A report about the city of entrepreneurs
Lately I have spent a good amount of time hanging out in coffee houses around Berlin working on projects and absorbing the atmosphere that circulates through the streets. Berlin has been recognized as the Silicon Valley of Europe and a hub for entrepreneurs to develop ideas and turn them into a prospering business. Some even debate about whether Berlin can ‘out-innovate’ the original Silicon Valley. Berlin is affordable in terms of office space for companies and maintaining a good lifestyle personally and professionally.
Every week motivated and dedicated groups of entrepreneurs, product managers, ux designers, developers and more gather to discuss things such as what moves the industry, how can we leverage technology to our advantage and how do we get jobs done for customers. The city’s infrastructure is evolving like never before and Berlin’s troubled areas slowly turn into flowering social hubs and hang-out places to brainstorm about what builds the future and what impacts customers.
Tech Berlin breathes and writes about the StartUp and tech scene of Berlin. When you navigate through the website you will discover nuggets and hidden gems that Berlin has to offer. No day is passing by without speaking sessions, MeetUps and workshops. A constant exchange of knowledge enables Product Managers among others to dive deep into the culture that is unfolding right here. Ideas are floating everywhere. Networking connects entrepreneurs with investors and talented prospects link with companies to further their career. It is a chance for a lot of people to collect ideas and build the foundation of their own future brick by brick. Berlin has become a city that never sleeps in terms of idea creation and providing resources for entrepreneurs.
What does the city offer Product Managers?
You can choose from a number of Meetups, which are focused on Product Management related topics. Here are my Top 3 MeetUps you should join and take a look at:
- Product Tank – Is a series of workshops organized by local representatives and with industry leading professionals and speakers (Alex Osterwalder). Product Tank belongs to mindtheproduct.com.
- The Jobs-to-be-done MeetUp is concerned with identifying customer jobs and how to address them effectively.
- Startup Founder 101 as the name suggests covers topics focused on enabling StartUp founders to get a smooth start. Whether you are a Product Manager at an early-stage StartUp or you want to found your own company, this can be very helpful for you.
Conferences and events add to the Tech landscape and bring together stakeholders of the whole ecosystem to discuss new trends, predictions and present products, which have the potential to leave an impact on how the industry is going forward. Let’s take the Apps World Germany edition this year held on 22nd and 23rd April, 2015. This event showcases innovative StartUps and industry-leading companies. It’s all about Apps and using cutting-edge technology to your advantage. A paradise for developers but also for Product Managers to learn valuable lessons in how technology is moving forward. Steve Wozniak, known as “The Woz” is scheduled to share his thoughts this year among others.
Your chance to grow as a Product Manager
More and more creative thinkers start to settle down in Berlin. They travel from all over to become a part of the vibrant StartUp scene. This diversity in cultural backgrounds and international experience is what is also feeding into entrepreneurship and the air that we breathe in the city. As a Product Manager this is a chance for you to grow both on a personal and professional level. A Product Manager from India or from the US has different routines of making things work than maybe a Product Manager deeply rooted in Germany and influenced by local circumstances. Exchanging yourself with these different personas add to your portfolio and abilities. You may see the approach of value proposition from different angles or you will look for solutions in different places than you used to. Embrace opportunities and link up with tastemakers. You will quickly find that listening to stories focused on real-life experience compared to theoretical concepts make you a better Product Manager.
A brief detour into the StartUp machinery
- Go Butler: The concept is pretty simple but the impact this company has already manifested is immense. It is a one-to-one copy of the US StartUp “Magic”. You write a text message with whatever you would like to have (e.g. food, booking a flight) and the person on the other line executes your wish. That in itself seems pretty cool, but it gets better. The service is absolutely for free.
- MyLorry, a delivery service network, has recently extended their offering by adding a Food express service for restaurants, which may not have a delivery service in place. A pretty smart idea and valuable in terms of opportunities for restaurants to increase revenue, connectivity and overall reach of their food. No wonder that Delivery Hero has invested in the Startup and recently acquired 16%.
While Go Butler have a B2C Solution, MyLorry deliver a B2B solution with their newly-introduced Food Express service. There is one thing they have in common. They build innovative processes and unleash a new level of customer care and business expansion.
Innovative thinking is something that can be triggered and which you can learn by embracing a variety of disciplines sprinkled over the whole product management process. When you observe how a product starts to make its first steps just like a new-born baby and decide what direction you envision it to progress towards, you get to fully experience what it means to lead innovation. What customers see tomorrow comes alive in the city of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. Berlin!