Roland Dürre
Sunday July 22nd, 2018

Love & Hatred.

I used to quite like a few proverbs. For example:

(i) No pain no gain!
(ii) No risk no fun!
(iii )No hate no love!

You can use them in all kinds of situations. There are people who actually gain eternal notoriety by cultivating these proverbs. All these proverbs have one thing in common – they signal that you cannot get one thing without accepting another thing.

In some way or other, these ideas were also part of my kitchen philosophy. They were part of my cynical approach towards life.

Today, these – perhaps wise – sentences no longer mean much to me. I want to win without having to suffer. I want to be happy without having to risk something. And, above all, I want to love without having to hate.

I think it is a basic decision of every individual human being if he/she wants to live by the principles (i – iii). Or if they prefer living without those principles and instead focus on what is positive?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Gastautor(en)
Friday July 20th, 2018

Article by a Young Guest: The Transatlantic Circus.

Today, I (Roland Dürre) would like to introduce Götz, the son of Detlev Six. In the past, Detlev contributed hugely to the IF Blog with his articles. Among the things he wrote was also the  Radio Philosophy. Let me remind you of former times: the radio philosophy (Radiophilosophie) consists of 80 – as I see it, a little underestimated – philosophical articles, all of which follow the motto: “success regardless of thinking“.

But now, let us give his son the spot light. His topic is:

The transatlantic circus:

One would imagine that it is a good thing if the presidents of the two biggest nuclear powers meet in order to reduce tensions, especially since it is not the first time that an American President officially meets a Russian President. However, as we all know, there are people who see this differently. One of these people is the “Zeit” columnist Matthias Naß, who finds Trump’s politics “scary”. In his opinion, he gets support from Stefan Kornelius, who is the boss of the foreign correspondents department at “Süddeutsche“ and who writes: “These days, democracy suffers its worst setback since the fascist 1930ies”. In other words, Trump meeting Putin reminds Kornelius of the rise of Adolf Hitler – and Naß even calls him a “special transatlantic person“ for saying this [1]. Well, boys, I would like to thank you for this chip pass. Incidentally, both of them – like many other journalists [2] – are members of the transatlantic political lobby “Atlantik Brücke”.
Basically, one could just find such a circus hilarious, but there are quite a few problems with this attitude: the positions of Naß and Kornelius are such that they are considered far from obscure clowns. They are important clowns. Besides, this one example, sadly, covers the complete mainstream range of opinions. Additionally, there are still many people who actually consider these kinds of comments journalism. So now let us look at the reasons the mainstream press gives for their demand that Trump should not talk with Putin.

The “Annexation” of the Crimea:

In the UN Charta, which is the so-called international law, the terms annexation and secession do not exist, i.e. these words are not defined. In said Charta, we find the “right of self-determination of all peoples” and the “territorial integrity of countries”. When they sent the green men to the Crimea in order to make the former possible, Russia violated the latter. So regardless of the fact that international law allows a referendum that decides secession, the majority of the experts argue that the vote cannot be in accordance with international law because it was initiated through a breach of international law. However, some experts argue in favour of a secession [3]. There is no doubt that the so-called annexation of the Crimean is not a fact but an opinion. On the other hand, there is no doubt at all that the United States annexed the Island of Guam [4].

War in the Eastern Ukraine:

The MSM is quite good at not mentioning that Janukovich was not overthrown by the people, but by sharp-shooters. They shot from buildings that, at the time, were controlled by the opposition [5]. After the citizens of the Eastern Ukraine, who did not accept the forced coup, had declared their independence, a new Ukrainian government sent the army to the eastern regions, calling the entire process “anti-terror operation“. This activity triggered the fights in the Donbass region and made it a popular holiday destination for Russian soldiers. To be sure, Russia makes this war possible by supporting ethnic Russians in their neighbouring country, but the conflict was definitely triggered by others.

