Articles in #innovation

de-fuzzing the hairbal

The guy had it all: the apple watch, chucks, suntan, polo shirt and dynamic posture. He was oozing agility and creativity – the agile action-man! In his keynote he shared the approach that he and his team took to create innovative breakthrough in a tech-dominated corporate. The approach seemed similar to his image: agile, action oriented and cool. 


As there was something important to discus, my colleague took me „to catch some fresh air“: for me it was just fresh air, for him the same, but compounded with the heavy fume of a filterless Gauloises.
Soon after we had reached the terrace, the smoke started to penetrate in small cloudlets from his nose and mouth: the clear predictor of an imminent eruption!


It’s that time of the year again: the plants are just about to stick their heads out of the ground, and shop owners are already considering to move on from bikinis and sunglasses. The soil is still soaking wet and messy from winter, and the first optimists are running around in flip-flops! And the more you have experienced theses seasonal changes, the more you become aware that the seasons are way too short!

culture mix

When I was a kid they dropped people on the moon for the first time ever, and I witnessed it all live on b&w television. I also witnessed that they dropped bombs on people living in sheds, in countries far-away, and that students, because of that, were revolting and were throwing stones at the police. Disturbing pictures, but also strong visions of a better society, with technology that would solve all problems and seem to imply a brighter future. At the end of the 60’s the future only could be better than the current present!


He was truly ‘special’, to say it mildly… but actually he was a true choleric, hysteric and narcissistic person, narrow minded, unforgiving and pungent according to many, many others. He would not let loose, he could be rude, direct and insensitive, but most of all he was obsessive – everything he did, and equally all others did for him, had to be perfect, nothing less. It had to be insanely great.


If you cannot see the forrest for the trees, it doesn’t mean you can’t see at all – you just lack the focus on what’s essential. It’s just that you cannot zoom-in and cut-out all those impressions, which should not be taken into account.

This happens a lot, for instance when you scan the shelves in a store, to find the appropriate offer – in most cases you walk-out without buying anything: overload leads to paralysis, too much information hampers recognition of the essential – it makes you uncertain.


It was the time of the year and the obligatory visit to the largest trade show for consumer electronics was on schedule. Since many years I pay a visit to this temple of electronic gadgets, and along with me many colleagues and former colleagues in design. And every year the leaders in the industry, and those who want to push the big ones from their throne, meet up to showcase the world what they are capable of, and in how far they are better than the competition.


Hard to find these days, the old-fashioned post-order catalog. Mostly you’ll find copies of this almost distinct species on kitchen tables, in crowded newspaper baskets, and for sure it’s to be found at the restroom, true?

You can browse for hours and sniff up all those beautiful products featured on glossy pages…

design driven innovation

Speech held at the Fraunhofer Innovation Forum:

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

We need innovation to progress.
We need innovation to keep our economic cycle going, which is still based on consuming and renewing.
We need innovation to help us climb the ladder of human needs, on our way to reach the final step… Innovation is there to bring us this advantage: Like a seed it holds the key to continuity. For our economy and society it creates value and prosperity, and in our economic system it‘s a mean to sustain against competition.

lessons of a fruit grower

On the long run a sustainable approach to business is more rewarding than only going for a quick harvest: if greed prevails, sustainability is at risk. Where this can lead to, can easily be explained by any farmer who is running the farm, which he inherited from his great-grandfathers.

Temptation is huge though, to only focus on the biggest possible harvest. In the end the only thing which counts are the fruits (of labor) – it’s all about the apples.