Roland Dürre
Saturday January 14th, 2012

Entrepreneur’s Diary #63 – Leadership Skills

So what are the qualities an entrepreneur or manager should have in order to do his or her job well? What are the necessary requirements for good leadership? What competence and knowledge are important in a leader? What kind of person should you be?

In our mentorship relationship, Jakob Lutz of UnternehmerTUM and yours truly worked on this, because I personally believe it is an extremely difficult area. Here are our results:

Roland Dürre
Friday January 13th, 2012

Facebook – Survey with Felix Köbler

There is some news of my friend Felix Köbler:

In the context of my PhD dissertation at the Technische Universität München, I want to kindly ask for your collaboration. With this survey I would like to examine the usage of Facebook as a means of communication and its ability to build personal relationships. I want to learn about the different ways that people use Facebook and how it affects their online and offline social relationships. I invite you to be part of this research to investigate the emergent phenomenon of online social networking.

Completing this survey takes 10-15 minutes and I greatly appreciate your participation. I assure you that all the information that you provide is strictly confidential, will be used for scientific purposes only. Your response will be analyzed in anonymized form and only aggregate statistics will be reported.

I’d like to help him. So – if you have more than fifty years and if your are using Facebook – join us!

Thank you!


Klaus Hnilica
Thursday January 12th, 2012

Searching For Clues

On a certain Saturday morning in March, when Johannes Kant was in a hurry and still decided to go to one of the many nameless Berlin galleries before boarding his return flight to Frankfurt, he did not yet have the slightest idea that his plane was going to depart without him.

Kant was looking for a present and thought why not a picture. Not too big. Just the right size for carry-on baggage.

He did not want to spend a fortune, either. But still enough to make his friend Gregor, who was an expert with art and loved “Eastern Art”, look twice.

He had already looked through seven galleries. The quality of the art for sale was quite remarkable. To be sure, we are talking exclusively drawings by nobodies. But still!

Except – for Gregor, it had to be something special. Above all, Kant did not want to be exposed to ridicule!

Now this eighth gallery, unfortunately, was stifling, small and poorly lit. Everything looked makeshift and seemed to lack concept. A grim, black-clad lady sitting in front of an open laptop asked Kant if she could be of assistance. But he only wanted to look around. Without commitment.

Lonely small-format erasures were hanging on a dirty wall. Kant rather liked the picture in a frame with the tied-up head. It spontaneously created a feeling of trepidation. The arrow-like ends of the tie-up pointed upwards and to the right, seeming to show new ways! But above them was only a dirty ceiling and to the right an empty space. Farther away, there was a picture, larger than the others. And in colour; perhaps acryl. Unfortunately, it was so poorly lit that Kant had to move extremely close in order to make out anything on it.

He asked the lady behind the laptop for more light, but then suddenly turned pale and spent some seconds – like in a state of shock – gazing at this picture in acryl.

The black-clad lady, who gazed back at Kant, seemed in a similar state.#

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Here are my tweets of last week on

Blogging and Twitter, Wisdoms and Rules:

120126 Being moderate is good advice with all kinds of things – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120127 Moderateness is the queen of all virtues – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120128 Knowing your metes and bounds is the best game – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120129 Moderation will give you a long life, gluttony will give you an early death – also when twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120130 More luck than wisdom – also needed when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120131 Being better than you seem – a characteristic I know in quite a few twitterers and bloggers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120201 My small finger told me – just like when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See Twitter and “follow” RolandDuerre!


(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday January 10th, 2012

IF FORUM 2012 EXTRA on Philosophy

In the evening of Wednesday, January, 25th, 2012, Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Grün will give a presentation at an IF Forum EXTRA on

The Art if Thinking Negatively!

at our Unterhaching office building. Klaus-Jürgen already talked to us in summer 2009 at the IF Forum. At the time, he fascinated us with his presentation on Brains or Guts (Kopf oder Bauch).

Since Klaus-Jürgen will be in charge of a seminar all day on January, 26th for the IF AGORA on “Fahnenbildung“, he is scheduled to arrive in Munich on Wednesday.

Consequently, we spontaneously decided in favour of an extra IF Forum.

All friends and acquaintances are invited. The email invitations will be sent to our usual IF Forum attendants shortly.
Interested parties, as well as – in particular – our “regulars”, are welcome to register immediately with Claudia Toth.

The presentation will be held at the seminar zone of the Unterhaching InterFace AG building. Guests will be welcome from 6 p.m. and the event will start at 6.15 p.m. As usual, we will prepare for a comfortable round of talks and refreshments after the presentation and discussions.

Klaus-Jürgen Grün published a number of essays exclusively in the IF-Blog. For more information on him, see Wikipedia.

Apart from this special presentation, we chose the topic sustainability for the evenings of our IF Forum in 2012. We already started contacting interesting potential speakers.

Moreover, we plan a “Technological IF Forum” at Unterhaching in co-operation with the Ronneburger Kreis. Over the year, this forum wants to discuss if “ethical behaviour and business success” contradict each other, or if they can be combined quite well.

