New Website!

6 Sep

Bildschirmfoto 2013-09-06 um 10.52.55We are happy to announce our new website!
We will stop posting on this blog and move our news and projects to our new digital home.


Zutaten von Kleinkunst

11 Apr

ktv Thun: Information für Agenturen und Theater sind unter BOOKING

1 von 1DSC_0227

Eisenhower-Matrix redux

5 Apr
Watch out, we have new IT gear. More high tech charts coming soon.

Watch out, we have new IT gear. More high tech charts coming soon.

Up in the air

21 Mar


Our little chart tries to answer the age-old question: Can you be rich and popular?

We compared the the top ten most popular airlines with the top ten most profitable ones. The chart reveals: Ryanair, arguably the most awkward airline, has the biggest EBIT margin (22 %). Local airlines like LAN or Copa Airlines are doing well. But the biggest winner is Turkish Airlines. Yes, THY (frequent flyers not long ago translated this abbreviation „THEY HATE YOU“) has become one of the most popular (No. 7) and most profitable (11.2 % EBIT margin) companies in the airline business. And they are running one of the most powerful hubs in the world connecting the Europe with Asia: Istanbul.

Laugh with us!

29 Jan

Mikael and Roman trying to speak spanish for a video annoucement of a book reading in Madrid. Danger: It’s contagious.
(press CC down right in the video frame for additional english subtitles)

Cheese Chart

23 Jan

Click to enlarge!

Would you like to tweak, adapt, comment or rearrange this chart?

1. Download the Decision App for your iPad and iPhone.
2. Write an e-mail to to get the cheese chart as an open decision-file for your iPad or iPhone
3. Change it, challenge it.



18 Dec
Wovon Mensch und Vogel träumen

Wovon Mensch und Vogel träumen

Our contribution to the art book and exhibition project “Managing Structural Bird Problems”by publishers Holger Heubner, Helmut Kraus, Jürgen Willinghöfer, Nina Reisinger, Ursula Achternkamp. Cover by Julian Montague.

Managing Structural Bird Problems
Kabinett, Akademie Schloß Solitude, Stuttgart
Eröffnung 24. Januar 2013, 20 Uhr

50 Autoren lenken einen ornithologischen Blick auf die Gesellschaft. Das Beobachten und die Beobachtung der Beobachtung wird verknüpft mit dem Thema der Sammlung und der Archivierung von Wissen. Dessen Management, Strukturen und Probleme, sowie der Gedanke am eventuellen Nutzen, diese nicht zu lösen, kommen hier zusammen. Was die Vögel damit zu tun haben, werden wir erfahren, denn deren seismographischer Auftrag ist bekannt – von wem oder was auch immer sie beauftragt sein mögen. Von ihnen können wir lernen oder gewappnet werden – mit diesem Wissen lastet jedenfalls nicht mehr alles allein auf den schmalen Schultern der Vögel. Die Autoren kommen aus den Bereichen der Wissenschaften und des Rechts, aus dem Management, der Architektur, der Planung, des Handwerks und der Künste – insofern lernen wir auch mehr über uns und unsere Methoden, Blickwinkel und was ein Perspektivwechsel bedeuten kann. Eine lauschige Lesetheke lädt ein, sich in dem berstenden Wissen zu Federträgern wie Vögel zu verzetteln und mit einem Vogelbeerschnaps auf die Wertschätzung des Blaukehlchens anzustoßen.

Autoren: Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Alan Worn, Alexander Christie-Miller, Alexander Kluge, Alexander Kühnen & Corinna Bonati & Kerstin Lienemann & Olaf Abbé, Amt für Apokalyptische Aufklärung, Apparatus 22, Arnold-Glas, Asmus Trautsch & Bettina Lehmann, Bart Kempenaers, Bernadette La Hengst & Ton Matton, Bernhard Just & Iris Heynen, Christian Hoffelner, Christian Naumann, Diemut Klärner, Erduan Maliqi, Ergo Phizmiz, Fabienne Radi & das akzént-Dolmetscherteam, Frank Bölter, Franziska Gerstenberg, Frederik Foert, guzo – Roman Tschäppeler & Mikael Krogerus, Gabriele Sturm, Hajo Kobialka, Helwig Brunner, Holger Heubner, Iris Dressler, Joachim Krausse, Jürgen Willinghöfer, Klaus Ruge, Konrad Kirsch, Lisa Vera Schwabe, Lothar Spath, Mareike Maage, Olaf Bach, Olaf Miosga, Oscar Prinsen, Reinhard Klenke, Reinhold Necker, Roberto Yanguas, Rosa Volkmann, Rudi Suchant, Stählemühle – Christoph Keller, Silke Pflüger, Sonja Beeck, Sonja Kübler, Stephan Kammer, Susan Elbin, Thomas Schönlebe, Torsten Blume, UDGB, Ursula Achternkamp, Ursula Armstrong, Ursula Schulze-Dornburg, Verena Hahn, Walter Scheiffele, Werner Nachtigall, Yossi Leshem, Yvonne Roeb.

Watching is the new reading

22 Nov

(Kann man sehen = nice to watch / Muss man sehen = must see! / Lustig = funny / Spannend = thrilling)

There has been an ongoing discussion, wether David Foster Wallace’s „Infinite Just“ or Jonathan Franzen’s „The Corrections“ is the „War and Peace” of the 21st Century. Turns out both lost out to „Mad Men“. No „The Wire“, or, no, wait: „The Killing“. TV-Series are the new novels of the century. No writer can match the prose and style and complexity of the screenwriter. No novel can be as complicted and addictive at the same time as a TV-series.
The model shows what we have been watching lately. Corrections and recommendations are welcome!

