entrepreneurship, Events, hustling, startup

Yossi Vardi let me use his keynote to pitch my startup

Gauss CEO Vidar Andersen pitching Yossi Vardi's keynote audience at Campus Party Europe in Berlin 2012

Recently I was invited with our startup to the Campus Party – the biggest electronic entertainment event with keynotes from rockstars like Paulo Coelho, Yossi Vardi, Don Tapscott and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of Yossi Vardi for quite some time, so it was only natural that I was camping out on a front row seat, super eager to hear his keynote.

Then about ten minutes in, something unpredictably awesome happened; As I was answering Yossi’s question to “what’s keeping people from executing on their ideas?” shouting “FEAR OF FAILURE!” out loud from the crowd, Yossi told the keynote audience that I should perhaps hold the keynote instead of him and then proceeded to let me pitch Gauss to his whole keynote audience! Needless to say I was pretty gobsmacked and humbled.

Watch it as it happened:

knew Yossi Vardi is truly awesome – still this kind of spontaneous generosity completely blew my socks off and caught us totally by surprise!

So thank you, Yossi – I’m incredibly humbled and grateful! You are even cooler than I imagined. I hope we meet again sometime in the future. You rock! :)

Here’s a bonus interview with Dr. Yossi Vardi from CP Europe 2012:


DNA Digital Workshop – Summary

As I wrote yesterday, I attended a DNA Digital workshop held in the 4010 Telekom store in Berlin to discuss how so called digital natives, social media and web2.0 can positively influence and help shape the future of Deutsche Telekom (DTAG). [Big fat disclaimer: I work for a company that does business with DTAG] Here’s  the follow-up as promised.

The goal of the workshop was to select the members of the DNA Digital community that would attend and speak at the next and perhaps more exclusive workshop with DTAG CEO René Obermann.

The workshop itself was more or less organized in the style of a open-space meeting. Any attendee was free to step forward to present a topic that they’d like to discuss and the rest with no topic of their own could chose to join in group discussion of the topics of interest. Topics ranged from “apps development via social media” to “cultural change and credibility”.

Kickass mindmap!

I chose to participate in the latter, “cultural change and credibility”, sparked by Lutz Hirsch and Basti Hirsch (if my memory serves me correctly) as it is a topic that highly engages me personally. The number of challenges, ideas and thoughts that were addressed in that discussion is probably symptomatic of the complexity of the subject matter. I will not try to repeat them all here as they have already been posted on the DNA Digital blog (German).

At the workshop I found myself pimping the book Tactical Transparency by Shel Holtz more than one time. I think it’s a good primer on the transparent enterprise – and no, I’m not getting a cut for saying that. ;)

I also promised to post the link to the NewPR Wiki’s comprehensive list of social media policies. NewPR Wiki is worth checking out. They also have a comprehensive list of blogging CEOs.

In conclusion I was positively surprised by the variety of people, opinions, ideas and experiences shared. I was also very pleased to register a high level of authentic personal engagement among the attendees. My cynical suspicion before the workshop – that the whole thing could be an embarrassing play to the Telekom gallery – was definitely put to shame.

Basti Hirsch summing up the \"cultural change and credibility\" discussion.

Looking forward to see you DNA Digital guys again at the Obermann gig in Bonn on the 17th of June!

Disclaimer: I work for a company that does business with DTAG. However, I'm not getting paid nor am I instructed to write this blog or to participate in the Enterprise2.0 discussion.

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DNA Digital Workshop – Hello again, Berlin!

I’m attending a workshop (German) held by DNA Digital, an initiative to “connect the Internet generation with CEOs”.  Let’s find out what that means. I’ll keep you posted on how the workshop went.

For the third time in less than a month I find myself in the city of Berlin again. Life is but a long line of coincidences.. .

Disclaimer: I work for a company that does business with DTAG. However, I'm not getting paid nor am I instructed to write this blog or to participate in the Enterprise2.0 discussion.