Dienstag, Dezember 12, 2006

way to early

Here is an article about mobile 2.0. However I personally think we haven´t even seen 1.0
yet: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/understanding_mobile_2.php

Mittwoch, Dezember 06, 2006


More and more companies are analyzing ways to open up part of their data and functionalities by offering webservices for developers. Webservices can deliver great benefits to your company. Hhowever it really depends on your business model and the data you offer and you should do a detailed analysis and conceptual analysis about what you are planning to offer and in which way or format.

In case you concider your web offering as part of the Web 2.0 hype, webservice are essential for you and include the following opportunities:

- leverage a wide-range of innovative thinkers and developers to create new applications
- partner with other companies to create co-offerings or mashups
- extend the reach of your platform and data into various technological channels
- gain new customers
- test new functionalities

You can find a nice overview about existing webservices on this site:


Most of the time a good webservice supports two protocols:

1. XML/HTTPs: With a XML API, the request interface is an XML document. Each request is composed of XML elements that specify the request parameters (e.g., the properties of an item to be listed and additional processing instructions).
With a XML API, the developers application builds the request as an XML string, sets a number of HTTP headers, and sends the request to the platform using the HTTPS protocol. After processing the request, the server sends a response back to the developers application, also via HTTPS. This response consists of an XML document containing the data that resulted from the original request. The developers application then parses the XML to extract the data.

2. SOAP: With a SOAP API, the request interface is an object in the developers application's native programming language. The developer uses a third-party SOAP client to generate business-object interfaces and network stubs from a WSDL document that specifies the message schema, the service address (SOAP gateway URL), and other information. The developers application works with data in the form of object properties, and it sends and receives the data by calling object methods. The developers SOAP client handles the details of building the SOAP request and sending it to the platform, and converting the response back to an object that is easy to work with. This frees the developer from the need to build and parse XML documents himself, so he can focus on managing and presenting the data itself. By simplifying the way the developer accesses data, a SOAP API helps the developer to get his applications up and running more quickly and to adapt more easily to changes.
A SOAP API is built on open standards like SOAP and WSDL. These standards are supported by a wide-range of development tools on a variety of platforms.
Both a XML API and a SOAP API often share the same schema, so the basic format of the input and output data is the same no matter which API the developer uses. Regardless of whether the developers are using a SOAP API or the XML API, they are accessing the same functionality and data. Thus, they can choose to use one or the other or both—whichever approach is best for them.

Go to http://developer.ebay.com/ to see one of the best practices in the internet industry - no joke! Try it.

Video über den Versandmanager von eBay

Hab mich mal wieder breit schlagen lassen und ein Video über die neuen Versandoptionen von eBay abgedreht ;-)

Dienstag, November 14, 2006

The gap between the offline and wireless worlds is getting smaller

If you wander through the streets or if you go shopping, have you ever felt you would like to check a comparable offering on the internet? Probably most of us have not so far. But with new wireless devices and cheaper data packages it soon will be totally normal to compare and check stuff on your mobile. Let me give you an example: You probably have seen those pieces of papers that get attached to the inner windows of cars saying:"For sale for only $1290", right? In case you really needed a new car at that moment, you possibly stopped and wrote down the telephone number, right? Then you would call the person, and asked for some details, test drive, etc... But wouldn´t it be great, if you had all the details about the car written down somewhere or even better in a digital way? Wouldn´t it be great to directly compare the offering with other cars? Wouldn´t it be great to do the transaction on a secure internet platform? Well eat this: A young company from Switzerland has launched a cool wireless feature for eBay listings that spits out a 2D- graphical and branded code that the seller could stick on his car or any other item. All the buyer would have to do is get the small Java client via SMS and take a picture of the code. The buyer then gets directly transfered to the eBay WAP listing of the car and he could bookmark the car in order to compare it later to other car offerings on the internet. Check out: http://ebay.beetagg.com!

Of course this idea is not brand new, since there are already things like "text to buy" in the USA, supported by Paypal, but the market is just starting up. Believe me. In about 12 months from now we will see many posters and advertisements in the streets that include some kind of wireless link! Wanna bet?

must read: the low-down on mash-ups

This is a brand new article about mash-ups and it summarizes the importance of open webservices and affiliate programs. My predictions is that affiliate programs from companies like eBay or Amazon will soon be valid financing options not only for internet mashups, but also for IPTV channels and wireless tools. Hey and why shouldn´t modern coffee places, bars or internet cafés run affiliate advertisements in their local storefronts with smart short-codes next to it that bring you directly to a WAP offering, e.g.!? See also my next post about the gap between the offline and wireless world that will soon be closed...