(chart published in NZZ and NZZ am Sonntag)

Should I or shouldn’t I?

28 Sep

Our little diagram illustrates the expectancy paradox. The basic question: what is the correlation between happiness and expectation?

If you have no expectations regarding your partner you are indifferent. Indiffrent decisions are seldom satisfying. The higher your expectations the more happy you are if they are being met. However, if your expectations reach the tipping point, you are likley to be disappointed because Mr. Perfect might not exist. Science suggests to decide on something (or soemone) that meets your basic requirements instead of searching for ‘Mr Perfect“. But what about love at first sight? In recent years there has been a lot of research into intuition. Two findings: it seems there is a part of us that knows more than we think we know. And, we tend to be more accepting of wrong decisions that we made impulsively, i.e. intuitively, than ones that we spent a long time thinking about. Key learning: We forgive our heart more than our head. And always keep in mind, what Marcel Proust once wrote: ‘All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.’

The Decision App

4 Sep


We proudly present: Our decision App –  it helps you speedily analyze complex situations and making the right decisions.

The decision app works like digital wall chart, a flip chart 2.0.You can doodle, draw, scribble. You can use one of the existing templates. Or you can easily draw your own models (for example an x/y matrix).

It is the perfect tool for presentations, meetings and brainstorming sessions.

The Decision App is based on The Decision Book and contains some of the most successful decision-making models from management theory. These models can be used right away as templates to brainstorm, to ponder, to consider, or to weigh options for the required decision. For example the Eisenhower Matrix for time management, the SWOT Analysis for analyzing complex challenges or the Blue Ocean Strategy to chart new opportunities.

Check out our website
Buy it on iTunes Store for iPad/iPhone

Who are you and why?

10 Aug

Who do you believe in? The church? Your teacher? Your partner? Your shrink? The internet? The new God on the block is the limbic system. A part of your brain controls some very essential behaviors: finding food, self-preservation, lust, laughter. Neuroscientists and marketing people love the limbic system.
Up to 95 percent of all our purchases are supposedly linked to some action going on in the limbic system. The decision to buy a Stella instead of a Carlsberg is linked to the concentration of cortisol, dopamin and testosteron in our brain.
Based on research on the limbic system the wise guys from Nymphenburg, a marketing company, identified seven new archetypes: 1: adventurer (3 % of the population), 2: performer (6 %), 3: disziplined (10 %), 4: conservative (24 %), 5: harmonizer (32 %), 6: connoisseur (13 %), 7: hedonist (11 %).
Take a look at the model and ask yourselves: where am I?

Why some ideas don’t go global

26 May

Why is it that some innovations are expanding into every area of the world while others – no matter how great – only work in a certain region?

The answer is the Galápagos syndrome. It refers to a phenomenon in which products have evolved isolated from the rest of the world despite their superior quality and advanced technology, just like endemic Galápagos Islands animals.

The most famous example are japanese cellphones. Japan was already using highly advanced smartphones when the rest of the world was still sceptical of the first generation iphone. Japan has always been ahead of the world: they had camera-phones in 2000, full music downloads in 2002, electronic payments in 2004 and digital TV in 2005. But somehow they couldn’t sell it to the rest oft he world.

We asked our selves: what are other examples for Galápagosization? Our little model lists ideas, products, innovations that are galápagosized vs those who are accepted almost everywhere. The vertical axis shows what we like and what we disklike.

Any suggestions for our Galápagos-Chart?

Article in ASIABOOKS

27 Apr
Click to read the Article

Click to read the Article!

Jumping The Shark

31 Mar

Most of us spend a lot of time asking ourselves if we are doing the ‘right’ thing: Are we wearing the right glasses? Do we hold the right views? Are we living in the right part of town? Have we given our child the right name? Everyone wants to be ‘cool’. But cool is actually hard to define. Once you do it, it isn’t cool anymore. Because this je ne sais quoi often eludes us, we use status symbols to try and emulate it. And we are not just talking about teenage trends – every age-group, every social class has its own status symbols, the mainstream to the same extent as the avant garde.

In the US there is a way of describing the point at which something becomes passé: it’s jumped the shark. The saying was inspired by the TV series Happy Days, specifically an episode in which Fonzie tries to jump over a shark on waterskis. This ridiculous script idea suggested that the scriptwriters were literally losing the plot: they could no longer sustain the show’s success and were resorting to cheap gimmicks in a desperate attempt to retain viewers. Initially applied to the beginning of the end of a TV series, the saying is now used more generally to describe the moment when something loses its freshness and starts to go downhill.
To sum it up: What fun is it being cool if you can’t wear a (sombrero? Calvin & Hobbes)

Book Presentation in New York

9 Feb

Mikael and Roman are visiting the Big Apple for the release of their “Decision Book”. You wan’t to join us? RSVP:

Christmas Edition: The Greatest Conspiracy Theories

20 Dec

Click to enlarge!

The Greatest Conspiracy Theories

20 Dec

Click to enlarge!

The movie is better than the book

2 Nov

A great idea to use the Nolan chart for movies and books. Found on this great blog (Mr. Brames Blog).

Topmodels in the news (German)

20 Oct

Frankfurter Buchmesse

18 Oct

“The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is not young.” At the book fair in Frankfurt, we were lucky to spend some entertaining minutes next to the grand old man of German literature, Harry Rowohlt. Seconds after this image was taken Rowohlt spilled Mikael’s coffee over Roman’s shirt. He will never wash it again.

I would kill to be there!

