Roland Dürre
Thursday January 30th, 2014

Tweets on Twittering and Blogging #204

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

140206 If there is nothing you desire, you will never miss anything – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140207 What can you lose if you have nothing?  – Also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140208 If you really want something, you can do it! – Not to forget, twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140209 Those who promise nothing do not have to deliver – also true for blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140210 If you are right, you have nothing to fear – also true for blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140211 If you are rich, your word will always find an audience – also when twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140212 Sowing also means cutting down – not to forget, twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See twitter.com and “follow” RolandDuerre!
Enjoy!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

I turn more and more into an “active mobile person”; in other words: more and more often, I use my own physical energy in order to get to my destination. Also, I now initiated a new personal mobility program for my life. It is called “Away From the Bike”. Simply because I discovered that it can also be quite nice to walk.

My (not so old) winter bike now has almost 10,000 kilometres showing on its tachometer – and I never really liked it. When I recently discovered that my Utopia dream model “LONDON” is now available for a fantastic price as a special bargain “Classic Line”, I gave in to temptation. And the consumption devil took hold of me; I ordered a very basic “Utopia London” – albeit with a Rohloff gearshift.

328_Klassik_Line_111003You get the rather full program, including the 14-G. Rohloff for a price of 2,359.00 Euros. Considering that we are talking an Utopia London with its beautiful steel-cross-frame, this price is almost sensational. But then, the special price is only valid until the end of January.

Reading the technical details, the weight of the bike strikes me: 16.8 kilograms for a permitted total weight of 180 kilograms, which means 160 kilograms of loading weight.

And then I think that 16.8 kilograms is quite a lot, isn’t it? But then, touring bikes with full equipment usually are in that range.

I continue with my calculations. If one bike weighs 16.8 kilograms, then 10 bikes will weigh 168 kilograms. And ten times ten, which is a hundred bikes, will weigh 1,680 kilograms. And then I remember that a normal medium-size vehicle in the auto-mobile (that is: non-active mobile) sector is about as heavy as a hundred of these beautiful Utopia bikes. And that mostly these vehicles also just carry one person.

Incidentally, a hundred bikes are quite many. In order to get an idea, I think about how I would stow a hundred of these bikes on my now smaller property: 10 bikes on my driveway, 10 next to the garden cottage, ten next to the compost heap, 10 on the chess board, … now it gets a little tight. And I still have fifty to stow. Our guest bedrooms will probably also have to serve.

Just out of fun, I continue with my calculations. If I divide 2,359 Euros by 16.8 kilograms, the bike price per kilogram is 140.42 Euros. Compared with this, the car price per kilogram is actually quite cheap. If you take a price of 13,000 Euros for a medium-size car of 1,680 kilograms, you get 17.86 Euros per kilogram (and if you are talking a Daczia for half the price, just half of this!). Basically, this seems rather a low price to me, considering all the steel, electronics, plastic and rare ores and what not that are part of such a car. Not to mention all those five to ten tons of crude oil (source) you need for the production of an automobile.

Damn – riding a bike is rather expensive, isn’t it? How can anybody be so stupid as to buy a bike?

But I continue with my calculations. Our car with a net weight of 1,680 kilograms can usually load no more than around 500 kilograms. Which means that the carrying capacity price is 60 Euros per kilogram. As opposed to this, a hundred Utopias can carry 16,000 kilograms. That is a price of 14.74 per carried kilogram. Now this looks a lot better.

We could continue doing calculations. But then, I would not wish to bother you with it. After all, it is just a joke.

The only thing that is clear is: some way or other, active mobility seems more reasonable than automobile mobility. Except: hiking is even better.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the picture from the website of utopia-velo.de.

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 26th, 2014

Interview for the DOAG

„What We Are Looking at is An Evolutionary Process Which is Hard to Predict …”

Progress in information technology is faster than ever. Dr. Dietmar Neugebauer, Managing Director of DOAG, and Wolfgang Taschner, Chief Editor of DOAG News, talked about it with Roland M. Dürre, Managing Director of Interface AG, – well, that is me truly.

