All posts tagged: disruption


(Translated from an account by Gian Berger, master’s student at HWZ University Zurich* and Head of Digital & Channel Marketing at Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer) June 2022. San Francisco – A clear blue sky above and a sensational view of the Golden Gate Bridge below – finally possible again after two years of the pandemic. * HWZ University Zurich is Switzerland’s largest part-time business university. Its Center for Digital Business pioneered academic educational programs for a digitalized business world. DIGIRAM editor Gert Christen is an alumnus of HWZ and founded their entrepreneurship department before returning to California. Students of the HWZ University master study program “Digital Leadership” were once again able to travel to the capital of technology and startups to experience the famous Silicon Valley spirit up close and personal. Gert Christen, head of the HWZ University Silicon Valley Outpost, created an exciting program. Many conversations with startup entrepreneurs, pitches of digital business models, insights into Amazon’s corporate culture, amazing networking events, and reserved time for reflection sessions opened space for discussions and exchanges between students and actors of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Together …

The State of the Corporate Startup

Video and presentations for download from the “Corporate Venturing” event on October 28, 2020. The event was organized by the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco and was sponsored by the Swiss Business Hub. Experts from Swisscom, the Swiss Railways SBB and Paul Holland from Mach49 and Foundation Capital shared their approaches to corporate innovation (more about the speakers at the end of this post). Here are the recording of the event and the speaker presentations: Zoom video recording Swisscom presentation Swiss Railways SBB presentation Mach49 innovation consultants presentation Thank you to the Chamber for organizing the event and to the three speakers for sharing their work and their inputs. Feel free to download the slides and the event video. If you have an opinion on corporate innovation let me know and let’s start a dialog. The panelists were: Swisscom (Lukas Peter, Head of Silicon Valley Outpost): Swisscom started an outpost in Silicon Valley 20 years ago and are one of the most visible and present partners and investors in the Swiss innovation scene. …

Digigram Newsletter of April 2020!

Gert Christen’s April 2020 newsletter: This newsletter is dedicated to disruption. Think disruption is over because we accepted apps like Uber or websites like Airbnb? I’ve got news: It’s not over. Entire industries are not only ready for disruption, they’re at the very beginning of being disrupted. I discuss two examples in this newsletter.

Marks of Disruption

Marks of Disruption #1: (Too) comfortable industries that haven’t changed in a long time are vulnerable A Business Insider article was one trigger in my decision to focus on disruption in this newsletter: “Apple sold nearly 10 million more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019”. Think about it. Apple shipped 30.7 million watches in 2019, compared to 21.1 million watches shipped by the entire Swiss watch industry! What’s even more alarming is Apple’s 36% growth in volume over the previous year, compared with a 13% decline for Swiss watches. For 40 years, the Swiss watch industry stuck to the same strategy: Mass-produced, reasonably priced analog quartz watches at the low end, and super-high-quality, expensive luxury watches at the high end. Its marketing remained frozen in time, too, with suitable brand ambassador celebrities, event sponsorships, and airline-magazine-style glossy ads. This approach worked well for the Swiss for decades, so there was no need to rock the boat.  Enter the iPhone and Fitbit, and the boat began taking on water fast. Fitbit started the …

“Cracking the Code of Public Sector Innovation” included in Yea(h)rbook

The Institute of Digital Business at HWZ University in Zurich, Switzerland, included my article about how to create a method to innovate in the public sector in their yearbook 2018. Very happy and proud to make a contribution and to see my learnings being shared and used! The full article can be read here. The yearbook can be ordered here. My thanks to the team who worked with me on this project at City Innovate Foundation, namely Garrett Brinker, Katy Podbielski, Luke Kim, and Carlos Cruz-Casas of Miami-Dade County as well as all the experts, researchers, writers, advisors and supporters. It was a pleasure and together we created something unique!