28 Sep

Change hurts

14 Sep

Our little graph shows the process of change.
Nothing changes without movement. Movement causes friction. Friction causes pain. So no real change will take place if we don’t accept any pain as part of the change-process. This is true for large scale transformation of societies, and it’s true for personal development. So the question is not: how to change. The question is: Are you willing to take some pain?
Typically the announce of a new, say, Head of Marketing leads to lots of movement (hiring new ad agency, re-positioning etc), it stirs a lot of water, but you won’t expect a lot of pain. And therefore: also no real change. On the other end: endless meetings lead to a lot of pain but often no movement, because no one is willing to make a decision.

And the gold medal goes to…

23 Aug

Due to a complex formula not all sports that are fun to play are equally fun to watch. Even the most hard-core free diver would never indulge in a, say, four hour live broadcast of his sport. Meanwhile, it can highly rewarding to watch The Strongest Man in The World Competition, even if the idea of carrying a truck tire is not very appealing. Interestingly enough is soccer, arguably the most popular sport of the world, fun to play, but boring to watch.
We racked our brains to come up with something that is, somewhat, easy to master and fun to watch: sex and dodge ball. Sometimes dancing and boxing, too.

Working on our new book…

12 May

Decision in Rear Mirror

9 May

Thanks Michael Stutz for this contribution to our blog. The horizontal axis is labeled “conscious” and “unconscious” (how you took your decision), the vertical is “positiv” and “negativ” (how your decision turned out). In the rear mirror of a decision you look back and you “were lucky” (upper left), you “regret” (lower left), you are “full of self-confidence” (upper right) because you know how it works or you maybe lie to yourself by saying “that was only bad luck (lower right).


27 Mar

We are currently working on our next book about strategic models. See above early sketches. If you understand this diagram, you understand more then we do!

We are very proud!

13 Mar

We thank our publisher “Profile Books” for this success since the release date 6th of January 2011!

High Infidelity

1 Feb

Drawing by Dag B. Grødal

Why do some people have affairs while other don’t?

This little model is based on research by the Kinsey-Institute in Bloomington. Basically there are two parameters: how easily are you aroused vs how much are you willing to take risks? Kinsey researcher call this “gas pedal” and brake pedal”. In order to find out about your sensitivity to arousal they ask questions like: “If you touch a stranger at a party or brush against a stranger who you find attractive do you become aroused? If you make eye contact with her or her – do you become aroused?” People who answer yes, app. 40 %, have a strong gas pedal. This doesn´t mean you are unfaithful. Because you might hit the brakes. This is discovered by asking questions like: “If you are having sex with someone in a public place and someone else comes along  –  does that cause you to become apprehensive and stop having sex?” We can also say people with a strong brake pedal have strong marital values. Now, people with a strong gas pedal and a weak brake pedal, about 20 %, these are the ones most prone to cheat.

Make love, not war

12 Jan

Yhprum´s Law

12 Jan

Why everthing you think you know about Murphy´s Law is wrong.
Finagles ´Law (sort of the pinnacle of the often quoted Murphy’s Law: «Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong») is a refreshing mixture of cruel logic and farfetched claims. It goes something like this:

  1. What we have is not what we need.
  2. What we want is not what we need.
  3. What we need is impossible to get.
  4. You can get hold of this information for a much higher price then you are prepared to pay.

Sounds like something out of your life? But what if Finnagle´s Law got it all wrong? Let´s take a look at Yhprum´s Law (Yhprum = Murphy backwards). It states that everything that can work, will work. Richard Zeckhauser from Harvard noted: “Sometimes systems that should not work, work nevertheless.“

Wether things work or not seems to be up to ourselves. Why do so many of us prefer to point out the mistakes other poeple make instead of simply doing things better? Any fool can critize – and most fools do, as Bejamin Fraklin famously stated. And he was right! We call these people fault-finder. Their sentences usually start like this: „This idea is great, but…“. Kill the but! We suggest the famous appreciate inquiry-method by David Cooperrider that involves concentrating on the strengths of a company or a person rather than on the weaknesses. Next time you give a feedback, don´t say „Yes, but…“. Try: „Yes, and we could also…“. Sounds strange? Give it a try.

The Decision Book

23 Sep

We are happy: January 2011, the English edition of our book “50 Erfolgsmodelle” will be in stores:
“A smart, fun, bestselling guide to making the right choices”.
The Decision Book – Fifty models for strategic thinking. Profile Books, Mikael Krogerus & Roman Tschäppeler

The press release says: “Most of us face the same questions every day: What do I want? And how can I get it? How can I live more happily and work more efficiently?
A European bestseller, The Decision Book distils into a single volume the fifty best decision-makingmodels used on MBA courses and elsewhere that will help you tackle these important questions – from the well known (the Eisenhower matrix for time management) to the less familiar but equally useful (the Swiss Cheese model). It will even show you how to remember everything you’ll have learned by the end of it.
Stylish and compact, this little book is more powerful than it might look. Whether you need to plan a presentation, assess someone’s business idea or get to know yourself better, this unique guide will help you simplify any problem and take steps towards the right decision.”

224pp with illustrations, A format hardback, ISBN: 978 1 84668 395 4, e-ISBN : 978 1 84765 446 5, Business/Management, January 2011

Ah, a friend request! But who the hell is Benno?!

31 Aug

The line between a friend and an enemy is sometimes as fine as the one between bravery and stupidity. This little friendscouting-model shows who to trust.

So, let’s start in the bottom-left corner: „The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend“. We all know this basic principle from the school yard. Some senior citizens might be remembered of World War II when longtime enemies France and Britain united against Nazi-Germany. Let’s have a look at the upper-left square: „The Enemy of my Friend is my Enemy“. This is the highly moralistic conversion of the Machiavelli principle. Some of you might have been lucky enough to have experienced this in the school yard. Others might know it from math: trusting other and being trusted (tit for tat) is the ultimative solution for the prisoner’s dilemma in game theory. „The Friend of my Enemy is an A…hole“ – everyone who’s ever experienced betrayal knows what we’re talking about. And finally: „The Friend of my Friend is my Friend“. This is the basic principle of Facebook. Here’s a question: How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them do you know? And how many do you trust?

