Two Magazines I Like – Or: Paper that Deserves to be Read.

brand eins & enorm!

I started “blogging” and publishing my experiences and ideas in the IF blog in 2008. It was a true delight for me to primarily do this for myself. Then I enjoyed noticing how many readers I have and also liked the many events and contacts that developed from it. Then I looked for and found a few co-authors, not many of whom actually remain to this day. was also responsible for me finding brand eins. But more on this later in this article.

The January 2017 Edition

The history (Geschichte) of  brand eins officially starts in August, 1999. In 2008, brand eins was already in its ninth year. In fact, the early stages of its history were even three years before that, in 1996. And yet, like many of my friends, I did not yet know anything about brand eins.

The beginning of the brand eins story was probably with an interview by Jost Stollmann (1996). At the time, Jost was the boss of Compunet; the InterFace Connection GmbH was twelve years old at the time. My personal connection with Jost Stollmann is not only that we are both IT enterprises. No: he was also one of Rupert Lay’s students.

At the time, Rupert drove a red Series-Three-BMW (including a 2.0-litre machine), which was rather extraordinary for a Jesuit pastor. In fact, his car looked a lot like my red Series-Three-BMW (including 2.3-litre machine). That was something we enjoyed very much. Rupert’s BMW, however, was not a business car, but a gift (or item on loan) from Jost. And Rupert very much delighted in his fast red BMW and especially in its origin.

Incidentally, Jost Stollmann remained faithful to brand eins – he gave more interviews with them (in 2009 and in 2012).

(Unfortunately, I could not find the 1996 interview anywhere. I would really like to read it. If any of you has a link or a pdf for it, you could make me happy by sending it).

Florian Prange, Entrepreneur and Treasurer of FÖS.

brand eins is something I first came upon through Florian. At the time, Dr. Florian Prange had just started working for InterFace as a senior consultant. He was a very refined, young and socially active type of person. Today, he has his own enterprise and is treasurer in the board of directors of FÖS (Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft), which is also a very interesting address.

Florian liked my articles and consequently pointed me towards brand eins. In his opinion, my articles deserved a few more readers – and he thought that maybe this could be achieved through brand eins.

In fact, I did not know about brand eins at the time, regardless of the fact that it had already been on the market for nine years. For managers, the “must” magazines were the Manager Magazin or the  Wirtschaftswoche. Both are anathema to me – and I saw that brand eins was totally different and much better.

Consequently, I was fascinated by brand eins and quite a few friends and business partners were given a copy or two of the magazine over time. Giving it to them was always a huge success – many had never heard about it and were surprised. They were happy to get totally new impulses.

It was even beneficial in terms of business. One of my friends (If-blog author Edwin Ederle) managed to be mentioned in one of their editions with his enterprise data2impact (Feine Klitsche). And the reviews (Rezensionen) on brand eins I wrote in IF-blog for quite a few years were also often read.

Frau Gabriele Fischer Giving a Presentation for InterFace (2009)

This is also how I first met Gabriele Fischer, the founder of brand eins. My contact with her led to a great presentation by Frau Fischer at the IF-Forum.

Unfortunately, Frau Fischer did not want to become a “Youtube-Toussie“ (this is how she herself formulated it), which means we cannot offer you a video documentation of her excellent presentation.

And this is how posterity will really miss something very important.

brand eins still exists today – and it is now the established business magazine, not only for managers! And it is still the only paper I deem worthy of reading. …


I should have written:  Was. Because now I found enorm . That is a magazine dealing more with life than with business.

Here is how it happened. On Friday one week ago, I was introduced to Peter Felixberger (who, incidentally, is good friends with Gabriele Fischer). Among other things,  Peter was also the founder of changeX.

Today, he is programming manager of Murmann Publishers. He is the editor and responsible for the edition of kursbuch.edition and of the magazine enorm, as well as publisher of »Kursbuch auf Weltreise« (Goethe-Institut). And there are many other things he does on top of that. My friend Andreas Zeuch also published his latest book  at Murmann.

On that Friday, I had a wonderful conversation with Peter Felixberger. I noticed that there are many similarities between our ideas of value, interests and needs. Consequently, it was very nice for me to listen to him. He really made me quite enthusiastic about his publishing company and his products.

He also showed me enorm, which is a magazine directed at the age group between 20 and 40, but in my estimation it will find and has already found many followers among the younger and older readers.

