Week 94

As it turns out, even strategic consultants may benefit from a new perspective when it comes to planning for the future. A guest post by our fantastic summer intern, Jasmine.

Strategy consultants need strategy consulting, too

During my two-month internship at Third Wave – between semesters as a graduate student in the MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts – I “decorated” the office in Post-it notes, prepared preliminary research and workshop materials for a client’s business model project, and got to flex the kind of consulting muscles that I had set out to exercise this summer.

The outsider inside

Acting as an embedded consultant, so to speak, I took on a project to help Third Wave plan for its own future, including assessing the business model (based on the Business Model Generation approach), clarifying communication materials, diagramming the processes, etc. I carefully reviewed existing web and blog content, surveyed the competitive landscape, and conducted individual interviews with Third Wave’s team members.

As an “outsider” I was able to recognize needs and strengths, and as an “insider” I was able to understand the company’s culture and aspirations. It was a unique position that afforded me unique perspective.

Professional paradox

You may be wondering: Why would a strategy consulting firm have a need for strategic consulting itself?

Ironically, the work one is most adept at in service to others can also be the most difficult to implement internally. For example, in my experience as a copywriter, it has always felt quite natural to write on behalf of companies, products and other people. But writing my own bio?! Oh, boy…

Similarly, while Third Wave has been hard at work building the business by producing innovative strategies for clients for close to two years now, the company’s own strategic planning has remained on the sidelines. It is not uncommon to put off taking the time to apply your own skills to your own needs. This speaks to the value that a consultant can bring: focus and commitment throughout a process.

Beauty and the Beast

As I prepare to depart from Berlin, I’m mulling over the role and benefits of strategic consulting work. On my mind is how, ideally, a strategy project sheds light on issues and ideas that, once written down, seem obvious. Yet up until pen hits paper (er, finger hits keyboard), the insights have a habit of dancing around elusively.

Transforming complexity into simplicity: this is the beauty and beast of strategy work. To help a company look into the future, sometimes all it takes is a pair of fresh eyes.

I hope my contributions will be as illuminating to Third Wave as the experience was for me. I’m looking forward to seeing how the company evolves.

Jasmine spent the summer helping us sort our thoughts and filling our walls up with Post-its before relocating to San Francisco. If you want to learn more about her, visit jasmineprobst.com.

Week 92

For this weekend we asked some friends to each bring a friend and join us for a short trip out of the city. We set up camp at a gorgeous old palace, that in true summer style boasted walks, swims, marshmallow campfires, games and lots and lots of conversations. Also, we kicked off a new interview series with people who inspire us.


A little while ago we figured it’d be nice to take a weekend off with a bunch of friends and friends’ friends. So we went ahead and just invited five people each, each of whom would bring another person along, and rented a little palace. (Yes, that’s right, a palace. Or maybe a château, who knows.) As a joke, internally we called it BerlinFTW, which could double as a bad pun riffing on the Foo Camp theme (“foo” = friends of O’Reilly, “ftw”=friends of Third Wave), but really is meant to celebrate Berlin, as in “Berlin for the win“.

the lake / Dorfsee

And so after a weekend of lots of both sun and rain, of camp fire and marshmallows, of walks and a swim in the pool and games and conversations, we’re back to work, recharged and ready to go.

Long story short: Thanks everyone for a fantastic weekend. Hopefully we can do that again sometime soon!


We kicked off a new series of interviews with people we admire and who inspire us. The first installment features our friend Caroline Drucker, who just took over as country manager for Etsy Germany. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the series and we’re lining up a whole bunch of great people for more. Keep an eye on the interview category on our blog for updates.

We also got interviewed: Igor about the future, Johannes by Gold magazine (.de) about the Quantified Self and personal analytics. Gold is a fresh take on sports magazines in general, so if you see it, you might want to pick up a copy.

Week 89

After almost two weeks of constant travel, I’m reporting back from two fantastic conferences, Foo Camp and the Open Internet of Things Assembly, as well as a few days in the Bay Area.