As always, our “Technological IF Forum” will be held at an afternoon early in the summer. Several contributions will be combined and then end in an interesting discussion. The theme of our 2010 “Technological IF Forum” was  Agile Software Development (Agile Software-Entwicklung) and that of 2011 was Humans&Management (Mensch&Management).

Of course, all our presentations will, if possible, be made available on the internet and at Youtube. Everything will be as usual – and there will also be an announcement here in the blog and at IF-Open.

(Translated by EG)

I wrote this article after a gruelling discussion about numbers with persons who always want to know better (and who, incidentally, are wrong about) how to interpret numbers.

Here are a few and provocativebusiness theses.

  • As a general rule, you cannot come to useful conclusions about strategy and the application thereof from looking at past and current numbers.
  • Planning the future of an enterprise in the form of a “budget” is not conducive to entrepreneurially correct behaviour. In fact, it is counter-productive.
  • Numbers about an enterprise might actually help you to discover where money was wasted.

Here some comments:

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Roland Dürre
Sunday January 8th, 2012


Right at the beginning of the crisis, the “pirate” Marina Weisband is said to have twittered without any trace of outrage that Wulff is not an evil person. Instead, so Weisband, he is „symptomatic for a political culture that does not know how to deal with mistakes”.

In his article Die Fiktion, which, in my opinion is very well worth reading, Frank Schirrmacher of the FAZ calls this statement one of the quickest and most clear-sighted sentences that were formulated at the beginning of the crisis.

In my opinion, he is correct. But I still have a number of reservations as far as the entire affair is concerned. And even though I am truly fed up with the discussion around our Federal President, I still want to add my personal “two-cent-worth” comment:
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Roland Dürre
Saturday January 7th, 2012

Bike Thrown Over in Germany.

Who is interested in the fact that a sack of rice collapses in China?

I can remember roughly the last 55 years of history. And in 55 years, you see a lot. I had many crazy ideas and also some good ideas. Above all, I learned that you should not always trust your own impression.

Take, for instance, the childhood memories of always white Christmas and snow piled up high each winter along the paths and streets.

What is true, what is false? What is dominated by the brains, what has simply been forgotten?

But some things are really remarkable. My parents were rather strict with us. They taught me to look after all my belongings with diligence and care. Especially the precious things.

My most cherished belonging was my bike. Whenever my bike collapsed, there were angry words. It was particularly bad when something got damaged from the fall, for example the rear-view mirror. After all, the mirror was something I had specifically written on my wish list.

And whenever it collapsed, I knew that it had been due to me not being diligent enough. Just like I always came up with an excuse, according to which something or someone else was at fault.

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In times of OpenSpace, Barcamp, Fishbowl, etc., there is also a new way of introducing oneself. It is typical for rounds of many where people meet for the first time, for example at the “Kick-off” meeting for a future project.

In those situations, you are allowed/supposed to say in just two short sentences something about yourself during the typical round of introductions. And you can include three catchphrases on themes, values or the like. According to the motto “who is important in your life” or “what do you stand for”, or some such.

Here is an example:

I am a manager. I like travelling the world. My goals are: power, sex, money.

That is an absolutely exemplary introduction. Two sentences. The first is three words, the second six words. And then follows a clear statement of 22 letters! Well, this is better than any “elevator speech”!

As an impromptu exercise, it is quite hard. One person starts, and then you continue around the circle. You quickly discover that it is good advice to stick by the rule. Talking too long puts you in a poor position and you will be looked at askance by the entire group. If you never did it before and are probably the fifth person in the group, this can give you quite a high blood pressure.

My standard answer for all emergencies is:

I founded InterFace AG and am happy to report that I live in a huge family. For me, the most important things are: reading&thinking, blogging&talking, behaving&acting.

😉 Or some such thing. Of course, I modify the answers according the goal and topic of the event I am attending.

This article is only meant as a suggestion. And remember: if you are heading towards this kind of short introduction of yourself, it pays to be prepared. You might still talk rubbish, but at least you will make a good impression!

Personally, I am not enthusiastic about these rules. To be sure, it is important not to talk too much. But otherwise, I find it nicer if it sounds more humane. But what I described actually happens. Brave new world. Always abide by the rules.


If you want to read more articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe

Roland Dürre
Thursday January 5th, 2012

Med-Size Luxury Car Costs 100 € Each Month!

Today, the IF blog turns into a car blog!

I very much appreciate all the comments by Hans Bonfigt. He particularly seems to enjoy commenting on my articles about cars and bikes. For instance my article about what-goes-without-saying . He wrote:

“We have now arrived at a time when buying and running a ‘mid-size luxury car’ costs well over 1,000 Euro each month”.

Well, I feel motivated to dispute that!

For a nice Fabia Kombi, directly imported from the Czech Republic, including air conditioning, CD radio player and winter tyres, I pay 10,000 EURO. The only thing that is missing is a navigator, but you either already have one or can buy it for less than 200 €.

That is exactly the model sitting on my front yard. It is now (besides our ancient BMW Isetta of 1959) the only vehicle our still large family owns and is mostly used reasonably according to our private “car sharing” concept by all (well, I am the one who drives it the least often).

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