Better never than late

4 Aug

Here’s a dilemma:
What’s worse: Committing a mistake early on or committing a mistake after having thoroughly adressed a problem? In other words: is it worse to make a mistake based on superficial judgement or doing a mistake believing you were absolutely right?

Science say: the latter is the worst. Manager loose more money if they ponder a question for a long time than if they make a quick but wrong decision. The bottom-line: better never than late.

How we became what we are

25 Jun

Reality is no fun to read. Here is an example (y-axis = degree of success, x-axis = age): Do you remember what you wanted to become when you were a child? Do you you remember what your parents wanted you to become?
Compare your dream with their dream: what would have been more difficult to achieve? Now look at what your doing right now for a livin:. How far away is that away from your childhood dream? Where did it all go wrong? And why? Or are you – on the contrary – happy you never went for your childhood dream?
All of this just to say: it’s sometimes good to lean back, grab a decent drink and ponder the question: What makes us happy? Here’s a hint: maybe we are happy when we forget what we cannot change.

Star Wars

12 Jun

So who’s the best? Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Arjen Robben – or Fernando Torres? Here’s a little tool to help you name the best football player in the world during the upcoming World Cup. In this model we’ve listed 9 of our favourite players. They’re all really good. But who is the best?

One axis shows the so called Castrol-Index. It shows statistically how much a player helped his team to score a goal. At the end of every game each player gets a score between 1 and 10, 10 being the best. The x-axis shows what the odds are to win the World Cup. The size of the players name in the graph indicates their market value (e.g. Messi 80 Mio. €, Derdiok 9 Mio. € etc.). More nice-to-know stuff:

(This was written on 11 Juni, we still hope, Drogba and Robben (and Frei) will make the World Cup.)

The Face-it Book

12 Apr

We at 50topmodels cannot stand any more stories about web 2.0, social networks and nexnext-scenarios.
That’s why we were really happy to find this comprehensive explanation for the internet-madness: His work inspired us to draw up our own version of the black hole in the worldwideweb. The model is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t get it, you must have been on the moon for the last four years. Or off-line. Which is pretty much the same.

It’s time for the gym again!

4 Mar

What’s the best and what’s the right idea?

26 Feb

Best vs. Right Idea

If your idea is neither groundbraking nor lucrative, it’s not an idea. Ideas who appear to be very lucrative are often copies of exisiting, lucrative ideas. Take Motorola’s 1996 „StarTAC“ clam-shell. How did everyone in the market react? They copied this idea, even Nokia did. Ideas that seem far out are what we often call „the best idea“. Ideas you fall in love with. When studying with the Kaospilots ( we were given the task to re-brand the danish City of Aarhus. The City is known as the City of Women (they have the only exisiting Women Museum, their girls are known as the most beautiful in the whole of Denmark etc) Our idea: in Europe all pedestrian traffic lights have small green/red men to indicate WALK/NOT WALK. We wanted to exchange the men with green/red women. Aarhus said: great, but too expensive. So what is an exemple for „the right idea“? An idea that is lucrative for the market and groundbreaking? Like Radiohead’s idea to give away their latest album „Rainbow“ for whatever you are willing to pay. They ended up with more money than they would have earned selling the CD in stores.

In The Long Run

20 Feb

Christmas Gift

24 Dec

Mikael Krogerus und Roman Tschäppeler wish you a “Profitable Christmas” and a “Successful New Year”!

The Understanding of a Flow Chart

15 Dec

Use a chart to understand waht a chart is. Very dialectic! Thanks Randall Munroe,

For the love and hate of fruits

10 Dec

From our webcomix hero

One must hate grapefruit: untasty AND difficult to eat. No wonder no one takes five a day. This one goes out to Randall Munroe,

Music I used to like

5 Dec

Click on it, if you wanna have this on a Shirt!

Whos quote is this?  “There are two kinds of music – the one you like, the one you don’t like!” Wrong. There’s music you used to like. (found on

Mythical Creatures

29 Nov

Click on pic to enlarge!

Wunderful! Found on

Best Venn Diagramm ever

26 Nov

Yeah, it’s old and has been all over different blogs a couple of years ago (found here). But at the moment we are busy with our other blog, So we just resample good stuff for the moment on, ok?

Social Media

18 Nov

We found this on facebook. Indeed. (buy on

Best Movies Ever

21 Sep

Found on Firewire ( Helpful for your next visit to Blockbuster.

Click to enlarge (link)

Click to enlarge (link)

Internet Distraction

21 Sep

Since we have a new book out we are waisting our time with a new blog. But we promise at least two posts a month. Here’s a nice chart – seen on Rene Fischer’s Blog Streaming Minds. (Original: David McCandless,

Click on image to enlarge (link)

Click on image to enlarge (link)

High potentials

22 Aug
personality-, social-, leading- and professional potential

personality-, social-, leading- and professional potential

We are tired. We don’t have any smart ideas. So we read books. Something we found: Ask yourself and your co-workers to give you a feedback (on a scale from 1-10) regarding…

  1. ability to learn
  2. ability to cope with pressure/stress
  3. abilitiy to interact with other people/co-workers
  4. having a optimistic attitude, that things are feasible
  5. good resource manager
  6. role model for the others
  7. entrepreneur
  8. seeing things from a helicopter perspective (overview)

Are you a high potential for your company?
From: Martin Hilb, Integriertes Personal-Managment, Luchterhand

Shark watching vs. shark touching

10 Aug

If you still don’t know what to do in your last week of vacation this summer we have some ultimate last-minute-holiday-trip-ideas fo you:

shark sushi eating in Capetown

shark sushi eating in Capetown

Until death do us apart

3 Aug


Here is another matrix we found in Integriertes Personal-Management (Luchterhand 2008) by Martin Hilb. It is about the loyality of employees. It shows what companies should be careful about if they don’t want to end up with a hire-and-fire reputation.

