Week 26

After February was mostly about CoCities and client projects, March pretty much was about traveling and meeting a lot of great people. The last week was no exception. We traveled to Mannheim and Vienna to join a social media panel and meet with our friends from LHBS.

After February was mostly about CoCities and client projects, March pretty much was about traveling and meeting a lot of great people. The last week was no exception.

Panel about Social Media at SAP Congress

I took the train to Frankfurt on Tuesday to attend the SAP congress on personnel management in Mannheim. Our friends from Wolters Kluwer had invited me to join a panel labeled “Social Media – Revolution in the work space or pointless waste of time”. Yes, the discussion in human resources circles in Germany about social media is still very much at the beginning. People told me that decision makers in personnel management are among the most conservative and anxious ones around. Stuff like this always baffles me. Especially in human resources, there are so many amazing possibilities to get your employees more involved, collaborate better and scout out the really motivated and engaged ones. Well, never underestimate the endurance to resist change. The panel anyhow was a nice chat with two fellas from Audi and Deutsche Telekom, two companies I’ve actually worked for. At least on stage, it all sounds like it’s going in a good direction for them…

On Thursday, we all flew to Vienna to spend a few days meeting with our friends from LHBS. We had been following each other’s development for quite some time now and when they were in Berlin for CoCities, we took the chance to finally sit down with them for a coffee. The vibe felt great and so we decided to visit them in Vienna to take more time to see how we could collaborate and learn from each other. And yes, we also couldn’t pass the chance to check out the current state of the Vienna coffeehouse culture. (For a modern take on Viennese coffeehouse culture, check out Phil.)

So we had an amazing time with LHBS last week. They are likeminded friends that went into planning while we followed our love for technology to basically become professional geeks. It’s like we have the same “parents” (curiosity, innovation, pattern recognition) but took slightly different career choices. This makes for very insightful conversations. The more similar someone is to you, the better you can work out your own characteristics in comparison. So we left Vienna with a lot to chew on when we close ourselves away for the next two days to figure out the next steps for Third Wave (we do this every three months). We also developed some ideas for collaborative projects that you will hear about in the near future.

The final slide tonight #untalk

On Thursday eveing, we gave a talk labeled “Digital Disruption – How technology is changing our cities, our work and our media” as part of LHBS’ Uncomfortable Talk series. We had tons of fun being as uncomfortable as possible which is actually not that easy when you tend to be more exited about change than scared. The talk was recorded and should be available soon.

It feels absolutely great to be able to work with friends and close acquaintances. The best ideas and conversations always form over coffee or food. We got plenty of that in Vienna. It’s the same vibe we get with our friends around our neighborhood Kotti and in Berlin in general. Hopefully, we can continue working with even more of our (current and soon-to-be) friends.

For the visuals of this trip, check the flickr sets by Igor, Peter and me.

Our travel schedule: We’ll retreat to the small town of Caputh for a couple of days this week. Peter is going to be in Hamburg next week, and Igor and Peter are headed for New York later next week.

Week 25

Before I begin with our first week note, let me get into the ‘why’ we decided to start writing those.

You may have seen those week notes at some of the companies we are mentioning quite a lot: Berg, Urbanscale, Nordkapp. If you are not familiar with the concept, take a look at weeknotes.com.

We like reading those, but we also see the appeal in writing a week note for ourselves. It gives you time to reflect on the week and talk a bit more hands on about our work.

Before I begin with our first week note, let me get into the ‘why’ we decided to start writing those.

You may have seen those week notes at some of the companies we are mentioning quite a lot: Berg, Urbanscale, Nordkapp. If you are not familiar with the concept, take a look at weeknotes.com.

We like reading those, but we also see the appeal in writing a week note for ourselves. It gives you time to reflect on the week and talk a bit more hands on about our work. It will – and that won’t change – not go into big detail, since most of our work is still confidential. But it will give you, dear reader, a better perspective of what we’re up to.


Tuesday was the first day in four weeks that all of Third Wave have been together in our office in Berlin. We are just six month into the business, but our travel schedule feels much more mature at this point. Nevertheless, we also enjoyed to be able to sit at one table and actually talk through some of the many things that piled up during our US trip. Being away showed us also where we need to polish our processes. Some things just slipped through, while we’ve been in a different time zone taking a huge amount of meetings and preparing for Austin.

A good portion of our time went to finalizing the financial part of the Cognitive Cities Conference. With so many people involved, it was somewhat of a hassle, but now that it’s done, we can actually finalize the project (if not the topic in general, stay tuned for more CoCities fun in the near future). But in general, we find ourselves still somewhat at struggle with the bureaucratic part of our job. This is hardly something unusual for a young company and we are very thankful to have an accountant that takes the time to walk us through those tasks. You’ve probably heard this from others as well: if you are about to start a company, get yourself a really good accountant.

The other things that have been buzzing around the office is the preperation for various client meetings and our trip to Vienna, where we will have day long workshop with our friends from LHBS and talk to a small bunch of people about very uncomfortable things. If you are around, join us there.

The travel schedule for this week: Johannes is in Mannheim on Wednesday. He will join Peter and Igor in Vienna on Thursday, where all three will be staying until Sunday.