Archiv der Kategorie: IT

What is the filter economy?

Recently I noticed more and more companies rising, which don’t own an asset, which don’t manufacture a product or don’t create their own content. Instead they provide filters for existing stuff. Examples are:

  • Airbnb (don’t own houses, but let you find the best one for your needs)
  • Uber (don’t own cars, but get you a taxi ride)
  • facebook (don’t create content, but sample your newsfeed)
  • google (search engine) (don’t own content, but let you find the right one.)
While these examples are not new and have been described as players in the so called „sharing economy“ as well, I belive there’s a new aspect to it, when you understand them as filters. Like in a filter economy

What is the filter economy?

Seeing and understanding them as filters shows the underlying need, since more and more content is being created on the net: someone has to sort all the stuff, has to sort out the noise and display the relevant stuff. The businessmodell behind is quite obivous:

Who controls the filter, controls the money.

Controlling the permeability of the filter allows you to exactly target the needs of your customers while being more relevant to them, which usually leads to a higher conversion rate or pricetag. Identifiying the type of filter allows the user to chose what he really needs („I need recreation and spiritual time in the sun“ instead of „I need a flight to Bali, find me a hotel there…“ – you get the point)

Some companies are basically built on filters

Companies which play this to the best are currently:
  • buzzfeed (though they produce content themselves as well 🙂 )
  • Spotify (obvious algorithms and playlists)
  • Slack (filter communication in channels)
So, you can add is my company a filter? to your businessplan canvas when you are just starting or ask yourself which content, which services can my company filter for my customers.
  • provide a filter for video content on the net (youtube does no good job)
  • provide a filter for holidays (no one wants to book a flight, a hotel, a car himself anymore. Travel is still broken.)
  • provide a filter for work

Monitoring and restarting Open-Xchange

I started using monit for monitoring and automatically restaring process on some linux servers.

That is working quite well and you can find an easy setup guide here.

This is my setup in the /etc/monit/monitrc config file, to monitor and restart an open xchange server.

  check system localhost

    if loadavg (1min) > 4 then alert

    if loadavg (5min) > 2 then alert

    if memory usage > 75% then alert

    if swap usage > 25% then alert

    if cpu usage (user) > 70% then alert

    if cpu usage (system) > 30% then alert

    if cpu usage (wait) > 20% then alert

  check process open-xchange with pidfile /var/run/

    start program = „/etc/init.d/open-xchange start“

    stop program = „/etc/init.d/open-xchange stop“

It alerts about the status of the server, and if it  doesn’t find a running service, it restarts it.

Skinning Open Xchange

So, when you are up to have your own Open Xchange site you might want to do some basic skinning. This includes

  1. The colour TopBar
  2. The Logo

This is being done in 4 simple steps:

  1. Define the Topbar colour in the default themes .less* file:

    @topbar-background: #your colour

  2. Define the Logo in

    background-image: url(‚/appsuite/apps/themes/default/my-small-logo.png‘);

  3. Place the actual Logo in  „/var/www/appsuite/apps/themes/default/“ (notice the same path after „/var/www/….)
  4. run the /opt/open-xchange/appsuite/share/ script to re-generate the css files.

Bonus hint: in the default theme the logo has a width of 60px and a height of 22px.

That’s about it.

Textexpander: a handy tool for textcompletion

Textexpander comes as a handy osx tool: it let’s you create textsnippets being called by a hotkey, you can call and paste into any textfield… this is especially handy for textsnippets you need regulary (say standard email etc.). What is neat is that you can define variables which then can be filled in via a dropdown or textfield:

Screenshot 2015-06-22 20.59.13

It’s really worth the money.


PEAR PHP in local MAMP dev environment

Screenshot 2015-06-22 20.48.20


Depending on your php and MAMP version  you’ll find your pear installer somewhere like here:

cd into that directory and install your pear packages like this:
sudo ./pear install Net_SMTP

You can find a db of all available pear packages here:

Creating a Feedly RSS Subscribe Button

I always found it a bit frustrating to copy/paste feeds to feedly manually, so I stumbled upon this workaround, it works quite well, as there is no official chrome extension of feedly:

Screenshot 2015-04-09 11.04.33

1. Install RSS subscription extension (
2. In options (chrome://extensions/ – click on options near “RSS subscription extension (by Google)) : click on “add…” button, put “feedly” in “description field and “” in URL field.
3. Select feedly and click “Make default” (or optionally if you use only feedly, delete the other options it will be immediate when you click on icon if you have only one reader)
4. It’s done, now when visiting a website which provide RSS, you have a RSS icon in the multibox, clicking on it open Feedly and at the top of the feed, you have a “+Add” button letting you add it to feedly. Clicking on it open a dialog which allow you to select the categories.

(found here)

After a click on the „star“ the feed URL is pushed to feedly, and you just have to „+feedly“ there – pretty easy.

