Events, News

Greetings from Startup Weekend Stuttgart

Oh, and this week I’m also in Stuttgart Nov 17-18 scaring the bejeezus out of young entrepreneurs coaching startups at Startup Weekend Stuttgart. See you there – And don’t forget to grab your ticket for Startup Weekend Cologne before we sell out too! :)

About Startup Weekend:

“Startup Weekend is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA, that organizes 54-hour weekend events during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, and/or presentation by Sunday evening. Startup Weekend has grown into an organization with a global presence. As of October 2012, 672 events had been held, involving 57,000 entrepreneurs across more than 300 cities in over 100 countries, and over 5,000 startups have been created. The Kauffman Foundation, Google and Microsoft are sponsors.”


Hella Hamburg

I (and most likely almost all of you) never thought it would come to this; I actually completed a half-marathon, the Hella Hamburg Half-Marathon. Yay!

Albeit on inline skates.


Albeit with busted ball-bearings. In cold gusty head winds. In the pouring rain.

It was a literal hell on wheels – imagine chewing on a tablespoon of sand and you’ll get a feeling for how smooth and effortless my ball-bearings were turning – but at least I didn’t quit. I kept going until I crossed the bitcoin games casino finish line. Only to skate in to the right (but the wrong) side of the time recording mat. Doh!

Camera Roll-464

Oh, well. Finishing instead of throwing my skates in the Binnenalster and quitting the race was enough of a victory for me.

Mental note to self: Bring an extra set of ball-bearings or skates to the next competition.


Boom or Bust!

Dear friends and random strangers! You might have noticed that I’ve been extraordinarily boring quiet in the last couple of months. The reason is that I’m working on the next big thing ™ bootstrapping a new startup with partners. It’s not like it’s the new F-117 but we’re kinda stealthy about it still.

We think we are addressing a real-life problem by tapping into existing potential to mitigate it. I know that isn’t saying much but I’m super excited about this! We’re either changing the world or going home on this one.

We’re all about doing the heavy lifting aggregating power and wrangling leveraging technology to work for people – real people like you and your family and friends and colleagues – and not the other way around. (Ok, maybe not for you, you and you – but for YOU!)

It may just be a small step in a nacent field, but we think its potential to make a difference in your life is just awesome. We are extremely passionate about it. We want to be able to share our vision with you any-day-real-soon-now!

What makes us perhaps a little different than most of your average garden-variety tech startups – besides our vision – is our eclectic team. Our team consist of seasoned pros with a couple of merit badges of their own. I am super excited to have them onboard!

I think there’s such a great background story behind it all too. I wish I could tell you more right now.

Should you be looking to invest, our Keynote deck is quite fancy and our enthusiasm for our vision highly contagious, but we’d love to get back to you in a month’s time or so when our own money, blood, sweat and tears has transmogrified into proof.

If you’re interested to know more I would love to have a coffee with you right about now. If you’re interested in contributing, help out or join, come aboard – we’re expecting you!

Let’s talk! My iPhone is as always +49 (0) 151 40 133 149. My mail is as always [email protected]. My lines are as always open. :)

Events, open source, Software, video

Ryan Dahl on node.js @cowoco [VIDEO]

I recently attended a brilliant and funny talk by Ryan Dahl (@ryha) on node.js at @cowoco a great co-working/co-location initiative in Cologne, Germany.

Here’s my recorded live stream from the event. (I apologise for the quality and the Flash format of the videos. I hope USTREAM implements HTML5 video soon too.)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Events, News, Social

Introducing the Social Media Lunch Cologne


Do you work in or with Social Media? Marketing or PR perhaps? Maybe you’re working in a completely different field and are curious about what exactly this Social Media thingamajig is all about? Are you a gear head or a techie with a burning passion for Social Media? Maybe you’re in a company or NGO that has already embraced it, maybe in a company, NGO or GO that fears and shuns it? Are you an Social Media champion inside or outside your company or organization? Or maybe you have read about social media growth services like SMGains or its likes, and are wondering how the whole thing works. Are you perhaps an independent enthusiast brimming with Social Media chutzpah? Maybe you think Social Media is a fleeting fad, the emperor’s new clothes and the greatest evil facing humanity in the 21st century [and your name is Andrew Keen]? Do you live or work in or around Cologne, Germany? Maybe both? Perhaps you’re based outside of Cologne but keep constantly looking for excuses to travel to Cologne for lunch? Do you really need more than the Dom, Carnival and Kölsch beer to lure you to Cologne? Do you keep reading through really long paragraphs on obscure blogs with silly names?

Well, then the Social Media Lunch Cologne is most certainly for you.


