betahaus: How long are you in Berlin and since when do you work at the betahaus?
Ryan Jones: I actually live in Tübingen with my wife. She had a seminar here in Berlin and I took the opportunity to join her and work from the betahaus. After moving to Germany from Switzerland, I have worked in several coworking spaces: Augsburg, München, Stuttgart & Wankheim. Several people recommended that I stop by the betahaus while staying in Berlin. Betahaus seems to have built quite a coworking brand in Germany!
What are you working on right now?
I am currently a co-founder for We&Co and I do some consulting on the side. We&Co is an free App, that gives you the opportunity to thank people you meet in your everyday life. That can be your favorite waitress, hairdresser or the awesome guy from the shoe shop next door. The main idea is, that since we already have facebook or linkedIn, where we connect with family, friends or colleagues, there should be also a way to connect with the amazing people who go the extra mile to help you every day. If someone delivers great service, you can say thank you via We&Co and give something positive back. It's like a game, you can exchange information about outstanding service with your friends. But, at the same time, it empowers and motivates employees from the service sector (who are so often overlooked) via positive feedback. Personally, I love using We&Co because it helps me build more human relationships. We hope We&Co can build a movement around thankfulness and gratitude in a world that has grown increasingly transactional.
How did you come up with the idea?
My two co founders, Marc Mathieu and Jared Malan incubated the idea and I came on a little later to help drive it to fruition.
What kind of feedback did you get for We&Co so far?
We've been working on We&Co since fall 2010 and launched in mid July. So far we've been very encouraged by the great feedback we've received from the likes of GOOD, Fast Company, Mashable & PSFK. And, of course, we've received great feedback from our users. People love the idea of spreading positivity. Our next steps are now to tell people about the app and find unique ways to make it bigger.
What will you tell other people about your time in Berlin?
I actually just wrote a blogpost about my time in Berlin, you can find it here. Overall, I feel a tremendous pulse of creativity and openness here. Betahaus is more a creative than a business/office oriented co-working space. It is not like a "serious" office and you can feel more the creative type of spirit. I really enjoyed the betabreakfast and I felt that it was super easy to get in touch with other people at the betahaus.
Would you suggest any improvements for betahaus?
I think you guys are doing a great job & I totally felt at home here. It's not a brand new building and there could be some improvements in the infrastructure like the toilets, but on the other hand that's part of the specific charm of the betahaus. There could also be some more events, but maybe I was just unlucky as I arrived in August--not the busiest month of the year.
Für alle, die gerne mehr erfahren wollen, empfiehlt sich ein Blick auf:
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?
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 west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.