Roland DürreSunday May 5th, 2013
On time for the first day of the Month of Delight, the May “brand eins” edition was delivered. But it took until Saturday, when I sat in the train EC 391 back from the PC camp 2013 (tag not only in twitter: #pmcamp13str) until I was first able to take a closer look at it. After all, life is hard for a PM.
Incidentally, after what I experienced in Stuttgart, I now see PM as an abbreviation for “People Manager”. This is definitely a better term for the job that was still called project manager a short time ago.
And to me, this “brand eins” seems as dignified as my thoughts. It looks totally golden. Along with a multi-coloured, ellipse-like line design. At first sight, I almost could have taken it for a “Haute Couture” magazine. Or at least for a magazine that represents the upper-class high society life style.
But be not afraid: the title alone makes it “cool”:
Seize the Day!
The sub-title is:
Why SHARING and SWAPPING will promote business.
Of course, this is exactly how I feel. Once again, they hit on my favourite topics! And it gets even better: Frau Fischer gives her editorial the simple heading:
A New Dimension!
( The exclamation mark is from me)
She actually admits in the editorial:
“that she found all the fuss they used to make about sharing economy rather annoying.…”
And then she continues to say:
“The Sharing Economy might well be a fashionable concept – but the development behind it has a rather huge dimension”.
Well, I am delighted. Isn’t this fantastic news? And it gets even better – in the closing line of her editorial, she even calls the predictions made at the turning of the millennia by Jeremy Rifkin “a hopeful utopia“. Which is again something that confirms my own personal opinion.
Consequently, I undertake a “small research trip” into the inner pages of the magazine. And I notice that it is about quite a few sectors and continents. It includes many multi-facetted and diverse articles.
There is “looking for oneself” (on Siemens, page 22), “ownership will become virtual” (small IT story, page 92), “the bank in the palm of your hand” (a future without banks, page 96) and much more. And in particular, the entire focal point – absolutely magnificent in my opinion!
I will not tell you more – instead, I recommend that you, too, go on a trip equipped with the May “brand eins” copy.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreMonday April 8th, 2013
This time around, it was already April by the time the April- “brand eins” found its way to me. Incidentally, I had already received an email telling me it was under way a few days earlier. Consequently, I was truly curious.
“What Can We Do For You?” is written on the title page – and the focal point is:
“The Future of Activity”.
It immediately reminds me of the old proverb:
No matter how small your business,
it will always give you plenty of work!
I gained this wisdom by listening to my old card-playing buddy Alois Wolferstetter, who is a cunning and wise banker. Being the son and grandson of a baker, he had started his career by learning the craft of bakery. Due to a flour allergy, however, he had to change and went on to work for the “Sparkasse”. This made him a bank director of the traditional kind.
He knew the ups and downs of banking quite well, so I learned a lot from him. Among other things, he said:
Money does not disappear into thin air;
someone else owns it after you lost it!
The two Wolferstetter wisdoms will also hold in the future! Regardless of my firm belief that everything will change in commerce. What I mean to say is that the now classic forms like department store, discounter, supermarket chain, etc. will soon be at the end of their ropes with their concepts and culture.
At the same time, however, there will not be anything fundamentally new. The appeal for humans to “wish to have something” will simply be generated in another way. When all is said and done, everything will be the same as before.
In commerce, there will be other business models than those we are used to. The internet will play an important role, but I doubt that it will really be where the truly “marge determining” business is done. So far, I just do not yet dare to predict what “new commerce” will look like. I presume it will be filled with emotions and a spirit of adventure.
But perhaps the “brand eins” people know more? So here we go:
In the editorial by Frau Fischer, I already find the first evidence of change. The customer is now more emancipated and more powerful. More often than not, the employees pay the price. And finally, the customer is the one who decides. …
So what is left to say? Basically, only to tell you which articles I liked best:
Delicious: the prologue with the focal point on commerce on page 29
(source: Das Leben des Brian)
Philosophical: “Old Acquaintances” starting on page 50.