I can easily imagine enorm in less than ten years being as much of a success as brand eins is today. Consequently, I will now give you a short mini review of the current edition 06 (December/January 2016/2017).

What is it that fascinates me about enorm?

There are two elements that fascinate me: the basic concept of the magazine and the topics.

I would say the basic concept is one of fairness and considerateness.

I rather like the topics because everything I find in the magazine is of high relevance for me. The structure is GET-UNDER-WAY, BECOME-ACTIVE and LIVE.. Under the subsection “Against All Odds”, I find a beautiful collection of topics that I consider extremely important today. After all, enorm has been available since January 2010. You will find all the editions since 2010 in the archive archive on their website. Also full of important topics. Many articles, however, are “not yet set public” – dependent on the edition. I find that reasonable, because especially if you write about important topics, you should also be able to earn money with what you write. Besides, there is still enough to read.

Now I wonder if it is perhaps a good idea to make some enorm editions gifts to my friends and business partners – as I formerly did with brand eins. Especially in the departments with the impossible name “Human Resource“ (HR), enorm might perhaps be extremely helpful in small and big German enterprises when it comes to better understanding the values, expectations, interests and needs of the employees. And there is probably no enterprise that could not potentially benefit from such understanding.

Withbrand eins, it was possible to read all archived articles for free. That seems to be a thing of the past. But I find many brand eins articles on the internet – see also the two Jost Stollmann interviews. And the Inspiration section on the brand eins website also looks very attractive to me.

Incidentally, it is also very rewarding to follow both magazines on twitter. Here are the “accounts“:
@brandeins and @enorm_magazin. So: #FF!

Buy and Pay!

I think it is a matter of fairness to, once in a while, also buy paper articles. If you do not wish to read it yourself, you can make a gift of it. And that will inspire other persons.

So here is what you want to do: walk to the kiosk on February, 24th and buy the next enorm edition.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday December 24th, 2014

brand eins in January (2015)

So what to do on Christmas Eve? Well, you wait for the presents. And you read “brand eins”. And, of course, you read in next year’s first edition, even though you are not yet finished with the December 2014 edition. Said edition was titled “Let Them Burst” – and the focal point “pleasure” was not the only thing I enjoyed about it.

Let me say it up front: the new “brand eins” titled YOU and focussing on self-determination gave me a precious Christmas Eve afternoon. It is a truly great affair. Again, I am absolutely fascinated about the editorial part.

Brand eins probably has now become too high-quality. And others, too, found out about it. This might be good news for “brand eins” with respect to business, but it has its disadvantages.

The amount of adverts comes as a surprise to me. And if something is good quality, then adverts will easily find their way towards it. Just think of the 2nd Channel of Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bayern2). I have to listen to ever more minutes of advertising. In fact, I already wonder if it is a good idea to no longer listen to Channel-2 at all and instead “survive on” podcasts only.

Basically, the Bayerischer Rundfunk is publicly financed, isn’t it? Consequently, you would think it could do without advertising in its high-quality programs. I gladly pay my GEZ fees for those.

You can probably not compare this with “brand eins”. The editorial department is financed by advertising. Even if I find this a pity, I cannot change it. Consequently, the first thing I do is get rid of all this extra material. Ever since I started reading the SZ exclusively in its digital version, I lack experience in this field. It takes quite some time, but eventually it is done.

Now my floor is littered with the Austrians wishing to invite me for a skiing vacation (I know how well Austria Tourismus is doing with “incoming operations”). Next to it lie the Saxons. They try to tell me that the future comes from Saxony, which we know to be nonsense. “The Economist” is sitting next to it and also wants to recruit me. The same is true for a Wellness Fond called ÖKOVISION who want me to invest. However, I neither wish to nor will do so.

But you also get adverts that will not leave the magazine if you just give it a shaking, because they has been pinned to the rest of the magazine. This treacherous method is used by LEXWARE – a software nobody will ever need.

Inside the magazine, too, you will find no end of adverts. The first two pages, as well as the rear page are filed by two luxury clockmaker labels: PATEK PHILLIPE and IWC Schaffhausen. Starting from the front, the next advert you will find is by Bethmann Bank (ABN AMRO), before RIMOWA wants to sell its nice suitcases. Microsoft even goes so far as to propose turning me from car-park attendant to concern boss (make it happen).

