O’Reilly Solid: On IoT Startups & the Mittelstand


At O’Reilly Solid I gave a talk exploring one questions: What Can IoT Entrepreneurs and the Mittelstand Learn from Each Other?. Here are my slides:



I’m the first to admit that the 20 minutes didn’t allow to really explore the phenomenon of the German Mittelstand. Rather, I tried a bit of a playful exploration of the culture & mindset that defines this whole beast, particularly by differentiation from Silicon Valley startups.


tl;dr: Just like the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem is a unique phenomenon, so is the German Mittelstand. Favoring a long-term perspective over quick growth can yield great results. Culture matters.



On the road: A quick status update from San Francisco


As I’m writing this, I’m in San Francisco for O’Reilly Solid, where I was kindly invited to speak about what the German Mittelstand and IoT startups might learn from another. I’m excited to continue all the conversations around the Internet of Things (IoT) and hardware started at ThingsCon. And what a group of people Solid has attracted. At some meetups leading up to the event, as well as during the beginning of the conference, I’ve already met so many people that move this space forward – it’s fantastic, and I’m very much looking forward to the next couple of days at Solid as well as a few more at San Francisco.

Drones & burritos

Dinner at a friend’s, who just moved to the Valley, lunch with friends, flying drones at Dolores Park, drinks with some of the people in town for the conference: San Francisco has been kind to me on this trip.

Some impressions:


Next stop: Tokyo

Also, I’m excited I get to head straight from San Francisco to Tokyo next week. I feel honored to be invited to speak about the potential of talent exchange between Tokyo and Berlin – and in the larger picture, East Asia and Europe – at three events by Recruit Technologies, Tokyo Entrepreneur Partners and Samurai Inc. I believe that these kind of exchanges – of ideas, talent, skills – are the key to create interesting, global, diverse products and services.