What was Drizly's MVP

Relaunch Conference 2018 - The LEAP / Recap

This year's relaunch conference started with a marketing buzzword video (digital strategy, digital organization, business innovation, digital marketing).

The schedule - packed and tightly knitted

The team of moderators also asked us to come up with good questions and write them down on pieces of paper. These were then placed in a champagne cooler, which was carried to the moderators at the end of each session. You looked in vain for a Twitter wall or something similar, there was only a social media buzz monitor in the anteroom. So for that matter, we were 100% analog.

The social media monitor in the anteroom

Bernd Völcker: Successful digitization strategy

According to Bernd, we have moved away from Web 1.0. Back then there was mainly one-sided communication, such as broadcasts, but thanks to social media and the like, there is now a lot of feedback. The communication is completely networked.

Websites are in no way inferior to this trend and are increasingly interactive and personalized. In addition, more and more physical things in everyday life are becoming software, which for Bernd represents the core of the digital transformation. As the corresponding devices become more and more powerful, we will certainly keep adding new forms of interaction - maybe we will soon be able to talk to websites.

Sample projects

In most industries, innovations often come from outside. The starting point in this case is an online shop for drinks (drizly). This forms the platform between retailers and end customers and offers additional added value with its content on party topics. The advantage here is: the platform operator gets to know his customers and can interact with them directly.

Established local companies are now often too slow and cumbersome to react to such changes in good time. You never think of using SEO in conjunction with social media and email as an advertising channel and therefore lose market share to modern competitors.

There are also suitable examples in the clothing sector. The advantages of digitizing physical products and services enable e.g. B. Tailor Store to customize its offer. In order to be successful in this environment, it is extremely important to take advantage of the first mover effect.

Providers of further training and qualifications such as Udemy's NanoDegrees know the same thing. These are increasingly recognized in business and can do without university buildings.

An exciting lecture about the possibilities of digitization - even if the strategy was a little neglected.

Philipp Depiereux: Digital transformation in medium-sized companies

Philipp does something weird: He lives completely analogously in his private life. But in business it is clear to him that digital change affects all industries. For him, a fitting example is the installation industry.

The old top dog Viessmann does not offer a digital channel for end consumers. This gap is recognized by the start-up Thermondo, which taps private customers with Google with simple means and places them with installers. As a result, Viessmann is losing market share and is under pressure to act.

Another example is agriculture. This is where old companies such as tractor manufacturers get into a mess if they are not connected to Fieldview or similar platforms for digital agricultural data.

Innovation in Agriculture

Advantages of current disruptors

The companies that currently stand out as disruptors in their industries are usually characterized by the following characteristics. you are

  • extremely willing to take risks,
  • extremely easy to test,
  • radically user-oriented,
  • implement things at high speed (MVP -> time to market extremely short),
  • are very data centric and
  • radical in the long term (short-term profit is irrelevant -> you want to create an entry point and then add a business model).

These start-up strengths must therefore be transferred to traditional companies. Because these have the advantages that they do

  • Have assets and know-how,
  • Distribution over a wide range can improve and
  • be able to show a cultivated brand value & customer base.

However, in order for them to be able to digitize themselves successfully, certain requirements must be met. Because digitization

  • must be 100% a matter for the boss, with a CEO who stands behind it and understands the issues,
  • is not a pure technical issue, but an entrepreneurial management task in which IT is the executing party,
  • awakens a need for highly motivated people without a keeper mentality,
  • needs long-term goals and thus short-term freedoms,
  • must start immediately.

With a digital unit it is important that

  • the core organization continues to function,
  • it is a protected space,
    • where testing & failure is allowed,
    • that exists outside of the existing IT systems,
    • that exists outside of governance,
    • which is run like a start-up and
    • whose successes are transferred to the core organization.

"Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth." (Mike Tyson). Therefore

  • don't make plans
  • align yourself 100% with the customer (design thinking) and
  • Rely on MVP with a maximum of three functions: It MUST solve the customer's first pain points.

Then if something doesn't work, you can always find new approaches. “Fail fast, fail cheap”. Start tomorrow, think small, do it in a protected space and don't build perfect solutions. But go ahead!

Digital hubs: old & new economy

The Berlin partners of the de: hub initiative were briefly introduced here. A panel also discussed how companies from FinTech and IoT can work together.

InnovationLabs in Berlin are successful

Alexandra Horn: Digitization, a practical guide

Alexandra presented the SME 4.0 Competence Center in Berlin. This is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and aims to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to present the procedure in a practical manner, she brought along a few case studies from recent years. These showed how innovation emerged and was promoted.

She also gave a few tips on digitization from her experience. So should companies

  • think of the customer first,
  • work user-oriented,
  • quickly create and test prototypes,
  • put the focus on the MVP and put "German perfection" behind,
  • pay attention to design thinking as well
  • Keeping the “old” and creating the “new” in parallel.

Dorothee Töreki: Digital Collaboration, Digital Leadership, Digital Workplace

Dorothee (who, by the way, you should follow here on Twitter) first spoke about the topic of change. To do this, we need courage and have to leave our silos so that departments can work together. We also have to question our business model. Because if we don't do all of this, someone else will.

Don't be afraid of taking risks

So work on making your own business obsolete! Such a willingness to change only works if it is exemplified by top-down management. In this way, all departments can take risks more easily and use them actively (for example, by learning from their own mistakes through a fail wall). Networking all parts of the company is the basis for changes.