Sympathetic: “Thrifty Country Burned Down” starting on page 64
Interesting: “Commerce in Numbers” on page 79
Absurd: “Apples and Pears” starting on page 81
Exciting: “Broken Relationships” starting on page 98
… and much more.
Again, it is worth reading!
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreWednesday March 6th, 2013
Why don’t you move there!
That gives me pause. After all, during the 1960ies and later, I heard the following sentence more than often enough: “If you do not like it here, why don’t you move there”. Parents, teachers and other “persons who meant well but were not nice” spoke the words. It meant you were invited to go and live in the so-called SU zone, also known as “GDR in quotes”.
Just because we wanted to have a few things changed in our system…
And during the last fifty years, there was fundamental change, both politically and socially. Actually, I am not sure that all changes were what we had intended and also not all changes were good changes. But still, we should be happy about quite a lot that happened, even if we know that change will continue and there are still many things that need to change in the FRG.
As I approach our front door, my eyes fall on the
“Focal Point: Borders“
And again, I “rest restlessly“. Basically, crossing borders is not such a bad idea, is it? This is true both for the physical borders – meaning space and time – and the psychological ones. So here we go.
Well, this time around we are dealing with a somewhat philosophically minded “brand eins” edition. It is all about a boundlessness that (of course) has nothing to do with freedom. Note the sentence by Frau Firscher that “a fallen border does not automatically mean you have free space for your thoughts“ (an insight gained from the GDR).
Here are a few more recommendations for the reader: I particularly liked “the power of the old gentlemen” starting at page 54. Some of what is written there reminded me of my trip to China in the autumn of 2012. And it is definitely not a bad idea to really know what the Federal Cartel Office actually does, (starting with page 82) is it? Of course, I found the “foul money“ (business history) particularly hilarious. Mind you, this is not only because I have been annoyed with the “Euro-Cent” coppery change for a long time now. Why don’t we just abolish it? They are another example for useless waste.
On the other hand, the “world of numbers” is not just such a good joke this time around. But it also gives us a little courage. The same is true for “Golden Times” (series: the future of the banks – part 2) on page 24.
It is nice to know that a good economy can afford to be so philosophical. After all, it proves a little that I may be right with my own belief that philosophy is an important thing to add to the characteristics of modern management.
(Translated by EG)
Incidentally, this is edition number 150 of “brand eins”. I am sure this is a number the “brand eins” team will be proud of!
Roland DürreMonday February 4th, 2013
Last Wednesday, it was sitting in my letter box: the February edition of ”brand eins“. From the outside, it looks a little colorless. Since the focal topic is “Brands and Credibility”, this is not a surprise, is it? Neither does the question written on the milky coca-cola bottle make sound particularly glamorous: “What are you standing for?”.
I am sure the question is not addressed to me, but rather to the brands. And there is really nobody who knows what they stand for. What we do, however, know is what effect they are supposed to have: promote blind consumption and thus increase turnover and profits of the enterprises.
A short time ago, I went to see “Felix Krull” at the Volkstheater. They had printed a great interview with a psychologist in the program brochure. Apparently, the psychologist had studied “impostors and imposture” intensely. He called marketing and branding just another form of “systematic and goal-oriented imposture”.
But now about the magazine. After all, I went to Augsburg-Hochzoll by train on Friday evening, which gave me the opportunity to already read many of the articles. As always, they were well researched and contained interesting enterprises and respectable opinions.
However, if I read brand eins correctly, then the topic “brands” was strongly disenchanted. They are supposed to build up trust. Yet, most of the enterprises seem to use them just in order to get some advance trust which, however, is not or cannot necessarily be lived up to. Or else they want to combine the “convenient and the useful“.
In that light, it is an edition that shows me as (hopefully ex-) “ believer in brands” how much I was made a pushover. And how I spent good money for nothing but “hot air”. And that, after all, marketing – above all – creates brands that basically say nothing about the rest of the enterprise. Essentially, we are talking the generation of schizoid enterprises through willful camouflaging of reality using lies.