You founded Interface AG. What is the business model?
We started in 1984 as a product enterprise and – through our professional text processing software HIT/CLOU – became the European Market Leader on UNIX systems for all manufacturers within a few years. Around the turn of the millennium, we changed to become an IT based, sector-neutral service and counselling enterprise. HIT was the UNIX text system, CLOU was the corresponding 4GL machine for text generation. Even the first CLOU versions offered the option to embed SQL scripts, which meant that the text machine could do a qualified reading of the assigned database and, where necessary, also write it. In many instances, this was the Oracle database.

Besides the Interface AG, there are other enterprises under the IF group roof. What do they do?
Our subsidiaries specialize on services around special manufacturer’s technologies, such as Mircosoft, or IT technologies in general, such as virtualization. One enterprise is an exception: the IF Localization. It organizes translations into all languages and realizes adaptions.

To what extend do you use Oracle products for your customers?
Almost all our customers use the Oracle databases for business critical processes. These databases are the basis for all kinds of IT applications.

Where do you see the strengths of the Oracle products, what are its weaknesses?

In my perception, the oracle products usually do quite well if compared with their competition. As I see it, it is regrettable that, especially in middleware, there is no overview showing the entire variety of products. This is where Oracle has plenty of potential for improvement.

What do you think about the product strategy of Oracle in general?
It is certainly not my place to judge the Oracle product strategy. Especially since I am not even qualified to totally even have an understanding of the diversity. Perhaps a product map might make sense – where you get a description of all the products and their possible use.

Would you recommend to your customers that they use a complete system from hardware through to applications from a single manufacturer, such as Oracle?
Why not? After all, I have always been in favour of SUN systems. But seriously: an integrated and synchronized architecture has many advantages – which probably also pay off. After all, you will always be dependent on the manufacturer, no matter if we are talking Microsoft, IBM, SAP or Oracle or whoever.

What was it that impressed you about SUN at the time?
Well, we were a UNIX firm at the time and I was (wrongly) rather sure that Windows was never going to have a chance for professional use. It turns out that I was rather wrong. At the time, Sun was fairly new and modern – I saw a great future for the graphic interface of the Sun workstations. Besides, I found the then Sun employees very nice when I met them at their events.

What came to mind when Oracle swallowed Sun?
On the one hand, I was horrified, on the other hand, I hoped that this acquisition might be a great chance. The great performance of the Oracle Engineered Systems are a good example.

The Interface AG puts great stock in social media. What is your experience with them?
Personally, I find them truly great. However it is not always easy to persuade persons and also central departments to join. Strangely, I mostly find out through Facebook, Google+ or Twitter what our employees do, even professionally.

What advantages do you see in using social media in an enterprise?
In my opinion, it is an absolute MUST today. Over the years, the understanding of management has changed: now, instead of a hierarchical system, we have a network structure. Consequently, bigger groups that co-operate now need modern tools in order to, for instance, avoid countless meetings. It is, however, essential to convince all the team members that social media have their advantages.

What is the direction IT will take in the coming years?
🙂 If I knew that, I would not be sitting here, would I? Instead, I would be sitting on a beautiful yacht in the Caribbean with a glass of champagne in my hand. But honestly: I assume that IT will find its way and quickly, too. What we see is an evolutionary process which is hard to predict, let alone define. However, I assume that the massive impulses will no longer originate in Europe and not as much as we are used to in the USA either, but in Asia. In the Unix pioneer days, the disadvantage of German companies was that the German market was so much smaller than the English-speaking market. Today, China, and more and more also India, tell you where we the music plays.

What do you expect of an IT enterprise such as Oracle during this process?

It would be a true achievement to find the right mixture and/or balance between “open” and “proprietary”. The IT market changes quickly and can no longer be controlled by a single enterprise. Consequently, technological openness and strategic transparency are to be desired, as well as certainly useful in the long run for IT enterprises.

How do you see the position of a user group such as the DOAG?
Well, I have Siemens experience, both as employee and supplier. At Siemens, we had the Siemens User Association. It always made a huge impression on me how this was formative for very constructive relationships, especially with big customers and suppliers and how beneficial it was for both parties concerned.

