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German automakers, BMW and Tensorflow

Recently german automakers are having hard times: innnovation is stalling, electrification is not consequent enough – all in all: they will lose the race for future mobility, they say. But will they?

I’ve seen BMW from the inside from 2010 to 2015 when I was working on different digitalization projects for MINI and BMW (the still online webconfigurator was one of it). And even back then BMW was astonishing far ahead of many other big companies I knew, eg. in agility adoption. I think, there’s a difference in the „nerdy and cool“ Tesla attitude and the german engeneering art. Don’t underestimate the latter. I just stumbled upon a GUI for Element in picture recognition based on Tensorflow, written by BMW, released on Github.

I know, they are nailing it. And if they realese it – it just works. BMW thinks in quality above time. Their strategy to OpenSource AI components is part of their innovation program. Maybe they want to acquire new talent by this – maybe they just show a glimpse of the massive AI powered production line they have 😉

notion for…

Somebody on the Twitterverse recently wrote „build notion for…“ will become a standard term. I usually don’t like these „uber for“ comparisons, but in this case there’s a point. notions power comes from its ever growing templates gallery.  I see a market where you could say: „our working-template for…

  • facebook campaigns
  • twitter campaigns
  • newsletter-list building
  • online webinars“

is XXX. And you as a customer don’t need to reinvent the wheel anytime you start a campaign. Make these work-templates best in class by getting the „rockstars“ of that vertical on bord and there’s a shortpath to marketdomination.

Pro Tip: start implementing these work-templates by using virtual assistants from my-vpa 😉

Remote Work, Mobiles Arbeiten oder Telearbeit: hauptsache Kommunikation!

Wie man es auch nennen mag, ob Remote Work, Mobiles Arbeiten oder Telearbeit. Dahinter steckt: ein oder mehrere Mitarbeiter, die räumlich und ggf. zeitlich ungebunden sind und in einem Team zusammenarbeiten (sollen). Der Klebstoff, der das zusammenhält ist Kommunikation.

Wir bei my-vpa sind ein 100% Remote Team und deswegen haben meine Kollegen*innen mal ein paar Best Practice Regeln in einem Guide für Remote Work Kommunikation aufgeschrieben. Finde ich lesenswert und echt hilfreich. Wer seine Email Adresse hinterlässt, kann sich das Whitepaper hier herunterladen und bekommt im Anschluss noch ein paar weitere Tips. Macht mal!



Disclaimer: ich bin Mitgründer von my-vpa.

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

What’s your career path? A matrix approach to career building at my-vpa.

When it comes to company building, core questions to be answered are:

  1. how do you want to set up team structures
  2. how do you want your emplyoees to find their direction and
  3. how you want to incentive them.

During my research for impulses to these questions, I found  a valubale source of inspiration to different, yet transparent apporoaches.

At my-vpa we want to offer a transparent approach to career building

Most notably, all represented companies offer an open-approach to your career path. I find that a smart move to show potential new colleagues their way through the companies „hierarchy“ even before they actually start.

For us I can imagine a kind of career matrix:

  • X-Axis representing the level of cooperation-ability, say „how much influence / repsonibility“ do you have in the company
  • Y-Axis representing your technical skills and levels for each skill

my-vpa career matrix

So this approach mainly values the contributions each collegaue adds to the company, being it as a simple contributor, but highly skilled, or being it at managing an integrated team, but on another technical skill level.

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Meaning: a collegau ebeing pisitoined in square C3 adds a similar value to the company as a collegaue in square A3 and thus is being compensated in the same way.

„Technicial“ in this context can mean all disciplines, being it marekting, HR, finance or sales.

This is still work in progress and not yet implemented at my-vpa.

My toughts were also inspired by 8thlight.

Just read: Hacking sales

Who: Max Altschuler, one of the first hires of udemy, now CEO of Sales Hacker. Sales hacker is, well, a „Sales community“.

About the book: If it comes to explain the word „pragmatic“, take the book. Its packed with handy tips and tricks around online sales. Maybe it’s the larges link-list around online sales 🙂 It’s though structured around a very high-level sales process:

Quite a big portion of the book is around defining your total addressable market and where to find your target groups. It’s very good explained how to scrape platforms and sites to build mailing lists. I am not so sure though, if that will work so well here in Europe given the GDPR issues, nevertheless, with advanced segmentinng (and thus personalization) Altschuler argues, mails might be not seen as spam.

The book mainly covers outbound sales, and that is fine. I think its really good for building your sales muscle and to put in in the mix of your overall sales strategy.

Top ten notes and quotes from the book:

1. The main things that matter when you are managing a pipeline are the following: Total number of deals in the pipeline Average deal size Percent of deals that move from stage to stage until they are closed Average time a deal stays in the pipeline

2. Targeted leads at the top of the pipeline will provide better, faster results. These targeted leads are also known as your “low-hanging fruit.

3. There are “Seeds,” “Nets,” and “Spears.”

„Virtual assistants for outbound and online sales support“

5. Put virtual assistants in the mix and let them do the heavy lifting. (that was a good one, given we at my-vpa offer pre-trained native speaking virtual assistants for online and outbound sales.)

6. Industry and vertical are interdependent (you can be in the tech industry, but you are in different verticals, e.g. Box is in the cloud storage vertical within the technology industry)

7. Examples for triggers to reach out for prospects: Employee head count New employees recently hired Job titles and new titles added Company headquarters Public relations (PR) announcements, new product launches, funding, key hires, or partnerships Legal filings Growth rate (revenue, funding, head count)

8. Start by targeting a few junior employees and selling them on the fact that they can be champions for the product. (A good one, though I think there are different approaches: depends on your product that the top down way might be better – maybe at more expensive, long sales cycle products)

9. „Become a hero maker“, meaning make the internal champion a hero by being the guy who brings on the amazing new product and proves it out for the team.

10. Make your message simple enough for an eight-year-old to understand.

Disclaimer As usual: I receive an affiliate kickback if you buy the book on amazon. All kickbacks go to a charity organization from my hometown, Neue Schmiede Bethel

Buffer Data Privacy

Looking for an easy „share link to twitter“ Safari-Extension I came along old friend buffer. Installing the Safari extension its aks me to:

  • let them read private data like credit-card information, passwords etc.
  • see all Websites I visited.

As from a technical perspectrive I somehow can understand it – but nowadays I think more intelligent solutions need to be in place:

  • take information „only when I acknowlede you need them“ aka: don’t you permamently listen on me!

Solution: using the official twitter app, and then use the „Share button“.

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