But first read this great article: http://www.ecommerce-guide.com/news/trends/article.php/3643721

Mittwoch, November 08, 2006

23 Mio Nonliner in Deutschland

Von diesen 23 Mio sollen laut der Initiative D21 rund 78% über 50 Jahre alt sein. Wow - das ist ein interessantes Marktsegment! Enkel und Kinder tut Euch zusammen und lehrt die Großeltern und Eltern das Internet! Auch für Softwareentwickler ein interessantes Marktsegment, sofern sich beweisen ließe, dass es so etwa wie "elderly-optimized software ergonomics" oder "Software, designed für Senioren" gibt...

Just one more thought on Web 2.0

Ok, I know the term "Web 2.0" is overused and way to hyped-up. But after so many months of discussing this subject I took a look back and glanced at a rather more important acticle about this topic: What is Web 2.0 by Tim O'Reilly: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

Looking at his Meme Map today, there is one bubble that really gets me thinking next to all the others that we know so much about: "An attitude, not a technology"

Internet users have been using forums and eBay for over ten years, so user-generated content is not really new. Open interfaces existed, technical browser limitations were tackled by new technologies like Flash way before AJAX was hyped... so what has changed? Why is everyone so fuzzed about Web 2.0? Maybe it is really the attitude of all the millions of internet users?! Maybe we now have reached critical mass, because internet access is cheap and widely available and that would mean that attitude is actually driven by technology. PCs have long become a commodity and so has the internet! So suddenly all the internet users have woken up? For me it is a new attitude based on lesser technical and financial restrictions. We are not looking at our watches anymore, counting the money that the connection had costs from the point on when our 28/8 modems started making that funny dial-in noise. Access is easy. Users spend more time in an open medium. They are and will be online all the time. Therefore Web 2.0 in my opinion really is about easy internet access and more bandwidth for everyone, just as Switzerland has recently made DSL part of everyones primary basic home supply. Or would you have uploaded a 6 MB avi-file to youtube a couple of years ago with your 28/8 modem? Wait how Web 2.0 will accelerate once we have a country-wide DSL, UMTS, WLAN or WIMAX access with 10 MB/s plus! Cheap access and bandwidth still limit "mobile 2.0" today by the way...

Montag, November 06, 2006

Six years eBay developers program...

... and our American friends are celebrating! Win a a new Xbox 360 TM or a new video iPod TM: http://developer.ebay.com/wearesix.

Lesetipp zu Mashups

PHP Magazin, demnächst am Kiosk: http://phpmagazin.de/itr/ausgaben/psecom,id,330,nodeid,60.html

google und eBay - eine prima Kombination :-)

Skype mit eBay-Tab

Hier ein Link zu einer speziellen Skype-Version mit eBay-Tab. Praktisch, da Skype bei mir eh den ganzen Tag läuft. ;-) http://pages.ebay.de/skype/

IPTV - mp3 zur Podiumsdiskussion

Horchen Sie rein. Hier ist das mp3 der Podiumsdiskussion an der ich auf den Medientagen
in München teilnehmen durfte. Die ersten drei Beispiele kommen vom ZDF, MTV und Premiere. Weiter hinten dann das eBay-Beispiel: http://www.medientage.de/mediathek/audioservice/files/mp3/audio_32.mp3

Montag, Oktober 09, 2006

IPTV - when will your living room become a media centre?

This x-mas season will be very exciting for everyone who has been watching the development of the Microsoft Media Center Edition in the recent years. I am pretty sure that MCE-enabled settop boxes or PC-TV-connectors will be the new killer devices in the living room - the question is when will they be affortable and when will the market momentum increase? Will it already be this x-mas-season? What do you think?

Feel free to discuss this with me right here or on the Medientage in Munic:

I will definitely watch the relevant eBay category and the currently one and only tool for eBay "mceAuctions": http://www.scendix.de/mceauction/index.php over the next months...

Dienstag, September 26, 2006

Internet - job engine or job killer!?

