Germany has long been known for tech innovation and a very powerful economic driver. Berlin has grown to one of the most attractive start-up hubs in the world, putting Munich on the second place within Germany, yet still before Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and other cities. With the enormous startup thrust – startups pushed to grow even beyond the German borders. Funding was the most significant barrier.

IPO Breakthrough

In the first quarter of 2018 alone, startups and spin-offs from larger companies pulled in close to  7 Billion Euro with their IPOs. This is more than the rest of Europe combined. This is pushing Germany in spot No. 2 globally behind the USA. And more IPO candidates are already in the loop. It took a bit for Europe actually to show that their startups have IPO quality – but now they seem to come with full power. More than just a handful, including HalloFresh, Delivery Hero, Zalando, Rocket Internet, Windeln.de, German Startups Group, Elumeo, Ferratum, Trivago, MyBucks, Akasol, Home24, CreditShelf, NFON and some others made it and IPOed in Germany already.

In the meantime, more IPO spots try to attract fast-growing businesses like the EuroNext in Amsterdam, Netherland and the Paris Stock Exchange. The relatively high P/E ratios of the classic enterprises, relative to their growth rate make those young businesses attractive. If one looks back to the early 2000s when a big surge of US startups went public, the majority of the investors where laughing, but today those companies produce a multiple that has never be seen in public companies before.

 

Artificial Intelligence Leadership

With the second biggest IPO finance place in the world, Germany is also attracting companies from other countries. More importantly, Germany is also preparing the capital flow into the next generation technology to support their declared attempt to become a global leader in Artificial Intelligence. The official AI strategy will be introduced Dec 4/5 2019. And with rapid financing growth has always been a worldwide challenge, the IPO leadership in Europa makes Germany also the place to go for AI startups. We will report about the AI Space Germany in December.

Stay tuned.

 

Today we may debate whether or not a robot will ever be superior to a human. Superiority has many angels. And a robot may not catch all of them. But in the basic work life, it is different. And maybe one robot may not be as good as a human – but a whole range of networked Artificial Intelligence-based robots will outperform us in almost any segment of work on all levels and all industries !!!

 

Our single biggest disadvantage

The vast majority of humans, still today, keep knowledge close to their chest. Sharing of knowledge, experience, and mistakes is not our biggest strength. Sitting in a corner, thinking through the permutations of what happens with a machine in certain circumstances – is our biggest strength. But we know that our brain capacity is not unlimited. As long as we continue to share only if really necessary, think for ourselves, hope we earn special attention for our knowledge – we are in danger that all our jobs get eradicated before we adapt to newer better behavior. Our physical limitations are too weak to stand up against a series of highly developed AI networked technology – whatever we call it.

Cultural Advancement

We are what we got introduced to by our cultural frameworks. Our parents teach us to be humble, not to share our experience unless it is necessary, to experiment for ourselves until we are sure that our experiments are successful. We are conditioned to not talk about things that are still uncertain. Our communication prison is huge. Some cultures however advanced already. And the most interesting thing is that it was actually that very advancement that brought the AI / Robotics technology to life – Silicon Valley. Now some may argue it was elsewhere and so and so already had developed that first version of AI years ago. Well – so sorry to say that, an innovation has absolutely no value unless it is brought to a broader market. “The initial value if any innovation is zero”. Without cultural advancement, we will maintain that widening gap between developed and emerging countries. As long as emerging countries do not embrace more openness, a culture where failure is not just OK but actually good and a key part of learning – the country will remain to be an emerging country.

Artificial Intelligence, biggest driver for human advancements

Humans have one extraordinary ability: humans can adapt to new situations within one and the same generation. No other life form can do that. Big Data is giving businesses who leverage big data a huge advantage over others because they simply know better and faster what is going on. If we learn that networked AI systems will be able to tap into those data and create analysis, able to make decisions and derive strategies from the results, They will be ahead of us and we will essentially do what they suggest. We can’t even verify in time so we simply go ahead and do it. Yes it’s still a tool – but we do what the tool is telling us what to do without even being able to debate it. But we will learn one thing: if we connect our brains we get a whole new edge – maybe beyond our own imagination.