(Translated by EG)
A minute ago, I heard in the news of today what slogans one of the two “Deutsche Bank” directors uses in order to make it a “brand” – and yet he wants to continue the gamble with food certificates Well, it seems that here is one person who has not yet read the February edition of brand eins.
Basically, I am (not) surprised to see how many “brands” are, again, prevalent in this brand eins edition with their adverts. It is called capitalism. Didn’t Marx say: “The capitalists will sell us the rope we will hang them by“? And they say Marx is now again fashionable.
Roland DürreSaturday December 22nd, 2012
On December, 21st – well before the festivities – it was sitting in my letter box: the first brand eins of 2013. It was a rather thick and heavy message for 2013. Actually, the shrink wrapped media package weighed a whole kilogram, or, to be quite precise, it weighed 973 grams. In the internet era, I would call that pretty much.
My first thought was of the poor postman. If only a hundred of the people living along the one kilometre long Waldparkstrasse were intelligent enough to subscribe for brand eins, he would have to carry almost a hundred kilograms. Mind you, this is only for our street.
So it is quite a good thing for the postman’s bicycle that all those elderly gentlemen living in the aging Waldparkstrasse (I will soon move) like it best to spend their leisure time polishing their luxurious limousines. Consequently, they have no time left to read a good business magazine. As a consolation, I can tell them that this is actually a good thing, because they would not understand most of the brand eins articles anyway – and then they would probably just get annoyed at the New World.
Incidentally, the brand eins supplement is about two-thirds of the magazine. It is called CITY OF WOOD (sub-title: ”more goes“) and was financed by the B&O group. On the back side, in very small script, it says: “brand eins intelligence”. Maybe this is supposed to mollify those readers who, as a matter of principle, consider supplements undesired SPAM.
Yes – it is indeed sometimes hard to distinguish between a gift and SPAM. But now, during the Christmas season, I am prepared to be open-minded. Consequently, the first thing I do is get rid of the loose adverts and throw them into the waste paper bin – and then I start attacking the beef.
The title does not mince words:
(with no “exclamation mark”, the “less” crossed out).
It does not come as a surprise that the focal point written underneath is “curiosity”. What strikes me is that nobody ever asked if it is Neugier or Neugierde in the German version. And what is the difference if both words exist? So far, I have not thought about it.
brand eins admonishes us to be curious? I find that ok. After all, curiosity promotes the thirst for knowledge and is also useful, if not necessary, if you want to question everything in life, doesn’t it? In my book the terms nosiness and curiosity have a positive connotation. They represent the demand for transparence and clarity. And these are two values I consider particularly important for a social community. We need transparence with all data and information and clarity when it comes to values and social consensus!
When I opened the magazine, the first thing I read was the editorial by Frau Fischer. I rather like it that she “finds it hard” to find a dark side to curiosity. “What dark side” – I ask myself and continue reading. And here I can see it, the dark side. After all, “Neugier” literally means “being greedy after something new“. So there is the ever so greedy greed. Consequently, curiosity means greed after what is new. And that would be something negative?
Well, I think: perhaps greed as such is something good? Something that drives us, but something the moralizing institutions of many dark centuries tried to keep us away from, just like lust and many other nice things?
Anyway, I will definitely read this brand eins relatively thoroughly and I hope I can manage to do so before the New Year starts.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSaturday November 24th, 2012
On Friday, it was already sitting in my letter box. And at first sight, it actually looked like a folder with spiral binging. We at InterFace have a few brochures of this kind. One of them is called flatland.
It tells you what sort of entrepreneurial culture we would wish to practice. Well, it is a little utopian. But I believe in it. It is very exciting. The new bran
eins reminded me of “flatland“. But I will write about “flatland“ some other time.
As always, the first thing I do is let the outside appearance of the new brand eins sink in. A friendly gentleman looks at me from the cover page. He is probably older than I.
That is something I enjoy, because it means that, after all, I might still have a chance of some day landing on the cover page of a magazine. The gentleman emanates piece and dignity. Well, that is good news, isn’t it?
Then I see the heading: Not For Cowards Olla! What might be the meaning of this?