Let’s take a look at love. It’s the same principle, with a twist.

Until death do us apart

Until death do us apart

The axis „story told“ illustrates your partner’s perspective. But it also shows the position and values of your social (and religious) environment. If you prefer to read it from a society’s point of view you have to replace the sentences:

  • „I want to stay“ = „I have to stay“
  • „Well it’s complicated!“ = „I give a damn’ what people say!“

The axis „story lived“ shows what you think what your partner feels about being with you.

The action speaks louder than words?

31 Jul

Action speaks louder than words?

True? Neither do we like people who simply are talking about what they could do nor do we like people that are too actionoriented. Again: It’s all about the balance of thinking, speaking, doing (and of course we dislike people demanding this balance). However Martin Hilb describes the role of employees within a company in his book Integriertes Personal-Management (Luchterhand) and speaks about human co-entrepreneurs as employees with „a cool head, a warm heart and working hands“.

  • rare bird/fish: develops only visions without action = illusions
  • inner resignation: people without any ambition (work-to-rule)
  • grey mouse: works furiously without knowing why
  • human co-entrepreneur: high social competence, high responsability in decision-making and high organizational skills.

My New BFF

24 Jul

A couple of days ago I was cleaning up my appartement. I mean REALLY clean it, not just on the surface like our cleaning lady does (our cleaning lady is a man in fact). I loved the feeling of this kind of purification. So I went on to the archive of my existence, my green wooden treasure trunk. That’s where I keep my diaries, old pictures (yes, prints!), notes and slips from teenage years and backstage passes from concert I can’t remember. Going through all these memories I tried to remember all my friends I have had and have throughout my life. The list grew bigger and bigger. So I started to put them in an order in a meaningful and in some completley strange ways. I have to admit: It tells more about myself than about my friends. So here are some ideas how you can sort your old, young, new and forgotten friendships – at least on paper. This would be useful for Paris Hilton in her TV show My New BFF. (Post from RT)

Who is my friend?

Who is my friend?

The next financial crises: credit cards

1 Jul
Pocket cards: AA, American Airline

Pocket cards: AA, American Airline

Facebook vs. Fakebook

27 Jun

Mobile devices change our life. We are constantly available. There’s hardly any space and time left where messages can’t get through to us. With high accessibility comes high expectation. An answer or at least a reaction is expected (share this!, like this!, comment me!). Renny Gleeson (Global Digital Strategies Director at Wieden&Kennedy) says: „Our reality is less interesting then the story we gonna tell.“ And the permenant checking of in-boxes and voicemails make our fellow human beings feel, „what’s happening right here and right now isn’t as important as what could be happening elsewhere.“ That’s when you catch your date checking her in-box when you get back from the restroom. Then you are offended („Am I that boring?“) but you forget that you checked your voicemail on the toilet.
The light of the mobile phone-display has replaced the flame of the pocket lighter during a love song at a rock concert. That’s the sound of one hand clapping. The selfmade picture of the menu at a decent restaurant is even more important than the real taste of it. Facebook, Twitter, SMS and Email are the channels to share the experience. Shared narrative becomes „who we are“. 

Turn off your mobile once in a while

Turn off your mobile once in a while

  1. Availability increases
  2. Moments of real life experiences decrease
  3. Shared narrative becomes who we are

What Twitter is trying to tell us

25 Jun

Twitter didn’t save Iran, Iran saved Twitter. (Bill Maher)

Is Twitter a revolution tool or revolutionary?

Is Twitter a revolution tool or revolutionary?

Thanks for your inspiration, subergwest

Revolutionary Guide

25 Jun

We saw this in a meeting and thought of that this morning. 

Revolution is made

Revolution is made

Passion, Skills and Opportunity

15 Jun


A week ago we went through old notebooks from University. We found this venn diagram as presented by Courtney Page from Play.We started to check upon our professional careers by asking these questions:

  • Do we do what we are good at? 
  • Are we doing it with passion? 
  • Did we start doing it being offered the opportunity? 
  • How did we choose what we are doing now? 
  • Did we choose it or did it happen to us?

The day after we received from Sabine Zaugg a hint. Great job, Bud Caddell! You spare us the explanation for it. Please read this, it’s great and helpful!

Choose Blues

20 May

Thank God there some are simple solutions left: If my car has a flat tire I change it. If my leg is broken, there’s a universal treatment that works. Another example: If I’m tired I go to sleep. I think you get the point…
I lost a good friend a couple of years ago, I got suspicious talking with other friends about how to deal with it. They recommended a variety of problem-solving measures: go on a trip, see a psychiatrist, get drunk, talk to friends, write a song. I tried it. It helped. Some more than others. Some helped immediately, other after analyzing them. But I still could not „fix“ my problem. I felt that the more solutions I found to a problem, the less helpful each of them were. In other words: The lesser opportunities I had, the more worthy (effective) each of them became.

The fewer to number of solutions, the more effective the outcome?

If you only have few solutions, are the outcomes more effective?

