event spacecalendarmagazineour storyJOIN NOW
Alice Nell
January 14, 2016

2015/2016 with Gwendolyn Noltes

If December is all about reflecting and setting new goals, then January is the month to actually get to work: to push limits, change habits and work to reach goals. In our 2015/2016 series, betahaus members share with you what they’ve learned in 2015, and what their goals are for 2016

Gwendolyn Noltes


  1. Don't focus on one project I’ve been trying to get funding for a new artistic project and I’ve put a lot of time and energy into writing grant applications. Unfortunately without any success so far. Learnt a lot and so on, but since I focused solely on this project, I wasn’t receptive to any other opportunities and might have missed some chances there. In 2016, I’d like to be more open minded. ...
  2. Keep on moving! My life motto. It’s important to keep on moving, in any thinkable direction. Even if you’re stuck at some point (career wise or personal life), force yourself to get up and move. It helps. ...
  3. Make choices So now and then I reach a point that it feels like my mind is exploding; too many things to think about and too many things to organize. Migraine is an unfortunate consequence. Making choices and listing all my activities help me to create an overview so that I can breathe again. Even though I've worked as a freelancer for several years, it remains a learning process!


It’s important to keep on moving


  1. Keep on smiling This sounds cliché, but for me it’s important to keep seeing the positive sides of life; even if you’re facing some difficulties. When I’m working in the Betahaus café I’m always trying to welcome people with a smile. It’s great to get one back. Even better to give a compliment with it too (well-meant of course). ...
  2. Approaching potential clients convincingly Being an artist means I haven’t studied marketing or any other ‘sell-yourself-to-the-big-world’ course, so for me it’s hard to ‘sell myself’ to ‘the people out there’. I’m always insecure about my work; this doesn’t help. In 2016 I’d like to train myself in approaching potential clients convincingly. Even better would be to have an agent. ...
  3. Collaborations Collaborations with talented people are great! At the moment I’m working on a new project with Luisa Cázares Orduño. She's an illustrator and also works as a barista at the Betahaus café. We’re aiming on a long-term work relationship. I’m looking forward to many exciting and challenging collaborations in 2016. ... 
I’d like to train myself in approaching potential clients convincingly


Besides being the familiar friendly face of a barista in the Betahaus café, Gwendolyn Noltes is a freelance scenographer. In layman's terms; she's a stage, set and costume designer and concept developer for various artistic projects.

Enjoyed this content? Continue reading! 

Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.

Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK

Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !


Thanks for signing up :)
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form