Experiment at Society3 World Innovations Forum

Imagine we do what these AI networks do and network our brains, very simply on a daily base by sharing, communication, analyzing our own mistakes and come to new conclusions every day? The collective intellect when really in action has unknown and incomprehensible reserves. The least we can do is to explore them. And it is almost for free. We only have through some of the old cultural remains overboard. At Society3 this is exactly what is going on right now. Society3 is building a digital layer across the globe that exists to connect people and their ideas, challenges, questions and answers together. http://society3.com We are not here to win a competition with AI-based robots but simply bring human entrepreneurs to a level that has never seen before.

The global race for more innovation is rapidly accelerating – still it is lead by California. Even the east coast states like NY, Massachusetts or other US states including Texas or Florida are still looking at California when it comes to top innovation. And Europe as a whole is far back and so are most of the Asian countries.

Asia the manufacturing powerhouse – not yet the innovation driver

Clearly Asia is on the run for the pole position in the world when it comes to mass manufacturing. Yet, Japan, who was actually the first Asian country with huge manufacturing power, shows a state of saturation, high prosperity and therefor high salary and its competitiveness in production leadership is slowing down. Other Asian countries have a high potential for becoming leading production farms to serve and support the growing population on earth – and with that potential a high potential for more production revenue a high potential for growing prosperity.

Strategic tech innovation still come from the US

However – in the past 30 years – it appeared that the manufacturing power is a very different economic value compared to innovation power. And while Germany, Switzerland, and France boost some of the most innovative technologies outside the US, with their “hidden champions” – it is the US who dominates the global technology space with the most relevant innovations. Relevant meaning technology that if it would be taken away would have a serious impact on the global economy.

Large corporations can’t disrupt themselves

All too often people hope that large corporations can just create an “innovation lab” in order to create innovative ideas – very much like a startup – and bring them to market. But in almost all cases that dream is bursting like a bubble after the innovation was created. When running a 20,000+ people company, each and every employee must run on 90% or better performance in order to be economically viable. If only a few would start experimenting with crazy ideas, the whole corporation me get in trouble. And if an “external” innovation lab brings a new solution into the company, the executive team quickly realizes that the sales organization has no resources to create a market or sell the product into the existing customer base, marketing has no capacity to bring new products to market, support teams are at 110% load and so forth. Corporate innovation is bound to the very same principles like a young startup: permanently under funded, lacking resources, trouble to get initial traction,  difficulties building a brand and a sales force and so forth. Corporations must create very different methods and values to actually make a corporate innovation lab successful.

Government Innovation Programs

Government innovation programs have evolved and we see a huge amount of innovative solutions in many countries. However most of those innovative solutions don’t make it. Billions are pored into startups and great ideas, yet they did not return the investment. An innovation in itself is of zero value. Only of the innovation is successfully brought to market and considered a value for the customer, it begins to create a value for the owner, the participating employees and partners and the economy. Yet, a local product is never bringing a major contribution to the national prosperity. But if the product goes global, the national  contribution to prosperity begins to flow. A country that is self sufficient is probably healthy and OK but never very prosper. A country with a high export rate however creates prosperity from the excess production value. A country with a high export rate from genuine and highly innovative products is the most prosper way for economic growth.

Innovation Economics – We Need To Understand

Here is probably the most interesting aspect of the innovation economics: If 5 countries are highly innovative and 10 countries not, obviously the five countries are much richer than the 10. And in the old thinking of competition, we try to be better (more innovative) then the other countries. But if all 15 countries are highly innovative, all 15 countries are rich and the five countries are richer by serving 15 rich countries than serving only 4 other rich countries and 10 poor countries. Yes, the delta is less and less but the overall economic power grows. Once we accept that model, we no longer keep countries poor or keep people dumb. Instead we keep competing but on a smaller difference. Formula-1 race cars are extremely fast and the winner wins often by a margin of a split second. Unlike 50 years ago where we saw minutes in between – simply because everything was a secret. In Silicon valley we have a spirit of sharing – even the “secret” strategies. Simply because we learned that sharing, openness and transparency is the biggest accelerator of all.

