It had already been a while, since I was in Munich. I think the last time was when NUITEQ and Adobe organized the Multi-touch Summit back in 2009.
Munich is always great fun, especially to see people go beserk in the beer gardens and crash themselves with wurst, so it didn't need an octopus to predict that it would be another interesting trip and I was really looking forward to a typical German schnitzel that often comes in sizes larger than your plate.
If you have ever seen me, it is no secret that I like a good dish (I recommend Swedish meatball cuisine). If there is a local IKEA in your neighborhood, check it out, chances are big you'll be able to tap into some great meatballs over there.
After having left Skelleftea at about 10 AM in the morning on Monday the 8th, I arrived after a pitstop in Stockholm at the airport, in Munich early in the evening.
Checked into my hotel decently close to the event and of was happy to find out that of the 2 types of wine the hotel offered, one of them was my favorite, hoppa nice bonus.
Dropped of my bags in the room and sat down in the lobby of the hotel (with my wine), as the internet connection in the room was as bad as my breath when I just wake up in the morning.
Prepared some of my meetings and next day off to Electronica, time for business and fun!
As Electronica is mainly aimed at the electronics industry, I didn't expect that much multi-touch, but of course you'll always have the good brands being present at such shows and I had planned meetings with several partners from all around the globe, so it promised to be a good visit anyway.
I was so planning on getting one of those uber big schnitzels, that once you finish them, you have to roll yourself back to where you came from, though I ended up in a nice Indian restaurant 2 meters away from the hotel.
Had some great typical Indian Biryani (if you never tried it, make sure you do). The waiter probably thought I was hungry, as he brought enough for 3 persons and he was surprised that I didn't even eat half of it.
Waiter was a very nice guy. We started talking and got acquainted with each other and after a while he said, "What is your name?" - "Harry", - "Aaaah like Harry Potter?" - "Uh yeah smart ass, like I hadn't heard that one before. No actually not Harry as in Harry Potter, but Harry as in Prince Harry from England". Somehow I think that sounds better than being a 12 year old that flies around on a broom.
Then lightning struck me. He said, "What do you care? Harry Potter is good right, he does magic, he can do anything." Hoppa, what a great line.
I first ran into the "always ready for a laugh" guys from our German partner Elektrosil. They were showcasing several of their dreaMTouch true multi-touch hardware solutions. I especially liked the software they were using ;)
Their multi-touch displays come in sizes from 24" up to 65" diagonal and we successfully used them on many projects around the world.
Then I ran into our colleagues from Holland based ATT. Which reminds me of meeting a Silicon Valley entrepreneur / venture capitalist, here in Skelleftea a few weeks ago, who told me a story about a town in the US, where a lot of people from Holland live and they actually have a saying there "If its not Dutch, it can't be much". Dutch people, a special breed I tell you.
ATT is a very interesting company. They are offering flat multi-touch hardware solutions, that are specifically aimed at the education market vertical. They were showcasing a nice looking, with pc and multi-touch screen integrated angle changing (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) desk for class rooms. And the beauty was, you had tons of space for your legs, all nicely integrated, very price attractive and of course very important ;) fully compatible with Snowflake.
While being at the ATT booth, ran into our colleague from EETI from Asia, hadn't seen them in a while, so was great to see them again (did I mention Snowflake is compatible with their multi-touch hardware as well?, alright I'll stop it).
I was surprised that he even recognized me after these years, because I put on quite a fat winter coat, after immigrating to the North of Sweden. I blame my fiancee, she is a queen in the kitchen.
It is always great to talk to the colleagues of Wacom. They were showcasing very exciting products, including a true multi-touch display prototype with Snowflake. I can't wait till it becomes commercially available, because it is ridiculously accurate and high speed. Wacom recently also launched a very interesting followup product on the Bamboo, namely the Bamboo Special Edition, that supports 4 touches! Got to have one of those.
Our newly announced UK based partner Zytronic, a manufacturer of touch sensors, was demonstrating several of their touch products for industrial and retail usage.
Furthermore roamed around a bit more, but other than the companies that I would meet the next day, there was not that much multi-touch related activities going on.
Dinner (now after rereading this blog post, I somehow get a feeling that food plays an important role in my life, hmmm)
Had a great dinner in the evening, in the city center of Munich with two mystery people. Great food, a nice big piece of meat. Managed to crack my chair, so I skipped dessert.
I had a nice lunch meeting with our Korean partners AVA Vision. Great food and was very nice to have a laugh with them and talk about our future business opportunities. Korea is a very exciting market.
I was very happy to meet two of our partners from Saint Petersburg based TouchWorld. Got an awesome relationship gift from them that is now proudly displayed in my office. Small tip, if you are plan on meeting me, give me a gift ;)
Great meeting and was grateful to get more insight into the interactive market in Russia.
Was great to see some of our colleagues from 3M again. As usual showcasing great product lines, including their awesome 22" true multi-touch hardware monitors with Snowflake. I'm a big fan of that product and so are our clients and partners. They were also showcasing a specific liquid product that cools electronics, very impressive. Somehow I always find it cool to see TV's floating in liquids, it just looks impressive, I guess because its against what you expect.
Unfortunately I had to head off to the airport at 15H already, but thank goodness, the taxi driver that had dropped me off in the morning, actually was so nice to be there in the afternoon as well to pick me up and drop me at the airport.
So I wanted to pick up my luggage at the West Entrance of the event hall and was like "hmmmm I could have sworn there was a hole in the floor here with a stair that leads to where I dropped my bags." Ow bugger, it must have been at the East entrance, so got a good 10 minute workout running to the other end of the complex, while the cab driver was cleaning his car out while waiting for me being late.
So we had some great talks on the way to the airport and he told me, you look exactly like my sisters husband. What a lucky sister this guy has.
So once at the airport, checked in the bags, shopped around a bit for the kids and the misses and off to Stockholm.
Had the great luck to sit on the plane next to a Taiwanese entrepreneur who had visited Electronica, so we had nice talks about entrepreneurship, venture capital, investment and life :). I gave him one of my sales books that I was reading from Jeff Gitomer, because Jeff said, you do me a favor by buying my book, but you do me even a bigger favor by giving away my book. I believe that giving is more rewarding than receiving and somehow something returned me the favor because the last few days a lot of good things has happened, so I guess we'll have to give more.
Arrived on Wednesday early evening in Stockholm and went straight to a hotel close to Arlanda airport as I had a presentation there the next day.
Met a nice guy from San Francisco on my way from the airport to the hotel and we had a couple of drinks together at the hotel, talked about start-ups, business angels, venture capital, Silicon Valley and such, great fun.
I was invited by CONNECT, to attend Arlandadagen (Arlanda day) to present NUITEQ to a group of business angels and advisors.
The event where 4 other carefully selected companies were presenting, took place at the same hotel. (note to self for future, if I have to be in Stockholm early in the morning, better leave the evening before, take a hotel and be fresh and fruity in the morning, opposed to waking up at 4 AM and take a flight from Skelleftea.)
It was a great event, met very interesting people, received great tips on our business and expanded my network with great inspiring and passionate people.
Arrived back in Skelleftea, early in the evening, home sweet 192.168.0.1 and Friday amazing news was waiting...