Smart phones conquer Germany

Having purchased a fairphone for Christmas, our family-owned collection of Android devices has been extended again. Obviously, we are not the only ones. German industry association Bitkom has released estimates of smartphone marketshare in 2014. duly reports the results, so does It is expected that the German marketshare of smartphones will reach 82% in 2014, amounting to 95% of all mobile phone revenue.

The more interesting phenomenon is the incredible growth of data vs talk: The revenue related to mobile data is expected to grow to 9.6 billion €  while voice-related revenue is supposed to shrink to 10.9 billion €. Despite uncertainties in predicting annual revenue in February, the trend is quite obvious: next year, data-related revenue is expected to overtake voice. Transferred data over mobile connection has grown from 11mio GByte in 2008, to an estimated 330 mio GByte in 2014.

It is interesting to note that while people harp on about, and expect fair treatment on their fixed internet connection (remember the tumult last year, when German Telecom announced reduced speed after a certain volume has been reached?), they seem to accept anything on mobile: volume limits on their „flat rate“ plans, usage restrictions (no VOIP services allowed), and services paid for by content providers who do not count in your volume plan, as currently experimented with by ATT and others (e.g ESPN-Verizon and Facebook-TMobile subsidiary GoSmart). If firms keep on course, the mobile internet experience is set to be different from what we know as the internet.

Bitcoin volatility

I am ambivalent about the new digital virtual currency bitcoin. I have discovered it quite early and bought some when each of them was worth $0.03. I jumped ship when they were $1 each, and cashed in a nice holiday trip. When bitcoins reached $1000 each, I pondered whether I should be angry about the opportunity (and fortune) missed, but decided not to: life is much nicer when one does not worry about the „what could have been, if…“s.

While it is a cool currency, its value is essentially at the merci of a few players (still), lacking the backing of a state that can (up to a degree) ensure that the money won’t become totally worthless. How volatile bitcoins value is, and the impact that a few key actors have on its value is astonishing: When the main FX exchange, MtGox, had a crisis, bitcoins value dropped from 900 to 700 within a short time.


It is exciting to watch these developments, such as the first bitcoin telling machine in Germany (in German), happening.

Symposium on Open & Collaborative Innovation in May

Pleased to announce that 29-30 May 2014 The Hamburg Innovation Symposium (THIS) on „Open and Collaborative Innovation in the Digital Era“ will be held at the University of Hamburg with participation of distinguished scholars Ammon Salter, Oliver Alexy, and Linus Dahlander as keynote speakers. It is co-chaired by Piet Hausberg and Krystallia Moysidou together with Moritz Schellenberger. Read more and find the call for papers on the Symposium website:

The power of ‚Open Source Hardware‘

3D-printers for the end consumer have been regarded by many as a small niche for geeky engineers and programmers developing in their spare time. Unfortunately it was also most widely known as a means for producing above all plastic decorations and weapons — until now. A few skilled developers recently came up with a hand prosthesis available for free to everyone and with a production cost of about 10$. Even less known maybe is, that also scientific labs already make use of open-source hardware to build and collectively improve customized lab equipment (cf. Pearce, 2012, Science, doi: 10.1126/science.1228183). It has become clear thus, that 3d-printing de facto established a new kind of interface or “boundary object” that allows to bridge finally all geographic distances in three dimensions. The implications that this has for R&D and innovation management constitute an intriguing field of research of fast growing relevance.

2014: Year of the digital society

The German ministry of research and education has declared 2014 to be the „scientific year of the digital society“ (in German). I am happy that the importance of the impact that the current „digitization“ of every aspect of our lives is being recognized. Technological change is currently revolutionizing our society. Count the number of ebook reading and phone tapping people the next time you take the subway if you don’t believe me. Looking forward to what the year of the digital society will bring.

„Open Innovation“ is part of the ruling parties coalition agreement

The coalition agreement of the next German government mentions „Open Innovation“ explicitely:

„Wir wollen das große Potenzial für wirtschaftliche und gesellschaftliche Veränderungen, ob in Form neuer Geschäftsmodelle, Dienstleistungen oder Kooperationen, durch den Auf- und Ausbau geeigneter Open-Innovation-Plattformen für neue kreative Lösungsansätze erschließen. Wir richten uns dabei insbesondere an kleine und mittlere Unternehmen, damit sie gemeinsam mit Anwendern, internationalen Partnern, großen Unternehmen, Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen neue Entwicklungen vorantreiben können.“

CfP „Social Media“ der Fachzeitschrift DBW

Prof. Dr. Jetta Frost und Prof. Dr. Sebastian Spaeth sind Gastherausgeber der Zeitschrift DBW

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Spaeth und Prof. Dr. Jetta Frost, beide Universität Hamburg, sind Gastherausgeber der Fachzeitschrift DBW für ein Sonderheft zum Themenschwerpunkt »Social Media«.
Die Einreichfrist für Beiträge auf Deutsch oder Englisch ist der 31.5.2014. Den „Call for Papers“ finden Sie hier auf englisch.

Welcome to the Digital Markets blog

Hello all, welcome to the weblog of the chair of Management & Digital Market at the University of Hamburg in Germany. We are a young chair, founded in July 2013.
This blog is intended as a personal outlet of the members of the chair, of which there are currently four: Sebastian, Piet, Krystallia, and Alexandra.
We will be blogging on topics that are of personal interest. Entries represent the opinions and attitudes of the respective authors, and do not necessarily correspond with any official opinion of the chair, or the University of Hamburg.