A prime example is Jos de Blok, for example. He revolutionized care services in the Netherlands. And how did he do it? By completely abolishing the old-fashioned structures.

JavaScript Web Deveblopment Revolution

Promo for the in-house CMS

Now the organizers presented their new CMS, which is based on ReactJS and AWSLambda. This completely removes the server from the equation. However, and this is our opinion, one must not forget that a complete React frontend entails great risks for SEO. the statement “Google can do that” should be viewed critically at first.

Overall, this is a complex topic that z. B. Bartosz Góralewicz and his team from Elephate are already intensively devoting them (and about which I will write in more detail in this article). The fact remains: the rendering on Google's side is complex and error-prone. First looks at the CMS therefore raise the question of how SEO-safe it really is? Steps towards a dynamic CMS with templates are always recommended, but the focus on ReactFrondend is not optimal in my opinion!

Joachim Graf: "How do new technologies affect your business?"

Joachim gets horror when he encounters the AGABU phenomenon. This stands for “Everything is completely different with us” and describes the predominant core problem that companies have when adapting to new developments. For Joachim, the Internet is a chaotic system, which is why the term digital transformation doesn't fit him at all - more disruptive approaches are important to him:

  • If you could only sell data from tomorrow - what would it be?
  • What kind of product could you produce to sell at Aldi?
  • Which service (exclusively) could you sell to your customers?

These questions provide initial approaches to rethink your business model. Because a company structure has to constantly adapt to the new forms of information exchange.

Aline-Florence Buttkereit: digital innovation, virtual identity, start-ups

Aline-Florence showed us one of her own use cases: "What does innovation work look like?" To do this, external service providers are given the task: "Invent something innovative for our company".

The innovation takes place in a separate team, which should be composed as diverse as possible. Here you have to pay attention to the 4 ways to build innovative teams. This team then carries out the entire process from research to idea development and prototyping. Customers can be involved from time to time, but should not be involved on a permanent basis.

The focus must then always be on the overturning of existing processes, products and services that are simply no longer up-to-date.

Professor Wolfgang Henseler: Big Data and BI as the basis of product development

Wolfgang offered a really great lecture. You immediately noticed that he is a person who lives progress and innovation. His recipe for innovation is

User centricity (thinking) + IoT technologies (thinking) = success (effect)

In doing so, he is striving for a paradigm shift from product-centering to user-centering.

We're talking about Industry 4.0 - but 5.0 is where things get really interesting

For example, Amazon Echo Look is currently turning the fashion industry upside down. And since image data can be used as a starting point for machine learning, any app that does not ask for access to the photos is simply stupid for Wolfgang. The reason for this is simple: the algorithms here are significantly better than those used for speech recognition - and images reveal a lot.

For example, Adidas builds a 100% customized product with Futurecraft. The proximity to the customer then determines the economic success.

Stephan Grabmeier: Field report "Digital transformation is radical cultural change"

Innovation and changes are extremely dependent on the mindset

For Stephan it is extremely important that the changes also affect the structures. So we have to rethink: From the hierarchy to the network. And for this we have to involve employees in strategy decisions and developments. Some companies, in which the workforce can now vote for the executives, are showing how it is done. Unfortunately, most of the time, board members and executives are still lagging far behind in the digital age.

For these people it will be difficult to grasp and live digitization & innovation

But the digital transformation requires a radical rethink in dealing with personnel and structures. As with user-centered products, the focus in a company is on people.

Core drivers for innovation in the company

Ingo Notthoff: AI and IoT

For Ingo, marketing is often stuck in the old millennium. You make TV spots, book billboards and design newspaper advertisements. But what happens when our fridges suddenly shop for us? The coming generations will shop with Alexa and Co. and no longer search the net themselves - they will let the machine take over the search process. SEOs also have to be careful here!

Marketing is also becoming much more technical, as bots, chatbots and Alexa skills are becoming more and more important. They provide entry points into your sales channels. So how about a bot in the CRM system, for example?

Ingo's smart fridge

Björn Tantau: Digital Marketing 2018

I don't have to say anything else here. You all know Björn and his classic fireworks on the subject of "Know your customers and reach them where they are" (and if not: click here for the interview with Björn). Your own website as a content hub is the focus of all considerations. The content is the key to addressing target groups across all social networks and channels.

Website at the center of the marketing concept

Professor Ralf Schengber: Customer service and customer approach

Ralf's keynote was one of the three best presentations of the day. So he has z. B. designed his presentation live on the iPad - a great gag at the end of a long day, which nicely accentuated his humorous presentation about addressing customers and their needs.

At first he seemed to reject bots outright. But in the end he found that ideal customer communication is divided:

  • The simple, recurring and solution-oriented part can be handled using bots
  • The complex and individual part still has to be done by people

So don't automate everything, automate smart.


The whole conference was well organized. There were no breakdowns and there was always enough space for everyone involved in the great location. However, it has to be said that the schedule was far too tight. The speakers often had to struggle with the clock and more space should also be given to the question and answer sessions.

Because, especially when it comes to innovation topics, not everyone can take something away straight away, but the discussion rounds help them understand it better and extract additional things. But overall there were a lot of great impulses. The following points in particular ran like a red thread through the whole day:

  • Design Thinking is the way to go!
  • Prototyping
    • fast
    • MVP focused
    • test & discard / develop further
    • take small steps
  • People in focus (users for products, staff in the company)