Monday, 23 July 2012

Benedikt Foit - New Homepage

You can find more about me on my new homepage on

Monday, 27 December 2010

Follow me elsewhere

As I've stopped writing here, you can follow my updates on the following sites:

twitter: @forcevive

blog - quotes and inspiration:
blog - thoughts and writing: venture artist

company Blog: vicventures blog
company: vicventures

If we've met (and we liked each other ;) feel free to add me on Facebook

Image by vinoth chandar

Monday, 6 September 2010

Personal update: this blog will hibernate.

Celebrating failure
Back in 2008, during a one year break between the studies in Madrid and Paris and while working in Mexico, I co-founded a technology company. Over the next two years my two associates, who were then based in Ireland and Germany, and I build the services and the company simultaneously to our studies. Working together across time-zones, connected mostly over the Internet, via phone calls and meeting in person every so often for intense retreats, was a formative experience.

Launching with minimum viable products, quickly iterating and integrating our users’ feedback, reaching out to a diverse set of people, overseeing the many aspects of the business, a rather uncompromising time management as well as handling team dynamics were only some of the lessons learned. Fruitlessly chasing venture capital was another: the dominant logic in this Silicon Valley focused industry is to wager on investors. Unfortunately, our own efforts were long directed towards this goal as well. While I did learn something on the way, my main takeout was not to enter this time-consuming game again at such an early stage. Not securing financing was also one of the reasons that ultimately led to the demise of the venture. Although we built a community with several thousand users and a strong partner network, and despite winning awards for the innovative nature of our service as well as being recognized as one of Germany’s promising web and mobile start-ups, the undertaking was jeopardized by disagreements regarding the strategic direction among the founders. Following several failed attempts to realign our visions, we decided to dissolve the company in spring of 2010.

Abandoning our creation, I needed to acknowledge that I had tried but ultimately failed. Failure and the important question of when an entrepreneur should decide to move on is regrettably not something that is prominently and constructively discussed in Europe. Looking back at this experience now, a couple of months later, I would still do it again.

New Ventures
A short break and a couple of months later I am now in the process of building a new venture together with two friends, Habib Lesevic and Vijak Haddadi. We form the core of an entrepreneurial collective, based in London and Berlin, which combines avant-garde venture philosophy with a daring and experimental attitude to the realization of entrepreneurial opportunity. We also love parrots and sailing boats - and as Steve Jobs said: “why join the navy when you can be a pirate?”

We operate as a think tank, network and venture coach, but are also pursuing our own ventures. Starting in 2011, we will deliver an undergraduate module on ‘New Venture Thinking’ at Cass Business School in London. The course introduces our key theories and practices on the entre- preneurial process as well as the generation and identification of entrepreneurial opportunities and presents the ʻvalue creation vs. value captureʼ debate to help the students integrate the role of entrepreneurship in the economic and social environment of today.

In Berlin we were recently chosen to develop one of the Über Lebenskunst initiatives. Über Lebenskunst, supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, is a global call for groundbreaking ideas that bring together culture and sustainability. Our venture, a game-based approach to energy reduction, explores the possibilities of how a game can be built both economically sustainable and engage people playfully in change.

Regarding this blog
Currently, my focus is not on mobile; and while it's not sure that I won't give another opportunity in this industry a shot at a later stage, this blog will hibernate until then. Thanks for reading... and feel free to check out a collection of things that inspire me on Namaste!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Mobile Devices Should be About Neither Mobility nor Devices.

[...] One universal we may forget is that our bodies are naturally untethered - that is, wireless is our natural state. (...) to be mobile is to be human. Let's get beyond the thrill of mobility; we're only getting closer to what it should have been all along.

[...] Here's another universal: Human beings live in a social world, which they co-create in conversation. Enriching our conversation with shared experiences brings us closer together. (...) So just as "mobility" is a natural state and hence a distinction we can lose, "social networking" is a natural state, to which 50 years of computing is just now catching up. 

[...] Mobile devices, check. Social media, check. Next up, shall we have a go at expanding the number of cool apps, or perhaps design for being human? Think about this and then ask what it would mean to carry a thousand friends in your pocket.

Via Paul Pangaro on Interactions November/December 2009.

Why I blog this:

Paul makes a very good point to take into consideration the 'universals' or basic human behavior and long-known artifacts when we design new experiences.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Mozilla: Web Apps vs. Native Apps.

Trying to get the word out about their mobile browser, Fennec, Mozilla's Jay Sullivan chimes in on the discussion on the future of web applications compared to native applications:

"As developers get more frustrated with quality assurance, the amount of handsets they have to buy, whether their security updates will get past the iPhone approval process... I think they'll move to the web."

"In the interim period, apps will be very successful. Over time, the web will win because it always does."

"We will sync browser tabs in real time. If you have five, 10, 20 tabs open on your PC and something happens and you have to leave, you can pick up where you left off on your phone."
via Simon and pcPro.

Why I blog this:

Rather than giving new insights, Jay's stating the obvious here: native applications are currently very successful and will continue to be in the future but web apps will also be big. Wow, big news.

Of course being polemic helps to get the word out, but stating that 'the web will win' is nonsense. It's not about 'win or loose' at all. The web on mobiles (no matter how it is delivered) will be huge (see Morgan Stanley: 'Mobile Internet twice the size of Desktop Internet' or ABI Research: '5 billion app downloads in 2014'). We are already seeing a fusion of web apps and native apps anyway: native apps pulling data from webservers, browsers within apps, etc.

For developers it's about delivering the best user experience, ease of programming and updating, monetization options and findability of their service. For users, speed, reliability and ease-of-use are very important.

And most importantly, on mobile it's all about catering to the user's one specific, immediate need - not replicating the desktop web experience (i.e. browsing with 20 tabs).


What others are thinking about this:

Jason Grigsby and Raven Zachary on web apps vs. native apps
Nick Smolney on mobile sites vs mobile apps
Fabrizio Capobianco on a world without the browser
Ilja Laurs on app stores vs the mobile web
Vic Gundotra on the future of app stores
Ray Ozzie and Bob Muglia on web apps vs native apps