Archive: Events

Rezession die beste Zeit für Social Media? [German]

Peter Turi hat ein Video – Interview geposted, dass er mit mir auf dem DLD 09 geführt haben. Darin stellt er solche spannenden Fragen wie:

1) Ist Rezession eine schlechte Zeit für Startups?

2) Wird sich bei den Startups die Spreu vom Weizen trennen?

3) Wird YouTube sevenload verdrängen?

4) Was ist das “nächste große Ding?”

Hier sind meine Antworten:

Interview Turi2 (2009): Interview with Axel Schmiegelow about his entrepreneurship (German) from curtis newton gmbh on Vimeo.

The Future of (web) TV

Reflecting on the current discussions, last at the Delphi Executive conference in Bonn, and at CeBIT which I both attended as a speaker, I recalled the very lively panel at DLD 09 around online video and social media. If you are interested in the topic, the video gives you insights with Brightcove, Endemol, sevenload and Termor Media and a great moderator, David Kirkpatrick from Fortune Magazine.

About the specifics of how we perceive the value of recurring WebTV Content, please check my Interview at ETRE in Stockholm:

ETRE 2008: Axel Schmiegelow describes the sevenload community and “The Future of TV” from curtis newton gmbh on Vimeo.

Videoportal for conferences a successful product!

After a number of trial runs and the establishment of a channel for ETRE, we were very happy to get DLD 09 conference as a high profile client for our conference application. We feel it was a great success, and are looking forward to a number of new event partners.

The application lets you relive the conference, jump from session to session and speaker to speaker, all in HD quality and with, of course, all the player functionality of ffw and rew, embed, fullscreen etc..!

This will be an interesting application for companies and media as well.

Barack Obama Inauguration Speech

TecCrunch has commented on how live video failed us during the inauguration speech of Barak Obama as 44th president of the United States, arguing that live video streams will need much further investment before it can seriously compete with Television. While I agree that the technology still needs much improvement, the fact that millions of concurrent users brought the servers down clearly shows the tremendous potential of live streaming,  a point I’m sure TechCrunch certainly does not disagree with. So, we are slowly getting there.

Incidentally, we at sevenload haev our own live streaming solution for Big Brother – in a subscription model, with surprising success.

…and I certainly hope I don’t get shot for managing to put Barack Obama and Big Brother in the same blog post. ;-)

sevenload is Top 100 Global Startup (Red Herring)!!!

I am very proud that we won this Award (after winning ETRE 100 as one of Europe’s best Startups). Red Herring hands out this Award after a year-long selection process and winning a regional Award is a prerequisite. Red Herring is known to most as the chronicler of the tech industry, and has picked the global 100 from industries as diverse as biotech, optical technology, energy, cleantech and even pasteurized Eggs.

sevenload was one of two media companies selected and one of only a dozen IT / Internet / Software related business. So it is fair to say that Red Herring thinks we are one of the two hottest internet /media companies in the world!

We were also the only Social Media company to get the award!

Past award winners include Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Netscape,, and YouTube.

Here is the official picture of me with Alex Vieux, Founder of Red Herring!

red herring
Thanks to Jeff Braverman (click picture for site)

And this was my reaction to the award ;-)


CES Depressed

This year, all Las Vegas was abuzz with the expectations of attendance to CES – and how they were not met. From cab drivers to convention exhibitors, everyone was touting the scale of the downturn.

To us, the convention presented a more mixed picture. As often is the case in downturns, in an overall downbeat environment, a few interesting developments could be observed:

1) The Slingbox by Slingmedia: offering some 14 Mil. subscribers of its parent company, a midsize cable operator in the US, the opportunity to access Web TV content through their cable content.

2) The advent of HD to TV and other screens, including a number of interesting personal camera devices.

3) The increasing dissemination of “cloud” (now there’s a buzzword) logic to the consumer world: first through “thin client” notebooks that are not much more than windows to web services, and second through a push towards homes servers, ranging from Windows solutions to proprietary home hifi systems. Its too early to name this a significant consumer trend, but slowly we are seeing the first applications for the “internet of things”, “cloud computing”, and “semantic web”.

Recession is the best time for entrepreneurs, Ken Morse (and others) says. Now is the time to see and grasp the potential of these new technologies as they slowly approach end consumer relevance.

DLD Aftermath – here comes 2007

These are exciting times indeed… Last week saw me (us) at DLD with a fascinating charge of speakers and attendees – and a historic moment.