Immediately after that, a sinister-looking gentleman from is planning a COMING OUT (THERE IS A SMALL BANKER IN EACH OF US. NOW IS THE TIME …). Occhio wants to supply me with perfect light. I am to buy a blue FORD FOCUS including parking assistance and to listen to music “wireless” with harman/kardon.

Shortly before the focal point of the magazine, I am asked to drive Porsche on four pages. Incidentally, Porsche wishes to create excitement inside me, because that is their basic duty (???). Immediately after Porsche, you will find vitra. (including the full stop), wishing to sell a “Soft Pad Chair EA 208″. I turn the pages and it gets even worse: two federal ministries (Employment and Social Affairs, Business and Energy, along with the BfA) want to do an Expert Check. Unbelievable!

Mind you, I am now only on page 40 of 162. I fear the worst, but will not give up: consequently, I continue searching for adverts.

And again I am supposed to buy office chairs. From interstuhl. And the chair is called SILVER and said to be the CHAIR OF CHAIRS. After a short break, you get DKMS who want to “QUICKLY SAVE LIVES”. They think it is high time that I, along with my company, do something against leukaemia. After this, you get two adverts for a “brand eins” event (along with TAGESSPIEGEL, the lobby for children and dm) and for a “brand eins” publication.

And here comes the Airport Düsseldorf with “Düsseldorf Airport Advertising”. What a blessing that they only use the third part of a page (up until now, all adverts took one entire page or more). Later, I also find rather unassuming vertical adverts over a third of a page by PSYCHOLOGIE HEUTE and the “branding institute – wien”.

I find no more adverts at the moment: an entire series of pages is totally advert-free and only consist of text and pictures. Yet this series ends with page 87: the Handelsblatt wants to sell a digital passport (again occupying an entire page).

A few pages later, I am supposed to read H.O.M.E, because they say they are at home in modern life (another full page advert). On reaching page 92, I am confronted with the Spiegel (full page) offering “History” and “THE BIBLE” (THE MOST POWERFUL BOOK OF THE WORLD). And, of course, I always can get everything as APP. Only one page on – again full-page – SAT.1 tries to make me happy with “ONLY LOVE COUNTS”. As often before, the letters are extremely huge.

When I finally reach page 98/99, I find the aforementioned Lexware advert which is pinned to the magazine. I wonder if I should remove it. But the process might damage the entire magazine. So I continue.

Next, I arrive at classified and self-advertising. Actually, after that I get an advert-free zone up until page 109. When I reach page 110, the “Neue Züricher Zeitung” – which in fact I appreciate – tells me that there is something like a Swiss perspective. After only one other turn of the page, “domus” assaults me as “the ICON among the ARCHITECTURAL MAGZINES – now in German with local articles”. Wow!

On page 117, they want to make me the “star of festive lamps” (Frankfurt Fair) and, a little later, I am asked to read “Stern” (full-page). Well, that is not what I want. On the opposite side of the same page, also full-length, you get ramp with AUTO.CULTURE.MAGAZINE. asking if I am “KEEN ON AUTO CULTURE”. Well. Cars and culture – basically this is a contradiction per se.

I am still not willing to give up my search for adverts in this magazine and will be cruelly punished for my perseverance. On the next page, “Die Welt” advertises with the (unspeakable) slogans: “the world belongs to those who swim against the current on the internet, as well” and “AND THE WORLD BELONGS TO THOSE WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS”. Can it get worse than that?

The answer is: yes – because here comes ONSCREEN with “boredom was yesterday. Today we have ONSCREEN.” Outch – that hurts! And worse is coming. Because on page 138, 7 (PRO?) adverts with “BEAT RAAB”, calling me with “WE LOVE TO ENTERTAIN YOU”. Well, now is the time to admit knock out and activate the “ignore adverts filter”.

Now I wonder if it might not be a good idea to take the digital version of “brand eins” in the future. Basically, I have no problem with paying the great work the editors are doing. But such an amount of stupidity on high-gloss paper actually makes me physically sick. Not just because of the gigantic waste. I find it truly a pity that the newspapers need such stupid indirection in order to pay their employees.

And now the time has come for opening all those presents.

(Translated by EG)


I would like to apologize to “brand eins” and its team for my critical comments on their magazine. But then, due to the prevailing “journalism”, I never even touch any of the other business magazines.