Yesterday I drove my car home from work and I remembered that I still had a birthday gift certificate in my glove department for the second part of a kite-boarding course, which I started last year, but then the wind died. While driving I pulled out the certificate and looked at it. Besides the organizational stuff it had this URL on it: http://www.kiteboardingfehmarn.de/. I remembered that the course was all the way up north on the island of Fehmarn in a tiny little city called Gold, with about three houses. Then I thought: How did small companies like this surf school get clients before we got the internet in 1995? That is only 11 years ago and I can barely remember... Ok we possibly pulled out the thick yellow pages book and started looking. But most of the time this only included business in the region you lived in. You possibly had a chance to find a business far a way by calling some local tourist information... then my thoughts began to race... Is the internet a chance for small local businesses that are located near some big metropolitan areas? Is the internet or the digialization maybe not a job killer, but a job engine? I do not have the necessary macroeconomic and demographic data at hand to answer the question, but here are some pros and cons as food for thought:

Job Killer Examples:
  1. Travel industry: local travel agents will soon be disappeared and will be replaced by travelsites
  2. Bank industry: I haven´t seen my bank office in about 3 years, since I do internet banking
  3. Flight Check-In: Most of the time I check in at a machine or via the phone
  4. Public Tax administration: I did my last tax statement completely via the PC and handed it in via the internet (ELSTER), a great productivity increase this must be for the tax experts, but also a possible job killer
Job Engine Examples:
  1. Software industry: thousands of jobs have been created around webdesign, e-commerce systems, business software, intranets, CRM, Supply Chain Management...
  2. Online Retailers: In Germany around 60.000 people live off eBay, either by being Sellers themselves or by working for a company that makes money from services or software around eBay.
  3. SMEs: Many small and medium-sized businesses that found out how to do online-marketing have a much greater visibility today and found new customers that not only drive longer ways to visit the store, but that also order online, e.g. specialized Spanish fancy food stores, surf schools, small hotels, restaurants, hiking equipment sellers, surfboard sellers, translation services...
  4. Gaming, fun and services industry: many new jobs have been created thanks to the new medium, which were not possible in the old days, e.g. Online-Games, online picture processing, home office workers, flirt- and chat platforms...

In the end you can make up your mind yourself or start looking for university studies and public statistics on www.metager.de to find out the truth.

I finally arrived at home and felt deeply sorry for the thousands of people who might have lost their job, because of too much competition from the internet or from overwhelming robot productivity, but on the other hand I was hoping that many of them were able to retrain themselves with new PC- and software skills to find new jobs and I was very optimistic about the digital times ahead, since it bears great chances even for the smallest local OTC companies, but we definitely need more students with programming skills to help all the business get connected.

Donnerstag, September 21, 2006

Smartphones in 2009 - big changes ahead...

In 2009 according to new studies every third phone in Germany will be a smarphone! How will our life have changed by then?
  • Will we still carry three+ devices like ipods, digital camera and mobile phone? Nope, it´s all in one!
  • Will we only synchronize private emails at home in front of the PC? Nope, everywhere, anytime!
  • Will we be able to write & edit word documents including drag&drop functionality on the phone? Yip!
  • Will we watch television in the subway on our phone? Yip!
  • Will we connect to WLAN hotspots all over the city? Yip!
  • Will we be worried about costly dataplans, WAP or UMTS rates? Nope, because we will have a flatrate!
  • Will we use Skype on the mobile phone to chat? Yip!
  • Will bandwidth increase and will telcos stop limiting data traffic? I hope so...

Hey, but in the end my fingers are still too big and it is annoying to type on a mobile phone and you know what? The screen still will be small compared to ever increasing flatscreens at home... We will see... What do you think?

What is your opinion about AJAX programming?

Do you have an opinion about AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)? Write me a comment and share your experiences!

1. Did you use throbbers?
2. Did you use invisible iframes?
3. Did you use a URL fragment identifier?
4. What are the pros and cons?
5. What were your experiences as a user?
6. Which are the cooles AJAX sites you know?

Please feel free to write a comment!



Dienstag, September 12, 2006

Einfacher Versand für gestresste Business-Leute

Ich finde Menschen toll, die Unternehmergeist haben und neue Services anbieten, die das Leben vereinfachen. Das Start-Up prePack bietet im Raum Hamburg einen neuen Versandservice an, der einem die ganze Arbeit nach einer erfolgreichen eBay-Auktion abnimmt: Der Artikel wird für angemessenes Geld abgeholt, verpackt und versendet. Toll - genau das richtige für gestresste Business-Leute: www.prepack.de

Donnerstag, September 07, 2006

We have seen nothing yet! mash-up developers out there: time for rock 'n' roll!

Today I held a speach at the Media in Transition conference in Munich (http://www.mediaintransition.com/indexe.html) and discussed new Web 2.0 ideas in an interesting panel discussion with Simon Willison from Yahoo!, Ibrahim Evasan from Sevenload and Tom Dyson from Torchbox. In order to also open up the discussion here on my blog, let me share some of the points I tried to make during my 25-minute presentation...

