Category: innovation

🇪🇪 Why I have joined Startup Nation eEstonia in 2017

Estonia offers a digital identity in a secure framework.

Estonia has turned into some of the most tech-savvy, digitally focused governments in Europe. In 2021, the country addresses the market opportunity of the European digital single market. Estonia has become an advanced digital nation. 

The Republic of Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency — a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a trusted decentral organisation online. e-Residency enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online. 

  • Online Government: Estonian citizens do most of their necessary business with their government over the internet. I can use my electronic ID card to access the government’s e-services, including paying taxes, registering a business, and even paying for parking.
  • One hundred percent of Estonian schools were using e-schooling solutions long before the coronavirus forced every student and teacher on the planet to adapt to remote learning.
  • Computers in every classroom are the norm in Estonia since 2000 and in 2015 Estonian government pledged to digitize all educational materials. The country made its ed-tech solutions for distance learning available to all nations for free.

What Makes e-Estonia Different?

I have been working with global tech clients for 20 years and finally became an eResident in Estonia to join the Baltic digital pioneers and thousands of digital nomads worldwide. The eResident movement is a milestone in our journey to decentralized organizations, often considered a superior organization model. Interoperability Services, such as the Estonian X-Road, are a reliable infrastructure for connected services and data management platforms

As an eResident, I start a location-independent EU company and run it online from anywhere. I can access all the tools needed to conduct business globally efficiently. It includes a legal address for our Estonian company and accounting services. We now can start and scale new organizations faster and quickly go to market in the European Union with a connected service under one European legal framework. 

The European Union opportunity in 2021

The EU is Tackling fragmentation in the Digital Single Market. Adjustments are needed to ensure the legal framework and interoperability of digital identity solutions. The EU regulatory framework shall facilitate digital innovation in the interest of consumers and market efficiency. Given developments in technology, the Commission has taken a pro-active approach and proposed adjustments to the EU’s financial services legislation and supervisory practices to ensure that they remain relevant in the digital age. Creating a European financial data space to promote data-driven innovation, building on the European Data Strategy. Enhanced access to data and data sharing within the financial sector will encourage the financial industry to embrace data-driven innovation and lead to more innovative products for consumers and businesses.

Compliance with data protection rules, in particular, the General Data Protection Regulation, is a pre-requisite for a global player and a financial sector driven by data. The principle of the digital finance package is  Same Risks – Same Rules – Same Regulation!

Estonia as a hub for Crypto Assets

Crypto exchanges and custodial wallet providers must have a physical presence in the EU and become subject to prior authorization from a competent national authority before starting their activities. They will be subject to capital requirements, governance standards, and an obligation to segregate their clients’ assets from their assets. These crypto-asset service providers will also be subject toIT requirementsto avoid the risks of cyber thefts and hacks. Supervision will, in principle, fall upon the authorities of the Member State where providers are based. If the control is divided between several competent authorities because activities are cross-border, it will be up to the Member States to designate a single point of contact. European Banking Authority will supervise asset-referenced tokens because these instruments are likely to pose significant risks for financial stability and consumer protection in multiple member states.

  1. e-Identity – is built on ID-card, Mobile-ID, e-Residency, Smart-ID.
  2. Interoperability services – is built on X-Road, e-Land Register, Population Registry.
  3. Security and safety – refers to KSI Blockchain, e-Law relevant for e-Justice and e-Police

A transnational digital identity

Local law itself is never a problem, as long as it offers international parties the opportunity to join the local market under level playing-field conditions – meaning a situation in which everyone has the same advantages and disadvantages. A level playing field is vital for Europe in the global environment of “America First” and China’s unstoppable rise.   

Crypto-assets and their underlying technology present considerable opportunities but are also associated with significant risks, stemming mainly from the fact that most of them have remained so far unregulated, which exposed digital businesses to scammers and hackers. A digital euro could evolve as a safe form of money and avoid possible undesirable implications for fulfilling its mandate for the financial industry and the broader economy.

The EU´s initiative creates opportunity in the EU Market, something I (Axel Hoehnke) was looking for when working with global adtech leaders like Smaato. Have a look at our seamless onboarding process.  

What is an Infodemic and how to report Covid19?

Covid19 country comparison

The coronavirus crisis creates an unparalleled amount of data points. As the nature of the coronavirus is not so different in each country, we can learn a lot through comparisons. There´s no shortage of data and certainly there´s no shortage of brilliant data visualization tools. But just a few offer a seamless onboarding – location agnostic – as only remote organizations can offer. All graphics are based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as published by Our World in Data. 

