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Looking back: What can history teach us about the innovations of tomorrow?

According to the economist Joseph Schumpeter our economy is driven by ‘waves of innovation’. Each wave is characterized by disruptive innovations which fuel a new wave of growth: water power, textiles and iron; steam, rail and steel; petrochemicals, electronics and aviation…On this basis we are now in the ‘fifth wave of innovation’The Age of Digital Networks, Software and New Media.

Throughout history many businesses have capitalized on these waves of innovation, immortalizing themselves as leaders of innovation. But for others, failures to react to these developments have literally consigned them to the depths of history. That is what Schumpeter calls Creative Destruction: whilst Facebook and Netflix, for example, capitalized on the new age of information and digital content, Nokia and Blockbuster were annihilated by it.

So, now, as we enter the age of digital networks, software and new media, what can we learn from previous waves of innovation? What is it that allows some companies thrive on these waves, whilst others fall by the wayside?

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If Virtual Assistants are the customers of tomorrow, designing products for them would be fundamentally different

This article is based on one of our thought experiments we had in the Motius ThinkTank. At Motius we have the privilege of being close to the newest technologies and at the same time working with leading companies around the world on developing the future of different industries. Such thought experiments are based on our observations, discussions with our partners and Friday-mornings coffee-fuelled debates combined with a bit of analysis.  

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Learning from the best: Thoughts on how to measure innovation

It feels like every other manager currently is putting on his son’s sneakers, removes his tie and heads onto a pilgrimage to the Silicon Valley. There he tries to understand the cultures of innovative companies and when he comes back his company will buy some funky furniture, create breakout rooms and offer its employees free smoothies just as Google does. Innovation challenge: CHECK!

So why is everyone trying to do that?

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The duty of being cool: Why Family businesses should inspire entrepreneurs in Germany

My impression of Germany before migrating to it was mainly formed by football and documentaries about its engineering. Every week on TV there was a show about an unknown Tech company in a cosy corner of Germany. It was a different specialized industry every week and the employees were always portrayed as passionate engineers striving for perfection. I was fascinated by that. Continue Reading


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Food for thought – Will chatbots disrupt the way custormers and businesses interact in the GCC?

A major reason for the huge success of companies like Google or Facebook is that they are improving services and products by building ecosystems around them (read more about building ecosystem here). Looking at past developments, the mobile trend has migrated from mobile websites to mobile applications, to an extent where it is currently inevitable for companies to not own an application for their services. As a result, people need to download apps and often register for everything they want to do on their smartphone – be it chatting with friends, reading the news, shopping, booking a flight or even ordering a cab.

Nevertheless, current disruptive trends like chatbots could mean that these applications might no longer be required in order to get customized information from companies.

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Why western-style incubators would not work in the MENA region. Part one: The problem

Being an Oman-born Tunisian and founder of a High-Tech company in Germany, I have had the pleasure to see how such companies are born in Europe and how they grow. Through some of our company’s business in the MENA region, we witnessed many attempts there to replicate that company building process locally. During the last three years we have formed an opinion on the significance and potential of such attempts for those countries. In the think tank we have been discussing where the problems lie for those initiatives and how they could be solved. This is what we came up with.

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German industry vs. Google: The competition starts in the controlling departments

In the previous blog article, I briefly talked about the nature of the competition between Google and German car makers and sketched out two possible scenarios of how that competition could further crystalize. This article highlights the necessary changes that must take place in the culture of German car makers as well as the role that financial planning and controlling departments have to play in order for those scenarios to unfurl. The same analysis could be applied to almost all companies facing competition through the expansion of Google.

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On smartphones, containers, and the future of Big Blue

This is the first article of our series Motius Talent Pool Writes. Here we give talents of our pool the opportunity to write about their thoughts and insights on technical topics. No matter if it is something they meet during their studies or work at Motius. Josu, the stage is yours.

“Software is eating the world” – the famous phrase, coined by legendary founder and investor Marc Andreessen, seems now to be more relevant than ever. Software has transformed the way we travel, communicate, work and pretty much everything else.

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