Roland Dürre
Sunday September 14th, 2014

brand eins in August and September

In August, I worked too much – unfortunately, it was totally controlled from the outside. And then I went on a long and nice vacation. My “brand eins” travelled with me, but it did not have a very high priority, because enjoying the day, swimming, riding my bike, eating well – in short: to love and live – was more important.

Currently, I am still looking at too much work. Consequently, I intend to go on another vacation in September. Still, you simply have to read the September “brand eins” edition. Regardless of all the other burdens and stress you have. As usual, I also already let some other people, whose trips by public transport were made more attractive by it, have it. These persons, too, were thrilled

May I Stay Another Hour, Boss?

Underneath, you will read: how we learn to love our work and the focal point in red with the heart says:


About the magazine: it is an edition with heart. On the white September “brand eins”, you will find a sentence in huge lettering.

Well, basically, it is almost embarrassing for me to praise the “brand eins”. Consequently, I hereby admit that the August edition did not really make me jump in the air with enthusiasm. The September edition, however, is back with all the virtues I so much like about the “brand eins” – and which, regardless of all the high gloss and other publications on and around the topic of business, I actually more than miss.

The important and right themes on the topic of work and cooperation are hit and several inconsistencies are pointed out. I keep finding heretical and revolutionary ideas which clearly question the “established opinions” and the bourgeois self-perception of “this is how you want to do it”.

And it is totally authentic and far from the common (more or less outdated) gossip and chit-chat. Well, this definitely feels nice.

Late in November, I will be in Stuttgart to attend the EnjoyWorkCamp. And I would recommend to Franziska (she organizes the whole event) to send all the attendants the current “brand eins” edition as a preparatory reader.

May I Stay Another Hour, Boss – brand eins online


(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday July 20th, 2014

brand eins in July

Here is something I would like to say up front: I love “brand eins”. And I delight in each and every magazine I receive. Consequently, I also enjoy writing about them in the IF blog. Now, however, I noticed that my “brand eins” articles are actually an indicator of how I am feeling.

😉 The later I write my review, the more I suffer from stress, whereas if my articles appear very early in the month, my private situation is really rather nice and relaxed.

About the business magazine: the July edition – which I received in June – is absolutely great! In my opinion, this magazine is one of the best “brand eins” editions ever.

brand eins Juli 2014

This time around, the topic is a rather long sentence:

What would happen if we developed a new mental concept of the world?

And the focal point, in red ink, reads: Alternatives!“Alternatives!”

On the rear cover of the magazine, coyly written next to the price (8.50 €/sfr 12) – you will find another four words which have been newly defined and intended as alternative approaches in the magazine:

Commercial Transport, Business Models, Democracy and Nutrition.

You could easily find additions to the list, couldn’t you? Just think of terms such as education/training!

Well, if a magazine is as good as this one, I certainly would not wish to criticize. Instead, I think it is about time to, perhaps, encourage Frau Fischer and her team to show more boldness. Calling for more thoughtfulness is important and a good idea – and the magazine is really doing a wonderful job at making people thoughtful. But just getting thoughtful is probably not good enough – because it seems to me that we need a turn-around on many levels. And, of course, this does not sound as nice as thoughtfulness. It sounds more like change which will hurt. However, building a good future will always also cause pain, because there is no innovation without destruction, even if hopefully it is creative destruction.

And then there is a small twinge: the attachments. For me, this is always painful – you have to shake the magazine free and throw all those many glamorous papers into the waste. This time around, the subscription copy contains a rather fat brochure sitting right at the top of the attachments. Of course, I threw it into the wastepaper basket as soon as I had removed the plastic cover. The brochure is from the “Bundesverband der Pharamzeutischen Industrie (BPI)” (Federal Pharmaceutical Association). And if there is something I really hate, it is lobbyism.

Mind you, I am myself an entrepreneur and as such my life has (unfortunately) been subject to imagined or perhaps even actual practical constraints far too often. And being a tradesman, I certainly also know that money does not smell.
That is why I silently suffer all those attachments, even if the idealist inside me thinks they are unnecessary, which means that the carton I carry to the used-paper container is again a little heavier.
(Translated by EG)


I am not going to write anything about the content. It is really worth reading. But I am truly stressed out (bad), have no time at all and hope to produce more for the IF blog in the near future. My ideas are on hold – and I have no time to process them.