  • Numbers for confirmed/reported cases are meaningful only in a limited way since most cases have not been confirmed and most confirmed cases have recovered.
  • Data visualizations are done by the amazing team of Flourish and the award-winning data studio to visualize and tell stories with data. 

Data can tell a story – but which story

A picture says more than a thousand words. An animation shows the hidden patterns in a complex challenge like “How to fight a virus?”. Search Listening is the way to research this global challenge. The coronavirus crisis highlights the potential of Data Visualization.

Some countries took early action. Singapore’s government hired experts for preparing for a pandemic already in 2010. The Black Swan 🦢outlines why unlikely events are not unforeseeable and their meaning in Innovation and Crisis Management.

What is an infodemic?

An infodemic is an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – occurring during an epidemic. It makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Even when people have access to high-quality information, there are still barriers they must overcome to take the recommended action. Infodemiology is defined as the science of managing infodemics. The overall aim of this consultation is to take stock of relevant research and effective best practices and define public health research needs in order to advance this field. Reporting data becomes key.  

David Bowie Internet Prediction 1999 – An Alien Life form, that´s just landed.

Stop researching like it’s 1999. Adtech can efficiently operate billions of datasets and make decisions in milliseconds. The state of content can be manipulated at the same speed either to cater the material to a specific device form factor or audience. In 2020 we can cater any publishing content to a particular device form factor or audience in real-time.

With more than 100 vertical search engines at your fingertips, massive computing has become available to anyone. It’s the 2020 version of the “Alien Life form, that just landed “… with all credits to David Bowie. This Alien knows all about your dark secrets. As Seth Stephens Davidowitz showed in Everybody Lies, we can learn what people think and what they do by monitoring their behavior. These predictions based on Google Search volume have outperformed any research institute in 2016 and again in 2020.

We are a Search Listening specialist that can help you with expertise and checklists. | Initiate the conversation and schedule your private Demo. 

Rework – a handbook for decentralized organizations

Corporates have a lot to lose.

We need a different approach to innovation and implementation when comparing Startups versus Corporates. To quote Steve Blank: “In the last few years, we’ve recognized that a startup is not a smaller version of a large company. We’re now learning that Corporates are not larger versions of Startups.”.

Corporates have to be afraid of things like:

Reputational damage – When a client or corporate data is involved in the product development process, failures may damage the brand and reputation.

Lost investment – Many startups fail, so corporates’ investment risk is high compared to their usual investment projects.

Misaligned employees – Corporate employees are trained to follow processes and regard failure as jeopardizing their careers. They might feel threatened by the startups’ unfamiliar culture and remain overly protective of the status quo.

Uncertain outcome – When projects include unfinished products or work with startup entrepreneurs and inexperienced teams, results are difficult to predict.

Maturity misalignment – When corporates engage with startups proposing a new business model or a new technology that the corporate enterprise is not yet ready to adopt or to experiment with, this inherently leads to a fruitless collaboration.

Remote organizations are adopting faster.

Virtualization is the norm in many businesses, and AI plays a valuable role in seamlessly adopting new equipment. Cloud-based operations often rely on virtual provisioning hardware in response to changing demand, and AI is at the core of making these decisions. 

The Estonian e-Residency program offers a transnational digital identity to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online. It enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online.

Remote organizations and decentralized tech teams can outperform them when committing to performance-based – no-bullshit work culture. Rework by Jason Fried is a perfect handbook for decentralized organizations. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few pounds or even free.

The Starfish and the Spider.

The Starfish and the Spider analogy outlined the principles of remote organizations. The famous book revealed how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the US government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.

Synopsis: If you cut off a spider’s leg, it’s crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish.

  • What’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, Craigslist, and Skype?
  • What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women’s rights movements?
  • What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths?
  • How could winning a Supreme Court case be the biggest mistake MGM could have made?
starfish versus spider organizations image

The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: traditional “spiders,” which have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary “starfish,” which rely on the power of peer relationships.

The Starfish and the Spider explores what happens when starfish take on spiders (such as the music industry vs. Napster, Kazaa, and the P2P services that followed). 

The book explores:

  • How the Apaches fended off the powerful Spanish army for 200 years
  • The power of a simple circle
  • The importance of catalysts who have an uncanny ability to bring people together
  • How the Internet has become a breeding ground for leaderless organizations
  • How Alcoholics Anonymous has reached untold millions with only a shared ideology and without a leader


The Starfish and the Spider
by Ori Brafman
Publisher Penguin
Pages 240
ISBN-10 1101216409
ISBN-13 9781101216408
Release Date 2006-10-05


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