Sascha Pallenberg - mobile techblogger at netbooknews – is said to be the „guru of the netbooks“. The netbook addict stresses that „to really become an expert and to position yourself is also a matter of environment and of meeting the right people at the right time“: Right now, Sascha is living in Taipei and has his network over there which includes contacts to both developers and manufacturers of netbook companies. Living in Taiwan also secures Sascha a couple of hours of time advantage and thus allows him to deliver exclusive content to the corporate media. Another competitive edge is gained by getting the devices before other people are getting them... For Sascha, it’s all about passion: „I’m passionate about networks, about people and last but not least about how this market is going to change the world of mobile computing.“ He finds it crucial to find one’s perfect niche that really fits and then to go for it: „If your hobby becomes your job and you really love what you do, you won’t even care if you are working for some 15 or 16 hours a day...Of course, at the end of the day, you should be able to monetize your project, but I wouldn’t focus on monetization at the beginning. First of all, content is king! Make sure the advertisement you have on your platform matches the content. Then again it’s only a matter of traffic on your site. Blogging about the hardware market helps me pay my bills – people are buying over my blog and I get a commission from this.“ As one of Germany’s few pro bloggers, Sascha is also passionate about discussion and direct interaction: „When something is crab, be honest and tell the people. Manufacturers can’t hide anything anymore in these days – when they’re screwing something up, make sure to let them know!“ By the way - as of June, Sascha will also be blogging in English: Netbooknews.com will be launched at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2009 All videos from MobileCamp Dresden can be found in the mcdd09 category.
Magdalena Boettger - Business Development Manager for Germany, Austria and the Netherlands at Netvibes.com - believes that „personalization is the future of the internet. People don’t want to visit a lot of websites and have content pushed to them.“ Founded by Tariq Krim in 2005, Netvibes offers just that: Personalized startpages where users can take a selection of widgets and combine them to make it their own, very personal space on the web. Magdalena explains: „We have worked with thousands of brands to widgetize them and bring them on those personalized spaces.“ People could even watch all the latest episodes of Tiburon-TV on their personal startpage – so watch out for Tiburon-TV’s Netvibes version ;) Netvibes’ business strategy is two-fold: „We license the whole platform and provide personalization to existing portals and websites“ says Magdalena „furthermore we distribute widgets all through the web, which is especially interesting for publishers. We sell to publishers and websites, so our products are primarily focussed on business.“ Of course, there’s also iGoogle and My Yahoo as well as a bunch of smaller competitors like pageflakes with a similar concept... If you are new to the market, Magdalena recommends to use XING to get good business contacts: „Just search for people who are looking for your kind of product.“ She also believes that barcamps and conferences are great opportunities for startups to talk about their products and show them off. Although there’s the fear of being copied, go for it - as Magdalena puts it: „If you have a product to sell, it should be cheaper to buy it than to copy it!“ Learn more about Netvibes and its founder Tariq Krim by watching Viktoria’s interviews with Tariq at SIME07 and web expo. Further videos from MobileCamp Dresden can be found here.
Viktoria’s first interview from MobileCamp Dresden is with Benjamin Thym, co-founder and CEO of Berlin-based startup barcoo.com: „It is our mission to offer transparency to consumers during shopping.“ In a short presentation, Benjamin starts the barcoo application on his mobile and scans a barcode. After the product is identified via internet on the phone, he gets test ratings, local price comparisons and recommendations as well as ecological information on the scanned product. Benjamin points out that „it is a barcoo innovation to use 1D-barcodes, which are already on every product unlike other mobile startups that are doing 2D-barcodes.“ Barcoo’s three co-founders all grew up in Tuebingen, a traditional university town in Southern Germany. In order to found the mobile startup at the end of 2007, they all quit their jobs and moved to Berlin. Barcoo is self-financed with additional support from the EU and will be receiving investment at the end of this year. Benjamin explains: „We do mobile marketing and context sensitive advertising as well as shopping provisions. On top of that we offer premium information to costumers, i.e. ‚traffic lights’ for groceries with too much fat or sugar in it.“ The barcoo app works on Nokia, Sony Ericsson as well as on Google Androids and will be offered quite soon for Blackberries and iPhones. Barcoo is still looking for partners with interesting information for shopping consumers and will most probably be offering a revenue share – so go for it... More interviews from MobileCamp Dresden will follow in the days to come here.