What experience from your long professional life can you hand on to other entrepreneurs?
The most important is perhaps: always come up with your own judgement. And remain agile and avoid dogmatic decisions and behaviour on all accounts. Other than that, I try to live up to the rules for modern management as set by Hans Ulrich, the founder of the St. Gallen Management Model. They are: accept the unpredictability of the future as a normal state of affairs, extend the borders of your thinking, be more driven by “as well as” than “either-or”, think multi-dimensionally, understand self-organisation and self-control as a formative model, consider managing a meaningful and meaning-transporting function, focus on what is important and make use of group dynamics. Isn’t it remarkable that these rules have been first written down in the 1980ies?
By now, the interview has been published by the DOAG – so here is my post of same.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday January 23rd, 2014

Tweets on Twittering and Blogging #203

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

140130 If you cannot sing, whistle – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140131 Do not trust those who never trust others – good advice also for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140201 If you do not spin, you will never get rid of your flax – good advice also for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140202 If you are not prepared to lose, you should not play – also true for blogging and twittering! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140203 Nothing ventured, nothing gained – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140204 If you put nothing on the hook, you will not catch anything – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140205 If you do not strive towards success, you will end up being nothing – not to forget, twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

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

Enjoy!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday January 22nd, 2014

The Secret of Wise Decisions…

Gute EntscheidungThis small book is only one of many on “decisions”. It helped me to understand myself a little better. After all, I was frequently a huge riddle to myself. And I often did not understand why I felt so uncomfortable with “rational” decisions.

Many strategic meetings where seemingly rational varieties of scenarios were presented, analysed and then again discarded were something I hated. I often suffered during these meetings, because they seemed totally useless to me.

With all these deliberations and doubts, I never knew if I was coming or going at the end of these long and strenuous meetings. I became unable to make decisions and felt paralyzed. Even though before the exercise, all had been rather clear, nothing was clear afterwards.

Occasionally in my life, I also thought I had to free myself from my “gut decisions” and follow “ratio”. After all, a “good manager” makes himself independent from feelings and instead follows ratio! In all those cases, it turned out to have been a huge mistake.

Books like this one will not prevent us humans from falling victim to the ratio trap. But at least they explain why this is totally normal. And that my feeling bad was totally justified. It is not me who is crazy when I am struggling against ratio. Instead, it is all those “ratio-persons” who make life hard for themselves.

The special thing about this book is that Maja Storch feeds us this rather high-standard food in a very easily understandable way and with lots of humour. You can actually read this book like an entertaining who-done-it.

Thanks to reading this, I was again capable of coming to terms with my “strange” managerial style a little. And I am glad to know that my method was not all that bad. Instead, it is in accordance with how humans basically function. Now I know that the strict (self) criticism against my usual decision-making process of my rational super-ego was wrong. And consequently, I am now again a little more content.

Here is the Amazon “affiliate link”.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 19th, 2014

As Time Goes By …

InterFace_Icon_30Jahre_01-94Around the turn of the years from 1983 to 1984, Wolf Geldmacher and yours truly were rather courageous when deciding to found the InterFace Connection Association for Data Processing and Communication Software mbH together with Dr. Peter Schnupp (InterFace GmbH) and Claus M. Müller (via InterFace Computer GmbH).

And to this day, we have had much joy with what we had done. Wolf and I were the active associates. Initially, we each held a share of 30 %. Exactly 30 years ago, on April, 1st, 1984, the day had come! The InterFace Connection (today InterFace AG) officially started its work.

It was not an “April Fool’s Joke”. After all, we now can look back on 30 exciting and successful years in business. On March, 31st, the Interface will have existed thirty years on this planet. We will celebrate this birthday appropriately on June, 27th, 2014 with many, many friends.

Maybe you want to mark the late afternoon of that day in your calendar, and then the night, as well? Here on the IF Blog, I will also report at length about the event. We will also inform and invite our friends through many other channels.

After thirty years at InterFace AG, I am now in the position of holding the majority of the shares and of being the managing director. My roles at InterFace were diverse. We started out as a rather successful production firm and then developed into a service and counselling company. And we assume that the future of InterFace AG will also be a good one.

This year is my last as managing director at InterFace AG – which is certainly a reason to look back. There is no “Today” without “Yesterday” and no “Tomorrow” without “Today”. So we need to do some remembering. Well, quite a few things come to mind and also seem remarkable.

