Industry 4.0

January 23rd, 2015 No comments



How to jump from a moving car - Illustration by Nick Hardcastle.How to escape from a moving car – Illustration by Nick Hardcastle



Industry 4.0 is the claimed buzzword by German government, a high-tech strategy to promote the computerization of the manufacturing industry. Locals here are hooked on this Web 2.0 crap.

European technology phobia is real. The antiprogress movement of German news publishers is real and spreading to the EU.

Politics have now been identified as biggest issue for the digitization of the German economy by Munich think tank “Münchner Kreis“.

By 2020 education will surpass politics as biggest issue.

It is also real, that the internet economy has become the central innovation driver for classic industries in Germany. 36 percent of the native producing operations have introduced innovation or new business models since 2013, for which the use of information or communication technology was essential.

The world believes in German design but it is true that famed German designers are all dead as Anthony Bourdain pointed out. Not long ago Germany was pitied for its service desert which has since been relocated to the web.

The one thing that may propel Germans to finally get digitally going is e-commerce. E-commerce forces German web design or the lack thereof to take on the steep learning curve of usability.

Today German chancellor Merkel used her World Economic Forum visit in Davos to remind of the urgency to catch up in the European race around the digitization. Merkel at the same time spurs the European Union to more curiosity and higher speed.



Europe is called old world for a reason

One big issue for the digitization is that it is true, that the German digital agenda is not centered around knowledge transfer, the empowerment of citizen media and sharing of business insights. Suits in Davos are listening for the German government to decide on extending their fibreglass broadband network to rural areas and that big business awaits them. It may sound awkward, but broadband has very little to do with improving knowledge transfer. Social (equal opportunity) is not on the agenda.



Stubbing out Zuck.

January 20th, 2015 No comments






Stubbing out Zuck.



While we are at it, Berlin ad agency Heimat has shared more profound social insights and proven that empathy works with conventional tv ads than all social media combined.


Personal blogs, or say, self-sufficient content was the engine for knowledge transfer and man-made lifeblood of the web even before the event of social media.


Mainstream reach is largely owed to social media, but do we still need it. Or can it be improved on with better standards now that we know why social media sucks?


Thank you John, for pointing LeRoy’s article out to me. Reading requires 2 cigarettes.



DLD 15

January 18th, 2015 No comments



M Ü N C H E N     L E N B A C H P L A T Z

An island of calm & optimism in a sea of Eurotechnopanic






Creature Comfort Co. brings you CatZen pillows, the adorable neck support.Come tomorrow, you lucky DLD visitors can get a CatZen pillow at Kokon right across the street and bring home the adorable neck support to your beloved ones.





Pet project

January 17th, 2015 No comments




U N R E A L     T O U R N A M E N T

Calling all 99ers


A few Unreal teamsters are placing their bets on an UT99 Renaissance. Simply by updating their media to an international web standard.





January 14th, 2015 No comments




Citroën Cactus re-introduces front bench seat to European cars

A simplistic analog idea in today’s dominance of digital puts Citroën back on the radar.



Darling, why do cars have separate front seats?



Airbump. Nice to have when shopping carts run free.



My second, third and last car was a Citroën and when the poor folks at Publicis, Vienna, Austria had me introduce myself to the Renault client, I thought it was a good idea to mention my favorite car. The client seamlessly concluded my introduction to favoring french cars, the account director however was terribly embarrassed and soon later got rid of me.

Citroën was popular as innovative but was never credited for its invention of “the thing”. The thing allowed for smoother or a less sea-sickening driving experience. It also allowed to lower the car when parked so it would barely touch the ground and practically lay down on the street. The reason I became a Citroën driver in the first place. That same thing is what makes low riders jump in early Rap videos.

More on french cars in America



New clues

January 11th, 2015 Comments off





From two Cluetrain Authors
Doc Searls and David Weinberger



Back then, I missed out on reading the famous Cluetrain manifesto and the new clues published 16 years later even though happy prose don’t tempt to retrieve its lecture.

I was always rewarded of the conviction, that a website can do anything that can otherwise be done with money and analog means.

Supposedly the web was meant for its regulation to be inexorable. It’s purpose as defined by Arthur C. Carke in the May 1970 issue of Popular Science, to bring accumulated knowledge of the world to your fingertips.


