O'Reilly Solid: What Can IoT Entrepreneurs and the Mittelstand Learn from Each Other?

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At O'Reilly Solid (http://solidcon.com) I gave a talk exploring one questions: What Can IoT Entrepreneurs and the Mittelstand Learn from Each Other?(http://solidcon.com/solid2014/public/schedule/detail/33139).

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O'Reilly Solid: What Can IoT Entrepreneurs and the Mittelstand Learn from Each Other?

  1. 1. Whatcan IoTstartupsandthe German Mittelstand learn from each other? O'Reilly Solid 2014
  2. 2. Hi. I'm @peterbihr. I help companies with their strategy & run conferences about emerging technology. One conference is about the Internet of Things: ThingsCon. Web: thewavingcat.com Mail: peter@thewavingcat.com
  3. 3. Let'stalkaboutthe German Mittelstand. Germany's equivalent of the Silicion Valley, but for hardware exports. Warning: In the name of brevity, beware of some blatant stereotypes.
  4. 4. Whatis Mittelstand A really vague term: » SME (often <500 employees) and/or » family-run businesses & < €50m revenue » But size isn't everything.
  5. 5. Backbone OfThe German Economy » 99% of tax-paying enterprises (95% family-run) » 66% of full-time employees » 38% of revenue » 83% of trainees » 70% of exports (Source: IfM)
  6. 6. German manufacturers: Similar rulesapply Too large to be Mittelstand, but culturally similar: Big family-owned corporations in Germany like Bosch. » 52b revenue » similar values » owned by a family-run foundation
  7. 7. What's special?
  8. 8. Traditon in industrial design
  9. 9. Verticals » electrical engineering » industrial systems » high-tech manufacturing » export driven » B2B
  10. 10. No nichetoo small!
  11. 11. Culturalbackdrop The stereotypes? They're true! (Well...) » risk averse » ambitious, but humble » trust-focused » inward-focused » focus on long term relationships
  12. 12. Mostlyrun & owned by families.Thatchangesa lot.
  13. 13. “Don'tthinkabout nextquarter.Think aboutthe next generation.”
  14. 14. Resilience Hire and fire? Unheard of. Economic crisis? Hardly layoffs. Creates trust, commitment. Almost cradle-to-grave.
  15. 15. “Marketdriven? Our engineers buildthe best productthey can,thenwe finda marketfor it.”
  16. 16. noVC money For most businesses, bank loans will do just fine! (Local banks and government funding programs can help.)
  17. 17. Whatdo startupsand Mittelstand have in common? » swift decision making (both run by the owners) » (different flavors of) innovation » global perspectives
  18. 18. What's different? » speed: agile & quick & growth hacking vs deliberate and long-term » mindsets: down to earth, quality trumps price, long-term relationships » focus: inward vs outward
  19. 19. Struggling? (1) ... with all the things that are second nature to startups: » More open sharing (vs closed innovation) » Fast iteration » Fail culture » Being approachable
  20. 20. Struggling? (2) With consumer products and cloud-based services (privacy, etc. )
  21. 21. Whatcan startups learn from Mittelstand? (1) » Go after niches that aren't sexy but profitable » Think long term. Really long-term. (Unlike many VCs.) » Build resilient partnerships (internal & external)
  22. 22. Whatcan startups learn from Mittelstand? (2) » Build the very best you can (don't chase the market) » Don't give up control over your company » Don't outsource key skills: Even seemingly simple things need deep knowledge to produce (sawblades?!)
  23. 23. Whatcan Mittelstand learn from IoTstartups? » Find or create new niches » User research. Learn from user behavior, don't assume anything. » fail culture » launch early & often » agility (in the startup sense of the word)
  24. 24. Forthe InternetofThings,allthese questions &their effectswillbe amplified.
  25. 25. “Question: Howcan we getboth sides closertogether?”
  26. 26. “Question: Canwe replicate some of the good effects elsewhere?”
  27. 27. More exchange » Meetups » Trips & visits » Build a trust relationship » Build stuff together
  28. 28. “Yourthoughts & experiences?”
  29. 29. Image sources: » Screenshot Herrenknecht http:// www.herrenknecht.com » Screenshot BWT http://www.bwt-group.com/ » Peter Mackey (CC by nd) » Steve Jurvetson (CC by) » Andreas Klein (CC by sa) » Peter Bihr (CC by nc sa) » Bosch product photo
  30. 30. Thankyou! Peter Bihr Twitter: @peterbihr Web: thewavingcat.com Mail: peter@thewavingcat.com Here today: Come say hi!

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