Foo Camp, San Francisco, OpenIOT

After near to two weeks of constant travel, I’m writing this on the plane back from London, both exhausted and exhilarated. What a trip! When I received my invitation to Foo Camp, O’Reilly’s invite-only un-conference at their HQ in the Bay Area, I was as surprised as I was stoked. It’s an honor to be invited, and certainly felt like a rite of passage in some ways. So last week I went, and found the gathering of smart folks simply mindblowing. I put up a few impressions on my personal blog.

Invisible economies #foo12

For a few days afterwards I got to spend time in San Francisco, meet a bunch of people and also visit some offices, like the EFF and Mozilla, both who kindly hosted me for awhile. Of course there was also time to check out some fancy coffee – in fact I spent almost two full days at Ritual, who don’t mind laptop dwellers and produce some mean brews.

Working with this view, courtesy of the lovely folks at Mozilla HQ

To round things off, on the way back I stopped by London for the OpenIOT Assembly that our friend Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino had put on. The assembly aimed high – we tried to write the next iteration of a Bill of Rights for the Internet of Things. You can find and undersign the current document online as it’s evolving. It was a great crowd, both the speaker lineup and the audience, with a pretty darn impressive in-depth knowledge of all things IoT.

Wrap up at #openiot. Good day!

Stepping in for Mark Shephard, I hosted a session on the city aspects of the Internet of Things. The session notes are up for discussion on the platform, and I posted my notes over on my blog for easy skimming.

city session at #openiot

New faces

Just when I left we also grew a bit. We mentioned this before, but also posted a brief introduction for our summer intern Jasmine (one more for our new trainee Doro will follow shortly), so make sure to say hi!

What else?

A few weeks back, Prof. Faltin, who researches and teaches entrepreneurship at Freie Universität Berlin, had invited me to an ongoing series of talks and interviews, the Labor für Entrepreneurship. You can find the video online now.

Welcome once again, Maddie!

Starting this week, Madeline Maher joined the team once again, this time as a full-time strategist and researcher. Welcome!

Almost exactly half a year ago, Maddie joined us as a trainee. Starting this week, she’s joined us again, as a full-time strategist/researcher, and officially our first team member outside our merry crew of three founders. This is awesome, and so on behalf of the three of us I’d like to say once more:

Welcome to the team, Maddie!

So now with a half year to look back on and compare to, let’s revisit some of those questions you answered last time as well as a couple new ones.

What are the websites or feeds without which a day just isn’t complete these days?
This Is My Jam, as ever, though I have been a bit remiss in posting lately. I also just started trying out Prismatic, which is kind of like Google Reader, but it tries to learn what articles and topics you like and don’t like, and pulls quite interesting things from your Twitter feed that you may otherwise have missed. It allows me to sort by topic rather than by source, which seems more natural and logical. Also, Aleks Krotoski has been running a seven-part show called The Digital Human on BBC Radio 4 that I’ve been downloading and listening to every week as the episodes come out.

After working “in the field” for six months, where do you see the biggest challenges for digital strategy?
Digital strategy can only be effectively applied on top of working interpersonal communication within an organization. The more people work in an organization, the more the system tends to behave like a game of Broken Telephone – unless ideas and goals are communicated clearly to everyone, these messages will get distorted as they’re passed from one person to the other. Communication with the public can’t work properly unless communication within the organization works properly, too. I think one of the bigger challenges is overcoming the common misconception that internal issues can be safely ignored while developing a digital strategy.

What are the bigger issues you are thinking about these days, the problems you’d like to tackle?
I’d still like to find ways of using digital strategy to fix things that are very broken in secondary and post-secondary education systems. Perhaps we could find a way to team up with organizations like the Science Gallery in Dublin or the Hive Learning Network to work on these things.

What’s your coffee setup at home?
Ah, about that. I have beans, and I have a percolator. I don’t have a grinder. So for now there’s only tea. I tend to get most of my non-office coffee from Café CK around the corner on Oranienstraße and KaffeeBar on Graefestraße.