 

 

Five major initiatives for increasing national innovation

Society3 created five major initiatives to increase local innovation power and connect it to a global network to drive a global business:

1) Global Exchange
A global network where people are permanently connected. The exchange / community platform provides users instant access to all members via web, mobile and other services. The objective is to get answer on questions within a few minutes or hours, find new business partners around the globe, compare notes, and open sharing for ultra fast learning from each other.

2) Events & Meetings
While a digital global exchange is the only way to get people from around the world to collaborate and learn from each other fast, people need the personal face to face exchange too. Therefor Society3 and their local representatives conduct national entrepreneurs night events to meet and exchange on a national level and the World Innovations Forum to get together at least once a year on a global level.

3) Innovation Education & Acceleration
Education and acceleration through the accelerator program that we are currently preparing to be delivered online so everybody can participate and soon offline in the countries at local accelerators. Unique about the accelerator is the “knowledge and methods to train what it really takes to create a unique and innovative solution, build a disruptive business model, and bring it to global markets within very fast”. Society3 was named one of the top 100 most influential global accelerators.

4) Global Trading Platform
A new blockchain based trading platform will allow startups and young innovative businesses – even old ones – offer and sell their goods globally at a fraction of today’s cost – but most importantly bridging the gap from a conventional local business to a global business. Lacking the skills and bandwidth to go global is the most significant gap to today’s Silicon Valley’s leadership position.

5) Government & Corporate Innovation Labs Support
Governments and Corporations in over 100 countries are undertaking enormous initiatives to increase their innovation power. At least in the past 20 to 30 years no significant innovation stood out compared to Silicon Valley, which was an orchard just 70 years ago. The Society3 Group developed a methodical approach to accelerate significant innovation development within the respective country. Here the same techniques are applied as in the accelerator program: “Knowledge and methods what it really takes to create a unique and innovative solution, building disruptive businesses, and bring solutions to global markets within a very short period of time”.

Purpose for a global innovation push

Beyond the self serving objective to drive more business as a corporate or country, there is an additional purpose for the global innovation push. In order to eradicate hunger, poverty, and inequality, we as the human race, may want to drive “equality in prosperity” across the globe by creating innovation, entrepreneurship and business development from within the countries rather than external aid. And as a bonus we will see a wave of new innovation from all these different cultures.

 

World Innovations Forum and Society3 is expanding its volunteers network – globally. Society3 volunteers help bring more prosperity equality to the world by helping countries to create prosperity from within rather than aid from the outside.

Society3 Group AG is a global innovation and entrepreneurs network with representation in 26 countries – and counting. The organization provides a global exchange for innovative minds such as entrepreneurs, corporate innovation labs, investors, mentors, incubators, accelerators and innovation officers at governments. It provides a platform for all innovation stakeholder to connect globally and locally, online and offline, and rapidly improving business success rate across the globe.

The Society3 founders team, who lived 20 years in the Valley, decided to take it to a new level and create a digital version for the digital natives. The objective is to double the innovation success rate by 2035 and amplify prosperity in all nations.

We think big, no problem is too complex, no solution too bold, and no idea too crazy. If we can think it, we can create it. We are here to help entrepreneurs make the impossible a reality, for the benefit of all of us.

MAJOR INITIATIVES

1) WORLD INNOVATIONS FORUM 2018

The annual World Innovations Forum event, is held across 3 days this June 12-14, 2018, taking place in Zürich, featuring 20+ countries and international startups and welcoming over 200 guests.

What we are looking for:

· Volunteers available for the event dates June 12 – 14 and for set up on June 11, 2018

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Set Up (setting up the event space, staging, design, backstage etc.)
  • Entry ( tickets, guest greeting and orientation)
  • Info team (helping attendees to find what they are looking for)
  • Monitoring Event Space (cleaning, organizing)
  • Photographer / Videographer (taking clips and pictures from every situation)
  • Security (watch doors and other important points of access)
  • Universal support for whatever it takes to make the event an amazing experience
  • Tear Down (Removing stages and cleaning up the event space)

You will meet amazing entrepreneurs, investors and innovation enablers from around the world. You will get a unique insight into the world of startups, innovation, entrepreneurship and investments. And it will certainly be a lot of fun too.