Roland Dürre
Monday June 2nd, 2014

“brand eins” in June

In June, it is all about “The Measure of All Things”!
Well, my first idea is this can only be about “that funny stuff”. And I am correct: on the title page, you find a very crinkled 10-Euro bill. The focal point is “Money”.brandeinsJUNI2014

The magazine is full of comments by those who have something to say about money. Partly because they do research about it, or because they always had it or because they worked hard to get it. Or even because they hand it out or collect it.

There is something about “alternative” money and about “stashed” money. Of course, there is also something about the really rich and the really poor. About polarization and re-distribution. About income models and social fairness. About profit and advice.

About someone who learned to love the stock market in order to avoid the very normal soccer mania and world-wide money affairs.
I think this “brand eins” is a wonderful thing, totally different from the other “business magazines”. Currently, I am in a particularly good position to judge, because I read the May and June editions of the Manager Magazin.

Here is how I came to do so:

My post box is also often full of spam. Mostly, these are adverts which are basically a nuisance. One of those letters contained a credit-card style “Manager-Magazin-plastic card”. A very personal note asked me as an experienced manager (good joke!) to take part in a trivial survey. In addition, they offered an extremely cheap test subscription for two Manager Magazin editions to be delivered to my house.

As a reward for my order, they offered the free gift of a not very cheap bike lock which, incidentally, I had real need of. In fact, I had intended to buy precisely said bike lock but had never manage to get around to doing so, which is why I made the bargain. Also, I get annoyed when I receive these kinds of adverts delivered to my house and then I do some damage to those who initiate these tricks – not intentionally, but certainly accepting the possibility. And I even accept that I have to actively cancel the subscription after having received the reward. After all, I have a hold-file, don’t I?

In addition to my new bike lock, the collateral benefit was that I was able to read what these magazines – which allegedly are so very important for every manager –have to say. It is a totally different world (not only in the journalistic sense) than my “brand eins”. More like “Die Bunte” for “Managers” and those who would like to be managers.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday April 29th, 2014

brand eins in May

On the way back to Munich from the wonderful Zurich PM Camp in the slow EC train with the two smelly diesel locomotives, I had plenty of time.

Among the things I had taken along was the new “brand eins” edition of May. Here is my calculation: 1 + 1 is 2 – this time around, I had the magazine with me in the train before the month of its official publication and I read it in one go.

brand eins mai 2014

The title is “How did you like me?” – it is about the interface between the company and the customer. That means: customers want more – and consequently, the focal point is: In the customer’s interest.

I found a number of interesting articles in the new “brand eins” edition. This time around, they made it a thoughtful magazine, rather than a “revolutionary” one. Also, I feel it is an attempt at encouraging various forms of trade. Even if they probably no longer have a chance of success.

For instance, it contains many interesting examples and stories about the relation between enterprises and trade on the one hand and customers on the other hand. And when I read it, my thoughts are:

What a pity that some of the ideas are now dead weights (Globetrotter).
What a pity that much of the transformation realized in trade is probably just cheating on the customer.
What a pity that many feel better when they get a chance to believe in theories which may sound prudent, but will not be helpful in the long run.
What a pity that much sounds like “cheating on the customer”. They say and want to make the customer believe that they sell a new spirit wrapped in new paper, but when all is said and done, everything will remain the same.
What a pity that the wrapping mostly does not say what is actually inside.
What a pity that they try to raise expectations which are definitely not sustainable.

These were my ideas while I read the articles. And then I associated a number of thoughts with what I had read:

What good will it do me if the friendly sign on the defunct escalator says that the owner will try and repair the damage as fast as possible while I know perfectly well that what he actually means is:

“The damage has been registered and the process will be followed according to its rules. The time of repair depends on many factors and, consequently, cannot be predicted.”

What good will it do me if I have a faulty product with a good label. However, the central store selling the label will only help me by referring me to the web address.

What good will it do me if I want to buy the techno-shoes for bikers in the specialized shop and am even prepared to pay a higher price. Yet if I ask the salesperson how best to get access to the kickies, he or she cannot answer my question – even though I know that I can buy the shoes for half the price on the internet.

What good will it do me if I cannot pay with paypal or other modern means of payment, yet will only get free delivery up from a certain price – and then it takes longer than if I buy from Amazon?

But I am also worried about other things:

So how am I, as a customer, supposed to find something that is not wrapped in plastic?
How will I get the desired quality of food if it is no longer offered?
Where can I get simple service, for instance for my bike close enough from home to reach on food?

