Christoph Fahle
October 1, 2012

Christoph Volbers

We have so many awesome interns working at betahaus so we decided to introduce them as well at our blog in the new serie "Staff of the week". Christoph Volbers studied design at the Art School Weißensee and just finished his 3 months internship at betahause in the areas Corporate Identity, Design, Product Design and Visualisation. Thank you very much for your great support!

Sepehr also an intern at betahaus did the interview.

What was your motivation to study design?

I draw since I am a child  and I was always interested in changing things the way I think - it could be a room, a fruit, a table, a lamp or a vacuum cleaner. I was always interested in something that gives me a challenge. I was always asking myself: how can I do it in a different way? First I changed everything in my room, then I came up with task like: How could a coffee machine work better? I had so much fun in solving these challenges.

Are you delighted having an experience in betahaus?

Absolutely yes, the thing is, when I was here for the first time, I was here for the wrong event... but Madeleine (one of the betahaus founders) was inviting me to stay and enjoy the event. I was so inspired by the atmosphere! It was so energizing and I think that's because of all the people that come to betahaus, they have an idea in mind and these ideas drives them to get things done. They're so energetic to solve the problems.  This was what I liked the most when I first entered betahaus and so I stayed...

Do you want to keep working at betahaus?

As I love the atmosphere so much and I get so energized by it, I’d really like to stay and work with the betahaus gang. Even when I have to go back to university next week, I will try to work at betahaus once a week.

Is it satisfying working in betahaus and does it make you reach to your final goals ?

Yes - betahaus is a proper place also for designers and I can even imagine working on my student project at betahaus.

And about Berlin, do you think its a good place for designers and also for students? 

I can't say it generally but I think on one side, Berlin is a bad place for designers, because they're not paid very well but on the other hand Berlin is so inspiring and it seems to be that nowadays Berlin is that hot spot in Europe. For me it's full of culture of every kind, not just conservative culture or pushing culture or young culture. You can get everything you like!

Thank you for your time.

And no Christoph did not got paid for his answers, even it seems so...

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Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.

If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.

Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!

A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!

Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.

Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.

Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.

Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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