Posts from "April, 2008"

Who said engineers can’t write business plans?

Yesterday, we had the pleasure to attend the award ceremony of the second stage of the business plan contest of Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany, 2008. This contest is divided into two sections, one for technology oriented businesses (BPWtechnology) and one for non-technology ventures (BPWservice).

Out of about 100 business plans we were awarded with the first prize in BPWtechnology! We feel especially proud, because of the tough competition we faced: the second prize went to Surgical Solutions, a project to support surgeons with a kind of navigation gadget for surgeries. The team MagicMap were awarded with the third prize. They offer a new software solution for the localization of smartphones, PDAs, or laptops also within buildings.

The focus of this second stage was on the market and marketing concepts. The judges especially like the realistic estimation of the attractive market potential and the good plan for the market entry.

Let’s see how we will perform in the third and final stage of the contest where the complete business plan will be evaluated.

Panel Discussion at the Local Meeting of the Business-Plan-Contest Berlin / Brandenburg

Tomorrow, our experiences as founders are in demand!

To be more precisely: I have been invited to participate at the 5th local meeting of the business plan contest Berlin / Brandenburg 2008. This meeting is supposed to bring together coaches and (possible) founders to network. A panel discussion together with 5 further founders will provide insights into the live in a startup. The meeting starts at 6pm in the old town hall (Altes Rathaus) of Potsdam. A description of the directions and the agenda are available in German language.

If you are thinking about founding your own company, you are welcome to attend the panel discussion. We would be glad to share our experiences with you.

Where the Web was born..

Today I visited the CERN, the research center in Geneva, Switzerland, where Tim Berners-Lee worked when he developed the “World Wide Web” back in 1990. This sign is right next to his former office door in a dark corridor of the oldest building of CERN.

I attended a talk on the history of the web given by Robert Cailliau, who was the main collaborator of Tim Berners-Lee. The most interesting part of his presentation was on “le grande erreur”. They had to significantly reduce the features of their first web browser and server in order to run on almost any computer. Their original attempt included also the editing of the pages, but the reduced version was very basic, with no pictures and only static pages containing text with numbered links.

When things took off, they thought that not implementing all their many ideas due to the lacking support on most computers would be a big error. However, due to this very simple version they made the web as we know it today possible. After all, starting with such a very basic and rather limited version, enabled the flexibility of the standards that were the result of Tim Berners-Lee’s work.

It has not always to be the amount of features that a software supports, but sometimes, if very few things fit incredibly well together the overall result more valuable. In our discussions on future features for Prototype Creator we follow the approach that with few but well implemented concepts a better result can be achieved.

p.s.: and yes, at CERN they might create some black holes with their new accelerator. However, everybody assured that they won’t be dangerous.