Alice Nell
October 18, 2013

For next designers

Hi dear all,

Upon requests from your side we have scheduled a new Product Design Intensive Course within betahaus| Education program. I admit we had a bit of doubts, as 3 months in a row led us to an idea that we may give this course a little break for a month or 2 and give a spot to new content. However, requests which we were getting through reception during last weeks forced us to admit that Product Design accepts no rest. Well, if so, than it certainly deserves a warm Welcome Letter and here it is.

To describe in a few words what the course is about - it is an intensive enabling session which introduces participants to all the aspects of design essential for working on your own projects. It is as if full bachelor shrinked to essential hands-on only, in the name of bringing an actual knowledge within just 4 weeks. Obviously, the course leaves open end opportunities for further personal research of defined materials and approuches. Yet, what is important - within the course you gain a clear understanding of diverse types of materials/ paradigms/ etc. , so you know for sure where to start the research and in which direction to move.

Intensive Product Design Course is a tool. And what you gonna use it for is the most interesting part. And it is certainly up to you only. Within the previous courses we had participants who wanted to learn the fundamentals of concept development to bring more sense into their creative projects. Architects, who wanted to gain knowledge in complementary, yet different field to enrich their professional approach. Agency people, keen on learning more about design in order to speak the same language with their project fellows. And simply people of all diverse professions, passionate about learning a new skill. We don´t yet have any idea what´s your perspective. But that´s exactly what we are passionate to know. In the end, that´s what we launched the whole betahaus| Education for  - to give people an opportunity to learn and do exactly what they want.

If you are interested in the course, feel welcome to join in, we still have few places left. Here it is online.

Sunny wishes from the back office. ;)



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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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