Pierre DeBois – founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy
One trend that startups should pay attentions to is how long established firms in other industry verticals are leveraging expertise. Startups can learn from industry leaders who have seen unique implementation challenges and solutions.
I wrote about one example in an All Analytics post on Sears. For a number of years, Wall Street analysts questioned the value of Sears. Its stores were considered out of step with the digitalization of the consumer retail experience. Even the value of store locations was questioned because many of them were in malls with declining retail traffic. But Sears had been developing its operations efficiency through using Hadoop, an open source noSQL database.
The result of Sears’ dabbling in the database lead to the launch of Metascale, a consultation subsidiary that helps other retailers improve their Hadoop implementation and administration. Time will tell if Metascale changes Sears’ image with Wall Street analysts, but the subsidiary introduced a revolutionary business model for retailers – The concept of consulting based on their industry experience. This is not a sole example. Think Amazon and how it scaled its warehouse operations and databases and you can see what can be possible when your startup scales properly with an eye on data (and particularly, big data). More…
CeBIT is right around the corner, and we know our finalists and attendees are busy getting ready for the big event. Before heading to Hanover, though, make sure you have a plan for using social media. It might not seem like a priority now, but following a few simple guidelines can make your conference experience even more successful:
- Update your profiles. It’s obvious but essential: check that your profiles have the most current information and are properly linked. Make it easy for people to get in touch.
- Alert your fans. Let people know you’re going to be attending via your existing social media channels, and start using the appropriate hashtags. (Hint: they’re #CODE_n and #CeBIT!)
- Tweet to meet. Let others know where you’re going, and when, so that they can connect with you in person.
- Report from the field. See an interesting presentation, notice an emerging trend, or read an interesting tweet? Tell others about it—as long as it’s not confidential information, of course.
- Keep track. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information flying around, so use an application like TweetDeck to monitor hashtags, mentions, retweets, and messages. You’re still using #CODE_n and #CeBIT, right? It’s the best way for your updates to be found!
- Record it. Write a blog post, create a video, collect your favorite tweets—whatever will help you capture the highlights of the event before you forget.
- Stay in touch. Follow up on new contacts and work to maintain the relationship, both online and in person, over the coming months.
What other tips have you found helpful at past events? Let us know in the comments!
Ridha Azaiz is one of the CODE_n finalists and the founder of Solarbrush. He started studying at RWTH Aachen University and transferred to Technical University Berlin in order to finish his Master’s in mechanical engineering. His research and development activities have led to many awards, such as the Clean Tech Media Award and the start up award hy! Berlin.
Janina Benz: Congratulations on being one of the 50 CODE_n finalists! Could you tell us about Solarbrush?
Ridha Azaiz: Solarbrush is a robotic cleaning system for solar panels. Cleaning is very important, especially in arid regions, as generators lose up to 35% in efficiency in a single month after a sand storm. The robot has a very lean and efficient drive that attaches to the inclined panels, which distinguishes the Solarbrush robot from others. It is also very light weight and can cross the solar panels, costing just a fraction of what competitors charge. We’re pioneers in the field and were first in shifting the focus from the cleaning and maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) cells in Europe to the sunbelt countries. Where there is lots of sun, PV produces the most output but also suffers from deposits. More…