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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?

Social Media

18 Nov

We found this on facebook. Indeed. (buy on

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

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.

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!


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.