Where can folks find more of your stuff online?
My blog has grown a very little bit in the last six months. I collect images and assorted other things I like on Gimmebar. Things I’m reading or would like to read are either on Pinboard or QuoteFM.

Week 86

In which we think about growing, team dynamics and implicit values, and wrap up our May event marathon.

Growing pains (are sweet)

We’re about to grow, and quite significantly given our small team: With Maddie, we’ll have our first non-founder join us. As we three, as founders, are all employed by Third Wave as well, that makes her employee number 4, and as such the first real addition to the core team. Additionally, two trainees for VCCP are going to join us for six months, and we’ll have an intern join us from her home in California for two months over the summer. That brings us up to 7 people total, from 4 right now.

This is exciting, and we’re figuring out how best to prepare for the influx of smart team members. This goes from more lofty things like leadership questions down to the banal side of things, like ordering chairs and sorting out document folders.

Personally, I’m really curious to see how team dynamics change, how we can keep the information flow going strong without creating too much overhead, how to foster knowledge transfer without too much redundancy. It’s a good challenge to have, and we’re happy to take it on. We’re also all looking forward to discussing ideas in this larger round, and to figure out together how to make the best out of all the energy & capacity that we now have, combined.

Implicit values

We’ve always been thinking about values, and how to run a business. Keep in mind that one of the founding resolutions for Third Wave was to set up a sustainable, responsible business. I’m mentioning this because I just read about Etsy becoming a B-Corp, and there’s a lot in the blog post about Etsy’s values, neatly in bullet points. There’s always a bit of an inherent risk of sounding blasé or just corporate-y by trying to sum up something as big and rich as values in bullet points, but I think Matt & Co actually did a great job.

So Third Wave is built around some inherent, implicit values that we’ve always consciously avoided writing down. But let’s just say that building sustainable relationships instead of unnecessary upsell, top quality instead of scale, and openness instead of obscurity & lock-in are all somewhere close to the center of how we want to run this thing. Despite having never put down a “mission statement” or a “values” document, these things are always implicit in what we do.

Wrapping up Next12, Digitale Selbervermessung (#dise12) and Ignite Berlin

If you’d like to read up on how things went at Next12 and #dise12, you can now find some documentation online, namely a photo gallery and a brief wrapup of #dise12, and a growing archive of videos of Next12 talks and interviews. And if you missed the live event, all the Ignite Berlin talks are now available online.

What else?

Thursday, I had the honor of being invited as a guest to Prof. Faltin’s Labor für Entrepreneurship, a long-running series of interviews around entrepreneurship and related fields. Prof. Faltin interviewed three guests that night – Olympic bronze medal winner Ditte Kotzian, life & startup coach Jana K. Scharfschwerdt and me. Videos will be up on entrepreneurship.de soon.

On Friday, while Igor was on jury duty for the LeadAwards, the rest of us set up the projector to watch the berthing of the Dragon on NASA TV, which needless to say was awesome. We did so while I was having the Campusparty Europe team over, who are planning one heck of an event. (Hint: it’s going to include 10.000 geeks camping out on a former airport; robots; bio hacking; and lots of flying things.) I’m happy to report that we might get involved in one way or another. Once that was all set, together with our office buddy Matt we all sang the 2001 theme song while the ISS’ Canadarm connected with Dragon. In other words, just your normal Friday afternoon in the Makers Loft.

Ignite Berlin 2 is a wrap

Ignite Berlin 2 is over and what a night it was. We collected all the presentations so you can lean back and enjoy them.

Ignite Berlin 2 is a wrap, and we couldn’t be happier.

Below you’ll find the 8 talks in chronological order, so you can lean back and enjoy them.