I have to think of all the many comrades who accompanied me through those 30 years or through parts of the way. I have to think of the many enterprises that came and went. I enjoy thinking of our great customers, for whom we always enjoyed working. And how it always made us happy to see that our software and services contributed to our customers’ success. In fact, there are some customers of ours we served from day one and still serve today!

Many famous and powerful enterprises appreciated us as their supplier. There is quite an illustrious sound to some of the addresses. Some of them have even disappeared by now. For instance the Kirch-Gruppe and the WestLB. But also quite recently the Weltbild publishing company. What marvellous projects we worked with these enterprises! Luckily, however, most of our big customers survived.

30 years of InterFace also means we saw many partners and competing enterprises come and go. Here, too, I have to say that there were famous names among them. We respected them greatly. And then they were gone.

As I think back in this way, I notice that we are something like a “Surviver”. And that probably not too many of those exist. And that we are actually doing quite well. So what more is there to desire?

Except a few more years of good living.

In order to make sure this will continue to be so, we plan a huge party on June, 27th, 2014. We want to celebrate our survival. We will invite as many friends as possible who accompanied us, still accompany us today and hopefully will still accompany us in the future.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For more information about our party, click here: IF-Open!

Roland Dürre
Thursday January 16th, 2014

IF Forum on Thursday, February, 27th, with Jörg Schindler

Since April, 1st, 1984, the InterFace AG has now had thirty successful business years. Our thirtieth birthday is on the first of April and we want to celebrate it in the summer of 2014.

InterFace_Icon_30Jahre_01-94In 2014, however, there are many other birthdays you could also celebrate. Among others, there is the 450th birthday of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). For several reasons, our decision whose face to make the 2014 InterFace AG face was made in favour of his.

Consequently, we now invite Galileo Galilei to “visit us in the present” at our IFForum. The topics of the three presentations in 2014 will be cosmoshumans and the turn of an era.

On Thursday, February, 27th, we will start with a presentation by Jörg Schindler on the turn of an era. He will speak about

The Beginning of the End of the Fossil Age.
“The big Transformation of Our World” and “Resilience will Follow Efficiency”

Schindler_Foto_FarbeJörg Schindler was born in Augsburg in 1943 and now lives near Munich.

In the 1960ies, he studied business at LMU München. During the 1970ies, he worked on the development of traffic control systems in various companies around Munich.

1984 – that was the year we founded InterFace AG – he changed to Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST) at Ottobrunn, where he was managing director from 1992 until the end of 2008. After that, he started his (non-) retirement.

Apart from this, he is active in many areas:

From 2000 to 2003, he was a member of the Enquête Commission of the Bavarian Senate: “Into the New Millennium with New Energy”.

Board member at ASPO Deutschland e.V. (www.aspo-deutschland.org) and managing director of the Solarinitiative München-Land e.V.

  • Co-author of numerous studies and books on the future availability of fossil energy, for example diverse studies for Energy Watch Group (www.energywatchgroup.de) on coal, crude oil and uranium, the books „Ölwechsel” (München, 2002), ”Geht uns das Erdöl aus?” (Freiburg, 2009), ”Aufbruch, Unser Energiesystem im Wandel” (München, 2011), ”Postfossile Mobilität – Wegweiser für die Zeit nach dem Peak Oil“ (Bad Homburg, 2009) and last not least  “Öldämmerung – Deepwater Horizon und das Ende des Ölzeitalters” (München, 2011).

Here are some of Mr. Schindler’s theories

  • BAU (Business as usual) is “now” at its end.
  • In actual fact, this means: with Peak Oil, the short era of abundant and cheap energy has reached its end. It had started with the “great acceleration” in the 1950ies due to the more and more and ever cheaper oil from the Middle East (the historian Christian Pfister called this development the “1950ies syndrome”). The consequence was that the industrial nations started mass motorization and developed consumer society habits following the American model. This phase started losing its momentum in the developed countries in the mid- 1970ies and came to a world-wide stop in the middle of the 2010 decade – regardless of the still prevailing development in the emerging economies of Brazil, China and India where some catching-up is under way.
  • This means that the world is at a revolutionary turning point, i.e. the transition from a fossil-sponsored capitalism to a post-fossil society – the Great Transformation. (The end of capitalism as we now know it).
  • Cheap and more than enough energy as a business requirement: following Karl Valentin, you could call this an “erroneous error”.
  • Now we need to make the inevitable transformation as tolerable as possible. This is, in particular, also a task for the enterprises. Internally, it is a question of survival, externally one of contributing to the solution.
  • There is no master plan for this transformation (nor can there ever be one).
  • Since you do not know what the future will bring, it must be the goal of all enterprises to cope with as many scenarios as possible (incidentally, this is also the principle of nature).
  • What does this mean for our enterprises? Above all, it means that efficiency as the highest maxim is no longer useful. You can only be efficient in a well-defined context. Instead, our new goal must be resilience.
  • Mind you, we know that efficiency and resilience oppose each other …
  • But resilience, too, needs management. Externally, you need a critical view of the world and you need to know the non-sustainable elements of your own world. Internally, you need a maximum of qualifications gained through flexible organizational structures and self-organization.