Consequently, I can easily imagine that there will only be two kinds of trade left in the future:

Internet trade and very regional trade based on trust.

And I can easily imagine then spending most of my money with local businessmen and service providers.

But have I not written often enough:
The future is not something you can predict – and this “brand eins” edition is again a wonderful reason to discuss the future at length.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 30th, 2014

brand eins in April

Today is a beautiful spring Sunday. I am on my way back home from Frankfurt. Yesterday, I met my mentor Rupert Lay and many other well-loved friends in Frankfurt. I listened to a wonderful presentation, added many new memories of long-gone times to my stock, made new discoveries, ate a good dinner, slept soundly through a quiet night in a good hotel, enjoyed a small breakfast in the DB lounge at Frankfurt central station – so what more can you want?

Now, I am going back home on the EC 113. My first-class ticket was extremely cheap, around the cost of a long-distance coach. The EC 113 even has a waggon going all the way to Zagreb. This is actually something you still find these days. It reminds me of the “Autoput”. However, the train goes at a leisurely pace, passing Darmstadt Central Station, Bernsheim, Weinheim (Bergstr.), Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Ulm, Augsburg, Günzburg on its way to Munich Central Station.

Of course, you cannot really call it leisurely – the train takes less than four hours. The EC 113 is not very crowded, so I can clearly understand why the Bahn AG still suffers under a deficit. I enjoy the ride in the huge compartment and read my “brand eins” copy. And again, my love of the good old trains is reawakened.

This time around, the “brand eins” looks rather multi-coloured. On the title page, I find a cloud with catch-phrases your normal “oldie” might consider the usual linguistic outpourings of the young generation. But fear thee not: the young and attractive ones are already ahead of this.

The magazine is an appeal: ”Quiet!“ Consequently, the focal point is Concentration. It perfectly fits the train trip. The very idea of now sitting in a car and driving from Frankfurt to Munich – which, unbelievably, I actually did quite frequently in former times  …


About the magazine: even the very first glimpse at it pointed me towards the fact that some of the topics are exactly what I have been looking for:


Here is where I meet again a good and very cherished acquaintance of mine – Dolf. Dolf Diederichsen – at the time he was still a business consultant – used to be a mentor at the same start-up as me. I had a huge amount of respect for what he did: I guess we probably supplemented each other quite well. The “brand eins” article about bitcoins is the first objective and balanced one I ever found in the press – perhaps thanks to Dolf.

For me, it is obvious that the artificial construction “money” will also undergo radical change. Even if technology were to simply remain on the current level, the traditional understanding of a means of payment is totally outdated. But even if change continues with the same speed as before – which is what I expect – totally new and differently organized ways of accounting will win. As I see it, it is totally irrelevant if the Bitcoins will prevail or disappear – such strange currencies as the EURO, US-Dollar or RMB will not survive the coming transformation.

Bike Trailers

Of course, this is one of the topics where I see everything through my spectacles as a person who no longer drives a car. Personally, I firmly believe that the future belongs to the bike, including the bike trailer, and that it will be the classic innovation of tomorrow.

As always, the World of Numbers shatters collective concepts (number of prisoners in various countries …).

It is cheaper to throw things away than to donate them to charity.

Again, we are reminded of the well-known and basically unbelievable fact that, in Germany, an enterprise will have a considerable economic disadvantage if they donate left-overs to charity, rather than destroying them.

They show a ”utopian enterprise“ in Egypt which, basically, should not exist at all (and as I see the local circumstances, it will soon have disappeared). Mind you, utopian ideas can also work out – as you can best see with the company that makes my favourite bike.  In the 1980ies, they called their newly founded bike manufacturing firm “Utopia“, because they could not believe that you can actually make good money selling good bikes.

There is a nice description in numbers of the FIAT Coup. It is a didactic play showing how you can sell desperation as a dubious success.

The long article on energy is a balm for the soul (“what moves business”). In my opinion, this is the first correct and neutral summary of this unfortunately stupidly emotionalized topic that truly covers all the relevant dimensions.

Without having to look very long, I also found two other very important and competently discussed topics, both of which move me very much indeed: “open-plan office“ and ”meetings“. With these articles, “brand eins” is carrying coals to Newcastle for me. After all, I believe that open-plan offices are detrimental for your psychological well-being. As I see it, they also have a negative effect on your achievement. And the more I listen to what happens in the world and start understanding it, the more I realize that 90 % of all meetings are pointless – and mostly they are even doing damage.

