Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Heartbeat category.

#SiliconValley2009: Dave McMurtry Loomia and

FUNKENSPRUNG Silicon Valley discovery tour 2009 – day 1: The program for today finsihed with Dave McMurtry, Director, Co-Founder, Loomia and He gave us detailed insight on his 2 ventures (one business oriented, one non profit). We talked a lot about the right setup of your team, the board and the funding rounds and what he regards as the key essential levers for starting and keeping a venture at speed.

He also shared his experiences from micro loand. He just arrived in SF from a 2 months customer deep dive in Lybia and the impact such micro loans can have on the people in this country. His service is a very smart and effektive donation site engaging the donors with the entrepreneurs. pls check it out and start your own micro venture capital ventures!


Facebook, MySpace, Twitter & Co – Trenderscheinung oder Revolution – auch in der Businesswelt?

facebook.jpg myspace.jpg  twitter.jpg

Snapshot 1:

„Carrotmob is a network of consumers who buy products in order to reward businesses who are making the most socially responsible decisions. In a boycott, everyone loses. In a Carrotmob, everyone wins.


In San Francisco breitet sich ein neues Phänomen aus. Basierend auf Social Networks und Web 2.0 organisieren sich Hauseigentümer als Aktivisten für „Green Energy Campaigns“ in Form von „Buying Clubs“. Unter dem Community Brand „One Block Off the Grid“,, wird versucht, Wohnblock für Wohnblock auf Solarenergie umzustellen (Watch Video). Mitglieder der Community erhalten Rabbatte auf Solar Panels, die durch die Community ausgehandelt wurden. Aktivisten stürmen organisiert Shops, die als Gewinner einer Wahl zum naturfreundlichsten Geschäft ermittelt wurden.

Virgance, das Unternehmen, das hinter diesen Kampagnen steht, orient seine Erfolgsstratgie an der Art und Weise, wie Obama Barack während der Wahl zum US-Präsidenten seine Aktivisten motiviert hat: Man nehme ein Netzwerk an begeisterten Freiwilligen („boots on the ground“), eine „activism presence in Facebook“, ein Team von bezahlten Bloggern, die die Kampagne promoten und trendige YouTube Videos die im Schneeballsystem verbreitet werden – fertig ist die „Campaign 2.0“, die klassiche Kampagnen schnell alt aussehen lässt. Geschindigkeit und Anzahl der Stimmen sind matchentscheidend – das ist nichts Neues, in der Form aber schon.


Snapshot 2:

Im Herbst 2008 trennten sich Virgin Atlantic und British Airways von mehreren Mitarbeitern, welche sich über Sicherheitsmängel in den eigenen Reihen lustig machten, sich über Passagiere oder ihren Job beschwerten und Facebook und Twitter als Kommunikationskanäle für ihre Meldungen nutzen. Aufgrund der Skalierungseffekte von Web 2.0-Tools in der Kommunikation, eine Meldung erreicht in Sekunden tausende Empfänger und kann sich dann blitzschnell weiter ausbreiten, sehen sich Unternehmen mit einer neuen Bedrohung konfrontiert. Geschindigkeit und Anzahl der Stimmen können wiederum machentscheidend sein. Im Falle der beiden Fluglinien erfuhr die Corporate Communication Verantwortung erst selbst aus den Medien. Kommunikationsexperten raten dazu, Online Communication Guidelines für Mitarbeiter zu überarbeiten und Aktivitäten in Social Networks selbst stärker zu überwachen um nicht dann reagieren zu müssen, wenn der Schaden schon ins unermäßliche gestiegen ist.

Stellen Facebook, MySpace, Twitter & Co eine Gefahr für traditionell organiserte Unternehmen dar? Sind junge, Net-Gener-Unternehmen mit ihren disruptive Business Models und Arbeitsweisen schon im Rückspiegel, bereits auf der Überholspur oder sogar schon wieder beim Einordnen?

Sind Facebook, MySpace, Twitter & Co nur kurzfristige Trenderscheinungen und werden sie die nächsten Jahre selber überleben?

Wie kann man Social Networks als Chance für das eigene Unternehmen nutzen? Welche Erfahrungen haben Sie gemacht?

Diskutieren Sie mit uns Ihre Gedanken und Erfahrungen!