Registration:

This IF Forum, too, will be held in the seminar zone on the top floor of our Unterhaching InterFace AG building. We welcome you from 18.00 hours, the introduction will start at 18.15 hours. After the short presentation, there will be plenty of time for communication in a comfortable atmosphere.

As always, you can register for this IF Forum by simply sending an E-Mail. We look forward to the same kinds of interesting discussions and beautiful chats we are used to!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Mr. Schindler is someone I know rather well and I am always impressed by how many things he knows. Having been the head of a “Think Tank”, his professional life gave him the unique chance to do practice-oriented research for many years. I feel particularly comfortable with how rational he informs about often very emotional topics. Again, I am sure we will have an extremely nice IF Forum.

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

140123 Living without jealousy is living without love – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140124 Those who don’t want to hear must feel – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Widsom

140125 If you want to avoid human contact, you have to move to another world – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140126 You are either for me or against me – also when blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140127 If you write, you will never be forgotten – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140128 Those who cannot walk fast enough will have to run – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140129 If you cannot swim, you should avoid water – not to forget, twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

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

Enjoy!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday January 15th, 2014

What I Like #1 – DuckDuckGo!

I like DuckDuckGo!

You do not know DuckDuckGo?

No problem. As always, you will find all you need to know about DuckDuckGo in Wikipedia. And you can just go ahead and try it if you click here.

What happens is you will immediately see the no longer quite so new search engine. It is not some intellectual nonsense like Wolfram|Alpha. You will find the look a little retro. And functionally, it is probably where google was ten years ago. But it is already surprisingly nice to work with. And if we all support DuckDuckGo, they will soon improve.

The time when the “Snowdon disclosures” (which, incidentally, were not disclosures at all, because our hackers had known it all for several years) reached the public awareness were the time when it was definitely clear that DuckDuckGo is now presentable. Because DuckDuckGo does not collect user data.

Consequently, there cannot be a “user bubble” either It is something I do not want and I will gladly forego the alleged comfort of “tracking” and collecting my input.

I want a search engine to render the same result for every user at all places and at all times. Because a user should be wise enough to know that, if, for instance, he is using the search engine for finding a restaurant called Bella Italia in Ottobrunn, he would have to enter Ottobrunn on top of “Bella Italia”.

So why don’t you go ahead and quickly try DuckDuckGo? – Even if it does not protect you against NSA.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

 

Roland Dürre
Monday January 13th, 2014

“Love it, change it or leave it”

What a nice sentence! Consequently, I put it at the end of my next to last Post. As a recommendation how you could deal with annoying developments in your enterprise.

I rather like the sentence. The same is true for this recommendation:

“Cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it!” or, slightly changed “Cook it, peal it or leave it!”,
which is a recommendation you should strictly adhere to when visiting tropical countries when it comes to eating and if you want to stay healthy

“Love it, change it or leave it”,
however, sounds a little too menacing for my taste. Consequently, I would like to take the sting out of it a little bit. In this context, “love” does not mean the heated and ardent love of a fan for his club which will easily switch from total exultation to great despair. No: what it means in this context is the “mature, well-pondered preference” of a social system you can identify with even after having discovered its advantages and disadvantages.

Change” does not call for the radical element of a revolution. Instead, it means the process of change or improvement which can also happen in small steps and be very valuable.

Only “leave” is digital. If you clearly feel it cannot go on in this way, then you should come to a decision and, if necessary, even say farewell.

RMD
(Translated by EG)