The influence on the elections:

Between 1946 and 2000, the USA influenced 81 elections and Russia and the Soviet Union influenced 36 [6]. If now the USA get upset about an alleged election influence, then this is a little like a Mexican drug cartel calling the rocker crime rate in Europe un-ethical. Additionally, there is the fact that, to this day, there is no publicly available proof. Most of the material is based on what the secret service said – and I mean the same secret service that faked the proof of Iraq mass destruction weapons. And those allegations do not even claim that what the Russians did actually had an influence on the election results [7]. But what about Mueller’s accusations? Yes, it is possible that, at long last, they will find something that sticks, but as of now, the benefit of the doubt still seems appropriate. The accused are all Russian citizens and companies operating in Russia. Basically, it is not very likely that any of them will appear in front of a court, which means Mueller does not necessarily count on having to provide proof. Surprisingly, now one of the firms that were accused of being troll farms appeared at court and pleaded “not guilty”, wishing to see proof. The first reaction by Mueller was that he tried to delay the release of said proof [8]. Unfortunately, German media had not time to write about this.

This is basically how propaganda works. Once in a while, some piece of information is withheld, some connections are not mentioned. The process is called fragmenting and de-contextualization of information. It generates a distorted image onto which then an unnaturally simplified range of opinions is imposed. And said distorted image is then held to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This is how you can lie without telling a lie and it all sounds very realistic, because the information fragments you presented are mostly true. However, the same is not true for the overall image. Currently, the press massively promotes Cold War. Any attempt at closer contact or de-escalation needs to be avoided. But it is important that you do not let yourself be brainwashed by this propaganda. There is a lot you can say against Trump, but his approach to Russia is a good approach.

[1] https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-07/donald-trump-nato-gipfel-usa-demokratie-5vor8
[2] http://spiegelkabinett-blog.blogspot.com/2013/03/journalisten-der-atlantikbrucke-in.html
[3] http://m.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/die-krim-und-das-voelkerrecht-kuehle-ironie-der-geschichte-12884464.html
[4] https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolonien_und_Protektorate_der_Vereinigten_Staaten
[5] https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/propaganda-statt-journalismus
[6] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_electoral_intervention
[7] https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PSieUmpeDSw
[8] https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/04/mueller-russia-interference-election-case-delay-570627

So much for Götz Six.

My conclusion? Perhaps we should listen more carefully to what young persons have to say and also give them more responsibility in politics and in enterprises?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday July 17th, 2018

Innovation. Management. Future.

I did it ?!

More and more enterprises create positions that they call “innovations management”. Whenever I hear such a thing, I am tempted to ask these managers what exactly their job-description is (regardless of the fact that I do not really believe in precise job descriptions).

More often than not, the Innovation Manager will sit in the Human Resource (HR) Department. After all, it is his main task to make the employees “more innovative“. Besides, I do not really know why you need HR.

“What exactly is innovation?“

That is a question I rather like asking the “Innovation Managers”. Mind you, this is not with an evil purpose. I really do not know what innovation is. Except that it is a buzz-word everybody seems to use these days.

I particularly like asking such stupid questions when I meet people who are supposed to make very classical-style enterprises more innovative. For instance when we are talking the financial sector, i.e. banks and insurance companies.

In such situations, I always remember the definition given by Simon Grand (St. Gallen). He called innovation “creative destruction”. This might not be very helpful. But at least it is a definition that indicates that innovations usually cause change. And nobody likes change. Except when you have a massive problem.

Which brings us to the next question:

“What exactly is a problem?“

I find a definition that describes rather drastically what a problem is:

“A state of affairs that cannot continue“.

It might be the task of innovation to change such states of affairs …
And then we are in the middle of such horrifying scenarios as fragility and disruption, which threaten our stability. After all, innovation is supposed to help when it comes to strengthening the anti-fragility of systems that are threatened by disruption. And if you listen to what managers generally believe today, then disruption obviously increases. Which is due to the ever increasing complexity (also one of the general managerial beliefs).

“Disruption and anti-fragility “

Two more of those nice buzz-words. You fear the one and you are supposed to create the other. And if the Innovations Manager sits in the HR department, then, naturally, he has to create the innovation with his resources – that is with the people. Consequently, he has to provide the employees with better equipment for dealing with disruptions, thus taking the system for which they all work to a higher level of anti-fragility.

“How do you go about doing this?“

Here are a few ideas.

Perhaps you want to tell stories. You could describe a nice working and living environment. You could introduce values that may sound well but are really hard to realize in old systems. Because the opposition among the persons and institutions can hardly ever be overcome.

Or maybe you will want to introduce new forms of communication such as barcamps with which you hope to penetrate walls and bunkers in the enterprises.

But who knows if any of this is enough?

I do not know. I look forward to reading or hearing stories about successful innovations management. I would really like to tell those stories to a broader audience.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Sunday July 8th, 2018

(Deutsch) Papa, Charlie hat gesagt …

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Thursday July 5th, 2018

Fuckup! Nights! Munich!

