"Digital laggard Europa: Are we risking our future against Silicon Valley and China?"
This was the question we debated during the top client event “eXperience Day” of Arvato and its digital agency Friends of C. in Berlin. On stage: Florian Heinemann (Project A), Stephan Schambach (Newstore), Thomas Heilmann (CDU), Tu-Lam Pham (Digital IQ). Very relevant question and very lively and interesting debate. For some follow-up research check out the shownotes below.
- Trigger for this debate - a snippet from Commerce Corner #13 that went viral: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6402433570870296576/
- Charts+insights from Klaus Hommels/Lakestar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cXqfgetz8I&t=17s // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFjMRopoKwc // https://de.slideshare.net/NOAHAdvisors/lakestar-noah17-berlin
- Mary Meeker; Internet Trends 2018: https://www.kleinerperkins.com/perspectives/internet-trends-report-2018
- t3n Podcast on China/digital Germany: https://soundcloud.com/t3n-podcast
00:00:56 // Introduction, statistics on the overriding panel question
00:02:44 // Introduction of panellists: Dr. Tu-Lam Pham, Dr. Florian Heinemann, Thomas Heilmann, Stephan Schambach
00:05:53 // Tu-Lam about his experiences since he posted a video snippet where he talked about his view on Germany’s shortcomings versus China
00:07:23 // Thomas shares his conviction that Python classes in school are not the answer
00:09:35 // Stephan: “software is eating the world” and emphasizes the importance of coding skills
00:11:48 // Florian explains how network effects make scale and size so important and that going forward an SME based economy is globally not competitive
00:13:40 // Even European born unicorns like Spotify, Auto1 etc. are now owned mostly by non-European investors
00:15:45 // From a rationale perspective Germany is a less beneficial ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs and investors etc.
00:17:18 // Stephan founded Demandware + Newstore in the US because of stock exchange ecosystems / IPO opportunities
00:19:55 // Stephan together with a group of supporters tried to resurrect the German “Neuer Markt”
00:20:37 // Tu-Lam: big corporates in CN outspend foreign startup entries with investments into local startups (e.g. Didi vs. Uber)
00:22:09 // How can politics foster a more ambitious investment culture in Europe?
00:24:20 // Armand asks Thomas what politicians can do proactively and not just describe the problems
00:27:40 // Florian: Absence of corporates acquiring tech companies at high prices compared to US (exception: Munich Re/Relayr) + lack of expertise in valuing tech companies
00:32:10 // What strategy would Florian follow as a CEO of a corporate?
00:33:08 // Stephan rejects the “cultural hypothesis”
00:34:15 // How do members of the Bundestag stay digitally up-to-date?
00:35:03 // Thomas: voters (=his customers) don’t care about digitalization
00:36:05 // Tu-Lam questions why there is no budget for broadband infrastructure expansion
00:38:34 // What role does the addressable market size play? We need a pan-European approach
00:41:36 // Tu-Lam explains how he has completely given up hope into politics
00:42:40 // Thomas: the digital elite doesn’t understand politicians and vice versa
00:49:09 // Florian believes GDPR is a good example how regulation can harm competitiveness
00:51:10 // Is the European democracy a competitive disadvantage?
00:52:24 // Thomas refers to the economic rise of Berlin at the end of the 19th century, based on pre-democracy regulations
00:55:15 // Closing round outlook: What can each one of us do to make a change?
00:59:10 // Audience question 1: How do the panelists teach their children digital competency?
01:07:00 // Audience question 2: Are we Europeans not hungry enough? Are we too satisfied?