Thomas Schindler: Unfuck the planet by redesigning our currencies

Louisa Heinrich: The inadvertent time machine

Matt Patterson: The strangeness of advertising in comics

Alice Mrongovius: Creating Collaborative Environments

Caroline Drucker: How to give great talks

Jeremy Tai Abbett: I make therefore I am

Joanna Bakas: Unlearning

Marcus Brown: Stories and digital personas

A big round of thank you! is in order! Thanks to our fantastic speakers for their delightful talks, the audience for the lovely conversations throughout the night, our drinks sponsor Weavrs in the person of former Ignite Berlin speaker David Bausola, and our incredibly helpful location hosts, Supermarkt Berlin. You all made this a truly memorable night.

All videos are available at a glance over on Igniteshow.com.

Original post on IgniteBerlin.com.

Week 83

Both last and this coming week are all about events. Why and how we organize conferences, as well as notes on some events we’ve visited and that we’re currently working on.

This week it’s all about events: The why, the how, as well as some things we’ve attended and that we’re planning. Let’s start at the beginning.

Cognitive Cities Photo: Cognitive Cities by Tam

Why we organize events

Running events is, on many levels, exhausting. There’s an inherent chaos, time pressure, financial restraints, strong communication needs and demands.

Running events is also, on just as many levels, rewarding. The dynamics, the joy of putting something together that matters to people, that helps build connections and fosters collaboration and inspiration, is tremendous. Maybe even a bit addictive.

As you might know, we tend to go with the latter of these two ways to look at things. But why do we put the effort in? Usually, our events are not for profit. We might break even or even turn a small profit, but usually and across events we usually just about even out, and that’s not counting our own time. So these events are a bit of an investment of sorts, and one we’re happy to make.

First, you get to know a whole lot of smart, interesting people. Speakers, participants and fellow organizers, there are many good folks to meet, and organizing events is a pretty smooth way to do it. Giving someone a chance to speak at a big stage can also really be a bit of a leg up for those who are relatively new to the game, and if they’re good at what they’re doing then everyone will be happy for them to get some stage time.

Second, it’s a fantastic way to get inside a topic you knew little about. Doing the research, finding the right speakers and having plenty of conversations along the way, putting together the program for a conference is like a fast track to become a (meta-level) expert for something. Being in the business of helping people understand emerging technologies and behavior changes, running events has turned out to be a perfect vehicle for us. At these events, we explore new topics and help spread ideas from innovators in one field to the early adopter crowd. Then, one step later, we help larger organizations to understand the changes these emerging topics trigger, and identify new business opportunities for them and ourselves.

Also, if somewhat more fluffy, it has the side effect of being invited to other great conferences and parties, and who are we to complain?

How we organize events

Over the last few years, all of us individually and collectively have been involved in all kinds of events, from Barcamps, TEDx and Ignite to larger stuff like our own Cognitive Cities Conference or Next. We did this either as lead organizers, as part of larger collectives, as curators or advisors. We also speak a lot at conferences, and attend even more. In other words, we breathe these kind of events. And so over the years, we’ve learned a few lessons.

These notes go particularly for small to mid-sized events and those with a low or very low budget. If you actually have a fundraiser and a full-time team to throw at organizing something, this might not be the right list for you. That said, what are the tricks, the nitty gritty of how to put together something memorable while working full-time on something else?