Conference host Hubert Burda, Owner of Burda Group, one of Germany’s largest Media Houses, jumped up on stage and delivered a smashing and spontaneuous speech in praise of entrepreneurial creativity, citing “companies such as sevenload and Alexander Straub” that revolutionize markets.

I also noticed that denkwerk has great recognition as the factory of ideas that is its name-giving founding idea. Great recognition on that even from competitor Regine Haschka of ID-Media, and from Paulus Neef, Founder of Pixelpark. We shared war stories on Wildpark back in the 90s. I bonded with Christiane zu Salm, said Alexander Straub and Martin Varsavsky (once more) as well.

Highlights were also David de Rothschild, fiercely engaged in educating children to ecology, and James Murdoch, who portrayed some really smart strategies to neutralize CO2 emission at BSkyB and earn money at the same time. His key was the climate opportunity as opposed to the climate change.

I will tell more soon…

LeWeb3 in Paris

Exciting conference! Loic le Meur at his best. The Usual Suspects turned up, a definite Highlight was Martin Varsavsky. But they even had Simon Peres come and the inevitable – at least if it’s campaign time in France and it’s Loics home turf – Sarkozy, who delivered a remarkably expectable speech in French to 50% international audience.

We boostrocketed as because we grabbed the microphone a couple of times, and I was positively surprised to see that sevenload and denkwerk and qype

already had quite a reputation, even outside Germany. I enjoyed what happened off the panels, in the lounges, and in restaurant back rooms most – can’t say too much about it now, but Digital Life is bound to be exciting the next couple of months.

Another interesting encounter was a SEC-enforced very tacit Lars Hinrichs on the OpenBC/XING IPO, there’s one man who knows the pitfalls of Stock Market Law and will not put himself in a spot. We did end up however, musing about Greed and Selfishness as human traits that like to rear their ugly heads as soon as the opportunity arises…


Social Grassroots or Social Business @ Supernova2006

I’m in San Francisco @ the Supernova2006 co-hosted by Wharton West, the California branch of Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Fascinating insights with a wide variety of companies. On the social networking / collaborative search side, Plum and netvibes stick out.

Yesterday we had a day of workshops with some hot discussions on exactly how new and self-sufficient social networks are. One side argues, in my opinion with truth to it, that word-of-mouth, the “wisdom of crowds”, and social collaboration are as old as humanity and Web 2.0 still has to prove a business case vs. just being a second wave of featureitis. The other side, among them cluetrain manifesto co-Author D. Weinberger, argue that the warmth of social networks is something entirely new, allowing companies to give users and customers the feeling of “being on their side”. Obviously both views hold truth.

I’m surprised at how advanced the American startups are in terms of user growth and speed of execution, but just as surprised to see that there is a lack of focus on viable business models I find surprising in post-bubble times. Entrepreneurs, though, are more cautious and less bullshitty than 6 years ago.

Looking forward to the next two days with Skype, Craigslist, Ether, Wikia, and many other smart companies.


next10years ?

Last thursday saw a big event in Hamburg: 450 – 500 would-be netphiles converged on SinnerSchrader’s (one of the biggest new media agencies in Germany) to acclaim and discuss the virtues of web 2.0, mashups, social networks, long tail commerce, etc.

20 or so nervous VCs were imitating Dilberts Vijay (the World most Desperate VC), but I liked the rather cynical We’ll-Fan-The-Hype-And-Take-The-Money-But-Do-It-Right-This-Time entrepeneurs. My Favorite was Lukas Gadowski, founder of, who founded his 120-poeple company with 0$ VC money. that’s right, 0$. Cool guy. He urged “all the consultants and bankers in the room” to “do it again and found a startup, because you’ll get VC money now…” Hilarious, I keep thinking about the old adage of B2C and B2B meaning “back to consulting” and “back to banking” after going bust…. I now it’s really bubble 1.0-ish, but hey, I’m a veteran.

On a more serious note, while valuations are going up, it is true that there are four major differences between then and now:

1) development costs on more mature and open source technologies are a 10% fraction of the cost of 5 years ago
2) (viral, search, performance, affiliate) marketing costs are a factor of 100 cheaper now
3) there are 5-6 times more users with a wide range of needs and much higher affinity to web and mobile (adding up to 13 Mil. in Germany alone)
4) founders, even inexperienced, aren’t half as naive (though some ar getting giddy with the valuation thing).



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