It’s an informal regular event in Cologne inspired by the Social Media Breakfast founded by Bryan Person where social media experts and n00bs alike come together to eat, meet, share, and learn.


The very first Social Media Lunch Cologne launches

Thursday the 1st of July 2010, 12:30 – 14:00 CET.

Be sure to not miss out on the “I was there” bragging rights – success or failure notwithstanding! If you can’t make it – don’t be sorry for long. There’s going to be another Social Media Lunch Cologne just for you. Or one that you can quite possibly make it to. Sometime.


The idea is to keep rotating places in the Cologne inner city for variation. The first Social Media Lunch Cologne will be held at the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Köln.


Tell all your friends, colleagues and relatives to come (or stay away, respectively), show up at the venue sometime during the timeframe or drive by and wave to the rest – just wing it and do it your way. Whatever you do be sure to bring some lunchmoney allowing for a handsome tip. That’s basically it.

If you feel like connecting and spreading the awesomeness, perhaps already craving to commit that RSVP – there’s a facebook page and blog for that.

No registration needed, though – It’s informal, remember?

If you’re into #hashtags feel free to use #smlcgn for your tagging and labeling needs.


Well, why on earth not? I personally am a grumpy zombie in the morning, I don’t eat breakfast and I currently don’t live in North America. I don’t know about you, but I do certainly need to eat lunch each and every day and I do live and work in Cologne, Germany and constantly find myself trying to fill the lunch hour with additional value to go with the grub. After all, you could find out about an Instagram account manager that saves you so much time, to name but one potential example that us getting together could do.

Do we need another Social Media Meetup in Cologne? I personally think there’s potential in a local lunchtime event on a regular basis for helping Social Media professionals, the curious and enthusiasts alike, narrowing our serendipity funnel and helping to add value to our common passions and interests. I’ll let you be the judge if we really need it.

It is definitely NOT a replacement for or competition to other excellent social events and initiatives in Cologne like pl0gbar, twitwoch, Online-Stammtisch Köln, likemind, Last Tuesday, Web Montag and others. I have tremendous respect and bundles of love for the guys behind those initiatives and I for one will still be attending those event like before. Not to worry.


Thanks to Bryan Person for the original inspiration and Robert Wallis and Daniel Backhaus for their early support and encouragement.


This is not a sponsored event. I’m not getting paid for this nor do I aim to make a profit. Sponsors may be sought in the future to help cover potential costs, and I promise to always be transparent on these issues. My views are my own and may not reflect those of my employer(s).

If you find yourself compelled to treat this event as your own sales show and hawk your services and/or products, please consider that people may laugh at you. Loudly. In public. It could even escalate to throwing of bread crumbs. Consider yourself advised.

Get in touch

What do you think? Would you attend? What would you expect? What would you like to talk about? Do you have something to show? Do you have some great ideas? Suggestions? Improvements? Special dietary requirements? Fears, uncertainties and doubts? Let me know – in the comments below, on twitter, facebook, mail me or call me (DE +49 (0) 221 3023 953 – INT +1 (650) 450-8047, both CET)!

I personally woud be thrilled even if only one person showed up for the first event. That would be truly awesome! Hope to see you there!

Vidar ‘blacktar’ Andersen, Cologne and the Internets 15.06.2010

Arbeitest Du im Social Media oder beschäftigst Du Dich mit diesem Thema? Vielleicht im Marketing oder PR-Bereich? Vielleicht arbeitest Du aber auch in einem komplett anderen Bereich, bist aber neugierig was es mit dem Begriff Social Media auf sich hat. Bist Du ein Techie mit einer glühenden Leidenschaft für alles Digitale? Vielleicht bist Du aber auch in einer Firma die Social Media als neuen Kanal für sich entdeckt oder diesen wegen seiner Neuartigkeit fürchtet und meidet? Bist Du ein Social Media Champion innerhalb oder außerhalb einer Firma oder Organisation? Bist Du ein unabhängiger Enthusiast randvoll mit Social Media Chuzpe? Es könnte natürlich auch sein, dass Du denkst Social Media ist eine Modeerscheinung, des Königs neue Kleider oder das größte Teufelszeug des 21. Jahrhunderts (und Du heißt Andrew Keen)? Lebst und arbeitest Du in oder in der Nähe von Köln? Oder beides? Vielleicht lebst Du auch außerhalb Kölns, suchst aber immer nach Ausreden um nach Köln zum Lunch zu reisen? Braucht es mehr als den Dom, Karneval oder Kölsch Dich nach Köln zu locken? Liest Du immer noch lange Absätze in obskuren Blogs mit komischen Namen?

