Monthnotes for December 2016

These are the last #monthnotes for 2016 (duh!), so they are part of a double feature of sorts together with my annual look back (part work, part personal) at the year over on my personal blog: That was 2016.

ThingsCon Amsterdam
Had the best time in Amsterdam and couldn’t be more grateful to the local team around Iskander, Monique & Marcel. I was particularly delighted that we got to continue our conversation about China there, and are going to continue that thread going forward. For some impressions, check out the photos, presentation and interviews.

Here’s a brief movie full of impressions:

ThingsCon Amsterdam 2016 aftermovie from ThingsConAMS on Vimeo.

ThingsCon global
One thing that came out of Amsterdam, or at least really picked up through conversations around our event there, is a fast-growing interest in hosting local events. It almost feels as if we’ve maybe hit critical mass: The ThingsCon global community is growing fast, and growth is accelerating. That’s amazing! And fantastic!

It also means our very organic approach to scaling, which has relied on a lot of manual input (manually updated event lists, etc.) is about to reach its limits.

This coincides with more and more questions about our “standard process” for “applying to be a host” or “opening a chapter”, our “default contracts” and the like. I put this in quotes because a) it’s how it was put to me, and b) we didn’t have any defaults until now. That was by default: In order to be able to learn as much as we can rather than presume anything, and also to keep things as simple as possible, we chose this very organic, hand-made, high-touch approach on purpose.

It looks like we’re ready for the next step now. So we’ve been busy drafting documents like a licensing agreement for local hosts, an application form and FAQ, the charter for a non-profit e.V. (a German registered society) that we’ll be setting up formally early in 2017.

ThingsCon is growing up, and I couldn’t be more excited as that pushes us forward on our mission statement: Fostering the creation of a human-centric & responsible IoT.

Zephyr Berlin
Just now we shipped our first batch of pants for Zephyr Berlin! And oh boy are they beautiful if I may say so myself.

100 pairs of Zephyr Berlin pants
This is what 100 pairs look like in the workshop

The Dries Piece
The so-called Dries piece

In client work, a super interesting engagement with Google around IoT just wrapped up.

Prototype Fund
Quick follow up to the first round of Prototype Fund where I was kindly invited to be part of the jury—the winners list is official. Congratulations to the winning teams!


  • For Netzpiloten I’m starting a regular column on IoT (in German). First piece should go live soon.
  • For ThingsCon we started a Medium publication where I’ll be posting alongside folks we invite to contribute all year long.

What’s on the horizon?
In loosely chronological order: A holiday. Lots of small bits and pieces of work and writing. Lots of ThingsCon activity planning for 2017.

On that note…