Hopefully some food for thought and also new mashup ideas:

2. eBay´s developers program as a motor for Web 2.0 innovations:
  • eBay has billions of product data available, even including some demographic data, shipping data, product features, pictures and of courses prices.
  • data and eBay functionality are available via free webservices APIs and the market data program (http://developer.ebay.com)
  • The eBay webservices platform makes integration for 3rd-parties easy by leveraging technology standards (XML, SOAP, REST, https...) plus numerous SDKs
  • Numerous companies already use the eBay APIs to mash the data into their applications, e.g. ERP companies, logistic companies, tool developers, hotel chains...
  • eBay functionality is migrating into more and more portals such as freemail sites, price comparison sites, wireless apps, IPTV tools and much more

2. eBay´s affiliate programs are a motor for web 2.0 innovations

  • Especially new web 2.0 start-ups in the socializing, community, content or networking can make extra money off these programs by integrating relevant eBay items as advertisements into their sites and possibly even targeting these precisely based on their user profiles
  • eBay pays you money not only for clicks and bids, but also for new user registrations and even pays you a rev share in the US
  • Learn more at http://affiliate.ebay.com or http://partnerprogramm.ebay.de
  • tools like the editor kit or the eBay relevance ad let you target the ads in an optimized way

3. Examples and ideas for Web 2.0 mashups around eBay:

  • Google Maps or planet browser are currently the dominating mashup trend around local eBay searches and data. Examples include www.2realestateauctions.com, www.markovic.com, www.dudewhereismycar.com and some more
  • Another hot topic are plug-ins such as the eBay watcher as part of the google desktop 2.0. I expect many more AJAX dashboards with eBay functionality in the near future
  • Mashup idea: www.billmonk.com (facebook) to be mashed as a long-term financing option for students. Imagine your uncle borrowed you 300 bucks to buy a flat screen and you pay him back after a couple of years and remind him: Look this was the eBay item I bought - remember?
  • Mashup idea: www.dabbledb.com in order to organize your eBay sales as a professional seller and give access to some suppliers e.g. in order to view relevant statistics or spread-sheets... many more stuff can be done with this cool database / app
  • Mashup idea: www.worldofwarcraft.com or www.xuqa.com to be mashed with the gold that is being sold on eBay directly within the game or any other stuff that fits into the story. Or you could even mash it up with google maps and myspace.com in order to find out who and where the people sit in the real world that you are dealing with.
  • Mashup idea: Now this mashup is really cool. You gotta try it out: www.slide.com Enter your favorite seller and it will give you a cool slide show about the item this seller is selling. Nothing more needs to be said...rocks - in my opinion...
  • Mashup idea: Mash product prices from various platforms into a cool price comparison or analysis site - www.mpire.com is really worth trying out. Checkout the mashing around http://del.ico.us or the post it to Web - option for items. Mashup at its best. www.frucall.com is also an interesting option, still waiting for an eBay API connection
  • Mashup idea: collectors corners like www.squirl.info - great to be mashed with the matching eBay items
  • Mashup idea: Paypal - Skype - eBay :-) who would have guessed it? But seriously communication (voip, IM, peer to peer, WLAN) and payment offer great opportunities to be mashed...

4. Summary of the panel discussion after my speach:

  • Will we have a bandwidth problem with video taking over? Some believe so, but new technologies and ever increasing computing power and bandwidth will overcome the bottlenecks in my opinion.
  • What will dominate broadcasting, streaming, ownership, downloads? It all will happen. A daily television programm will be something of the past in 5 years - that`s all I had to say
  • Security: A big risk for Web 2.0, since users might get too transparent and not all developer are good you know. It really depends who wins the race. Today the young myspace kids do not worry about all the data they create about themselves, but they will grow older and you watch... I can already hear the human rights activists screaming... and read below in some of my other posts: I am scared already, thinking about all the data I left registering on so many websites out there...
  • I also made a comment about the internet and a question from the audience, whether this is a new bubble or not: First of all YES, the word Web 2.0 is too hyped up, but the magic word really is: APIs!!! These create tons of new business opportunities. But in the end... hey, the internet is only 11 years old and WE HAVE SEEN NOTHING YET!

5. Closing comment:

I read in an IT newspaper the other day that a professor predicted that ERP software companies are going to have a hard time competing against Web 2.0 business apps in 10 years from now... hmm - something to think about.

My first video podcasts about eBay wireless

Hey, guess what. During a campaign I launched for eBay wireless in Germany at the beginning of August I got to do my first video podcasts. The cameramen was the most nervous of all of us, but it turned out alright, I guess. What do you think? Watch out, they are in German though...