Posted by Bernhard Hoetzl

blog moves….

as we are currently writing our blog together with the n.u.t.s group we are moving our blog to:

Please update your bookmarks and feed readers

by Florian M. Stieger

Enterprise 2.0 – Twitter & co to revolutionize business practice

A couple of days ago we started to think about introducing a management information system, some kind of a „cockpit“ tool, which provides management with news about projects, sales, and all other information on what’s going on in the company.

But then we visioned the picture of just another ERP tool, hardly fed with information from employees and therefore not very accurate. Another „off-the-shelf“ tool that needs to be individualized to our company needs, gulping thousands of euros and bearing the same project risks of never being fully implemented as so many ERP tools before. Another complex tool that only 10% of features are really used.

STOP: we are an INNOVATION company – we HAVE to find a better way. From my private experience with Twitter I know that it is a great tool to stay in touch with my folks – after receiving up to 20 short messages from a friend who lives in Amsterdam per day, I get a very good background noise and sense on what that person is up to, how she feels, even a clear picture of how the surrounding environment looks like. Why not use a communication tool like Twitter in a company context.


After some research we discovered Yammer, a spin-off from Geni, founded by former executives and early employees of PayPal, eGroups, eBay, and Tribe. Yammer Inc. offers a free Yammer tool, basically an enterprise version of Twitter with some incredible features:

  • Brief, but frequent updates on what everybody is working on – n : n
  • Asking questions and posting new ideas in your virtual office – retrieving feedback instantly
  • Tagging option which allows search functionality on specific topics
  • Tag clouds and sorting functionality which allows analysis of the companies communication habits such as ‚who is most communicative?‘ ‚What are people talking about most?‘
  • Building of a strong knowledge base for later investigations in certain topics.
  • Yammer provides a web, desktop, iPhone, Blackberry, SMS and Instant Messaging interface – so users get the information onto their fingertips

We are going to introduce Yammer in our company – it serves best for groups up to 20-30 people. We will ask everybody to at least once a day post a short status update on what happened during the last couple hours and what the person is working on or planning to work on today. It will be exciting to see how this is going to help internal communication.

Yammer is a winner of the TechCrunch50 Conference 2008 – watch them explaining their service and going live.

By Bernhard Hoetzl

Killer Startup:

1 month in (beta-)operations – 16.000 users!


Mygazines is a site that allows you to browse through, collect, and personalize all of the magazine articles that interest you. The site is based on uploaded magazine articles, brochures, and pamphlets done by its users, and makes it possible for the community to check them out with a whole bunch of options. Magazines can be viewed in their entirety, or searched and read based on specific articles. When users find articles that they want to hold on to for later, they can save them, bookmark them, share them, or store them for later use. Once articles have been selected, a mygazine can be created, which is basically a magazine including all of your chosen articles organized according to your design. You could search for or upload various nutrition articles and recipes and then create a mygazine with all of those tidbits organized and browsable, so that you don’t have to go sorting through each different publication later on. When viewing the articles from the site, you can flip through the pages as if you were reading and checking out an actual physical publication. The difference is that this version doesn’t waste paper, can be tagged and saved without taking up space or wasting time, and can work as a scrapbook of sorts for all of your favorite articles.


Some thoughts:

  • Are we experiencing a digital déjà-vu from the music business?
  • Should information be free – at all?
  • Are illegal sites such as stealing intellectual property and about to kill an entire industry?
  • Will the iTunes business model work in the same way as it did in the music industry?
  • Are we looking at the future of journalism?

Legal competitors such as, another online digital magazine aggregator, who also try to grasp the enormous user benefit, seem not to provide the same value of content.

Starting at step 1: the production of the content of a magazine, book, or newspaper is not possible without costs. If those costs will not be covered, this will have an impact on the production of the content. But before publisher associations and big media companies start suing, which provides a fantastic technical solution on meeting a clear user demand, they should reconsider their actions and rather ask whether premium content, even if production costs are involved, could not be for free? Will people really stop to buy and read paper magazines if they can access the content online for free? Or will even more users get in contact with magazines they never had a chance to buy in the store next door? Just think about the Austrian snowboarder being able to read Australian surfer’s magazines? Some time ago I read an interesting case about online publishing a book: for all kind of network, community and behavioral reasons – the sales of the paperback version increased after it was completely downloadable online.