I still do not know if I am a coward. Or am I (what)? What is the opposite of a coward?
A courageous person? A fear-free person? At the moment, I am too lazy to look it up. I will do so tonight. Incidentally, being lazy is an important virtue. It brings a lot of happiness. All you have to do is dare to be lazy. In a way, being lazy is not for cowards.
I read on and get to the focal thesis The Good Life. Again, something comes to mind. Do I have a good life? My spontaneous answer is – doubtless, I do! But then I also read the small print on page one: “Today, I have the nice feeling of having decided in favour of the right priorities” Gerd Knop, 70. Well, once in a while, it pays to read the small print. It is the solution to the riddle. The gentleman looking at me in this content way is Herr Knop and he is 70 years old.
So I plunge into the magazine – as always, the first thing I read is the editorial by Frau Fischer. It says “Not a Matter of Luck” and I think to myself: “it is probably not a matter of luck whether or not you set the right priorities“? Well, this is nowhere near as easy as it looks. I do not know. But it is certainly exciting.
To me, it seems like the magazine is quite bulky. It has 170 pages. Well, that is a lot, isn’t it? Again, the first thing I have to do is hold it up and give it a shake so that a lot of adverts can fall out. I am sure you remember me writing about this the last time around. So I get the wastepaper basket and dump all the adverts in it. I feel like Mother Hulda. You can expect it to snow soon on our planet. And the result is – the magazine is now a lot less bulky.
So am I now the kind or the unkind girl? Basically, I know: I must be the kind girl. After all, I did a lot of shaking out material. And I also have the nice feeling of having my priorities just right. And I enjoy life as long as I can still learn and experience new things.
It only takes a few pages for me to see that, again, there is a lot of precious stuff I can learn from this magazine. With other high-gloss magazines, this never happens. Not even with “Playboy”. Neither with business weeklies or manager magazines or periodical journals with the same words on their cover pages (just like there are many parties with words such as “Christian” or “Social” in their name). No matter how I turn them upside down, nothing useful for me will ever fall out.
So here it is in a nutshell: again, they wrote a beautiful magazine with a great title. I will let a few other people read it and then take it with me on my travels. And here is what I say: if you read brand eins, you will not become the unkind girl.
So here are the kind girl’s best wishes for your weekend.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSunday October 28th, 2012
Yesterday, it was Saturday morning – perfect timing for the weekend – the new “brand eins” was sitting in my letter box.
I have come to that stage where I treat “brand eins” just like all the other paper media I still receive: first and foremost, I give them a thorough shake, letting all the adverts slide out – they go to the paper waste immediately. Incidentally, the November „brand eins“ contained around 100 grams of useless paper.
Well, I guess with media, this is the price you pay for being a success: the undesired adverts. It also happens with Bayern2 radio. The more people find the programme attractive, the longer the adverts section gets. What an annoying nuisance.
At least, with paper media you have one advantage: as far as the attachments are concerned, the method “give it a good shake and throw them away“ still works quite well. You cannot use the same method when you are listening to the radio – and the often noisy advertising really is unnerving …
I let the magazine make its own impression on me after having liberated it of the external adverts. The equally annoying internal adverts are something I now manage to overlook quite well, which is due to my mental “adblock”.
This edition has a white title page, so there is no colour for me to appreciate or criticize. First and foremost, the picture with the special bargain gets my attention: “Order One Pizza – Pay Two” it seems that my mental adblock does not work with the title page.
I prefer this to the other way around. Incidentally, I would rather eat one tasty pizza (or pretzel) and pay for two than eat two lousy ones and pay only for one.
Then I read the title “Why Don’t You Try Again“. At first sight, this sounds neither impressive nor inspiring. The same is true for the second focal point: Second Chance. Well, that is something that goes without saying, doesn’t it? Consequently, I get so much more interested in what might be there to read inside the magazine. So here I am, starting with the editorial.
Frau Fischer tells us that the first “brand eins“ edition was called “Restart”. It, too, was some kind of second chance. As always, she seems to know what she is talking about.
