Exceed 2012 Recap: Day 2
24th March 1 Comment
The second day already started around 9:00 (read the recap of Day 1 if you haven’t already done so), so the conference room was not (yet) as crowded as on the first day and started with a presentation by Prof. Dominik Walcher decicated to the issue of mass customisation. He presented the results of Customization 500, a „A Global Benchmark Study of Online BtoC Mass Customization“ and gave some interesting examples, such as the well-known MyMuesli.
This was followed by a panel talking about book publishing. Jörg Dörnemann (epubli), Jan-Christoph Götze (PersonalNOVEL) and Leander Wattig talked about how the publishing industry faces multiple challenges by self-publishing and ebooks for example.
In an engaging talk titled „CowCrowd: How Much Fun Can Mass Customization Be?“ Paul Blazek (cyLEDGE) presented his business idea of selling small wooden tags that could be customised to show a friend’s Facebook photo or some lines of text.
Next up was a panel dedicated to crowd funding. Jens-Uwe Sauer (Seedmatch) and Norbert Töpker (Innovestment) presented their business model of collecting relatively small amounts of money from private microinvestors in order to build up a total sum of up to 100,000 Euros for the respective startups. They were joined by Sabrina Schönborn (SugarShape) and Tobias Hahn (Fine Cotton Company), represeting two startups which used the Seedmatch and the Innovestment platforms respectively to access the required seed capital. (Read our interview with Seedmatch to find out more about their business model and the motivation for both microinvestors and startups to participate.)
After a short break, Marcel Weiß (neunetz) talked about disruptive potential in commerce. He pointed out how market newcomers start with low profit products and successively improve them to attack established producers in the same verticals. Also, in order to be disruptive, one needs to ask which task has to be fulfilled by products and gave the example of McDonald’s milkshakes that were redesigned after having found out that they were primarily used by commuters as a breakfast subsitute. Weiß also talked about two-sided markets and claimed that the more participants were on one side, the more interesting it became for the other side; interdependencies and different price sensitivities also enabled new pricing strategies.
Next up was the highly anticipated presentation by Shopware, a shop system producer form Germany. The brothers Stefan and Sebastian Hamann, who have founded the company in their teens, now overlook a modern software company with 40 employees, 250 partners as well as 8000 customers, ranging from small businesses to high-traffic webshops such as Home of Hardware. Coming from rural Germany, they emphasised their down-to-earth approach and stressed the fact that they are still 100% self-financed. As their contribution to merchant emancipation – ie. making retailers independent from big marketplaces – they presented: The Mosaic. This service is meant to allow individual shop owners to interconnect their product catalogs and is planned to be released in Q3/2012. (We have caught Wiljo Krechting on camera, watch out for our exclusive interview with Shopware that will be released shortly.)
The last talk was delivered by Dr. Joseph Somogyi and addressed the Mozilla Foundation’s Open Innovation Programme. Suffice it to say that the speaker had a unique presentation style that most Exceed visitors will talk about for a long time. And not because of brilliance and wit.
After a longer break, two more startups were invited to the stage for a 5 minute pitch. Customerlytics presented a business intelligence software that allowed to keep an eye on the customer lifecycle and address the problem of lost customers. And – flourish! – then came our very own divePunk Kai and delivered a great pitch about CouchCommerce, a SaaS-solution enabling every shopowner around the world to optimise their shops for tablets without him having to pay gazillions for an agency. This service comes for free and doesn’t require any additional app to be installed – it’s all mobile browser baby!
The last part of the day was dedicated to the social web and gamification. In various presentation and panels, Leander Wattig, Andreas Bersch (Futurebiz/Berliner Brandung), Roland Schäfer (saphiron) and Marcel Weiß provided insights into these driving forces in commerce.
Again, the Exciting Commerce team has pulled together a great event that was mostly well-received and brought together a range of high-profile people both on stage and in the audience. Minor points of criticism were the missing WiFi … and the lack of breakfast ;) Also, most of the startups on stage were rather disappointing, either because of their mode of presentation or the not overly convincing business models. If those people have the chance to pitch their startups at one of the most important and renowned seed conferences in Europe, they should come up with a lot more than that, thank you very much!
Watch out for our forthcoming interviews about gender innovation and Shopware and keep posting away in the comments: Has Exceed 2012 treated you nicely?