Five types of network effect

Hamburg port at night, photo by John Heaven

I’m currently reading a book called Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh. “Blitzscaling” is a technique they have observed over several years and applied themselves. They define it as prioritising speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty. So not only are you jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down – the metaphor many use for founding a startup – you’re also attaching jet-powered rockets at the same time. You will probably fail.

But if, against all odds, you don’t fail, you may have cornered a new market before someone can beat you to it. This means you will be able to begin all your motivational speeches and TED talks with, “Everyone said we were crazy. But we believed in our idea and overcame the haters! [Pregnant pause awaiting rapturous applause.]”

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Brexit – wie es mich betrifft, wie es dazu kam und wie es weitergehen wird

John trapped in a phone box

Seit dem Brexit-Referendum werde ich öfter auf das Thema Brexit angesprochen. Dies ist nicht verwunderlich: denn Brexit ist ein Dauerthema in den Medien und stößt auch außerhalb Großbritanniens auf großes Interesse.

Deshalb hier meine Antworten auf einigen Fragen. Es ist aber ein sehr umfangreiches und komplexes Thema. Außerdem weiss bis heute niemand, wie es ausgehen wird. Wir werden, egal was am 29. März 2019 passiert, jahrelang damit beschäftigt sein.

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“The End of History” – Sir Christopher Clark at the Körber Forum

Sir Christopher Clark at the Körber Forum

By the time I arrived at the Körber Forum, the event had already started and the participants were talking about – somewhat appropriately – time.  Appropriately, I say, because my plan to arrive half an hour early in order to get a seat was foiled by having misremembered the start time. Instead of getting a first-row seat, I was faced with the choice of either standing or sitting on the floor. Luckily, the event was being live-streamed so there were screens around the place that I could watch on. Suppressing the fleeting thought that I might just as well have stayed at home and watched from the comfort of my office chair, I settled down and listened in. (The Körber Stiftung’s adverts for their live-streaming service, enabling viewers to watch from the couch, didn’t make the suppression any easier.) Craning my neck, I could just about see the stage.

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CIM Award in Digital Strategy

CIM certificate (Award in Digital Strategy)

Two down, one to go. As regular readers (hi, Mum!) will know, I’m working towards a Diploma in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). I recently received my certificate for the Digital Strategy module, which is an independent qualification in its own right.

I was dead chuffed with my mark: I got 76%, comfortably a distinction.

Belt and braces: have the midterms restored checks and balances?

Event at Amerika-Zentrum Hamburg e.V.

Ever since Trump’s election in 2016, a US journalist’s immediate reaction has stuck in my mind: that checks and balances will see the US through hard times. In other words, “belt and braces”.

At first glance, on 6th November 2018 the belt was loosened by an increased Republican majority in the Senate while the braces – a Democrat majority in the House of Congress – were reattached.

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Put your Brexit questions to the British Embassy

British car

Nick Teller, the British Honorary Consul for Hamburg, has organised an open evening with a representative of the British Embassy so British citizens can ask their Brexit-related questions. Here are the details:

In co-operation with Nicholas Teller, the British Honorary Consul in Hamburg, the First Secretary at the British Embassy in Berlin, Tim Jones, will hold this open meeting in Hamburg to discuss citizens’ rights following Brexit.
There will be a Questions and Answers session after Tim´s speech. To provide an effective meeting it would be helpful if you considered in advance any questions you may have. After the meeting there will be a short get together.

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Strategic Marketing Award

There are so many media channels and the marketing world moves so fast that businesses could be forgiven for wanting the world to stop for them to get off. Well there’s no need to be overwhelmed: pausing for a moment (or perhaps a little longer) to see the big picture helps. That’s how I see Marketing strategy: getting your strategy straight means you and your staff will find it easier to make day-to-day decisions on what channels to use, whom you are trying to reach, whom you aren’t trying to reach, and how to engage them.

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Open letter to the Anglo-German Club e.V.

Is sexism British?

Update: the open letter has since been featured in The Local and The Times.

This week, a video of Andy Murray at a Wimbledon press conference did the rounds on social media. It showed him correcting a journalist when he said Sam Querrey, who had just knocked Murray out of the tournament, was “the first US player to reach a major semi-final since 2009”. In fact, the US women players had been much more successful, but nevertheless ignored by the journalists.

Here in Hamburg, the Anglo-German Club e.V. thinks sexism is part of the “English charm” of their club. For years, it has refused to allow women to become members. I and a large group of other Germanophile Brits and Anglophile Germans are trying to do something about it. We wrote an open letter, and notified the press. Yesterday an article about us was published and the Anglo-German Club refused to budge, saying excluding women is part of the charm of an English gentlemen’s club. However, they did say the board would consider the issue and make a statement, but didn’t say when.

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Brand Britain – an interesting article in Catalyst

A mini with a Union Jack on the roof.

An article in the latest edition of “Catalyst”, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s quarterly magazine for members, spoke to various marketing people about “Brand Britain” after Brexit. Unfortunately, it’s not available online – but here’s a quick summary from me and a couple more thoughts. It would be great to hear what you think.

So here goes – don’t shoot the messenger. I’m only relaying what was written in the article.

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