And as you read the magazine, you will find a number of very exciting “second chances”, along with the small “series installments” that always make good reading. Besides, I also meet a few old acquaintances. For instance Jost Stollmann. If I remember correctly, he gave a red BMW 320i to his teacher Rupert Lay when his first chance was under way. I remember this because I, used to drive a red 325i. And at the time, my mentor and friend Rupert had been truly delighted about the gift.
Yes, “brand eins” is definitely a great magazine. I always discover and learn a lot. Every one of the editions makes a tremendous impression on me.
I also discovered a sincere wish of mine deep inside: basically, I only want to read content that is free of adverts. Regardless of the fact that I know quite well that, in our – as I see it – highly perverted economic system with its columns marketing and lobbyism, this will hardly be possible.
Consequently, starting now, I have added yet another utopian idea to my concepts. So far, I used to dream of a world with “soft mobility without combustion motors that burn fossil energy”. And secondly and even more importantly, I used to dream of a “punishment-free society”.
So now there is an additional item, the utopian idea of “advert-free media”. And if we are not successful with our first attempt, then we will just try a second time.
Perhaps there will be a time in the future when it actually becomes reality. I will ask Frau Firscher’s opinion about it. But I am afraid this is a problem even Frau Fischer cannot help me with!
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSunday September 30th, 2012
On the brand eins website, I find the title page of the October issue in the colours grey, green, blue – and a dull beige. Now wasn’t I lucky? Because my brand eins is the “Green Version“ –and green is my favourite colour!
This time, the parcel inside a cellophane wrapping is particularly thick. On top of the October brand eins, I also find 92 pages of a brochure with the title:
“PROSPERITY IN NUMBERS – A Balance“.
Well done! It looks interesting and contains a lot of numbers. It was published and financed by the Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) and revised by the brand eins Knowledge Department. The INSM is an independent federation consisting of representatives from politics, economy and science without party affiliation – whatever that might mean. It is financed by the employers of the metal and electrical industry, which means that it is some kind of lobbyism.
But so what. The brochure is an interesting collection of numbers and statistics. And, as we all know, you can only trust statistics if you yourself forged them.
The title of the magazine, however, sounds rather attractive to me:
I instantly feel addressed. After all, I, too, am – very much as I regret it myself – often some kind of wisecrack. Sometimes, I get annoyed with myself for it. Yet I have to live with it, because by now, I can probably no longer change. “Focal Point: Experts” also rings a bell with me. Isn’t there more than one topic on which I feel I can act the self-appointed “expert“?
Inside, as always, the first thing to read is the editorial by Frau Fischer: Drilling deeply and seeing far is the title. That sounds nice – I, too, would always like to do that. In fact, I seldom manage – but perhaps others are better at it than I am.
And here they are, the often truly unique articles on all kinds of topics and sectors: experiences and discoveries, experts, financial politics, money (laundering), health, power, media, enterprises and knowledge. There is also something for IT experts – what more could I desire?
In a nutshell – it is again a magazine absolutely worth reading. So here I am once again singing the praise of the “brand eins experts”! I will continue with my reading tonight – with a fresh litre of Oktoberfest beer in front of me.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreThursday September 13th, 2012
And behold: all of a sudden, the sun shines over Peking! It seems like the air is clear. The view from the hotel Sheraton “THE BIG WALL” bedroom is totally different from the last days. As a farewell to me, there is sun and clear skies.
Today is a day of travels. In the morning, we will go to the airport, Terminal 3. It goes without saying that this airport is very impressive.
Flying Air China, we arrive at GUILIN – which is situated 1,500 kilometres to the south – after about three hours of flight at roughly 15:30 h. Our final destination is YANGSHUO.
It is a dream of a destination. I can see many high cone-shaped mountains, sitting in a huge, flat area, looking like someone told them to form a line. You get the impression that a dragon might be hidden behind every one of those mountains. Since we are in the country of dragons, this is hardly a surprise, is it? …
And the climate is warm and agreeably tropical – the only other place I know where it is like this is Africa. This is the ideal region to recuperate. A great contrast to Peking – and still part of a “very well-tended China”.