I think the clash of old economy and new online business models will continue in different industries and there is only one way out of it:

1. Start re-inventing your business before others do!

2. Consider the opportunities of the online world rather than the threats!

Magazines should improve the quality of their online portals. Publications such as the Economist, a weekly business magazine, add value to their content which makes it worthwhile to pay for a subscriptions – and harder to copy the model. For example, I regularly download the complete read out mp3 articles onto my iPhone for later audio listening.

Further, publishers should consider the impact on sales if they find smart ways to provide content to a global rather than a local community, i.e. they could find other ways of making revenue such as cross-financing and advertising to cover production costs of content, their are even very successful in the real newspaper world – just consider all those daily free subway and train-station newspapers.

It will be interesting to watch if the industry has learned from the music business – in any way “when the wind of change is blowing, you can build walls or – windmills!” (old chinese saying).

By Bernhard Hoetzl

Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise: McKinsey Global Survey Results

McKinsey, a business consultancy, released it’s second annual survey on the business use of Web 2.0 technologies – including wikis, blogs, social networks, and mash-ups.

Some of the most interesting findings include:

Business are now shifting from using them experimentally to adopting them as part of broader business practice – to forge tighter links with customers and suppliers and to engage employee more successfully.

Still, under a lot of dissatisfaction.

Satisfied companies, however, are starting to leverage tools to change management practice and organizational structures, encouraging customers to join them in developing products (cocreation) and to tap into distributed knowledge.

Companies in all regions perceive wikis and blogs as fairly important, and the use of both tools has increased over the past year.

As Web 2.0 gains traction, it could transform the way companies organize and manage themselves, leading to what some have dubbed Enterprise 2.0.

There are few differences in size, region, or even tool use between companies that are satisfied with their Web 2.0 experience and those that are not. This suggests that today’s seemingly insurmountable barriers could overcome through the adaption of managerial methods that satisfied companies use.

Successful companies already use Web 2.0 for business applications such as communication with customers and suppliers; soon they may use it to drive innovation.

By Bernhard Hoetzl

USA 2008: meeting Ram

Helmut introduced us to Ram Shriram, so we had the rare opportunity to meet Ram:

Ram Shriram started Sherpalo in January, 2000, with the goal of applying his wealth of operating and company building experience to promising early stage ventures. Ram is a founding board member of Google Inc., and Frontline Wireless. Ram also serves on the boards of Plaxo,, PodShow and Prana Studios. Prior to founding Sherpalo, Ram served as an officer of working for Jeff Bezos, founder & CEO. Ram came to in August, 1998, when Amazon acquired Junglee, an online comparison shopping firm of which Ram was president. Before Junglee and Amazon, Ram was an early member of the Netscape executive team.

We had the chance to get deep insights about his views about business, about the way the silicon valley built its own DNA and what he regards as key success factors for entrepreneurs. He believes that successful companies are based on their ability to board the best people and keep them – besides the right products and smart organization. Only A-people will board other A-people – once you break this rule you are going to be stuck with B- or C-people – or even worse: D-people!


by Florian M. Stieger

USA Discovery tour 2008

back again from our trip to the west coast full with impressions and new informations. We spent 3 weeks mainly in California, but also Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

Of course we focused on the silicon valley for the search for companies advanced in management innovation.

I will put together some of our highlights in the blog in the next few days..

by Florian Stieger



Thoughts on Management Innovation

The entire concept of Strategic Planning has to undergo a FUNDAMENTAL change, from focusing on what is visible to focusing on what is invisible, instead of focusing on visible opportunities, a firm has to focus on OPPORTUNITIES THAT HAS NOT ARISEN YET, BUT WILL ARISE TOMORROW, Given the pace of change today, TOMORROW WILL ARRIVE SOONER THAN WE ANTICIPATE, hence : LET US BUILD OUR TOMORROW TODAY BECAUSE TOMORROW ARRIVES SOONER THAN WE THINK.“

Posted by S Dasgupta, a researcher in strategy from India, Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani. (BITS-Pilani), on June 2, 2008, at HBSP Discussion Leader.

By Bernhard Hoetzl

Prof. Helmut Karner on Austria’s Role in Global Competition

Prof. Helmut F. Karner, a Management Consultant and Portfolio Worker as well as mentor and network partner of FUNKENSPRUNG had a remarkable discussion with Reginald Benisch, a chief editor, about Austria’s role in global competition. Published in „Goldener Trend„, an Austrian business magazine, in June 2008.

Article as .pdf.