Germany the world’s most innovative economy

October 2018. Germany is currently in the driving seat when it comes to innovation – thanks in part to the speed it’s developing new technologies like driverless cars.

In the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, Germany came top as the world’s most innovative economy, with a score of 87.5 out of 100 in the Innovation capability pillar – one of the 12 drivers of a country’s productivity.

Tesla Giga Factory Berlin

Elon Musk wanted the factory in Germany. Why? Great automobile culture. Largest economy in Europe. Central geographic location. And, perhaps most importantly, great engineers. It makes you wonder what Henry Ford would have thought of this.

YouTube comments:

“This might just be the coolest car related video ever made. I can just imagine the person in the production meeting that suggested this and you just know when Elon heard about it he was like ‘Yep that’s sick’.”

“Tesla makes the best car commercials without making car commercials.”

“One of the best process walkthroughs I have ever seen. Amazing footage. Amazing piloting. Amazing process. Well done!”

“I’m a Tesla employee in Berlin and I was there on our ceremonial day. I can say that I saw with my bare eyes the guy who is controlling the drone. He has some amazing skills, so this video is made by him and its not fake. Cheers!”

Very proud of their automobiles

German cars vs. American cars. Germans are very proud of their automobiles.

Comments in YouTube: “Telling Germans how to make cars is like telling Italians how to make pizza.” … “To anyone saying that we Germans don‘t have any humour: We do actually! We laugh at French and American cars!”

“German: Uses the most advanced tech known to mankind to build the fastest, safest and over all best cars ever. American: slaps wheels and v8 on coffin.” … “Built in USA: Can do cool stunts in Hollywood movies. Built in Germany: Can do the same but on a real autobahn.”

German Brands 2018

These are the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Germany Brands in 2018. Many are known only to Germans. But the top 20 are known worldwide.

What do the top German brands have in common: efficiency, reliability, and quality. Made in Germany.

More Dieter Rams

Product designer Dieter Rams became famous in the 20th century for his household products. Rams’ credo: “less is more” was a garantee for success. And some fifty years ago he came up with his 10 principles of good design. These guidelines remain valid even to this day.

See Dieter Rams’ famous Schneewittchensarg, in English Snow White’s Coffin. designed when he Rams was only 24 year old, and on the market in 1954. The Schneewittchensarg was considered a revolutionary in design.

Death by Robot

The first recorded human death by robot was in 1979, when Robert Williams, a 25 year old Ford Motor assembly line worker, was slammed by a robot arm as he gathered parts in a storage facility. The incident occurred in Flat Rock, Michigan, and Williams’ family was awarded 10 million dollars in damages after the jury agreed that Williams’ death was the result of a lack of safety measures on the part of Ford Motor.

These days, robots have become fairly commonplace, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believes that robots are likely to become the focus of the next technological frontier. With increasing advancements in the field of robotics, more and more Americans are becoming concerned about these machines. The two primary concerns are that the robots will replace the need for human workers and that robotic intelligence may exceed human intelligence.

Robot: a real or imaginary machine that is controlled by a computer and is often made to look like a human or animal; a machine that can do the work of a person and that works automatically or is controlled by a computer. First known use: 1922. The word “robot” comes from the Czech word for “forced labor.”


Intelligent. Latin intelligens, to recognize, understand, discern; smart, talented, capable; think abstractly, use reason, then act.

Clever. From English clever. Intelligent, tactical; flexible, adaptable; to recognize all available options.

Smartphone. An English term quickly adopted by the German people because it so succinctly describes the product. There is no German equivalent.

Mitdenken. Literally think with. To think independently, to anticipate; thoughtful, reflective.

Tools serve

Tool: A handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task; something such as an instrument or apparatus used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession; an element of a computer program that activates and controls a particular function; a means to an end; one that is used or manipulated by another.

