What is wahwah FM?
Wahwah FM is a new form of radio App, more precisely it is a cloud searching radio which the user is able influence in different ways. The main idea behind wahwah FM is giving the possibility to users to listen the same song someone else is listening to in a synchronized way. The App on your smartphone connects to the App of another smartphone that you have chosen (you do not have to be connected in any social network), and starts playing the same song the other user is listening to synchronizing your smartphone to his. There are two main ideas behind this process: the user that connects cannot stop, pause, forward, or rewind the song unless he owns it on his smartphone. In addition, the App does not share your own music, it recognize it and pull the same song from a cloud to your smartphone, and then synchronize it to the other App. This is the reason why it is considered a radio: the user cannot influence the music he is listening to, unless he already owns the song.
What is Senzari and what is your relationship with them?
Senzari, one of the biggest competitors of Pandora, is a San Francisco based music company. It is now live in U.S., U.K., Spain, and Brazil. Being interested in entering the German market, the company decided to acquire wahwah FM. This will be a win-win relationship because wahwah FM can access the knowhow of Senzari, having the possibility of a free flow of people within the two companies. In addition, Senzari will be able to help solve some of wahwah FM problems, such as: the small range of availability (only Germany), the small scale the business model is build on, and the not yet sustainability of the company. On the other hand, Senzari will be able to gain a big market share of the European market, and have a first mover advantage against Pandora (which is not live in Germany either). Also, the U.S. based company will be able to improve its App with wahwah business model and knowhow.
Why did you decide to become a member of betahaus?
Before the acquisition of Senzari we used to have our own office in Neukölln, then, we needed a bigger space in a short notice, and the option of betahaus sounds perfect: we could have our own office within a day. Another reason why we chose betahaus as our own working space is the possibility to easily connect with other people. This was a decisive point because, after the acquisition, we realized we need more developers, and betahaus is the place to find them.
How does coworking affect you and your company?
Coworking is an essential component for our work at betahaus. It helps us to keep a fresh and updated mind while being able to create a good network. In addition, sometimes it is good to distract from your own work in order to have a more open mind and be able to think outside the box. Lastly, working at betahaus is a great opportunity to meet people that would perfectly fit in wahwah FM team as a permanent member or as a freelancer.
What are the main difficulties you faced so far?
The main difficulty that we faced so far is the copyright issue. In fact, a radio always need deals to play music it actually does not own, and being a cloud searching radio, where users can actually influence the music it is played requires the company to make other deals with copyright companies. As a matter of facts, we were able to sign contracts with GEMA, which solve one part of the problem. Another issue we found is a more technological issue that is still related to copyrights: by law, it is not allow to play more than three songs from the same artist in a row. This would not be a problem in a typical radio with a real DJ, because he personally decides the music to play, but wahwah FM is different, we needed to created an App that meets this requirement.
What are your future goals?
The first goal that we are trying to reach is expanding the team with more App developers and Europe market developers. In addition, we want to create an App that is a combination of the knowhow of Senzari and wahwah FM. Another goal would be to solve an issue that we noticed during the last months: when a user goes offline and is not playing music anymore, the people that are synchronized with him cannot reach him anymore.
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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?
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.