Recuperation is the word: consequently we decide to call it a leisurely day today. Instead of a travel report, you just get a few comments on the internet in China.
Basically, you get access to the internet everywhere – and at a very low cost at that. The supply of the email client with Imap and/or Exchange on my Airbook is also excellent. The same is true for the access to most WEB addresses. My VPN access, too, functions most of the time – except some times. I have no idea why.
The search engines are also ok.
Social media pages, such as Twitter and FB, however, are among the most prominent pages I cannot directly access. The same is true for Youtube. VPN is the only thing that helps here. Strangely enough, this is also true for some very harmless pages, such as “alle deutschen Sprichworte”.
Now I came up with the following solution to the problem: I keep switching between “normal“ internet access (for my email client and the IF blog pages I can access) and VPN (for Social Media and inaccessible pages).
But the real problem is not technology. The real problem is time. We are very busy, the days are full of important and often beautiful encounters Returning to the hotel late at night, I no longer feel like logging into the internet. And on the next morning, we also always get up early, preparing for our next adventure…
For instance tomorrow – we will go on a riverboat on the “Li-River” at 8 o’clock.
Consequently, there is no time to really process all these many impressions and stimulations, let alone report them.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSunday September 9th, 2012
This time around, my “brand eins” copy had to wait in its plastic cover for almost two weeks. On Sunday evening, when we arrived back in Munich on this second day in September, the first thing I had to do was unload the camping stuff. Then followed three intense days in the office, many appointments, etc. – No time for reading.
On Thursday, September 6th, however, I went to Switzerland by train – which finally gave me some time to read “brand eins”.
The September issue is titled:
WHO WANTS WHAT?
The focal point is INTERESTS.
Well, that sounds good, doesn’t it? After all, I certainly believe in the prejudice that our complex society is hugely controlled by interest policy, i.e. by lobbyism. And you all know that is something I hate very much, because I think it causes both my and the “common man’s” normal “interests” to be subdued in favour of systemic powers.
Now wouldn’t it be an important task for journalists to unsnarl the jumbled-up of imagined (group) interests – which probably even have gained their own lives by now – and isolate their dimensions? Consequently, I get more and more eager to read what it says in the magazine. I quickly tear up the cellophane cover with my long fingernails and get under way.
The editorial by Frau Fischer is titled “We only want your best!” Immediately, the old saying comes to mind: “Your Best, Your Money!” And, indeed, the article by Frau Fischer finishes with the formula “Good Products for Good Money!” This is a formula I can easily live with. After all, I have no problem spending my money on good products. Except that I do not appreciate being cheated and deceived!
Here is my experience while reading the current issue:
It is a true pleasure for me to read the magazine as I ride the train to Lindau. Every now and then, I look up from the magazine and see the soft Allgäu countryside gliding along the ALEX windows. And then I go back to reading the next article in the magazine.
I find the focus article ”What You Want“ on page 40 by Dan Ariely particularly remarkable. The ADAC overview shortly before this article, is also rather exciting. Apparently, the “C” has nothing to do with “Club”, neither is it anything like a “Christian C”; in fact, it is clearly for “Cash”.
There is also, at long last, an article about the Board of Trade I have so little love for (“The Keepers of the Grail”). We are forced to be members. And then this club usually supports the opposite of what I consider right. For example, they lobby for the Third Munich Airport Runway.
You see how far we have come in this country? – I am forced to be a member of some lobbyist association. Incidentally, the club euphemistically calls this forced membership “obligatory membership”. What a truly nice phrase.
And the more I browse through the magazine, the more exciting articles I find. Unfortunately, they all support my prejudice of the “interest-controlled society”. Now that hurts a bit. On the other hand, I am glad brand eins is actually telling me I am not dreaming all these things.
Basically, lobbyism is not a nightmare. It is reality. And I certainly need no “Zwickt’s Mi”, das kann doch alles nicht wahr sein” (Wolfgang Ambros 1975) in order to realize it.
(Translated by EG)