Somehow or other, “brand eins” and I, again, think alike. However, this does not make the magazine less interesting for me. Now I am in Stuttgart, where you actually find a railway station that is worthy of its name. I will finish writing and instead continue reading in solitude.

A good Sunday to you!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday March 10th, 2014

brand eins – Conference

This Is How To Do Future.

That is the title of the first “brandeins” conference to take place on May, 22nd, 2014 in Hamburg. As you all know, I am notoriously in favour of anti-conferences such as barcamps …

Since I very much appreciate “brand eins” and its makers, I assume that this conference will be an event where lots of interactive discussing will be done. Consequently, I am now advertising it.

The following invitation for “This Is How To Do Future” was originally written by Natalie Wöhrmann of the brand eins Wissen GmbH & Co. KG:

It will prepare you for a world where customers determine the development of business, ideas become a productive factor and technology will make new ways of thinking both possible and necessary.

What happens if people do not just want to own products, but also use them? How can you remain informed in a world of constant change? And what will an enterprise in this kind of world look like?

Those are the topics of the “brandeins” conference, where you will be armed for tomorrow’s business. With famous persons from theory and practice, we will discuss new technologies, new business models and new ways towards success.

Meet Stefan Sagmeister, who is one of the world’s most sought-after designers, meet the entrepreneur and Vimeo founder Zach Klein; meet the risk and innovation researcher Professor Ortwin Renn and many more.

This is how to do future. It is a conference for all those who not only want to accompany business, but also design it.

If I can manage, I will actually try a normal conference, which means that I will be in Hamburg on May, 22nd.

For more information and ticket sale, click here: Link. I wonder if the IF blog can contribute a little towards the success of the “brand eins” conference.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 4th, 2014

brand eins in February and March

Now it happened: the March “brand eins” edition is sitting in my letter box. And I never had time to take a closer look at the February edition before now. Regardless of the fact that I carried it with me during several business trips – and also regardless of the title being so wonderfully provocative:

Buy, You Moron!

It is about the “art of seduction” – but it means a different seduction from the one you might first have in mind; because the focal point is “advertising”.  And on reading this, I immediately think of Michel Serres and his book “Erfindet Euch neu! (Define Yourself Anew). – It is a declaration of love to the network generation. I already  wrote about it. In the book, Monsieur Serres talks about “a society formatted by marketing”  – where the formatting process does not stop before it comes to humans.

I admit that I never found something as “offensive” as “Buy, You Moron” on the title page of “brand eins”. But I certainly do not mind. After all, I myself, too, like to be provocative.

And Frau Fischer herself writes that “the title was internally extremely controversial”.  However, she also says: “the deeper we dug into the topic, the more appropriate the title seemed”. She writes about marketing as a “system which gives them (those who participate in the marketing game, like product manager, creative agency or media planner) more and more pause”. And also a system where tricks, fraud and the ever more perfidious data hunt have long since become accepted as actions of self-defence.”

As I browse through the February edition, however, I agree with the great philosopher Michel Serres and conclude: I will not let myself and my life be formatted by the marketing system!

But then, the new “brand eins” edition is already waiting for me, regardless of the fact that I have not even yet really read the last one…
brandeins beobachten

And as I read:

I Want To Know All About You.

As well as


(I believe) I already know what this is all going to be about.

However, on continuing to read, I see underneath that the focal point is observation.  And observation is something active (I observe), as well as something passive (I am being observed), isn’t it? And as we all know, I am always in favour of being active. …

As I browse through the magazine, my first impression confirms the feeling that things happen which really are not commonplace. Everything moves, we are in the middle of the turn of an era. It is similar to when the “industrial revolution” happened about 250 years ago.

Now all I need is – time to read the February and March editions before the April edition is delivered. Except it seems that somehow time is exactly the one commodity that I no longer have at my disposal. Maybe that is because I have to observe so much that I do not understand?

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday December 22nd, 2013

brand eins in January (2014)

Yesterday, I found it in my letter box: the new “brand eins”. A nice message for 2014  reached me.

Think New! With the focus on: Originality.

brandeins2014januarThinking New,
I rather like that!

