Think Big – Vision vs. Idea

A lot of people know that most parts of a startup including a lot of the ideas change quite significantly, especially in the first years of business. However, often times there’s a core idea or vision that always stays the same. This vision is what guides the startup through the ups and downs of the real world and what keeps it on track, while dynamically iterating on and validating its business model.

Knowledge Worker Productivity Revisited

Nearly a year ago I published a post called Knowledge Worker Productivity (read it if you haven’t, yet). Over the last year a lot of friends told me how they especially liked this one post and looking back at what I wrote last year I decided to post an update as to what has changed in my routine since then.

First, note that I’m still kind of an information addict and read a lot for work and also in my “free time”. The information I consume might be a bit too much for many of you. However, this doesn’t mean the tools and methods I use won’t be helpful for your purposes.

So again, like in my last post, I’ll go into a bit more detail on the tools and methods I use and how I usually use them.

From Beijing with Love – Introducing Cool People from the Beijing Startup Scene

I haven’t been writing as much as I wanted lately, and even this piece I’m writing on the plane back to Germany. I had planned to write more in my three-week vacation after attending a workshop on cyber security in Beijing as I still have a backlog of drafts for this blog. Instead I took some time off, slept a lot, met a lot of old friends, had good food, and even partied a little.

However, I didn’t completely switch off. Even before I went to Beijing, I was planning to get back into the startup scene there – For those of you wondering why I write “back”: I used to live in Beijing for about two years and was already a bit involved in the startup scene back in 2009, the days of Web Wednesdays and Mobile Mondays.

Anyway, I assumed even a big metropolis like Beijing must have its core events and with that some core people, who keep the events and community running. I posted open questions in startup related LinkedIn groups and contacted some of the more “central” people directly on Twitter, Weibo, or even good old Email. As it seems to be the case with most startup communities I got quite some positive feedback and open invitations for coffee/lunch. I met most of those who replied and even many more who I either met on events, in coffee shops, was introduced to by others, or even knew from before.

Knowledge Worker Productivity

More and more of us are deeply dependent on information for our jobs or just out of interest. Even if we don’t call ourselves information workers or knowledge workers, some might say most of us already are. Even if not really dependent on it we get addicted to information consumption. This goes so far that people treat this addiction like obesity and recommend “information diets” or even “information fasting”. To be clear I’m a total information addict so far that my former advisor and good friend would say “Puja has two brains, one for normal life and one for all the information he consumes”. I have to say I was deeply addicted and most of it was because of RSS and that big bad number next to “unread” (similar to “Notification Badge Anxiety Disorder”). Still, I don’t (want to) believe RSS is dead (just yet). And based on the lack of good discovery and aggregation tools I didn’t want to give up all my feeds. With time, new services, and especially with the purchase of my iPad (with retina display “for better reading”) this has completely changed. Now I use a pletora of apps and tools that make my information consumption a lot lighter and more efficient. It might still be a bit too much for many of you, but then I’m an information freak. This doesn’t mean the tools and methods I use won’t be helpful for your purposes.

In the remainder of this post I’ll go into a bit more detail on the tools and methods I use (and their alternatives) and how I usually use them.

Responsive Design, RebelMouse, and Cologne Startups

As some of you might have seen I made several changes to my blog throughout the last weeks.

The most obvious change is the new design of my blog. I put away with the silly header image and switched to a responsive design. I was nearly going for the Svbtle theme for Wordpress, but that was a bit too minimal and confusing for me, so I ended up with the awesome and free Origin theme by DevPress. To stay true to the more minimalistic design I removed the social media buttons from the excerpts and switched the Twitter widjet in the sidebar from Juiz Last Tweet Widget, which is very nice I have to add, to the official Twitter widget, which is lighter and nicer to integrate with the theme.

Is the OUYA going to kill Apple TV, Google TV, Nexus Q, and the HTPC all together?

Yes, I know “the idea that one product will ‘kill’ another is plain wrong”, but bear with me here.

Today I woke up with a message from my co-blogger from gongfubrother telling me about the new game console that’s been blowing up on kickstarter having raised $2 million on its first day (they had a goal of $950,000). OUYA is going to be an open game console based on Android 4.0 with a price-point of just $99 including a nice controller that even sports a touchpad.

Cologne Startup Scene – What’s Next?

Recently, the Cologne startup scene has been discussing how the startup ecosystem here can be further developed and what is missing to make Cologne more competitive nationally (against Berlin), but also internationally. This is how the new Facebook group Cologne Startups, which already has more than 500 members in less than two months, started.

In the last week Thomas Grota kicked of a discussion there titled “Thoughts on my balcony: ‘what’s next?'”, which is already around 100 comments long. Furthermore, we also discussed the case at the last Hacker News Meetup in Cologne (short summary can be found on Francis’ Blog). In this post, I will try summarize both discussions to give a better overview to people joining.

Starting a New Blog

So I decided to start a new blog. I’ve been thinking for a long time, if I should finally start a tech blog. I’ve been regularly blogging on martial arts related stuff over at gongfu brother and will still continue to do so, but I needed a new outlet to write down some thoughts going through my head from time to time. This blog will be mainly about tech, web, and mobile. I will also try to write a bit about the German or specifically Cologne startup scene. Don’t expect a lot of regularity here, but I’ll try to keep it up. In the mean time you can get in contact on either social network through the icons in the side bar.