Author: Gert Christen

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. …

I don’t buy it! The rationale Amazon gave for buying Zoox.

Amazon bought a self-driving car company. Zoox, the company that gave me my first-ever autonomous car ride (unforgettable, even though it wasn’t the wild ride shown here). Congratulations to the entire Zoox team — I’m very, very happy for you! So why did Amazon buy Zoox? Amazon gave this rationale: “We’re acquiring Zoox to help bring their vision of ride-hailing to reality.” And further down in the press release: “Zoox is pioneering the future of ride-hailing by designing autonomous technology from the ground up with passengers front-of-mind.” I don’t buy that Amazon would “help” to pioneer the future of ride-hailing by passengers. Amazon simply doesn’t strike me as a company that altruistically helps others achieve their visions. Furthermore, Amazon isn’t in the people-moving business, a space with already fierce competition, and lots of controversies. I don’t think they’d touch that business with a 10-foot pole. However, Amazon’s own business is plagued by problems that could be solved by self-driving cars:  Cost of last-mile deliveries: Amazon has traditionally used the U.S. Postal Service for many of …

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.

Digigram Newsletter of December 2019!

The bi-monthly newsletter of December 2019. Covering TikTok, the next hot trend, Xaas – Everything as a Service – and the backend business opportunity. Top of the month: 26 Swiss managers & HWZ master students in Silicon Valley, and one of my teams reached 4th place in the startup competition at UC Berkeley.
Meet me here: At UC Berkeley’s “Deplastifying the Planet” course starting in Jan 2020
On my table: Thanks are on my table. Wish all happy holidays and happiness & success for 2020

What Constitutes Leadership in a Digitalized Business World?

7 personal takeaways by André Meister, Partner at NOVO Business Consultants after completing HWZ University’s graduate certificate (CAS) in “Digital Leadership” and a study tour to Silicon Valley:
1. A fundamental shift of power in organizations: From hierarchical to networked
2. Traits of a good leader: Vision, clear values, role model, be present, develop employees, communication, justness & due process, expert knowledge, self-reflection
3. Fast, agile & flexible organizations
4. Dual transformation