One cannot copmpare the losing of a friend to a broken leg or a flat tire, but I started to observe problem-solving not only from a subjective and immediate point of view but also from an additive and sequential perspective. Is it true that the more actions I take to solve my problem the bigger the chance of succsess become?
This is far away from a general theory about psychological self-medication, but it helps to classify actions taken and actions to be taken. In order to overcome a sudden personal crisis it might be a good idea not to change everything at the same time and prevent over-motivated actions with unknown outcomes. It’s just a thought…

If getting waisted a couple of times helps, great.

If getting drunk a couple of times helps, great.

  1. One solution with little effectiveness: getting drunk OR booking a weekend trip
  2. Multiple solutions with little effectiveness: getting drunk on a weekend trip
  3. Multiple solutions with big effectiveness: sleeping 8 hours a night, exercising, eating healthy
  4. One solution with big effectiveness: resign, relocate, divorce, make kids OR spend all your money (one at the time should be enough)

Get rich or die trying

10 May

Who is really rich? The fat guy with the fat wallet or the witty guy with the great body. Some people have both – good for them. Do both guys have something in common? Yes, they both constantly have to re-innovate themselves in order to defend their position against contenders. So how do you defend your position? 


Where are you?

  1.  You can adopt the behavior and methods of foreign elites (if you check out the fashion in Copenhagen, you will be the hipster of Millwaukee).
  2. Invent new cultural actions (e.g. newspapers for free) But make shure that competitors of your own „group“ do not adopt them. Or if they do make sure everybody knows they got it from you. They will feel inferior.
  3. Adopt quickly new behaviors of „groups“ below you (preferably from the avantgardist). If rich people use the fashion items of the hipsters, the hipsters loose their prestige. Therefore: they will not climb the prestige latter.

Read “Gewinne und Verluste sozialen Wandels” (German)
Interview on “Spiegel Online” with Dr. Wolf Wagner
Check french sociologist Pierre Bourdieu – you find one of his models in our book.

SUV Principle

29 Apr


More is less. Less is more.

Don’t expect a blog entry about the economical crisis. Nor about the climate crisis. This graph is about why we want things we do not need. An SUV for example.

 „People like to surround themself with unnecessary power“ says David Pogue, The New York Times tech-writer. I’am shure that’s true. Just try to check out all features of your mobile phone. Or try to make your new alarm clock work (as it happened to me yesterday). For most of us, less would be more. A mac software upgrade is not a simplification of what’s already there it simply adds to what you never needed in the first place. So how comes we want more of evertyhing?  I think this “upgrade-mania” reflects the fear of missing out on life. The regret of not having married the very first love, the anxiety of not beeing accepted by your friends, the fear that that other party might have been better. So how should one deal with it?

  1. Upgrade your life constantely. Warning: You might run out of ressources. Solution: Get rich or die trying.
  2. Accept your limit of individual luxury. Warning: You might run out of perspectives. Solution: Do not read success stories.
  3. Downgrade your life. Warning: You might run out of friends. Solution: Look for new friends downgrading, too.
  4. Switch between 1-3. Warning: You might get stuck in 2. Solution: Change consciously between 1-3 for certain time.


Meat and potatoes of being creative

16 Apr

The definition of creativity, ideas and innovation is a never ending story. Here is our contribution to it. During our education at the Kaospilots we called  self-appointed creatives „kiddies“. Nothing wrong with a childish worldview if you consider the need of ambigous thinking and a huge curiosity in order to come up with an idea. It would be wrong however to call a child creative as far as the organizational ppart of creativity is concerned. The ideas a kid can come up with are for sure funny, crazy or even dazzling but we doubt the ideas could be turned into an innovation. They would probably lack the expertise knowledge. However, sometimes there’s no need that one person is equipped with the nessecary expertise around the basic idea. That’s where workgroups, organisations or companies step in. Lets look at the steps

  1. being creative (process),
  2. come up with an idea (the outcome of being creative),
  3. turn it into an innovation (processing the idea) and
  4. change market/society (sell the innovation through a process again)

…we sense that the process of change needs a huge set of premises. We tried to illustrate it and refer to Nives Nizic “Erfolgsfaktoren des betrieblichen Ideenmanagements (German only)”.


Maybe this short thought can be read as an answer to the frequently asked question, if anybody is or can be creative. Well, yes, but on a different scale and with different importance.

Predictable Irrationality

31 Mar

First of all: If you prefer to watch Dan Ariely and get to know his thoughts visit and take 15 minutes. It’s worth it!

The starting point of Dan Ariely’s behavioral economy studies is his heavy injury in an explosion. Most of his body has been burnt. While the nurses where changing his bandages he asked: What is more painful? Rip the bandage off and suffer heavy pain for short period? Or take it off slowly and feel pain in less intensity per second but for a longer duration?

The nurses ripped it off. Finally, a long time after he left the hospital and became professor and bestselling author, he found out that the encoding of time and intensity is almost always influenced by (predictible) irrationality. Then he continued his examinations on cheating in various social experiments. If you give a group of people the opportunity to cheat there would not be some of the group cheating a lot, but a lot of people would cheat a little. Since cheating is perceived as a simple cost and benefit analysis (how much can I win divided by how bad the punishment will be if I get caught) this might surprise.


If you have the opportunity to cheat and get money, you still would cheat a little. But if you cheat in order to get a voucher, token, stock, bonus, etc. your cheating degree would double. Even though there’s no rational reason why, this doesn’t surprise, does it?

It’s more appropriate to cheat if you feel part of a (cheating) group. Ariely comments this phenomena with a splahy statement: „IF you cheat is depending on what T-shirt you are wearing.“ Means: If it’s obvious that your enemy is cheating you won’t, if your team is cheating the probability is much bigger you will cheat, too!