New Clue #: 14 Optimizing the Internet for one purpose de-optimizes it for all others.


W³’s integrity has been continuously endangered and still is. Plundered by marauders understanding the web all too well, flocked by clueless hordes who can’t seem to get their heads around how to tap into its empowering effects, and beloved brands attempting to either own knowledge or knowledge transfer.

The web has proven reliable and recovered from however million dollars and euros were thrown at the web, thus converting whatever the intend to falling back on its reliable, archaic, technology back bone.

Hipsters need not turn into hippies, much rather it is happening right now, that consumers are returning to being citizens.

World civilization is in an excellent position to be picking up in the early 21. century, where the age of enlightenment left of in 18th century.

Read in full on Medium
Read original blog entry







Taking 2015 for a spin

December 31st, 2014 Comments off

The Seven Crystal Balls (1948) - p. 31 ©Hergé

The Seven Crystal Balls (1948) – p. 31 ©Hergé



The consumer returns to being a citizen




When did the citizen decide to become a consumer?



If she knew then what she knows today, would she have arrived at such a decision? Taking on the role of the pawn victim – however unenlightened – for an agreement between leading businesses and government agencies that are not in your favor? After what whistleblower Edward Snowden’s has leaked in the NSA affaire? Maybe not.

Analog issues to be resolved owe their discovery to preceding digital reflections. What Zeynep Tufekci may have been thinking for his Medium article and wants us to be reminded of:



It’s time to rethink our nightmares about surveillance.





Should consumers want to return to being citizens, a continuation of 18th century age of enlightenment becomes plausible in the early 21. century.



Better than the golden age of flash

December 19th, 2014 Comments off



©DC Comics



During the golden age of freedom, as Sandijs Ruluks, recalls the nineties in retrospect from his view as a web and print designer, manufacturers everywhere pressured their ad agencies to build them a web presence of their own. Suddenly everyone needed a website.

Everyone wanted a website.

Until then it was not known and in the following likely ignored, that a website must do more than make promises, a website must immediately fulfil any promise made.

Pressuring their ad agencies, businesses were sold a static website as dynamic for their money. This is how it must have happened to nine million German businesses (an approximate count of websites ending with “.de”). An expenditure of between 45,000 and 300,000 Euro for each.

Advertising is a big promise. Can’t see anything wrong with that. On the web however, people expect instant solutions from businesses and results for their searches.

While people’s behavior changed, ad agencies insisted on their business model for good reason.

They had little to no competence in new technologies, competence that was (and still is) demonstrated by mommy bloggers.

Meanwhile what is happening is even more unbelievable.



The consumer returns to being a citizen.

Little by little people can no longer be satisfied with promises, it’s no longer suffice to protect appearances. The citizen who became a consumer now wants to return to being a citizen. People now wish to be citizens in charge for their responsibilities. They want results they can handle in everyday life.

Even though people currently are still willing to be made a product, this can be reversed as fast as it occurred in the first place. Have you never wondered when did citizens decide to become consumers?

Ello is a simple, beautiful & ad-free social network. The users won’t become the product.

Apple Safari browser now offers to choose DuckDuckGo instead of Google. DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy.

Image is everything


be yourself


Reversal of values



Not values but interests is what we may prefer to be consumed by. It’s easier and less time consuming to settle issues based on interests than on values. Raw data exchange of interests is what keeps knowledge transfer going. Self-actualization is inherent and mandatory for survival.

At the Frankfurt book show, the philosopher Byung-Chul Han had made known, that from now on it won’t depend on the ownership of books, but on the accessibility of content. Accessibility not ownership.

In the analog world it’s all about values, about mental states, the digital world is about interests.

For digital it takes efficiency, for analog it’s effectiveness.

Exactly, the golden age of freedom was dominated by the effects Adobe Flash provided. Motion graphics and animation. Without such effect, it was no longer possible to sell a website to fortune 500 companies. Businesses mistook motion graphics as dynamic.

Today we know that dynamics are determined by participation. It’s not what you do, it’s what the people do. The level of participation on behalf of both visitors and developers account for traffic, pageviews and relentless, continuous updates of plug-ins and web components.