Donnerstag, Juli 20, 2006

Go out and listen - learn from the kids!

Watching my uncle or dad or even some executive deal with new media and devices like mobile phones, DVD players, computers and PDAs I sometimes think: "Hey Bjoern, when are you gonna get slow? Are you already slow in using these things?" I don´t think so, but any kid on the street could already beat me in any Sony Playstation, Nintendo or xbox game - for sure. And they would probably be able to tell me the newest technical features these things have... Just to stay up to speed I bought a PSP a couple of months ago... ;-) They would also know which websites are being used by the new generation of internet junkies. The other day after a presentation in front of an MBA class in Switzerland, I talked to the professor... He told me that his two boys where getting to the age where they are ready to move out and he was already afraid of that, since he would lose his best informants.... His two sons were his best source to stay in touch with what the gaming market, collaboration websites or internet meeting places like myspace offer today to the 14 to 20 year olds. They are the IT Managers and developers of tomorrow and things are moving fast. So all you IT Managers out there: Go out and listen - learn from the kids!

Mittwoch, Juni 14, 2006

The Soccer World Cup here in Germany

Well, at the moment it is really a special time here in Germany, in which everything - even business - becomes a second priority behind soccer! And in the end, after not getting any tickets via the Fifa-website, I got very lucky :-) : First I won a ticket in an company-internal lottery drawing for the game Trinidad & Tobago vs. Sweden and two days ago a friend called that he had one ticket left for the game Brazil vs. Croatia, because someone else could not go. So here are some impressions I got:

Trinidad&Tobago vs. Sweden in Dortmund
We started out in Berlin on Saturday morning by Bus. The drive took us almost 6 hours to get there, but luckely enough we had drinks and food on board - although the toilet was not working. We arrived at the bus parking spot and immediately saw thousands of yellow-dressed Swedish fans and red&black-dressed Trinis slowly moving to the stadium. The athmosphere was very friendly, everyone was smiling before the game and the wheather was great. I saw really crazy people that were painted all over their body, dancing, drinking, celebrating, singing and whisteling. We reached the great stadium quickly and our seats were right in between the Trini section in the upper section. We had a blast and the T&T-team got so lucky. I was sitting next to a very friendly guy from Trinidad, who said to me that god was simply for the underdog Trinidad&Tobago. :-) The swedish team had great chances to score a goal, hit the pole, but did not score. Therefore the swedish fans were really drunk (for them Beer was cheap in Germany... I thought 4 euros is pretty expensive...) and not smiling anymore in the end. But they were still willing to exchange T-Shirts or to have a picture taken. One guy said to me: "Hey, if we would have lost against Paraguay, that would have been ok, but a 0:0 against TnT was not good..." he was very sad, but hey, congratulations to the smalles country that ever participated in a world cup. They have less inhabitants than half of Berlin and probably 1/10 of a 1% was in the stadium. In the first world cup match for them - they did not loose - "A national holiday" the guy next to me said. The nice coloured lady in front of me kept dancing the whole game... On the way back to Berlin we all sang You You You...

Brazil vs. Croatia in Berlin
This game with 72.000 people sold out in the Olympic stadium. Again a beautiful day and I was sitting in the brazilian fan section. I had a little bit of trouble to get in, because the chip in my ticket was broken, but I arrived on my seat in the last seconds before they played the enthyms. I expected a lot of samba and a good athmosphere, but the game was bad and therefore the fans kept quiet... The 1:0 was ok, but the Brazilian team really did not show a good team effort and a willingness to play nice. I was escpecially disappointed in the performance of the big stars like Ronaldo or Ronaldinho or Roberto Carlos... The croatians tried hard in the second half and a goal would have only been fair... The subway was packed with fans and again they all celebrated peacefully.

Here in Berlin, you can currently meet a lot of soccer fans from all over the world and it really seems everyone is happy and enjoying the sport. We seem to be a good host - at least I hope so. And, as millions of other German countrymen I welcome everybody and in these days I am especially fascinated of my beautiful country, I wear the black, red and yellow flag with proud and I enjoy the new German and global spirit that you can feel everywhere. We celebrate together with our friends from around the globe...

Mittwoch, Juni 07, 2006

Hihi - Ich podcaste....

Hey Folks, hier sind meine ersten Podcasts :-) :

Coole Technologie, die immer populärer wird. Was haltet Ihr von Podcasts? Was sind Eure Lieblingspodcasts?

