Michael Grande – IIP Blog 5 – Value Network

This week was a full week at work and I got assigned a couple different projects.  It was really nice to have stuff to do, but it seemed a little overwhelming at points during this week having to balance three or four different projects.  I found that just communicating and being clear about deadlines with different people in the office makes it all much more manageable.  I didn’t particularly like some of my tasks at first because I had to start from scratch, but after making some progress and seeing stuff come together I felt a little more motivated. I also had to complete a social media benchmarking analysis of all of my company’s competitors and figuring out what software to use and how I was going to do it all took some time, but when I found my groove it was really fun to be able to do something useful for my company.

Their product is a smart insole for your shoe, essentially a Fitbit that fits right under your foot. I think the product is super appealing and this blog seemed like the perfect time to talk about the value network, as my company is currently figuring all of that out right now.  Since this is a new product, they have had to figure out the best material to create the insole, as well as how to integrate all of the necessary technology into something so small.  As far as their raw materials, they need a core, the Flex PCB (the technology that measures weight, it’s still too scientific for me to understand), and the insole material itself.  The entire process takes a firmware engineer, mechanical engineer (to design the smart core), and a designer for the ergonomic shape of the insole.  I’ve definitely simplified the entire process to the extreme, but it is really cool to watch them make progress each day towards the final product, which will be available (unfortunately) after I leave Berlin.

On a more fun note, I went to Teufelsberg this weekend with Anika. It is an abandoned Soviet-era US Spy station that locals have turned into the largest graffiti art gallery in Berlin. You can climb to the top of the abandoned warehouse and there is a patio area with a bar and you can see the entire city. It was so beautiful and I can’t wait to explore more of this city with the time I have left.

Ciao! (they say that here too!!)