Something new happens all the time. A few days ago, I discovered the FUCKUPNIGHTS. And I decided that I want to be part of it. 🙂 .

We Live Life Without Filters

That is the motto of this movement, which calls itself FUCKUPNIGHTS. It started in Mexico, from where it continued its triumphal procession into large parts of the world.

It is about failure. We also discussed this in June 2016 at the Berlin PM-Camp. Because failure is simply part of life. It might sometimes even be a source of success. Because there is a lot you can learn from failure. And you can not only benefit quite a lot from what you learned from your own failures. You can also share it with others. It can help those others to avoid failure (= to be a success).

The Techdivision– Marketing brought the Fuckup Night to Munich and Rosenheim. On July, 5th, (that is today), the FuckupNight will be held in the Munich Balanstrasse. And they were still looking for a speaker. Consequently, Sacha (the boss of Techdivision at Balanstrasse) asked me:

Hi Roland, would you like to present a personal fuckup example from your life in seven minutes and with a maximum of 10 slides?

Here is all the information on FUCKUPNIGHTS in Munich. Today, the event is already overbooked, as mostly happens with Techdivision events (you will find them all at meetup).

Well, I gladly obliged. However, it also meant that I needed to prepare. Consequently, I started thinking:

  • What were my greatest errors, my worst blows below the belt?
  • When did life really make me feel small?
  • What was it like when I felt I was an absolute failure?
  • What can you relate publicly without exposing other people?

There is also a FuckUpNichts Speaker Manual:

 


Speaker Manual: What exactly are FuckUp-Nights?

“FuckUp-Nights“ sounds offensive? Well, it is not! The FuckUpNights were initiated in order to publicly speak about projects, work and ideas that failed and to share these experiences in the community. In a relaxed atmosphere, precious experiences made by successful managers, enterprises and start-ups are discussed during these evenings in order to learn from the mistakes they made.

For seven minutes, three or four people tell you, for a change and with lots of wit, humour and openness, not about their great successes, but about how everything can go wrong – which means they had so-called fuck-ups.

How to present my FuckUp in seven minutes?

  1. Please send in advance 10 slides that illustrate your failure.. 
The images should be numbered from 1 to 10 and later appear in that sequence. Please remember that each image has only about 40 seconds, because otherwise you will need more than seven minutes.
  2. A short biography, because we need to introduce you on the day of the event (1-2 paragraphs).

During your presentation, you will want to remember the following:

  • Who am I?
  • What was the original idea for the project/business?
  • What went wrong?
  • What should I have done differently? What have I learned from the experience?

And please do not forget!!!
We are talking FuckUp-Nights! People make mistakes. All is well as long as you can tell them with enthusiasm, wit and humour. So enjoy your presentation! 🙂


 

I rather like that. So I gladly think about my personal fuck-ups. I am always hardest hit if a disappointment is personal, especially if people are concerned. They hurt – but I would not wish to publicly speak about them on a fuckup-night, because in doing so, I might not do justice to others or even hurt others.

Consequently, I will focus on my entrepreneurial failures. One of them was the great visionary idea of magicHIT. It cost the InterFace Connection a lot of money and eventually turned into a total failure from the economic viewpoint. It might be a good presentation, I will relate it tonight. And I will write down the story here. It starts with: I was a …


i) Third Generation IT-Pioneer (Computer Science after 1969) and

no longer all that young – but, considering the times, a rather young entrepreneur.

Years of training at Siemens and Softlab.
Focus on: industrial computer science (knowledge for the sake of domination).
Unfortunately, I paid too little attention to “the toys“ produced by Commodore and Atari.
Later, it turned out that this was a huge disadvantage.

 

 

 

 

ii) late founder with instant start (1984 – I was already 34 years old)

Here is a happy entrepreneur, because things worked out.

  • The start went well – Wolf (my partner, whom I had spent a long time looking for) and yours truly were in paradise. Especially when we had our first team and were able to develop a product.
  • In a nutshell, you have four relevant business/income model types in an enterprise:
  • Service, i.e. time and material,
  • the lot,
  • full service,
  • a product

Unix is our topic! And a product is the best of all disciplines. Consequently, our goal was:

We want to develop a product for Unix (because a product will give you identity and a scalable income).

We build CLOU/HIT!