We are providing free volunteers training ahead of the task.

You will be listed (unless you don’t want to) as “Innovation Advocate at the World Innovations Forum and Society3“. Feel free to use that title in your CV and on your LinkedIn profile as a volunteer’s position. After a year of support, you will receive a certificate.

Please email us at volunteers at society3 com share what you are interested in and what intrigued you to join.

 

2) NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURS NIGHTS (GLOBALLY)

We are organizing entrepreneurs nights in 26 countries, where entrepreneurs, investors and innovation enabler meet on a regular base. Events are currently held or planned in Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, and Vietnam.

What we are looking for:

Volunteers helping us for 2-3 hours with

  • Set Up (setting up the event space, staging, design, etc.)
  • Entry (guest greeting and orientation)
  • Info team (helping attendees to find what they are looking for)
  • Photographer / Videographer (taking clips and pictures from every situation)
  • Universal support for whatever it takes to make the event an amazing experience

We are providing free volunteers training via an online conference call.

You will be listed (unless you don’t want to) as “Innovation Advocate at the World Innovations Forum and Society3“. Feel free to use that title in your CV and on your LinkedIn profile as a volunteers position. After a year of support, you will receive a certificate.

Please email us at volunteers at society3 com share what you are interested in and what intrigued you to join.

 

3) SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT (GLOBALLY)

We are engaged to help young entrepreneurs to give them more visibility on a global scale. To do so we aggregate their latest news and share them in all the countries where we are active in. To support these activities we are looking for supporter who can share content about innovations and engagements in certain technology fields in the respective countries. We are looking for volunteers in Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United States, Turkey, and Vietnam.

What we are looking for:

Volunteers who have a good online network of open minded people
helping us maybe 30 minutes a week

  • Sharing content that we are sharing in the respective country.
  • Providing feedback on the content and its reception in the country
  • Responding to comments or requesting us or the respective startup to comment
  • Never share content that you don’t understand or you don’t like to support

We are providing free social media training to prepare you for the task.

You will be listed (unless you don’t want to) as “Innovation Advocate at the World Innovations Forum and Society3“. Feel free to use that title in your CV and on your LinkedIn profile as a volunteers position. After a year of support, you will receive a certificate.

Please email us at volunteers at society3 com share what you are interested in and what intrigued you to join.

 

We look forward to hearing from you,

 

We have been in Hanoi, Vietnam, from March 7 to 9, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Vietnam. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Nguyễn Dũng from BKHoldings, Hanoi’s top Accelerator and Co-working space prepared two packed days with insights about Vietnam and a startup event in Hanoi. The two main cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Min city compete for attention and leadership in a great way. Vietnamese are very competitive people and power worker.

Innovation in Vietnam

Vietnam is on the forefront of innovation in the areas of AI, Blockchain, Crypto currencies and other areas based on the Russian Education System. Vietnamese universities create great mathematicians and scientists who in turn work on the above mentioned topics. Our Innovation & Entrepreneurs event was having a gigantic 7 meter LED display. No more projector needed.

Co-Working & Acceleration in Vietnam

BKHoldings Co-Working Space is certainly a leading example of a highly comfortable, yet very accessible space for young entrepreneurs to work in. But here is not only a work space but also an accelerator, helping young entrepreneurs to be prepared to go after the business quickly and avoid unnecessary mistakes. It’s owner, a young entrepreneur himself created that space in a way that everybody can easily communicate with each other and still has a very professional appearance. And talking about communication: It’s worth mentioning that all startups, investors as well as representatives from universities or government spoke fluently English. It appears that there is a clear understanding that if one will want to do business on a global level has to speak the global language. We noticed that first in Bangkok then in Nepal – English is the universal communication vehicle.

Vietnam will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland as one of the highly innovative countries in the world. We will share some more insights in the Vietnamese Startup World and some top startups from several industry segments.