 In a nutshell:

  1. Given the opportunity a lot of people cheat – but just a little.
  2. Remind cheating people of their morality – they cheat less!
  3. The more distance people have from their benefit, the more they cheat.
  4. If you experience cheating as part of your (social) group, cheating goes up!


Art Reception

15 Mar

What intentation has the artist?

In arts you find artist, a piece of work and yourself as the observer. A not very fancy but vintage approach comes from Saalfeld (sorry, we did not find him on Wiki…). But we found his target model in a encyclopedia of psychology. It’s about how we and the artist perceive his assumed masterpiece. You can’t barley read the target, so here it is (from inside out):

  1. Arts of contentless banality (not art)
  2. Arts of timeless comprehensibility (well, has been art)
  3. Arts like “I get it, but still not really ” (art in no historical context yet, no objective measurement for its quality)
  4. Arts that is accessible for experts and the artist (because I don’t understand it, it must be art)
  5. Arts only accessible to artist (very fancy art)

We miss the time aspect. “Scrap” can become a masterpiece and the other way around.

Marketing Strategy

12 Mar
Abell D.F. 1980    

Abell D.F. 1980

We don’t know if this works in real life but it helps when you turn vague ideas into business ideas to check them out in a real market. Here some examples, seen from our perspective (correct us, if we are wrong, it’s quite difficult to come up with comparable examples).

  1. One product in one market: segment concentration (e.g. most of the “we make exactly these screws for exactly this machine-companies”)
  2. One product in different markets: specialized in a certain product (e.g. Nintendo, not any longer for kids but for 30+ doing exercise or with using it in the kitchen as e-recipe-book)
  3. Several products in one market: specialized in a certain market (e.g. Apple pods, ipod classic, ipod touch, ipod nano)
  4. Several products in several markets: selective specialized (e.g. swiss health insurance company Helsana with its spin-offs Areosan, SANSAN, progrès, etc)
  5. Market coverage (e.g. copyright societies lika GEMA, SUISA)

Swede dreams are made of these

10 Mar
We love Sweden 

We love Sweden!

Rise and Fall of Bin Laden

5 Mar

This is newly US history in a nutshell


Restart From Scratch

2 Mar

Starting from scratch to be innovative?

Starting from scratch to be innovative?

We found this model at a lecture by Martin Kupp, the brilliant member of the faculty of the EMST (European School of Management and Technology). Don’t be put off by the complexity of the model’s layout. It works! Likes this: Most consumers expect more and more from technic devices. That’s why industries incrementally improve products like computers. What does that mean: they use a lot of research and development but the improvements are marginally. That’s expensive. Low profit margin. Small room for innovations. So sometimes you have to do something different to find something different. When Apple introduced the Apple II, it’s perfomance was ridiculously bad compared to IBM-Computers. Apple II-performance was lower than what consumer expected. Why did they still do it? They could grow easily from there on: because it is easier to grow from 0 to 10 than from 10 to 11.

Marry me!

2 Mar

Reasons why running away IS an otpion


17 Feb

You can't have both


Replace in a couple of month “go on a trip” and “save money” with “voted for Obama” and “voted for…what was his name again?”.


10 Feb

The Pioneer Plaque

Schemes and models are visualisations of complex causualities. Try this: Picture human mankind. 1972 Dr. Carl Sagan came up with the Pioneer Plaque for the Pioneer Nasa Misson in order to explain “us” to aliens, if they should catch somehow the spacecraft. What’s on it beside man and woman can be read on Wiki. What would you draw in order to explain human mankind? In the Star Trek novel Federation, a character mentions that humans had shown copies of the plaque to several alien races they encountered, but none had been able to decode it. We are not surprised. However, check out this article on “How to communicate with aliens”.

Relativity summed up

8 Jan
Found on "science made stupid"

Found in "science made stupid"

In the beginning we wanted to write a book with the title “50 models explaining the world”. Then we thought: Hm, too difficult. Let’s do something easier. We did. But now we reconsider doing it with the help of the book science made stupid by Tom Weller. Table of content: relativity for dummies (pic above), evolutionism vs. creationism and pictures in the sky, etc. The HUGO Award Winning Book is a satisfaction for everyone complaining the world is just too complicated.

Risk and Motivation

11 Dec


Atkinson claimed 1957: If one can choose the grade of complexity (difficulty) of a task individually and independently most of the decisions are taken in a mid-complexity-level. Too easy tasks or too difficult tasks can neither provoke a strong feeling of satisfaction nor a strong disappointment. Or the other way round: Highly motivated people often choose a realistic complexity of tasks whereas low motivated people choose tasks that are finally to easy or too difficult for them. Then Atkinson continued his studies with something, but we wanna have our afterwork beer and discuss our  new business idea for Web 3.0. Which we gonna start tomorrow. And be a millionaire in 2 days…

Innovative field

30 Nov


Who’s innovative (by the book)? We found a couple of indications in our old logbook from the Kaospilots University. How we change the world? And who is changing it? Nowadays it’s common sense that the innovative field is set somewhere in the middle between chaos and method, between structure and intuition. Is it? After all since change has a name, Obama is acting within these guidelines. His put-together-administration isn’t too revolutionary nor boring. You can put in your network and think about it. We did. But we won’t put it online, sorry guys.

Love cycle

15 Nov


(maybe you should first read the hype cycle post just below)

We did not have to wait for these mexican scientists in order to guess that love does not last eternally. And since we had a closer look on Gartner’s Hype Cycle we think to see similarities between tech-gadgets and true love. Love is a hype. Read our dawing with a smile on your face:

Amor got you! Your in love and you’re on top of the world. But soon also on the peak of inflated expectations, sorry. Hope you did not marry yet. Before you reach the trough of disillusionment you hit the point of no return. 

a) Run and crunch somebody’s life (seldom the “sorry, no hard feelings” goes both ways…).

b) Marry, make some kids and love your family life (usual action after 30).