Browse the internet on your mobile phone

I have a new hobby and my girlfriend already hates it: Surfing the web on my mobile phone. I manage my phantasie soccer league, check my calendar and emails and I read the news. All with the Opera Mini Browser. AND the best thing: I can check where my eBay auctions are standing... Check out the special Opera Mini Version for eBay: http://mini.opera.com/ebay

What do you think? Is this the future? How much longer will WAP last? When will the mobile world and the internet world merge to become ONE? I give it 2 to 3 more years...

Donnerstag, Mai 18, 2006


Ganz ehrlich - was diese Jungs aus Kanada mit eBay Marktdaten alles zaubern und für andere Entwickelr möglich machen.... Klasse! Auf der eBay Live! und dem Entwicklertag nächste Woche werden die DataUnison-Leute auch da sein. Mehr hier: http://marktdaten.ebay.de

eBay and B2B

Can eBay become a significant player in the B2B league?

Many things have been tried out... eBay Germany launched the Lego model, where Lego would manage its resellers that sign up in a fixed process with approved formats and item descriptions on the eBay platform and that would sell via one Lego portal on eBay. This of course was a smart way to give their reseller base equal chances, secure the brand and CI and of course without cannibalizing the classical retail channels. Everyone was happy... In addition eBay launched the eBay Business categories that do well. However what comes up now, is a whole new ballgame: A private marketplace that builds upon eBay technology...

This is not new... there are already players out there that offer auctioning technology for intranets. Philips e.g. is selling over stock and older TV models to their thousands of employees via an internet portal. Ltur - a German traveling agency is selling last-minute-offers as auctions on the website of a major German newspaper bild.de and the list goes on. Basically a private marketplace could be interesting for any big company that wants to leverage professional marketplace technology e.g. for a closed group of customers or also for suppliers. Let´s say for a example a real estate company wants to do a pitch in any particular legal way with a customized process. 10 companies are able to supply the construction technology and are invited to the private marketplace... ok - that would work. Let´s say a company producing medical equipment wants to sell some of their testing devices, but only to a trusted group of 20-30 customers... ok - that would work as well.

There are other examples like governments or computer manufactures that already use the technology, but will this really chance the B2B world? I do not think so... companies like Ariba or CommerceOne were once celebrated stars on Wall Street, but their business model did not work out. Today there are many other software companies that offer special web-enabled B2B modules and in the end most of the ERP systems today include open interfaces and web standards that enable a quicker integration of suppliers and customers. What I DO think is, that there is a niche and that some executive that brainstorm new B2B work flows will go to their IT departments and order a custom-build or out-of-the box system, but will these guys have eBay-technology in mind? Not yet, but we will see how it goes... Interested companies can read more here: www.ebay.com/privatemarketplace.

In addition there is another B2B undertaking by eBay which is a reseller marketplace, where powersellers can source in lots from big wholesalers... Now that is an idea! However today there are not enough suppliers and mainly they come from the US. However the response from the powerseller community is great. The future could be to integrate suppliers from all over the world. This way a powerseller from France could possibly find a new supplier in China or anywhere else in the world. On the other hand this will probably only be a sourcing alternative in order to try out new or additional products. Why? Because the product sources are normally the best kept secret and the foundation of a successful business with good margins! But the idea is great and we will see how this internationally orientated B2B idea is working out… definitely interesting stuff and the right way to go… Powersellers can find more infos here: www.ebay.com/reseller.

Donnerstag, Mai 04, 2006

Nokia N70, J2ME apps and SMS...

Hey, I finally got my new mobile phone - the Nokia N70 in order to test all those mobile J2ME applications:

and the Java App from eBay "eBay Alerts" which is currently retired. Have you tested any of them? Which one do you like? Have you tried http://unterwegs.ebay.de and some of the new SMS-Services?

Any other cool tips for the N70?



Donnerstag, April 20, 2006

Typisches Vorgehensmodell bei der Softwareauswahl

Folgende Schritte sollte man beachten, wenn ein mittelständisches Unternehmen, also beispielsweise auch ein PowerSeller eine neue Software oder gar eine Warenwirtschaft (Wawi) einführt:

1. Rahmenbedingungen klären und strategische Analyse
2. Ist-Prozess-Analyse (Activity Based Costing)
3. Organisatorische Analyse und Anforderungsermittlung (Soll-Konzept / Kriterienkatalog)
4. Ermittlung wirtschaftliches Potenzial eines Prozess-Redesigns unter Implementierung eines WaWis
5. Kriterienkatalog gewichten und als Basis für Nutzwertanalyse nutzen (Total Cost of Ownership)
6. Marktübersicht erarbeiten
7. Grobauswahl anfertigen
8. Angebotseinholung
9. Feinauswahl und Nutzwerterrechnung
10. Entscheidung
11. Projektplanung und Staffing
12. Feinkonzept und Change Management (Mitarbeiter einbeziehen im Vorwege)
13. Entwicklung
14. Einführungskonzept
15. Testing
16. Schulungskonzept
17. Einführungsbegleitung
18. Schulung