 

Most people associate Nepal with Himalaya, Yak, Temples and Monks. And that’s OK – but that was 20+ years ago. Kathmandu, the capital city is a 6 to 8 Million people mega city. The Universities produce entrepreneurs and scientists and the management schools develop top candidates. And the Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal is on the rise.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Khem Lakai, Society3 and World Innovations Forum AmbassadorWe have been invited to Kathmandu Nepal, from March 4 to 6, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Nepal and share entrepreneurs experiences from around the world. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Khem Lakai (Photo) made this three very impressive days for us.  Marita and I learned a lot about this extremely friendly culture which has to offer a lot more than Mountains and tracks – even though it is a breath taking experience being so close to the tallest mountains in the world.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal

We saw some very interesting startups in all kinds of fields from Medicine to technology and data management. And prior to the event that was organized by our Ambassador For Nepal, Khem Lakai we had a chance to meet leaders from the university, government, and industry on the campus of the Global Management Academy in Kathmandu.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal at Academy For Management Kathmandu

At the Event “Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal” we talked about the need to connect entrepreneurs from all countries to learn from each other, inspire each other and possibly create business partnerships across the globe.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal with Axel Schultze, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

In many countries, including Nepal, there is a huge interest in connecting with the rest of the world to learn what is needed, what problems need to be solved and how young entrepreneurs can share experiences from technology issues to business model development or fundraising challenges.

 

During the Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Marita Schultze addressed several points that are continuously discussed with female entrepreneurs such as the work/family balance, the perceived differences and why female entrepreneurs should not adopt to a male behavior but instead understand their advantages as a woman. “No need to copy a male entrepreneur’s behavior – put your uniqueness in the foreground instead”.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal with Marita Schultze, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

Female entrepreneurship is not just something Nepal will do but already has several years experience of engaged female entrepreneurs.

Podiums Discussion,Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

The podiums discussion only emphasized what we already recognized: Nepal is on the verge to become another highly agile country in Asia that has to be watched and taken serious as one of the most potential innovation countries in the world. Clearly Nepal will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland and added to the list of the highly innovation countries in the world.

 

And last but not least, Mount Everest is an absolute must see, letting all innovations behind for a moment and meditate about the wonders of that world.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal and Mount Everest

Flying along side the Himalaya Mountain Ridge having Mount Everest straight in front of us.

In the next few weeks we will introduce some of the Nepali Entrepreneurs and what they do. Interestingly enough some actually come already from other countries to start their opportunity here in Nepal. One of them is Tirza Theunissen. but we will talk about her and her amazing project in a dedicated post.

OK in my previous post I talked about the European Digitization Issue. And rather giving it yet another abstract and very complicated explanation what it supposed to be, I’d rather talk about the effects it has today and why we it is a mind set and not a way of using machines. that solve all the problems.

CASE STUDY AMAZON

Beloved by many consumers – hated by many retailers.  Amazon a prime example for digitization. Not only Amazon but many catalog reseller before them understood that it will be impossible in the future to have a store with hundreds of thousands of products to choose from. It will be harder and harder to drive with your car into city centers buying a coffee machine and a mixer and a TV and a few other things and bring it to your car somewhere in a parking garage or actually carry it with a bus. But most importantly the seller with a less privileged brand but a very good product would have no chance to win in such an environment. And as a result we would have only a few global enterprise based products to choose from. The way to solve that problem was to involve the unbiased buyers to share their experience. Recommendations from other users, the information what other users also bought and the whole experience with other buyers was a breakthrough that could only work in a digital environment. Then the idea to let standard seller participate from the Amazon solution was yet another powerful move to integrate other sellers and at the same time make the offer even broader. While we have hundreds of thousands of online shops who are leveraging computer technology and software to sell their wares, it took companies many years to understand that the customer experience is so superior over any others that they could grow to the undisputed market leader. It wasn’t the technology but the mindset of Jeff Bezos to fully integrate the consumer as the most important part of a business success into the digital flow of their business. Today that includes the overview of what was purchased in the past, when, from whom and so forth. Also it included the return process and makes the consumer a part of the entire logistics chain. If we want to analyze Amazon versus other online shops – we may say that the degree of customer integration is by order of magnitude higher than from the other competitors and that could lead to saying the degree of digitization is much higher than from all competitors.