Hype cycle

14 Nov


(click on pic to enlarge…a little bit)

Thanks, dear reader Jens Woinowski, indeed it would have been a good idea to combine The Chasm with The Gartner Hype Cycle as one of 50 topmodels in our book. Anyway now you have it online and you can comment on it. 
The hype cycle tries to predict the beginning of corporate marketability of technological innovations. Maybe it also predicts the time you gonna marry – but that’s our interpretation. The model cuts a new technology roughly into five periods in its life cycle (altough real time is phased differently and individually):

  1.  Technology Trigger — the procuct is on the market and you hear the buzz all over the place. Kind of a breaktrough in visibility. Comes along with: „Have you checked this out? It’s great!“
  2. Peak of Inflated Expectations — The hype is on top, but more and more people uncover that the product or services is just half-baked. Comes along with: „It’s great, but…!“
  3. Trough of Disillusionment — the technology fails to meet expectation and becomes boring for early adaptors. There’s hardly any press about it, but still, people use it. Comes along with: „It would be great, but they should change this and that!“
  4. Slope of Enlightenment — press stopped covering the technology, but some businesses take time to experiment with it or they invest in it. The feature becomes more practical. Maybe 2.0 version. Comes along with: „I use it, but in another way.“
  5. Plateau of Productivity — now it’s a real benefit for the users. The technlogoy is accepted and maybe even broadly spread (within it’s purpose to serve). Comes along with: „I knew it!“

Our little drawing shows parts of the the 2008 issue (german). Compared to 2006 (german), Web 2.0 went from “peak” to “disillusionment” – just as the market researchers of Gartner predicted.

Die Erlebnisgesellschaft

13 Nov


We received a hint from Michael Schikowski. We checked out Gerhard Schulze and his “Modell der Erlebnisgesellschaft” (society of adventure). But as you can see in our note book: We didn’t really got it yet.So look at this post more as a “to do”-entry.  Here your find the theory on books google just in case you wanna do it for us.

“I’m just a product of society”

13 Nov


We (over)heard a conversation of two tennies in a tram in Zurich. Here our translation using a known marketing scheme (Start at IMAGE and go counterclockwise): “What is my image? Am I happy with it and if not, how do I change my brand? Do I live healthy, is my body and mind in good shape? How long do I live? Am I accessible to everyone or just to my boyfriend? What’s the price if somebody want’s me? What’s my personal indecent proposal? Who says that I’m good at something? Am I good at something – in my opinion? And how can I keep up with others and the world? Argh, its so hard live, but if you wanna have something from me I give you that what you need, just in time, wrapped up in a parcel, delivered at home, no questions asked. But only as long as you like me!”

Me is you and me

1 Nov


(Selbsteinschätzung = self-assessment, Fremdeinschätzung = assessment by others, Kongruenzzone = matching assets)

This method did not make it into our book “50 Erfolgsmodelle”. At second thought it’s a pity. We developped this visualization to help clarify the question of the question. Who am I? We do not claim to have the answer but a nice tool to approach it. Ask yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 e.g. how relaiable am I? How daring am I? Am I honest? Ask a friend, a coach, an enemy or your mother to answer the same questions about you. Fill in and discuss it with your friend, coach, enemy or mother. Are you the person you pretend to be? Do you value yourself higher or lower, on which characterization? Tedning to under- oder overstatement?

Management tool

1 Nov

Here’s a hands-on matrix for times like these. Well, maybe to late.

The Risk Management Matrix helps structuring “to dos” by splitting possible events into likelihood (how likely will it happen?) and impact (if it happens: how much will it influence me/the company).

Ego and social behaviour

15 Oct

This is a comprehensive way to pinpoint your colleagues at work, including your boss(es). Where do you find yourself in this scheme? Somebody who is coordinating, leading and taking initiatives might fit best into the upper left quadrant. A person who is working best in team, agreeing a lot and helping others might fit best into the lower left quadrant. If you (or your subject of investigation) is evasive, admitting and offtaking, you might be placed into the lower right quadrant. A dominant and isolated person shows tendencies of superior analytical skills, but also he might be also condemning and opposing. 

It is important to use this scheme at the moment. You might see tendencies, but normaly everyone can be put in every corner, depending on the situation.

Do what you want to do!

15 Oct

This modell – actually it’s just a thought – shows how we get dependent (or independent) as time goes by. Growing up in a famlily with values and an education preparing for a traditional career allows quite a lot of freedom and it supports individuality in the beginning. But soon you have to queue up your personal needs and wishes. You do what you HAVE to do. As soon as experience (and hopefully a fortune) has arrived, you start again doing what you WANT to do.
We call it “fundriven” if you don’t care about savings. You live your live quite spontaneous. A traditional career and education are replaced by a shifting career and an affinity for distance learning programs. A typical indication is to get (professionally) independent. You do what you want but you earn just as much money you need to live. The lack of savings might end in a bigger dependence at the end of your life.

Well, it is quite reduced and the starting point of individuality is indeed individual. But anyway it is interesting to question yourself if you are doing what you want. Or are you designing your (professional) life towards the future (e.g. saving money in order to fulfill a dream later).

Vicious Circle: Poverty

15 Oct

In a school book (economy) from the 80ties we found this explanation for poverty. The comments to this model we leave up to you. Sorry, its quite hard to read. It says POVERTY-> no savings-> low investment->low production/slow or no growth-> low income-> POVERTY->low income->poor education->low productivity->low production->POVERTY->low consumption->no healthy nutrition->sickness->low performance->low production-POVERTY.