  • Keep it simple.
    Experimenting with formats is ok, but the easier the better. Simple food and drinks are the best solution as full-on catering tends to use up a fair bit of both budget and time to organize (after all, you’d want to pick the best caterer, sample the food, sort out logistics etc). Make sure to have plenty of vegetarian food, too, as chicken sandwiches aren’t the most exciting lunch. Use simple, self-service buffets if possible, or even just book lots of tables in nearby restaurants. Don’t try to be too artsy about the sign-up process. Simple rules, simple tools.
  • Curation is key.
    Selecting the very best speakers, as opposed to the biggest names, makes all the difference. Numbers don’t matter much: Five top notch talks beat ten big names any day. And always consider younger, less experienced but eager speakers too. While it can be a bit of a gamble, the chances of them delivering some unexpected, kick ass talk are good. We always try to go for a healthy mix of more experienced and less well-known, emerging speakers, and our experience so far has been great.
  • Treat your speakers like the rockstars they are.
    Particularly if someone agrees to speak for free at your not-for-profit event, they deserve the best, most personal and warm treatment you can possibly give them. Just alright isn’t good enough.
  • Not-for-profit is OK!
    If faced with the decision if you should go fully non-profit or try to make a few bucks along the way, opt for the free way. As the saying goes, either charge fully or work for free, never work for cheap. The same goes for conferences.
  • Form follows function.
    Things don’t have to be fancy to be great. Get your priorities straight: Do you want people to connect? Provide areas with comfortable chairs or sofas and snacks. Want the speaker presentations to get the full attention? Put up a bigger stage and a big screen. Want to reach as many people as you can? Make sure you have the best documentation you can afford.
  • Involve the sponsors.
    If you take on sponsors, make sure not to pick the one that would just throw some money into the pot. While that might sounds tempting, it’s a bad idea. You need partners who want to contribute, and who commit. If you pay attention, you’ll notice early on if a sponsor really wants to help build something great or if they just want their logo up on the screen. If need be, help coach their speakers.
  • Communicate clearly.
    I can’t stress this enough: Let everyone know at any time whatever relevant information they need. For speakers, this means clear travel arrangements early on. Participants need to know the logistics and confirmation they’re in, and what to expect. Your team members and volunteers need to know things, too: When to be where, who to call, how much time to set aside at which stage.

What we attended this week

Look back at the week, it’s conference week craze. Under the umbrella of Berlin Web Week, Republica (rp12) and Next joined forces and now basically serve as anchors to a whole slew of smaller web-related events all over town in the past and current week.

We all spent some time at Republica, one of Germany’s first “blogger conferences”, as it used to be called. It’s grown up to be one of the biggest web conferences in the country with some 3-4K participants. If there is one place and time to meet up with half the internet scene in Germany, this is probably it. Timed around Republica there were a bunch of parties, meetups and soirées one or two of us joined for a bit, which leaves us in dire need of a break. (Kidding, keep it coming.)

At Betapitch, as a member of the jury I got to enjoy a fantastic set of startup pitches at Betahaus. The overall level of pitches, the energy, vision and ambition of the presenting teams was great and contagious. It was a particular pleasure to see two teams I know and respect tie at the top, and share the price. Congratulations, Knowable and Somewhere.

So which events are we currently involved with?

Tuesday & Wednesday (8/9 May), Next12 is on. Having put together three tracks as curators, we’re all looking forward to meeting face to face with the speakers and to learn how the audience enjoys our pick.

Friday & Saturday (11/12 May), the Quantified Self-inspired (free and in German) event Digitale Selbstvermessung (sign up here) should be good. With a maximum of 100 participants it’s much more intimate than Republica and Next, so that should be a nice change of pace.

A week later (23 May) Ignite Berlin will bring us an evening of quickfire talks, and I’m really looking forward to this one. We’ll have a speaker list up on the site soon.

Meet you soon, at an event near you.

Event: Digitale Selbstvermessung – Leben nach Maß?

Am 11./12. Mai veranstalten wir gemeinsam mit der Hybrid Plattform ein Event rund um die Themen Quantified Self und Personal Analytics. Das Programm steht, die Anmeldung läuft.

Note: As this event will be held predominantly in Germany, we’ll keep the announcement in German, too. For a brief summary, see the end of the post.

Wie bereits angekündigt laden Third Wave und Hybrid Plattform ein zum Event Digitale Selbstvermessung:


11.05.2012, 14:00–18:00 12.05.2012, 10:30–14:30


Third Wave, Agentur für digitale Strategien, und die Hybrid Plattform, Ort für transdisziplinäre Projekte der UdK Berlin und TU Berlin, veranstalten am 11. und 12. Mai 2012 ein Symposium mit anschließenden Workshops zum Thema Mensch und Datensammlung in den EIT ICT Labs in Berlin.