=> Strategie => Analyse => Konzeption => Realisierung => Einführung
=> Die Investitionen in neue Software sollte langfristig anhand eines validen
3-5 Jahres Business Cases beurteilt werden!
=> Wichtige ist hierbei die Betrachtung der Total Cost of Ownership einer Software, die sowohl die Kosten- aber auch die Einsparungsseite betrachtet! Was kostet die Software insgesamt? Wieviel Schulung ist notwendig? Welche Hardware muss angeschafft werden? Welche Lizenzen fallen an? Wie lange werden die Mitarbeiter brauchen, um das volle Potenzial auszunutzen? Wie hoch sind danach die Einsparungen im gesamten Unternehmen und bei unterschiedlichsten Prozessschritten? Dies alles und viel mehr sollte detailliert analysiert werden - vor allem, wenn man so komplexe Software wie Warenwirtschaftssysteme (engl. ERP-Systems) einführt. Meist lohnt es sich in mehre Manntage Beratung zu investieren!
=> Von Vorteil ist, dass es die meisten Warenwirtschaftssysteme heute schon auf Basis fairer Finanzierungsmodelle oder auch als ASP-Lösung gibt. Die Software läuft dann auf Servern des Anbieters und wird gemietet, was die Anfangsinvestionen mindert.
=> Gute, mittelständische Warenwirtschaftssystem-Anbieter mit eBay-Modulten sind z.B. Logic-Base 4sellers (http://www.4-sellers.de/) oder Stepahead (www.stepahead.de) aber auch Navision, Sage, SAP oder Lexware bieten hier verschiedene Lösungen an.

Studenten der Informatik oder mit Programmierkenntnissen aufgepaßt!

Studenten aufgepaßt. In 10 Tagen läuft die Deadline ab für die Teilnahme am ersten großen Studentenwettbewerb des eBay-Entwicklerprogramms in Deutschland. Schreibt Eure eigene Software, vermarktet diese und verdient Euch damit ein nettes Taschengeld.

Es gibt so viele tolle Geschäftsideen rund um die eBay APIs, Paypal und Skype-Schnittstellen. Baut doch z.B. mal eine schicke Applikation fürs Handy oder die Microsoft Media Center Edition oder eine neue Such- oder Beobachtungsfunktionalität speziell für Apple-Nutzer. Pod-Casts ermöglichen neuartige Verbreitungsmethoden von Content oder man könnte verschiedenste RSS-Feeds zu neuartigen Info- oder Erinnerungsdiensten verknüpfen. Aber auch einfache Listingtools oder Analysetools lassen sich weiterhin einfach und schnell mit den Software Development Kits programmieren. Die meisten standardisierten Funktionen sind in den SDKs schon abgebildet, so dass man nicht alles von Anfang an selber programmieren muss.


Die Gewinner werden am 26/27. Mai 2006 zur eBay Live! 2006 in Düsseldorf eingeladen wo sie ihre Projekte präsentieren. Im Anschluss findet die Preisverleihung statt und die Studenten erhalten tolle Marketing- und PR-Möglichkeiten für einen erfolgreichen Start. Zudem gibt es noch Kohle oben drauf:

1. Platz: 500 Euro, Zertifikat und ein eBay-Geschenkset für jedes Mitglied
2. Platz: 250 Euro, Zertifikat und ein eBay-Geschenkset für jedes Mitglied
3. Platz: Zertifikat und ein eBay-Geschenkset für jedes MitgliedAlle qualifizierten Teilnehmer bekommen ein Teilnahmezertifikat des eBay-Entwicklerprogramms.

Mehr dazu hier: http://pages.ebay.de/entwickler/edu/wettbewerb.html

Strategies for companies and powersellers

I really believe that many SMEs (Small medium sized businesses) and new powersellers on eBay can improve their online sales by asking for advice of professional consultants. Consulting around eBay marketplaces and technologies is already pretty established in the US, but in Germany we still lack behind. Here are some first-movers and interesting sites to find advice on better strategies, designs and execution examples:

Consultant: http://www.sell-it-smart.de/
Consultant: http://www.exolva.de/
Strategy Page: http://www.strategien-fuer-ebay.de/

HEY ALL YOU DEVELOPERS AND POWERSELLERS OUT THERE: Offer your services and knowledge to others and make money from it - Others need it.... The German developers program will try to support this. More soon on http://entwickler.ebay.de

Magazine for entrepreneurs

I still love this magazine and kept reading it all the way since the bubble burst. Business 2.0 is also very cool, but this is the original one: http://www.redherring.com/

Montag, Februar 13, 2006

How transparent can we get?