INTERESTING TO NOTE
In several countries or cities innovative businesses like Amazon are pushed out. The top case is Switzerland where companies are inspired to be digitized and innovative, but Amazon is not present in Switzerland. It’s mode so complicated that they give up. Yet Swiss consumers buy hundreds of millions worth of goods from amazon in other countries.

Germany: Crowdfunding startups is a great way to get some seed financing from the public. In most countries the digitization of fundraising is normal. Bafin, the regulatory administration in Germany seem to have no interest in supporting this way of digitization and so it is simply not happening. Germany however is one of the countries pushing digitization the most.

CASE STUDY UBER

Beloved by travelers, hated by taxi organizations. Also Uber is a prime example for digitization. The company was built based on the incredible bad customer experience when standing in line waiting for a taxi and looking at the line of taxis waiting to be used at the Las Vegas Airport. The idea was pushed further by the frustration of those who call a taxi and it never comes as well as the taxis that come to pickup a traveler who in the meantime just grabbed another taxi.  Many taxi organizations have been completely computerized and felt pretty digital but the customer experience was still terrible and the most important part of that business: the traveler was just not part of their digital processes at all. Uber developed a system where the traveler knew where the “taxi” they called is at any given point in time and the Uber driver already had the digital id of the caller and could theoretically request a payment if the passenger would just walk away, Similar to Amazon the widely understood business was disrupted by an organization  that included the customer into the already existing digital processes in a way that it completely outperformed the old business.

INTERESTING TO NOTE
Also here, countries that otherwise call for innovation and digitization, banned Uber as the taxi companies had no better idea to fight back by convincing lawyers and city officials to stop Uber in a different old fashion and somewhat corrupt way. In many cases the lobbyists from the disrupted industries fight back by pulling politicians into the game who don’t really know what is going on and rather block the innovation and digitization then helping embrace it.

SUMMARY

I can share hundreds of similar examples where we can look at Facebook in social networking, Google in search and advertising, HomeAway and Hotels, Expedia and travel agencies, E*Trade and broker business…. and very soon to come Banks, Insurance companies, Car Manufacturer, Hospitals and so forth.  All existing and future cases have one in common: The full integration of the customer experience (B2B and B2C) into the digital workflow will massively attack the old way of doing business.

To the contrary, not only Amazon and Uber are having problem to disrupt an old industry with their innovative models, AirBnB, BitCoin and many others face the same challenge.

Country official look for innovative technology to accelerate digitization. Yet stop it as soon as the degree of digitization is too high “in their very personal opinion, limited by the understanding of the technology and their effects”

Digital is about 60 years old

The world started to go digital in the 1960’s with a big push from IBM. In the 80’s the digital world was developed further by bringing the power of digital to every desktop in form of a PC or laptop. In the 90’s with the rise of the Internet to every home and in the early 2000 years with social media to absolutely everybody and their dog. Digitization also branched out to mobile devices and with the inception of the iPhone computer power was at hand of virtually everybody in every continent by the 2010’s

Our Industry is fully computerized

Businesses obviously ask: “What the hell are they talking about, we have computers we do online banking, we have a website, our machines run with CMC systems, the products are designed with CAD system and the processes with an ERP system.  What is the big push about digital? Even the word digital is more than 30 years old. Right. Modern businesses in most European, US and Asian countries are at that level already. Most businesses have a high level of internal computerization or digitization.

So what is all the fuss about digitization then?

We are fully digital! No – and definitely no – YOU are not fully digitized. Your processes are as old as 30+ years. Your customers do not play any significant part in your processes and the degree of automation that helps customers versus automation that helps your internal organization  is roughly 100:1 in our organization’s favor. So what is digitization then?

