Categorymedia coverage

Featured in BrandEins


BrandEins is one of these rare publications that – starting the moment it appeared – made the media landscape a little better just by virtue of being there. Strictly speaking, it’s a German economics magazine, but that doesn’t do it justice. It’s more like the stories behind economic notions, entrepreneurs, ideas, all told and explained with core values and a bit of an attitude.

BrandEins January 2015 issue


Interview: Apotheken Umschau / Volle Kontrolle über mich


Apotheken Umschau

File under “unexpected media appearance”: A few weeks ago I was interviewed about personal analytics and the Quantified Self by a good old institution in the German media sphere, Apotheken Umschau. It’s one of those magazines that fly very much under the radar, yet have an incredible circulation of about 10 million printed copies (and 20 million reach): You can pick them up for free at any pharmacy, so they’re pretty much everywhere even if you’ll never see anyone reading it. Mysterious, eh?

Anyway, long story short, along with other familiar faces like Florian Schumacher of the QS Munich meetups I got to give my two cents on personal analytics. As the magazine is aimed squarely at a mainstream, non-technical audience, it’s all pretty much on the surface of things (which also explains how I turned into what looks like a stock photo), but it’s these opportunities to spread the word outside our bubble and immediate networks that I always enjoy – this is where stuff gets applied to real lives, after all.

So if you live in Germany, for two weeks you can pick up a copy for free at the pharmacy near you.

Cognitive Cities at Convention Camp, Radio Trackback


As the preparation for Cognitive Cities Conference are picking up steam, we’ve been invited to talk about smart/cognitive cities on several occasions.

A few days ago, my co-conspirator Igor Schwarzmann gave a presentation at Convention Camp about how our perception and perspectives change when a city gets “smart”. Mainly, we highlighted some interesting projects in the field and discussed them with the audience. You’ll find the slides (mostly links to videos) at the bottom of this post.

Following up on our talk, Radio Trackback interviewed me about smart and cognitive cities. (Links to some of the projects I mentioned: Urban Defender Game, MIT Trash Tracking, Walkshop in Barcelona, Homesense, Lost London, Chromaroma, Cognitive Cities). The interview is in German, starting at around 6:26.

(Some Rights Reserved: Radio Trackback is released under a Creative Commons nc-by-nd license)

Shout out! Edial Dekker was also featured talking about YourneighboursCity Crawlers Berlin project (around 14:35).

And these are the slides of our presentation:

ZDF Auslandsjournal: Coworking


ZDF Auslandsjournal

ZDF Auslandsjournal did a piece on a team working at Betahaus. The show was a special about the future of cities, and this being Auslandsjournal they usually film abroad. For the future of work it turned out, though, that Berlin is the place to go. So they filmed a bunch of us (Anna Lena Schiller, Christoph Fahle, Igor Schwarzmann, Martin Menzel and me) for two days working on a little website to accompany the TV piece.

Zukunft der Stadt

The segment “Coworking Spaces: Bürogemeinschaft der Zukunft?” aired on 28 April 2010, but it won’t be available online after a week due to some of the more stupid strange restrictions public broadcasters are operating under in Germany. (Which also restricts me from embedding the video here. If anyone has freed the video, let me know.) So the text will stay online just like our website sketch, the video will be up for a week. Betahaus is featured from around minute 9:20.

Likemind Berlin featured on


Likemind Kicking off Likemind Berlin at St Oberholz. Left: David Noël (featured in the article), right: Thomas Praus, Likemind Berlin co-organizer.

At the most recent Likemind Berlin, freelance journalist Johannes Gernert dropped in to talk to freelancers and startups about the state of affairs, what with the economic crisis and so forth. Today on his article is online and features Likemind prominently: Neustart in Zeiten der Krise (German original version) / Restarting In Times Of Crisis (English version via Google Translate).

An excerpt (first the original German version):

[Markus Pohl] passt damit an diesem Morgen ganz gut ins Café St. Oberholz, wo an jedem dritten Freitag eine Veranstaltung namens Likemind stattfindet. Die Internet-Kreativen aus Mitte treffen sich zum Kaffeetrinken. Es sind viele Freiberufler, Programmierer, Marketingmenschen, Strategieberater. Leute, die es sich leisten können, um 9.30 Uhr erst mal ein bisschen zu smalltalken, bevor sie mit der Arbeit anfangen. Likemind ist eine gute Gelegenheit, etwas darüber herauszufinden, wie die Krise Berlins IT-Mitte trifft. Als vor fast zehn Jahren die New-Economy-Blase geplatzt ist, hat es viele Start-ups in den Straßen, um den Rosenthaler Platz herum richtiggehend zerbröselt. Das war zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. Im Jahre 2009 scheint das anders auszusehen. Zwischen 2006 und 2008 sind 128 Start-ups in Berlin gegründet worden. So viele wie in keiner anderen deutschen Stadt. Danach folgt München, mit 118 Gründungen, Platz drei belegt Frankfurt. Die “spektakulären Ausfälle”, bei denen vermeintlich viel versprechende Projekte insolvent gegangen sind, seien nicht in der Hauptstadt verzeichnet worden, sagt Alexander Hüsing, der als Betreiber des Portals regelmäßig Statistiken herausgibt. Man hat gelernt. So richtig schlimm, sagen viele im Erdgeschoss des St. Oberholz, trifft es vor allem große Werbeagenturen, die für Autofirmen arbeiten oder für andere Großkonzerne. Die würden aber gar nicht so sehr in Berlin-Mitte sitzen, sondern eher in Düsseldorf. Die Start-up-Kultur dagegen, das beobachten auch viele, habe sich geändert. Dass es für eine gute Idee von einem Investor einfach mal ein paar Millionen Euro gibt, um zu sehen, was daraus wird, sei ohnehin längst nicht mehr der Fall. “Es wird weiterhin gegründet, wenn auch seit 2008 etwas weniger”, sagt Hüsing. “Dafür sind die Konzepte durchdachter.”

Google translation, slightly fixed by me:

[Markus Pohl] fits in well at this very good morning to the Café St. Oberholz, where every third Friday at an event called Likemind place. Internet creatives from Mitte meet up for coffee. The Internet creatives from mid meet for coffee drinking. There are lots of freelancers, programmers, marketing folks, strategy consultants. People who can afford to have smalltalk at 9.30 before they begin working. Likemind is a good opportunity to find out something about how the crisis in Berlin-Mitte meets IT. As nearly a decade before the New Economy bubble burst, many start-ups in the streets around Rosenthaler Platz downright crumbled. That was the beginning of the 21st Century. In the year 2009 it seems different. Between 2006 and 2008, 128 start-ups have been founded in Berlin. More than in any other German city. This is followed by Munich with 118 founded, Frankfurt comes in third. The “spectacular failures” in which supposedly promising projects have gone bankrupt, were not in the capital, says Alexander Hüsing, who as the operator of the portal regularly published statistics. People have learned. Many on the ground floor of the St. Oberholz say it is bad rather for large advertising agencies, who work for car companies, banks or other large corporations. But those aren’t so much in Berlin, but rather in Düsseldorf. The start-up culture on the other hand has changed. The idea that it might be good for an investor to just throw in a few million to see what will happen is no longer the case anyway. “Companies are still being founded, even if slightly less in 2008”, says Hüsing. “But the concepts are more though-out.”

Join us at a Likemind near you. They take place every third Friday of the month all around the world. The next one will be 21 August. In Berlin, we kick off at 9am at Cafe St Oberholz, Rosenthaler Platz.

Photo (Creative Commons) by Henrik Berggren, who founded Likemind Berlin