The same is true for the first few sentences in the editorial by Frau Fischer. Here is a citation:

“The publication of the coalition agreement finally made it clear for everybody: we will have to find our way into the future by ourselves. This compendium of rules and prohibitions lacks courage and literally asks the mature citizen to fight for his own free space, conquer new territory and decide what he wants to accept and what not. And it seems that the current constellation does not make any difference, anyway: politics lost the ability to dream and the best it is prepared to do is administer”

So far the words of Frau Fischer. Incidentally, I share her opinion and would add to it:

“How can you expect politics to dream when even the parties have given up on actively forming a social consensus for change and the future? If all we want is administration, then we need no politics – a more or less adequate administrative sector will do the job quite fine, thank you very much.”

Frau Fischer continues as follows: “Mind you, I do not mean this to sound like I was giving up at all.”

Here, too, I agree with her. After all, I have believed for a long time that it is rather irrelevant what politics do, talk, regulate and forbid, subsidize or put taxes on. The course of events will remain unmoved by it and the evolution will follow its own laws.  For instance, if we will still burn brown coal in Germany in the future will not be decided by politicians. The only thing they will decide is how much of it is subsidized.  The developments continue and all the clueless politicians can do is ask with Loriot:“But where are they going in such a hurry?”. And the politicians can look on and deliver their Sunday speeches.

Frau Fischer’s words remind me of the slogan “Define Yourself New!” by Michel Serres in his current booklet “A Declaration of Love for the Network Generation”. Incidentally, I think this book, too, is extremely worth reading.

About the magazine.

For a change, the adverts I shake out of the magazine are interesting. First, a very attractive flyer of mymuesli sails to the ground. Mymuesli now has a new target market : enterprises! “New Müsli for German Enterprises” is the slogan. In my opinion, the gadgets are horrible. Yet, the brochure is really and truly ingenious – congratulations to the marketing enterprise. To this day, the purpose of mymuesli has remained hidden to me. In fact, I would rather like to see the mymuesli balance sheet. It probably looks more like beetroot than oatmeal. But perhaps the creativity and power of duration of the founders, as well as their excellent marketing, will be rewarded with a “lucky exit”. After all, it is not a bad life you can live if you have a few million Euros on your bank account.

Apart from my-muesli, another well-designed brochure of Metaplan is striking. Metaplan has now existed for more than 40 years. As long as thirty years ago, when we founded InterFace AG, I used the colourful cards and foldable Metaplan tables. Even good old Habermas is used in this brochure (ethical discourse, etc).
Another brochure also looks special. It is from the “NÜRNBERG ACADEMY for distributive trade”. With the great slogan education needs curiosity (?). And the sub-title is just as “ingenious”: Seek, learn, win.    
I wonder how much time they spent brainstorming before they came up with it. Or rather, how long their marketing service did it. Well, nothing wrong with trying, is there? We all want to find a way to acquire customers, don’t we? After all, it is no longer as easy as it used to be ….

Back to the magazine: after having at least freed it of the “mobile” adverts, I look at the “non-mobile” adverts. Many beautiful objects are made to look attractive, none of which I need (any more?). On top of wanting to make me buy great cars and beautiful watches, they suggest beautiful designs, solidarity and trustworthiness  The high-tech and classical messages court me and, strangely enough, I find rather few erotic messages in “brand eins”. It seems that the rule “sex sells” does not apply here.

And since “brandeins” is apparently rather a success, each edition seems to contain a little more advertising. On top of the adverts, however, the content of the magazine also offers quite a bit of material. To start with, there is the “world of numbers”, which I always enjoy looking first. As always, the “focal point” is quite convincing. Everything has been researched with lots of love, is told beautifully and is served in a charming way. And almost all the articles either contain a positive message or else make you thoughtful.

So: if you are still looking for a present to put under the tree at Christmas Eve, I can recommend this “brand eins” edition. It is a true joker and will most likely differ from the Christmas consumption terror as a small present in an agreeable way. There are many persons who do not yet know “brand eins”, which might give them some extra pleasure at discovering something new. And when they read it, they will think well of the person who gave it to them for quite some time.

In other words – “brand eins” is a very efficient Christmas present and it might even help the readers to grow resilient.
And I will close this article with greetings to Frau Fischer and her wonderful team and my best wishes for a Happy Christmas, especially in the direction of “brand eins”.

(Translated by EG)