I feel sorry but it is a misleading term, that has never been even explained in Europe and is absolutely NOT used in the US. Most of us in Silicon Valley has at least a smile with a sorrow face about Europe. But in the US economy that is actually completely down with no idea how to fix it is thankful for any confusion outside the US to give them time to find ways to fix the country. Unlike in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s where top notch US business people flew to Europe and showed them how to use computers, how to connect them in LANs, how to do e-commerce, how to use the Internet and how to do social media – absolutely nobody come to show us “digitization”. Why? The term does not exist. Google for “Digitization in the US” or “Obama and digitization” you will notice there are only a low number of findings and the content has nothing earth shattering.

Can we call the “digitization” push OFF? Please NO.

Yet there is a reason why Europe needs a weak-up call and the term “digitization” was just a word – unfortunately not explained too well. Compared to the US and now even in super fast growing China, what we call DIGITIZATION is ahead of Europe – again. Why?  Because Europeans follow advice and when reading the explanations that describe digitization or sometimes digitalization, it is so abstract and completely useless that people find their own way into something that is actually 180 degree opposite of the purpose of digitization: completely networked activities. Now – if I describe the term in my way I would do what many others do and at the end we have thousands of interpretations. Therefor I’d rather describe the effects of digitization in our normal day to day lives and in our businesses.

I will do that in the next post.

Innovation gets funded with billions of $ all across the world. Hundreds of thousands of startups get founded every year. Yet 90% of the inventions, patented ideas, startups and corporate innovation labs do not succeed. If our crops would have been treated like our brain crops, humans would have extinct by now.

SOMETHING WENT REALLY WRONG

After a keynote at the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, I discussed a burning question with one of the officers. I asked: “Why is so much money poured into more and more inventions and innovative ideas but absolutely nothing in helping to get them to markets?” The answer was prompt and very clear: “Commercial success is the job of the entrepreneur, not of a government”. While I understood the rational behind the thinking, I still found it odd to let 90% of invested money evaporate, just because a more or less philosophical process. The result is not only lost opportunities but also widening the chasm between rich and poor, putting the leadership position of a nation in jeopardy and risking to loose talents who may find other nations more appealing.

Innovation that can’t be brought to market is of no value for the respective society and should not be funded with tax money.

WHAT PROFESSIONAL INVESTORS DO

The top venture investors nurture their investment from Idea to IPO. It’s the only way to get a significant return on investment. Plus they educate, mentor and coach their portfolio companies to bring them to maximum performance. And the result is stunning. instead of 90 % failure rate it’s only 75%. In other words they doubled the success rate of startups they have invested in. Unfortunately that is the tiny fraction of startups that had the privilege to move to Silicon Valley and get investments from some of the top VCs. But in the end, our “Innovation Crops” deliver a miserable 10% yield, while we know we could get it up to 25%.

We need to change the innovation paradigm

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF INNOVATION

I guess we can agree that innovation is perceived a key driver for progress and growth. But is that true?  Is it the innovation or is it the ability to bring new and different products to market and attract a huge amount of people to support it, buy it or otherwise engage with it. A less innovative product that is produced in huge quantities and attract a large global market is most likely creating more jobs, more revenue, more profits and therefor more taxes for the local community than a product that is much more innovative but nobody knows about it therefor the company may not even survive. The true value of innovation is created at the time that product or service is hitting large markets and get a lot of business.

ONLY SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION MEANS JOBS AND TAXES

If we can agree that a value is only created when the companies grows, creates jobs and pay taxes, we should also agree that funding the urge of developing something is less important that funding the the need to bring it to market. Creative minds will build innovative products whether they get funded or not. But only if economic success is supported afterwards the innovation is gaining in value. And if the core driver for Innovation Funds is job creation and prosperity we may need to reconsider the funding strategy and put some money aside for every amount of money spent in the invention itself.

NEW INNOVATION PARADIGM FOCUSING ON COMMERCIAL RESULTS

A new innovation support program needs to focus on commercial success more than anything else. That includes providing non bureaucratic processes and rules to actually be able to make global trade even as a startup. It means lowering regulatory barriers to an absolute minimum. It also means providing business education to leverage latest techniques for an efficient and successful go-to-market plan – something no university will ever be able to offer. And means that young startups are supported with international networks and concepts to leverage existing trade networks. And of course that some of the funds available for the invention itself is also made available to kick start the commercial success.

