is performing and what kind of ideas it’s ‚creative head community‘ is coming up with.

A challenge for the designers or for me?
So on Thursday night last week, I started my contest and decided to go with elogocontest.com. And if you want to take part and hand in your ideas as a designer, please feel free to log on to my contest ID for the new The Strategy Web logo PS: This platform is called Hatchwise now). The challenge is on you. And some people have already been very creative and shown their innovative approaches.

For people or companies that are looking to start a logo contest the steps are easy. This was my challenge some days ago.

How does elogocontest work for contest holders?
You start by registering an account as a contest holder. Having done that, you kick off your logo contest by describing the basic outlines of the contest, your target group, the essential parts and texts of the logo and finally, by writing a short summary about the contest. This is the online brief for the designers which is a self-explaining questionnaire and easy to handle. And you think about how much money you want to hand over to the winner.
Done!

What is the benefit for designers?
The benefit for designers is not huge you might say… I do disagree with that. It depends how you see it. OK, 150,- US Dollars won’t make a designer rich, yes. However, it might have some serious impact for their future business. Generating first-class reference for your creativity and your business is not easy. By taking part in some of these competitions, designers can proof their creative power, train their creative heads in an open-competition, receive some references, and generate future business from contest holders (word-of-mouth is key in the business of the future!!!).

And if they are clever, they have a blog and a twitter account where they are talking about their contest success. If this does not help, then word-of-mouth tactics don’t work…

Any special thanks for the winner of my logo contest?
Yes, there is! My contest ends Saturday night… The winner will get an exclusive interview on his/her business, his/her thoughts on logo contests, and why the company started using elogocontest (or others as well).

So if you are a designer or a creative master mind, keep the speed up of new ideas coming in! Looking forward to your ideas. And I promise, feedback will be provided asap.

Spot On!
Logo creation has cost start-ups (and all other companies) a fortune some years ago. Today, it has found an innovative contest approach all over the web. Examples like 99designs, elogocontest, logo contest, Logoease, jovoto, mypitch, AAA Logo and mypitch proof that today the world of innovative and creative agency work is changing towards a more customer friendly web 2.0 approach. And it is becoming affordable…

For now, my work is done and I am sitting hear and am waiting for your ideas… And for those of you who want to help me choosing the right logo, comments on creatives in my blog are very much appreciated.

Internethype reloaded…?

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In der Personalbranche, im Immobiliensektor, im Investmentbereich… Bekommt man nicht langsam einen Flashback an die Jahre 1999-2001, wenn man viel mit seinem Netzwerk kommuniziert?

An eine Zeit als es keine verfügbaren qualifizierten (oder sie wollten ein unrealistisches Gehalt) Mitarbeiter gab; Büroraum knapp wurde und deshalb ein Skyscraper nach dem anderen in Großstadthimmel wuchs. Als für (teilweise lediglich kopierte) Businessmodelle ein immenses Kapital verbrannt wurde, was sich für Kapitalgeber -VCs und Business Angel- nicht wirklich monetarisiert hat.

Derzeit wird wieder kräftig investiert: vor allem in Personal und in Businessmodelle. Hat die Welt gelernt aus dem Webdesaster vor ein paar Jahren? Ein Netzwerkbericht aus einer knappen Woche…

Donnerstag
Ein Personalberater ruft mich und … Nein Nein!… bietet mir keinen Job an, sondern frägt mich, ob ich nicht für seine offenen Stellen jemanden kennen würde. Mein Netzwerk wäre doch ziemlich ansehnlich, hieß es. Er bezahle auch eine Provision bei Vermittlung. Der Markt sei wir leer gefegt an Sales- und Marketingpersonen. Er wisse nicht mehr so richtig weiter…
2000 bekam ich ähnliche Anrufe und war damals gerade 4 Jahre in der Branche. Déjà vu…!

Freitag
Bekannter aus der Immobilienbranche sucht ein Office für 300 Quadratmeter. So kleine Räumlichkeiten sind schwer zu vermitteln, denn es werden eher große Objekte auf dem Markt nachgefragt. OK, insofern hat sich hier was getan. Damals bekam man unter 600 Quadratmeter gar nichts mehr in Großstädten…

Samstag
,Entfernter‘ Freund versucht, mich für eine Businessidee als Geldgeber zu bekommen. Die Idee gibt es bereits mehrfach im Web. Ich desillusioniere ihn. Kopierte Businessmodelle gibt es zahlreiche, die meisten werden nichts – dankend lehne ich also ab. Er hat mir erlaubt im Blog darauf einzugehen. Guter Mann!

Sonntag

Ich widme mich meiner Familie, denn das habe ich 2000-2001 an Wochenenden zu wenig machen können.

Montag

Diskussion mit einem Finanzberater, der Web Fonds anbietet. In den Fonds sind einige der alten Internet Start-Ups. Beide stellen wir uns die Frage, wann die neuen Start-Ups ihren IPO haben und/oder wo eigentlich die neuen Web 2.0 Start-Ups an der Börse stehen. Die Nachforschungen bringen ernüchternde VC Ausbeuten zum Vorschein: Im Q2 ging keine VC Firma in USA an die Börse! Lernfähige Finanzbranche…? Möge jemand anders darüber urteilen.

Ja, die Woche ist noch nicht herum und die Anzeichen sind bekannt…

Spot On!
Wäre ich im Filmbusiness, wüßte ich nicht, wie ich zwischen zwei Titeln entscheiden sollte… ,Internethype reloaded‘ oder ,apocalypse in a brave new world?‘. Die Googleversion der Zukunft sehe ich dabei eher nicht – mehr eine kritische Phase, die sich so alle 7 Jahre wiederholt (laut Uniprofessoren!) – aber diesmal hoffentlich ,softer‘ ausgeht als um die Jahrtausendwende.

Und Rückzugsmöglichkeiten, wenn das Web mal wieder am Ende zu sein scheint, gibt es ja schon… z.B. eine in der Schweiz und eine in Deutschland.

Eigentlich will man solche Seiten aber gar nicht in Erwägung ziehen…!