Sometimes I wonder on how many website I already registered? How many passwords did I use? Do I remember them all?
What kind of information did I leave in some of the databases?
My Name? Sure...
My adress? Most of the time...
My email? Yip...
Creditcard numbers? Yes, often...
Telephone number? not always...
Is this being publicized? Nope, not really, except maybe on OpenBC.
What else is being tracked and recorded? Stored away for history? My emails? Certainly all webpages and much more? Do I really want to see others where I am registered, to let them know they can trust me? Hmmm...

Do I think it is critical that we leave so many personal data out there? Well on the one hand I do and on the other I don´t. Sure all this data is in the hand of some administrator/company and I certainly hope that they use the latest security mechanism to ensure that my data is safe and that no hacker can steel them... but we definitely get much more vulnarable to attacks, stolen data, credit card no theft, account hijacking etc. This is why I think it is critical and we need more policies and web standards to secure personal data. Also I think more restrictions are needed in terms of spyware functionality that tracks our behaviour on the desktop e.g. and sends it out to some information gathering companies. Also the mass of internet data and personal information could be a thread for individuals in the future, because based on their personal online behaviours and interests, coupled with geographic, demographic, biometric (new passports) and possibly in the future genetic information they could be discrimated by third parties, insurance companies, etc. and we are once again headed to a world where people do not get equal chances... This really will become a challenge for the UN, W3C, ICANN and all the governing bodies worldwide!

On the other hand the internet, digital data and tracking mechanisms offer great chances for intelligent agencies, the policies and the military in order to track down cross passers, terrorists and criminals. Hopefully the good guys will win this race of intelligence.

I really do not worry at the moment that I could get to transparent and that is of course because I have nothing to hide. BUT, has this thread affected my daily life? YES: I do check my credit card balances more often than in the past, which means more stress....I switch my passwords and PINS regularely, which gets confusing sometimes and I therefore have to call these darn hotlines more often to reset them... I also think more about what to install on my computer and what the software sends out into the internet nirvana to someone else, which means that I spend more time configuring my firewall, blocking almost any outgoing traffic, which means that sometimes my software is outdated... Hey, have you ever send one of these microsoft bug reports? Hmm, I certainly haven´t? Have you installed a complex desktop search and management software? I did not so far, because, do you know what it tracks and sends out?

Well, what I am really trying to say is that the digital age already means more stress, more dangers and challenges, but it is also so FASCINATING and I guess we have to keep the child in us in order to trust each other, to try new things out and to be able to innovate!

Mittwoch, Januar 18, 2006


Being 30 years old I often wonder how it was like to do business when I was born, before Bill, Steve, CERN, ARPA and all those guys brought us PCs, Windows and the internet... How was doing business in the 50ies, 60ies, 70ies or 80ies e.g... ? 80ies? That is not so long ago - is it? How did people communicate without email? How could they join telephone conferences without mobile phones when they were traveling? Have you every leaned back and thought about it? How did they send messages, process orders, earn money? I grew up with all this high-tech stuff, it is part of my life, I love it, but how are older people managing it - how did they manage back then?.... so I ask "older business people" on a family birthday celebration the other day. Amazing! I listened stearing, unbelieving... Boy, how slow they were... and lotsa paper...Orders were written on papers by secretaries, handed around, put on Telex-Machines if available (Faximiles weren´t even there or at least only the Japanes believed in them back then...) and it took weeks until an order had been processed, e.g. goods delivered... Research was done via telephone not the internet...stacks of paper piled up... had to be worked on sequentially... stored away in big folders and storage shelves... Looking for an old order? Have fun searching for it in the office archive room with hundreds of folders... no desktop search...no computers... Can you imagine? I almost can´t. So the paper is gone - at least I hardly see any - maybe only for contracts. Secretaries are gone - at least I don´t have one. Ok - I use fax sometimes, but it feels weird. What do I learn from it? First of all "Back to the Future I, II, III" are awesome movies. Second: my kids will laugh at me... Third: There is so much ahead of us... God - I wish I could travel in time and have a sneak preview at 2036 ... and find a sports magazine in a trashcan with all the Baseball, BBall and soccer scores from 2007-2010 ;-)