20 things we have learned in 2020

Apple's COVID-19 Screening Tool

No doubt: A year like no other! As we entered a new decade back in January, nobody could have expected such an outcome. Let´s look back at some key take aways:

  1. Never take anything for granted! The prime source of happiness and bliss is our health. Good health is our real treasure! And we should not just take it for granted – both as individuals and as a society.
  2. To end this pandemic, we must trust science. Researchers struggled in fits and starts to understand the virus, but that’s how science works. It´s more important than ever, that we achieve a broad consent on our democratic societies.
  3. COVID-19 boosted digital transformation in business models, but also in communication – both internal as well as external. Traditional media had a mostly bad year, but the ones who embrace digital channels, tools and opportunities gained power and confidence.
  4. The next years will see a huge wave of innovation in productivity, collaboration and workspace tools and processes. And we are happy to connect to the best ones empowering even more of our clients and users!
  5. In the age of misinformation it also became more vital that quality journalism is something desperately needed! While traditional media is under pressure, a lot of journalist became entrepreneurs and many new exciting ventures were started! From community driven local news to fresh b2b media and special interesting publishers – the future of digital media is bright! And its our mission to contribute to that!
  6. Owned audiences, channels and user relationships are the future – more and more content providers, marketers and also journalists agreed with this conclusion and start to focus on their own newsletters, apps or websites again!
  7. Embrace the change, try something new! Being flexible and agile is essential, especially during a pandemic. Quickly accepting new and different ways to do things is possible, even for traditional enterprises and administration (Hello climate crisis..).
  8. In the world of Big Enterprise IT, distribution is everything! So Microsoft Teams had a pretty amazing year if you look at the numbers. Even Slack had to accept those rules and eventually sell to another IT giant.
  9. It’s ok to slow down sometimes! As perfectionists and workaholics, many of us used to think that being busy all the time was a badge of honor. COVID-19 completely changed our fast-paced way of life. We were forced to slow down. And it was ok!
  10. Despite the fact that it was the breakout year for Home Office, mobile internet (and even mobiles games) usage surged – cause once more it became clear, that smartphones are our number device at home as well!
  11. Remote work suddenly became almost everybody´s darling (it is for us already since years) and it increasingly does not matter where we work from! The only that counts is our output and our commitment – and that is not defined by our place of living or work!
  12. Big Politics not just talked about Big Tech in more critical, manifold ways, but also started a range of legal battles. And even if those will take years to settle, it became clear that the public opinion especially towards Facebook and Google has changed.
  13. Everything will become social! Many big VC like a16z bet on new opportunities for community-driven ventures in multiple fields from commerce to media and communication (see the above). Expect more ideas how to connect community and content from us in 2021!
  14. Clubhouse entered the arena and showed us that especially the combination of Audio and Social will have a big future (if Apple AirPods, founded 2016, was a standalone business, $12bn revenue, 125% growth, 30–50% margin!, it would probably be the most valuable startup in the world..). Be prepared for some exciting new audio features on our platform..
  15. Apple showed us their power: the new Macs lay the ground for real native apps that run on ANY device (putting question marks to the future of web based apps). SWIFT incl. SWIFT UI made good progress for developers and iOS14 brought new, exciting features like the iOS14 widgets (which many of our clients are happy about!)
  16. There is still so much room for innovation in apps and mobile products! Looking at the amount of exciting new projects and ventures that started this year, its clear that there is so much more to come! Mobile first thinking still provides a huge amount of opportunities in almost all industries!
  17. Little things matter – during the multiple stages of lockdown(s) what people have done for us to show that they care have had the largest effects! It´s all about the attention to detail(s).
  18. Even if you master video conferencing and slack collaboration, nothing can replace meeting colleagues, persons and clients in real life! And we all very much hope that 2021 will bring back more of these opportunities again!
  19. We have to be patient! The challenges ahead in 2021 are huge and unprecedented. Even if news about vaccines are promising, it will take time and there will be setbacks. Patience might be bitter, but its fruit is sweet! So lets stay positive.
  20. Returning to “normal” isn’t something we are interested in! We believe in something new — where the lessons we had to learn during 2020 are lessons we keep until 2021 and beyond.

Stay safe, stay healthy!