 

One of the big hurdles for entrepreneurs trying to grow fast and go international, are trade rules, currency considerations, trust, transaction financing, dealing with letter of credits and much more. Global trade for startups is virtually impossible. After getting global four times with our previous businesses, we decided to make it easy for all young entrepreneurs to go international. We started to design a global trade network, leveraging latest blockchain technology, smart contracts and our own global business know how.

Most super growth tech companies were still too slow

When we look back in time, Facebook demonstrated an unbelievable power of growth, yet it was too late in Asia. The same goes for Uber, Tesla and others. On one side conservative investors argue about speed to go international. Yet later stage investors argue about missed opportunities. Conventional growth techniques just did not allow mach faster growth than the current world leaders showed.

We don’t want to support monopolies, but….

Amazon for instance had a great chance to go global without anybody copying it right way. However new contenders like Alibaba do not stop taking market share bit by bit. That means monopolies find their contender quickly and that is a good thing, because we need diversity and options. But maybe it’s a good idea to give fragile startups an opportunity to go international even faster and then learn to defend their innovation at a later stage.

Blockchain based global trade for startups

Global trading platforms are the most used example when blockchain technology get’s explained to industry executives. However global enterprises can’t just rip out their conventional IT system and replace their gigantic databases with a blockchain. Nobody even knows if a slower blockchain would hold the load. That is very different with startups. Their problem in international trade is the initially small volume. For a blockchain however just right. Bringing thousands of startups quickly on a centralized system would be a nightmare. But using a self regulated decentralized solution a great opportunity. Building out interfaces to adopt the blockchain by a startup is easy – for enterprises a life long project. Making global trade rules standardized through smart contracts can be very easy adopted by a startup that has no real rules today. Just creating all the smart contracts for an enterprise would be a complex undertaking with lots of risks and liabilities.

The Society3 Blockchain would allow technology resellers in any corner of the world to safely buy and sell innovative technology that also comes from any place in the world. Tokenized businesses where anybody can trade anything makes the business much more valuable and much easier to conduct.

What does that mean in reality:

  1. Instead of creating, negotiating and working based on tens of pages of a distributor or sales contract written in many languages and considering many currencies, we invented self executing contracts that define the trade process once and for all. If adjustments are needed in future situations they will be adjusted for future deals as well.
  2. Instead of trying to understand the other trade party and developing some vague sort of trust, all players on the trade platform are authenticated and clearly identifiable. Trust development is taken over by the system.
  3. Orders can be placed by anybody and send to any trade partner. The fully decentralized trade model does not need any “distribution organization” in between. The blockchain and the corresponding user interfaces take care of the transactions and processes.
  4. Shipments are  made by the companies (startups) using any of the freight forwarder who docked onto the platform. Tracking and processing of all documents are taken care of by the blockchain and the corresponding self executing contracts.
  5. Delivery can be made to business partners or directly to end customers. Payments are made in crypto currency and every party takes care of the conversion of crypto into the respective local currency and back.
  6. Smart contracts keep track on both, the order flow and the shipment flow in digital form. Tax and customs documentation can be either printed when necessary or also digitally transferred.
  7. In case of a return due to a defective product, the same process goes reverse.
  8. Transaction cost is covered through miners getting paid for their job in tokens and only over time there maybe a small fee in the sub % range necessary to keep the platform up and running.
  9. Producer, customer, shipper, customs authorities and any other participant can be rated and that way develop reputation over time.
  10. The system provides unparalleled transparency due to its decentralized management at lowest possible cost.

Never before it was so easy to sell and buy products from all over the world to all over the world. Most of the expensive and delay causing intermediaries are reduced to one: the decentralized blockchain.

If you like to be part of the Global Trade System project, influence functionality and beta-test the first version of the GTS as soon as it comes out, please join the group and apply for the project.

GTS Project Application

Application link will be available soon