Mit jedem verkauften Smartphone gewinnt die Thematik der Selbstvermessung und Selbsterfassung an Relevanz und an Brisanz. Es handelt sich dabei um die eigenständige Erhebung und den Vergleich von Zahlen um Körper-, Gesundheits- und Lebensdaten mit Hilfe von digitalen Geräten. Die Anhänger der Quantified Self-Bewegung sind davon überzeugt, dass die Analyse von humanen Daten wie Schlafzeiten, Blutdruck usw. jedem Einzelnen hilft, sein Leben zu verbessern. Die weit verbreitete Bewegung hat weitreichende Auswirkungen, und zwar nicht nur auf den Einzelnen.

Das Symposium am ersten sowie Workshops am zweiten Veranstaltungstag beleuchten die Thematik Mensch und Datensammlung aus den unterschiedlichsten Blickwinkeln: Welche Daten kann man sammeln und was ist daran ablesbar? Was passiert mit den Daten? Welche gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen hat das Sammeln der Daten? Welche Entwicklungen dieser Technologie zeichnen sich ab? Welche Wissenschaften werden in welcher Tiefe eingebunden?

Diese Fragen möchte die Veranstaltung gewohnt transdisziplinär und hybrid angehen, um durch die produktive Kollisionen neue Erkenntnisse für unsere Zukunft abzuleiten.


Das Programm wird aus heutiger Sicht wie folgt aussehen, Änderungen und Ergänzungen sind noch möglich:

Freitag, 11.05.2012, 14.00-18.00

  • 14:00-14.05 Begrüßung durch Christoph Gengnagel, UdK Berlin
  • 14.05-14.10 Begrüßung durch EIT ICT Labs
  • 14.15-14.35 Johannes Kleske, Third Wave, Einführung in QS und Feedback Loops
  • 14.50-15.10 Kora Kimpel, Professor UdK Berlin
  • 15.25-15.45 Florian Schuhmacher, Münchner QS-Gründer
  • 16.00-16.20 Yasmina Haryono, Fjord, Datenvisualisierung, Personal Analytics
  • 16.35-16.55 Prof. Sebastian Möller, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories und TU Berlin, Quantified Self in HCI: Models and Implications
  • 17.10-17.30 Daniela Kuka, WiMi UdK Berlin

Samstag, 12.5.2012, 10.30-14.30

  • 10.30-10.45 Begrüßung/Vorstellung der Workshops
  • 10.45-11.15 Awareness Talk von Ahmet Acar
  • 11.15-12.45 Workshops Runde 1
  • 12.45-13.00 Pause
  • 13.00-14.30 Workshops Runde 2
  • 14.30-15.00 kurze Präsentation der Ergebnisse/Abschlussrunde/Feedbackrunde

Workshops geben voraussichtlich: Daniela Kuka, Moritz Greiner-Petter, Wolfgang Spahn, detaillierte Beschreibungen der Workshops finden Sie im Anmeldeformular.

Teilnahme & Anmeldung

Die Teilnahme ist kostenlos, die Anzahl der Teilnehmer ist auf 100 begrenzt (Link zum Anmeldeformular).

Für einige der Workshops benötigen die Teilnehmer Laptops und/oder Verbrauchsmaterialien. Diese können mit vorbestellt werden; die Bestellung ist verbindlich und muss vor Ort bar bezahlt werden.

Presse & Medienvertreter

Für Journalisten haben wir begrenzt zusätzliche Plätze zu Verfügung. Auch hier erfolgt die Anmeldung über das Anmeldeformular – am Ende des Formulars finden sich die relevanten Formfelder. Für Interviewanfragen richten Sie sich gerne jederzeit an Peter Bihr, Geschäftsführer von Third Wave, oder Marguerite Joly, UdK-Projektkoordinatorin der Hybrid Plattform.

English summary: Together with Hybrid Plattform, we organize a two day event around the idea of the quantified self, self-tracking and personal analytics. It’s a two day event, held predominently in German, in Berlin on May 11/12 with one half day of talks and one half day of hands-on workshops.

Week 79 & 80

In this two-weeknote, we focus entirely on content. We’ve been producing plenty of reading material for you, so here’s an overview to find the best stuff easily.