Working with Bamboo Paper and the iPad

You may remember the old, chunky Wacom Tablets, designers and illustrators were using with their Apple PowerPC G4 in the late 90s. Then the iPad came and some years later Bamboo Paper, a digital Notebook, made by Wacom (or acquired?!)


You can buy a pen as well (I got the solo), which really makes sense, though you can use it with your fingers also quite well.

Bamboo really changed the way I keep notes and even make concepts or presentations and use my iPad in a productive way. As I am into Keynote for presentation stuff, hand-drawn illustrations really give them a personal and individual touch – and it’s super simple.

You can organize your work into different notebooks with different paper styles – there is no OCR but I don’mind because I haven’t seen that working anywhere in a useful way yet.

You can share either single sheets or a whole notebook directly in your Dropbox in a Bamboo native format or as PDF.



What is so special about Slack?

The other day it went through the news , that slack’s Valuation is now at 2,8$ Billion.

Whoppa you think, they’ve launched in Feb 2012 – isn’t this going crazy? Well, in a way maybe, tough others – lets have a look at the figures (data provided by Slack):

Screenshot 2015-03-31 19.44.17

Table: Prediction for the year 2015, by me

They say, they do have 135.000 paying customers paying $6,67 per month making an average revenue of $900k a month.

In the table above I put in their prediction, to add $1 mio in ARR every 11 days (which is roughly $3 mio. per month) – though I am not quite sure about them using the term „ARR“ which is defined as Accounting Revenue Rate and is more a Return on Investment figure than a figure average revenue return, which would be my interpretation.

That translates to roughly 4,65 mio paying customers and $704k revenue per employe – not that bad.

Given a continous growth, that might even justify the valuation of $2.8 billion as the multiple of 16 would fall throughout the next 4-5 years.

How did they do it? They have no fuckin idea, as Stewart said in munich this year, but let’s have guess:

– they serve a very fast growing segment of business apps: that is, in contrast to the big payers like yammer etc. small and mid-sized companies . These customers typically use other „semi-professional“ apps like Dropbox, Google Apps, Skype and so on. they are in a segment between the typical freelancer and the big corporations. This segment in general, will explode in the upcoming years adding more and more developers and freelancers in always changing (project-wise changing) combinations in the „services-industry“. Btw: all „old-economy“ industries are being disrupted and becoming service industries.

– these customers are the real cloud customers: they want to move fast and flexibel – and they are willing to pay for stable solutions.

– Slack has integrated with the most important other cloud services, and with one click, they are fully integrated.

– Their native clients are fast, stable and of a very nice and intuitive interface – the hashtag style channeling is known by every private twitter user.

– add to that the upcoming „internet of things“ where you want to have ONE system to control them all, and you can guess, why the bet on slack might be a good one

So, slack is doing many things right – and I am really looking forward to see them moving in the future.

And they can do nice gifs, too… 🙂

Daily active user growth:

Daily active user growth

Zusammenarbeit 2.0: collaboration software der motionet

Seit der Gründung der motionet AG in 2007 haben wir verschiedene Frameworks und collaboration software tools erst für die B2C Kommunikation (facebook hat uns dann irgendwie überholt) und dann für die B2B Kommunikation entwickelt: ist eine der beiden Plattformen, die wir sowohl selber hosten, bei Partnern hosten als auch auf dem Telekom Business Marketplace. Doch tools sind nicht das Einzige: die Frage ist doch: wer braucht collaboration tools wirklich und isses dann eher ein Slack oder so etwas wie ein facebook-nahes wie von uns gebaut. Mit dieser Präse gehen wir manchmal auf Kundenfang: viel zu viele Buzzwords, aber: was drin steht is nicht ganz blöd und wenn man genau hinschaut sieht man, dass es nicht nur um die Tools geht-die sind im Zweifelsfall nämlich eher unwichtig.

Ich selber finde das Thema collaboration im Unternehmenskontext wirklich spannend, gerade wenn man es nicht nur als „was gibts heute in der Kantine“ Austauschtool integriert sondern mit anderer Software über API’s verzahnt: „Weil Maschine XY gerade das Produkt fertig gestellt hat, kannst Du jetzt mit einem Klick hier den Versand triggern und die Kollegen informieren“. Dafür muss man aber verstehen, wie das eigene Unternehmen funktioniert und tickt. Das immer wieder herauszufinden und die wirklichen Mehrwerte zu finden macht mir dann in einem Beratungsprojekt Spaß.

Disclaimer: ich bin Vorstand und Gründer der motionet AG



One of the best Dropbox Settings: Sharing Screenshots

Screenshot 2015-03-19 21.20.25

This might be one of the best Dropbox Settings: if you make a screenshot, it is automatically uploaded into the Dropbox/Screenshots directory and the direct link is being copied to your clipboard. Ideal to share Screenshots with others instantly over #slack #skype or other messengers. Thanks, Alex, for the hint