German content management systems are left behind, not neccessarily because they are of lesser quality but because they are meant for the developer, more advanced countries in digital build their stuff for the user not necessarily a developer.

Since a quarter of a century, the advantages and efficiencies of object oriented are known. The C programming language evolved into Objective-C and so forth.

From the beginning of the 21. century, milestones mark the adaption of universal usability in web design. CSS (1998) und HTML5.0, the rediscovery of liquid design allowing a one for all solution with mobile taking over, which now is referred to as responsive design and is practically essential to cover the different formats and screen resolutions spanning from desktop PCs to smartphones and tablet PCs.



Everything gets a redesign

In the US most major websites have already been redesigned for the 21. Century. See, In Germany, each of the 9 million websites ending in .de require a redesign, unless German businesses want to lose their traffic to their mobile ready competition. The begin of another golden age with a difference.
This time design tops marketing.



New units in CSS like vh, vw (viewport height and width) allow much greater flexibility to position elements. It will also solve the problem that has puzzled so many designers – why centering something vertically in CSS is such a pain. Flexbox is another cool concept which is a part of CSS. It allows to create layouts and modify them with a single property instead of writing lot of code. And finally web components is an even bigger take. It is a set of elements bundled together, i.e. a gallery, signup form etc. That introduces an easier workflow, where elements become building blocks that can be reused and updated separately.



Most encouraging for businesses, start-ups, artists, authors and self-employed people is that all this progress has been made with the the end user in mind. It is available at little or no cost right of the shelves.

Not what we think changes what we do, what we do changes our thinking. It enables the enslaved consumer to return to being a mature citizen and returns to her the bill of rights to speak up and being heard.

Start-ups and family businesses can now train their resilience in standing up against multi nationals. The early 21. century is demonstrating and has made obvious, that small can surpass big.

A license to kill.



A brief history of web design for designers by Sandijs Ruluks

December 10th, 2014 Comments off



The dark ages of web design (1989)



Tables – The beginning (1995)



JavaScript comes to the rescue (1995)



The golden era of freedom – Flash (1996)



CSS (1998)



Mobile uprising – Grids and frameworks (2007)



Responsive web design (2010)



The times of the flat (2010)



The bright future (2014)



…to be continued.

to be continued… (2015)



Only some six years ago, I received cost estimates of 65,000 to 145,000 US dollars for work, I can now hack on my own without any third party aid.

This is what gives the evolution of the web its revolutionary edge. It’s what the visitor, my client’s consumer can do with the web, that makes it useful and usable. Usability is the deciding factor in interactivity.

The beloved “Do”-word defines dynamics. As long as its immediately usefull and needed, emotions don’t have a part, the mental state of the user is without a thought. Naoto Fukasawa famously said “Design dissolves inbehavior.

The aimed for behavior of interactivity is a transaction, the finalised purchase and result of trading. For my clients and myself a much welcome and celebrated development of web design.

Clients can focus on their product(s) improvement and I do what I do better than anyone, ensuring a becoming brand and building it aside from usability.



The lecture of a brief history of web design for designers by Sandijs Ruluks is recommended.



Average is beautiful

December 1st, 2014 Comments off



realistic Lammily competition for Barbie



On March 5, 2014 a crowdfunding campaign was launched to make dolls with typical human body proportions a reality. More than 13,621 backers, preordered over 19,000 dolls.

Democratisation won’t stop at anything. Yet with no aim to be anything the likes of a nonconformist, the ongoing transformation in human behaviour occasionally give me the creeps. Not right this minute. Not in this context though.

Nicolay Lamm’s vision is of beautiful clarity, straight on and well communicated.



To find your calling, you cannot just pretend, you have to actively engage in reality.

Nickolay Lamm



Become a member of the club of done. In marketing terms, pursue ideas that do.

And by doing so, you want other people to do what you want them to do, while you collect small fiscal contributions while you are sleeping. Aggregators are built this way.

Those fall behind who aren’t fed the business first bacteria with the mother milk. Businesses in Anglo Saxon countries are good at expressing themselves and sharing insights. Not so in Europe. Here it is considered inconsiderate to share business knowledge. One keeps strategies a secret or else…

If at all there is a question to be consumed by, it’s this one. When did citizens decide to become consumers?