So I get back from a beautiful vacation in a land full of bizarre and yummy things, all recharged and ready to go, and the first thing I notice is: The crew has been at work producing content like crazy. Combined with our client work, this took up most of the time over the last two weeks, so allow me to use this two-weeknote to give you an at-a-glance overview of the things we’ve published:

Content, content, content

  • Social Media Strategy Framework:
    The biggest chunk of a 7-part series on the social media strategy framework we developed is live by now, starting here. Besides this overview article, we cover all aspects of getting your strategy right, including goals, people, content and platforms. Over the next few days, we’ll wrap it up with posts on analysis and the organizational aspects.
  • New Aesthetic:
    James Bridle’s notion of The New Aesthetic has been heavily discussed over the last few weeks. We collected the must-read list for The New Aesthetic, and are glad to announce that James Bridle will be in town for one of our tracks at Next Berlin.
  • Location-based services:
    Johannes gave an introduction presentation on location-based services and put the slides online (mostly in German).
  • The Essential Third Wave Reader:
    To make it easier to find the most relevant content on our blog, we compiled an overview of the most popular, most discussed and our personal favorite blog posts, aka The Essential Third Wave Reader.
  • Weekly Reads:
    And of course, there are the regular Weekly Reads.

Also, Johannes joined a workshop of different experts on Saturday that worked on defining the future for the Zollverein School for Business Design and Creative Leadership at the Unperfekthaus in Essen. Besides all the great conversations there, it was once more interesting to see how difficult it is to plan for a different future then just to expect the future being a continuation of what’s happening right now.

And on that note, I’ll let you get back to reading all this stuff. Hurry up, there’s more to come!

What we read this week (23 Mar)

Nicholas Felton talks about Facebook’s Timeline design, online behavior tracking is a collective bargain, and while Google rethinks their Wallet strategy, Sweden is considering getting rid of cash altogether.

Quotes of the week

The challenge is no longer the technology, the challenge is in running a successful business and getting those products in people’s hands in ways that feel natural, useful and delightful.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

“optimized for retinas.” Kinda describes present-day tech strategy in general. I bet we’ll remember our other senses soon enough though.

Kyle Cameron Studstill

Articles of the week

  • Domus: An interview with Nicholas Felton
    Interviewed by Dan Hill, Nicholas Felton, data visualizer extra-ordinnaire, explains some of the thinking and process behind Facebook’s Timeline design.
  • The Atlantic: It’s Not All About You: What Privacy Advocates Don’t Get About Data Tracking on the Web
    Helpful reflections on the deeper implications of online behavioral tracking. Let this quote show the framing: “The privacy discourse frames the issue in an ego-centric manner, as a bargain between consumers and companies: the company will know x, y and z about me and in exchange I get free email, good recommendations, and a plethora of convenient services. But the bargain that we are making is a collective one, and the costs will be felt at a societal scale.”
  • Bloomberg: Google Said to Rethink Wallet Strategy Amid Slow Adoption
    Google Wallet sees a very slow adoption rate. Beside the fact that the technology – as in mobile devices with NFC chips – haven’t really hit the market that heavily, Google sees also a problem in convincing carriers to accept their technology. The main reason for this: the mobile payment market is expected to grow quickly and into billions of revenues. The carriers want a piece of that cake and Google isn’t providing them with an incentive to use their technology instead of something that the carriers can build for themselves.
  • AP: In Sweden, cash is king no more
    Sweden was the first nation that introduced cash money and it is now the first to openly discuss of getting rid of it too. A world without cash might seem inevitable, but it’s not quite here yet, and there is privacy to consider as well: Without cash, there is no way of paying for anything without being tracked.
  • Striding with ITV into the future of news
    Made by Many launched the new version of the ITV News site and are covering their work for it on their company blog. They focussed the project on the question of “What would news be like if we had networked digital media (and digital cameras and phones and laptops) but there had never been newspapers or broadcast TV news programmes?” Tons of great insights about how to develop digital products in this series of articles.