 

 

 

iii) Innovation is creative destruction

Evening event BICCnight it at media / Foyer Funkhaus Bayern /Muenchen / 22.07.2011
Foto: Stephan Goerlich
Foto: Stephan Goerlich

Also Digitalization. Which means: no more filing cabinets, typewriters and telefax machines (all of which were still relevant communication tools at the time).
Data bases instead of paper. Documents will be automatically generated, the communication is via computer networks.

We start with the destruction of the old world.

 

iv) Life is a dream

Absolutely guaranteed: far from everyday problems – a few years ago in the South Sea.

Our product CLOU-HIT sells marvellously.
If your are the leader on the market in no time, this feels wonderful. Major customers (both public offices and enterprises) use our software at a huge scale. They fill our purses with money and give us prid

 

 

 

 

v) The competition does not sleep!

CLOU/HIT is a success. But the product is no longer the newest.

We know that. Regardless, we enjoy the success of our product. And we celebrate it. Parties are an important part of every enterprise.

Yet we know that innovation continues and that we need something new. Because if you sit on your laurels, you have them at the wrong part of your body.

 

 

 

 

 

vi) We start developing MagicHIT …

This is how Christian and Daniel see me(©
Visual-Braindump) – at least it is how they saw me on the last Dornbirn PM Camp in 2016.

… the first ODA-/ODIF-EDITOR (ODA/ODIF is ISO norm) world-wide, as a “wysiwyg“ system with the extremely powerful semantics on UNIX and X11).
Every document is an object of a category, its semantics are determined by the category (examples: invoice, contracts, official orders, …).
We port MagicHIT on Windows
A special team with ten employees works in a huge old flat Im Tal near the Munich Viktualienmarkt, where they have their special work environment.
After a few years, the first version of the product is finished. There is a wonderful manual.

 

vii) Many warnings!

Wake up! The bell rings!

Famous partners from huge enterprises and offices warn us:

“You must be suffering from brain-damage. You cannot win against MS?!“

We are idealists and ignore the warnings.

After all, there is (still) enough money.

 

 

 

viii) One customer is not enough!

CAREFUL – I know them.

After huge efforts in sales, we have found only one customer for the new MagicHIT – the German Armed Forces.

They want to turn their command posts into automated commands through MagicHIT.

Things start to get messy. The costs remain, but there is no success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ix) Game over

“My post – InterFace life ?“

All offices and huge concerns buy word and windows. It no longer makes any sense. We capitulate and give up. The development of MagicHit is terminated.

 

Maybe someone will need it many years from now.

🙁 And I must postpone my exit …

 

 

x) Fiasco and Happy End

We have to do the calculations. For almost ten years, ten or more of our best employees worked for nothing. Depending on how you do the calculations, that is an investment of between 10 and 20 million DM/EURO. For nothing!

But:

The know-how we gained in this way is extremely helpful. We learned a lot. That helps us to survive for the next ten years. Basically, it helped right up to this day.

 

 

xi) Lessons learned

Many thanks to Jan Fischbach, agility master and my photographer this time.

David will not always win against Goliath.
Wonders will not repeat themselves.
The product that is most beneficial will not always win.
Progress is slow.
More often than not, you cannot fight against power, corruption and fraud.

But still, it was nice!

RMD

P.S.
Basically, it was a three-times fuck-up. Because around ten years later, we again implemented MagicHIT for Siemens and the Bavarian Justice System – we called it ForumStar-Text for them.

Due to the ignorance of a partner, we later lost the bidding process that had already been practically won (second fuck-up). For similar reasons, we also lost the visionary project to – in cooperation with TUM – bring ForumStar to the Bavarian Justice System and Siemens AG as an Open Source. Even Siemens, represented by (chairman of the IT provider ), had already agreed. It might have been a great hour for Germany or even Europe.

Then Siemens AG cancelled the meeting between representatives of TUM, the Bavarian Justice System and us at short notice. They did not appear. Fuckup, von Hammerstein left the SBS a short time later and became an important reformer at Kabel Deutschland. You can admire the remainder of SBS at ATOS and the InterFace AG still does its business, now with IT compliance, CLOUD and still with software development (our motto is: ”long live devop!“). … And the Justice Systems in Bavaria and

Germany  public authorities concerning judiciary are now serviced by IBM. Such is life.

P.S.1
And many thanks to the great Lydia of Techdivision for all the huge support she gave me!