When working late tonight I listened to a few old blues tracks carefully curated by Martin Schäfer of DRS3, a local radio station. He selected tonight a really great selection of new blues tunes, preserving the original Chicago Sound. A curative experience indeed. Listen yourself some of the samples or the full hour.
For our upcoming Squirro product we seek to engage, you, a top notch inside sales and business development manager. You will be responsible for the inside sales effort of Squirro on an international scale. All in all: An exciting job.
This still young year started very luckily for us when it comes to finding great talents. Within just a few weeks we were able to find not only one but two great developers. Let me introduce Roberto, who joined us in January.
With his long experience in python development and a great knowledge of web development he is a perfect match to our team.
Without much introduction Roberto became a productive member of our little scrum team right from the start and helps us building the first iteration of the engine behind squirro. And by now he is also coordinating a big junk of our front-end work. And whenever we are looking for an existing solution for a certain problem, you can be ensured that Roberto comes up with something from his big fund of known frameworks or services.
And – well look at him – he does all of that with style, as one would expect from being Italian.
Before joining us, he was actually thinking of leaving Switzerland and already quit his flat here. Roberto, we are very happy that you changed your mind and decided to stay and work with us. Thank you.
(And yes, he is still looking for a new flat in Zürich, so if you know of something…)
On Friday we felt like super stars – thanks to the talented photographer Michael Schmid (Website, Twitter) flashes enlightened the whole office. The reason for this paparazzi session was to take pics for our next big thing – Squirro. If you are ever looking for a talented photographer in the greater Zurich area, then we can highly recommend Michael, he did a fantastic job! Here are some shots from behind the scenes (they were taken with an iPhone4 camera, the final pics of us will certainly be of better quality):
For our new project Squirro we are starting our jet engines again. So at the end of last year we were again looking for great software developers to join our team. For that we did a pitch at the December Webtuesday in the hope of attracting one or or two good people. And indeed a few days later Patrick approached us and by the next Webtuesday he had already joined our team.
He had not written much Python before and still he was productive from the second day on. In this first weeks since he started, Patrick wrote several web services from scratch (I think the average is one per week). And he has just taken over management of our whole live infrastructure, using good old Puppet.
It is the next logical setup for us. With Squirro we want to solve the problem of information overload and clutter: We aim at building something like a noise-cancelling headset; call it digital noise reduction.
To get this done we partner with a group of key business angels from Europe and the Americas to plug their experience in building great software companies.
You may want to read our press release here (PDF 68KB).
In a complex world people turn to trusted sources of information for news, analysis and comment, e.g. newspapers.
The unique value of a newspaper is its editorial staff (1).
The core competence of an editorial team is separating the relevant from the chaff and provide context. Simply put: Making sense of the world afar and close.
The result of journalistic work – articles, analysis and comment – is independent of the carrier medium (i.e. print, digital, spoken word, moving images).
An editorial team must cover a wide range of subjects to get to the heart of things and be able to provide context. Expert editorial teams on specific subjects complement a broad reporting approach.
A reader is interested only in a subset of topics covered; the limiting factors being time and interests. Corollary 1: A reader wants to select her topics of interest. Corollary 2: An ideal news offering is a collection of topics a reader chooses to follow. (2)
The reader expects each topic to be a continuously updated feed with factual reporting, analysis and comment.
The reader decides through which carrier medium or combination thereof she wants to receive her information.
The digital world is not something fundamentally new; the digital world only exacerbates this trend: In the digital world where news is abundant, the key factor is attention (Contrary to the physical world where scarcity is the limiting factor – 3).
There will always be people willing to pay for attention. Either pay someone for organizing a limited amount of available attention or someone pays for access to attention.
Obviously we’re working hard to make this vision happen. Stay tuned.
(1) It is total nonsense to differentiate between a print and a online editorial team. It’s one news reporting organization regardless of output channel.
(2) A reader’s preferred subset is most likely not corresponding to the traditional sectioning of a newspaper in Politics (World, Home), Business, Arts, etc. Example: Reporting on the Euro crisis could be found in newspapers such as the NZZ, SZ, FAZ, Spiegel, NYT in the politics, business and feuilleton sections. The topic of interest though is euro crisis. So why not simply offering exactly that: A follow-a-topic function allowing a reader to find everything relevant on say the euro crisis under that heading. And so it goes for every topic.
(3) In a sea of (digital) abundance it’s the attention that counts, as Michael Goldhaber pointed out in 1997. That is, in a sea of abundant ‘information’ on any event, with you having only so much attention to devote, you most likely turn to a trusted source of information for reporting and contextualization.
We wanted to quickly let you know that we’ve hired three new absolutely amazing talents, Patrick, Roberto and Paola! While Patrick and Roberto will mainly focus on development, Paola will invest substantial time in marketing efforts! They will help us bringing knowledge curation to the next level (more about that in a few days). Introduction posts for each of them follow soon – so stay tuned and please join us in welcoming our three new colleagues!