About this blog

About me

Born in the German region of Swabia in 1976, I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs in the field of engineering and tool making, typical of many in the region. After graduating from school, completing my military service and subsequently graduating from university, as a young industrial engineer I took a step that remains decisive to this day: I pursued a career in the construction sector.

This led me to the construction of prefabricated houses, where I learned to appreciate the advantages of industrially prefabricated buildings and facade elements, also immersing myself in the technical details of prefabrication, construction site planning and assembly processes. An area of a very different kind was the insulation material industry, which filled my daily work with construction physics and simulation tools. However, as varied as my experiences in the construction sector were, at an early stage I began linking classic building products and trades with over-arcing mega trends such as the smart home. And it is this theme that has remained with me to this day.

As a consequence, after 15 years in management positions in the German construction and construction supply industry I decided to take a sabbatical – with the aim of gaining a more in-depth understanding of the mega trend “digitalisation”. I am curious as to how B2B business models in general and the structures of construction, construction processes as well as trade and realisation structures are being altered by digitalisation. To find out, I am currently travelling through the countries that are generally considered to be pioneers of digitalisation – USA, Benelux, China and Israel. I want to see what impulses come from these regions and what specific developments mean for us here.

I am convinced that the traditional strength and professionalism of the German construction and construction supply industry offer significant opportunities for growth both nationally and internationally, if the chances offered by the mechanisation of buildings, the digitalisation of construction processes and the customer journey are used consistently. On my travels I also want to find out what else we can learn from other countries.

Why this blog?

In recent years I have often referred to myself as the “dinosaur” in a world of digital tools that are optimising and revolutionising the economy. The rise of more and more new concepts illustrates that nothing remains the same with digital transformation – and certainly nothing will be the way it once was. This led me to my decision: I want to take a good look at what is approaching us. Us, me, aged 42 and therefore with 30 years of my career ahead of me, my three children, who will have to find their way in this new world and – think big – the construction industry in Europe, which is organised in an extremely fragmented, regionalised and traditional manner.

If digitalisation is to actually shake our lives and work up to the extent that is predicted everywhere, then a businessman should take the time to take a good look at it.

I have been paying close attention to this subject for a number of months now: I read the latest trade literature and travel throughout Europe, meeting with pioneering thinkers and digital professionals. I try to understand how markets, strategies, processes and the worlds of home and work will (have to) change. Back home, both privately and in the construction and industrial field I am asked: “So, what’s coming? Is it all just hype?”

This interest and the search for orientation have led to the creation of this blog. It goes online just a few days before my move to Silicon Valley. I want to report from California about everything I see, hear and experience there – and about what I feel is important for the future of the construction industry in Europe. I want to share with you what the ideas and projects are in the US, with regard to digitalisation in particular.

A few rules for this blog:

You can comment on blog entries that I put online. Your comments and queries will help me to subject my impressions to further scrutiny. Please note that I will not generally place your comments online – they will be incorporated into later blog entries instead.

The aim of this blog is to make digitalisation tangible, to learn to recognise opportunities and be able to estimate risks. It serves no economic interest – when I name a company or product it is not for advertising purposes, but instead to make the situation more palpable and comprehensible with the aid of examples.

I hope that you enjoy reading my blog and will naturally be delighted if you recommend it to others!