Zephyr Berlin: Featured in The Craftsman


The Craftsman header

The brilliant and kind Gianfranco Chicco writes a super lovely monthly newsletter called The Craftsman. For it, he meets and interviews craftsmen (and women, obviously) around the world about their projects, products, and passions.

I’m super happy, and very much humbled, that Gianfranco approached us to feature Zephyr Berlin in the March edition (read issue #006 on Medium).

Zephyr Berlin is very much a passion project of Michelle’s and mine, and we dug deep into the craft aspect when working with our designer Cecilia. Also, I loved that he gave a shout-out to our iterated designs that feature extra deep pockets, the model we internally nick-named The Deep-Pocketed One.

Here’s the blog post over on zephyrberlin.com.

Interviewed for Stories Connecting Dots


stories connecting dots

Markus Andrezak of überproduct kindly invited me to his excellent podcast Stories Connecting Dots. This is episode 12, titled “Ethics for The Internet of Things”.

We had a lovely, intense chat about ethics for the internet of things (IoT) space, how to start new projects, and lots more.

Quoting from the show notes:

That lead to getting to know the community around the Internet of Things, which again led to organising the first Thingscon in Berlin. An epic experience in starting a conference, low on budget, high on energy and even the attention of Bruce Sterling. During the conversation, you will hear a lot about how Peter sees the world. And as I did not choose Peter by chance, you will hear a lot of things on
  • how to start things off
  • how to open things up for a larger community
  • how to be inclusive
  • how to have impact as a person or a small boutique
  • how to work in early phases once things are in genesis so that your impact may still be there when things grow to utility

Learn more about this episode and subscribe to the podcast (RSS, iTunes)!

Likemind Berlin featured on taz.de


Likemind Kicking off Likemind Berlin at St Oberholz. Left: David Noël (featured in the taz.de 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 taz.de 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 deutsche-startups.de 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 German-startups.de 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

perspctv: Who’s talking about McCain, Obama?


perspectv visualizes who’s being talked about more: McCain or OBama. Or as TechCrunch calls it: “An Election Mashup That Proves Nothing, But Looks Good Doing It“.

And guess what? It’s just that:

This project presents different perspectives in our world, including that of Mainstream media and user-generated content on the Internet. (…) What we think vs. what they say we think — All the chatter on the Internet, all the traditional news media coverage, and all the pollsters (…) and gives a unique “dashboard” picture of the elections at any one given moment in time, totally un-biased.

It’s fairly simple, according to TechCrunch perspctv just counts how many times the two presidential candidates are mentioned, then creates graphs accordingly. Not too special, but to be fair, pretty cool in a way. Cool: perspctv provides a widget that you can embed in your blogs so you always know who’s twittered about more frequently.

Something that might pop up in the next German elections as well?