Americans use the term tool in many different situations. A tool is practical, pragmatic, singular, specialized. They are always at hand, simple, easy to use, precise. A tool does exactly what the user wants it to. They are not only physical and mechanical, like a hammer, screwdriver, a wrench. Tools can assist with sophisticated tasks, including those purely mental, such as software, financial analytical tools. Intelligent tools are only as intelligent as the people who created and those using them.

Programmable appliances: Appliances like microwaves and coffee makers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with added features such as programmable start/stop functions and alarms. Modern appliances are much easier to use and program than previous generations. They are frequently redesigned to be more user friendly. This is a response to consumers’ demands for products which do much of the thinking for them.

Easy to use: Intelligent products can be used by not so intelligent people. Most modern products – including household appliances, automobiles, computers & software, tablets, smartphones, electronics in general – employ large, simple displays with large buttons and easy to follow protocols. They are designed to be simple and to avoid overwhelming users with low-value, distracting features. Although more advanced features are often possible, they do not crowd out the simplicity of the product. All possible measures are taken to make the product as easy to use as possible.

It is up to the customer to decide the level of sophistication they seek in a product. The most basic models are always available for beginners, while many companies offer far more advanced models of appliances or electronics for more knowledgeable users. For example, there are various levels of stereos and TVs for consumers who want different features and levels of sophistication.

iPhone OS as a tool: One example of a simplistic, intelligent tool is the operating system of Apple products like the iPhone and iPod. Apple favors an elegant, easy to use design over more complex designs. Most people can quickly figure out how to use an Apple product by simply using their fingers and following on-screen prompts. Options are limited and presented in a layered, decision tree fashion. Many other electronic and appliance products have begun to employ similarly simplistic and user friendly designs.


Smart power: In international relations, the term smart power refers to the combination of hard and soft power strategies. It is defined by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as “an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military, but also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand American influence and establish legitimacy of American action.

It is smart because it achieves the desired outcome with the minimum amount of effort and utilizes every available resource. It focuses on the desired political effect.

Intelligent products: Products increasingly rely on technology that thinks for the user. Some examples are social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), smart phones, software, weapons systems, and home automation systems.

Social networking now includes functions that match peoples’ networks and interests and suggest friends or connections. This decreases the amount of time that a user needs to search for users similar to themselves. Smart phones include voice recognition software and question-answer functions like the popular Siri function of the iPhone 4S. Software often reminds users to complete tasks like upgrading software or checks to ensure a user intended to take a certain action.

Weapons systems enable troops to save time by identifying friendly and hostile forces and automatically alerting allied troops of nearby threats. In the home automation sector, technologies such as the Nest thermostat learns the patterns of its users and automatically adjusts the temperature of the home in accordance with previous trends.

Intelligent, not independent

Team member to team lead. Product to consumer. Could there be a link between those two relationships? Could it be that how a culture defines the relationship between team lead and team member is similar or analogous to the relationship between the consumer (B2C) or the customer (B2B) on the one side and the product on the other? Between the consumer and the electronic device like a computer, tablet smartphone, or between the customer and a complex production system?

But analogous not in the sense that employees are tools, objects, inhuman – although certainly there are managers, organizations, companies who indeed treat their employees as means to an end. More in the sense that it is expected that the employee, the team member, get the job done, make work and life easier for management, for fellow employees, for internal or external customers.

In the American product philosophy, how intelligent should a product be: kitchen oven, washer, automobile, computers and their software, technologies which utilize forms of artificial intelligence? Intelligent in the sense of independent, of the user?

Just as the American team lead reserves the right to go from the strategic level down to the tactical in order to manage or even implement (player-coach), so too the American consumer (B2C) or customer (B2B) wants a product which can be managed, controlled, directed, steered, run.

See the print advertisements, including large banners for example in airports, stating „Company X runs SAP.“ Enterprise software, highly complex, but at the service, at the disposal, of the client.

Americans want intelligent products, yes, but not independent of purpose. And the user determines the purpose, not the product itself.