Nun dann ist der Social Media Lunch Cologne genau das Richtige für Dich.

Was das ist?

Der Social Media Lunch Cologne ist ein informelles, regelmäßiges Event in Köln inspiriert durch das Social Media Breakfast welches von Bryan Person gegründet wurde. Social Media Experten und Newbies nehmen gleichermaßen bei einem gepflegten Mittagessen teil, um sich auszutauschen und voneinander zu lernen.

Der Lunch ist definitiv kein Ersatz oder Konkurrenz zu Veranstaltungen in Köln wie pl0gbar, twitwoch, Online-Stammtisch Köln, likemind, Last Tuesday, Web Montag oder anderen. Ich habe großen Respekt und jede Menge Hochachtung für die Köpfe hinter diesen Initiativen und ich werde diese auch weiterhin besuchen.


Der erste Social Media Lunch Köln findet am Donnerstag, 01.07.2010, 12:30-14:00 Uhr statt. Wer beim ersten Mal dabei ist kann für sich den First Mover Status beanspruchen, ungeachtet des Erfolgs oder Misserfolgs. Wenn Du es nicht schaffen solltest, mach Dir keine Sorgen, der nächste Social Media Lunch kommt bestimmt.


Die Idee ist den Lunch an verschiedenen Orten innerhalb Kölns stattfinden zu lassen. Der erste Social Media Lunch wird im Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Köln stattfinden.


Erzähle Deinen Freunden, Kollegen oder Verwandten, dass sie irgendwann während des Zeitfensters vorbeischauen (beziehungsweise wegbleiben) sollen. Alternativ kannst Du auch nur vorbeifahren und winken. Tu wonach immer Dir ist. Vergiss nicht das Geld fürs Mittagessen und ein bisschen Trinkgeld mitzubringen. Das ist dann auch schon alles.

Wenn Dir nach connecten und teilen ist, wir haben eine Facebookseite und Blog dafür.

Registrierung ist nicht nötig – denn es ist informell, ne?

Wenn Du #Hashtags magst benutze doch #smlcgn als Label und Kategorie.


Nun warum nicht? Ich bin ein unleidlicher Zombie am Morgen und frühstücke nicht. Ich weiß nicht wie es Dir geht, aber ich esse jeden Tag zu Mittag, ich lebe in Köln und versuche immer die Mittagspause mit etwas Sinnvollem zu füllen.

Brauchen wir ein weiteres Social Media Treffen in Köln? Ich glaube das es einen Bedarf an einem lokalem, regelmäßigem Mittagessen Event gibt, an dem Social Media Profis, genauso wie die Neugierigen und Enthusiasten sich austauschen, inspirieren und ihre Passion teilen können.

Ich überlasse die Notwendigkeit eines solchen Events Eurem Urteil.


Danke an Bryan Person für die initiale Inspiration und Robert Wallis and Daniel Backhaus für die frühzeitige Unterstützung und Ermutigung.


Dies ist kein gesponsertes Event. Ich werde dafür nicht bezahlt noch beabsichtige ich Profit daraus zu schlagen. Sponsoren werden vielleicht zukünftig angestrebt, aber nur um mögliche Kosten abzudecken und ich verspreche bei diesem Punkt maximale Transparenz walten zu lassen.

Meine Ansichten sind meine eigenen und nicht die meines Arbeitgebers.

Wenn Du Dich gezwungen fühlst diese Veranstaltung als Deine eigene Vertriebsplattform zu nutzen, dann rechne damit, dass Dich die Leute auslachen könnten. Laut. Sehr laut und öffentlich. Eventuell kommt es soweit, dass Du mit Brotkrümeln beworfen wirst. Insoweit bist Du jetzt gewarnt.

Nimm Kontakt auf…

Was denkst Du? Wirst Du teilnehmen? Was erwartest Du? Willst Du drüber sprechen? Hast Du etwas zu zeigen? Hast Du großartige Ideen? Vorschläge? Verbesserungen? Spezielle diätische Anforderungen? Ängste, Unsicherheiten, Zweifel? Lass es mich wissen, indem Du in folgenden Kanälen Deine Kommentare hinterlässt: Offizielle Website, twitter, facebook, mail oder ruf mich an (DE +49 (0) 221 3023 953 – INT +1 (650) 450-8047, beide CET)! Egal wie und warum.

Persönlich würde es mich sehr freuen, wenn wenigstens eine Person auftauchen würde. Das wäre phantastisch. Hoffe Euch dort zu treffen!

Vidar ‘blacktar’ Andersen, Kölle und Internet 15.06.2010