The First Week

Orientation week was a good time, I got to get know everyone else on the program, and had fun doing it. The first day we began with a nice tour of the city, it was three and a half hours long but the tour guide made it seem like half that. She brought us through a lot of Potsdamer Platz, showing us the Reichstag, the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, and many other famous buildings in the area. On the second day, we were brought around to what felt like a million different headquarters for political parties and worker unions. In all honesty it was a good time, I got to learn a lot about German politics and learned just how focused they are on the EU and social works, but I was so tired by the end I could barely function.

The third day was a big one for me, because we were meeting my boss, Sanam Moayedi, at her primary job at Coca Cola headquarters in Berlin. She gave a fantastic presentation about mega trends, business supply chain, and her colleague went on to inform us about Coca Cola’s sustainable practices. After the presentations and lunch at Coca Cola, Sanam and I went to check out the co-working space I will be working from for the majority of my stay here in Berlin. It is nice spot in the middle of a park, right next to a beer garden. There were a lot of different start-ups working there, and they provide yoga classes, live music, a kitchen, and coffee for members. Needless to say I can’t wait to get to work. While at the park, we stopped and discussed my exact plan for the next two months. This were things got very interesting, Sanam handed me a calendar filed essentially with everything I’ll be doing over the next month. It was a bit staggering to see everything laid out in front of me. I am thankful now though, apparently a lot of other people on the program have little to no clue what they will actually be doing.

I knew, coming into the start-up culture and a smaller company, there would be a lot of work spanning over various different aspects of business. To start off my first week, I have to begin a market analysis of Brili’s competitors and how they are appealing to consumer preferences through social media marketing. I have done stuff like that before in school so I am not too worried. We also discussed the exact way Brili goes about communication. It seems as though, every morning we will be discussing what we thought over the night before, new ideas, concepts, or applications. At the end of the day, we then discuss any research or new perspectives we made throughout the day pertaining to what we mentioned in the morning. I am excited to learn even more of these techniques, and to realize their effectiveness when it comes to productivity.

The exact industry that Brili is involved in is hard to pin down, it seems to me that they are involved in more then just one. I would say their primary industry would be what they refer to as gamified focus based applications for children. There are many applications like Brili currently populating the app store and a lot of others represent substitutes. In this industry, it is important to know the preferences of children as well as their parents. Brili is unique in that both its founders have children and understand user preferences. In Brili’s case, it is important that they market to the children’s parents and not necessarily the children themselves. The app is fun, but children don’t necessarily realize any need or possibility for self improvements. Appealing to parents and serving the children is the goal.

It is also imperative that the company has a strong online presence. Social media is where Brili has been lacking in the past few years compared to competitors; this represents a lot of the work I will be having to do in the coming days. Similar industries in the US have seen extreme growth in recent years. Brili has been launched in both French, and English making it competitive across these different markets. That could be good for the company, competing in different regions with different preferences allows them to appeal to a larger audience. It does have it’s downsides though, lack of focus in any given market could mean opportunities are being overlooked.

As I write this I am rolling through Nurnberg on my way to Munich for the week to do work with the other half of the Brili team. The country side looks amazing from the train window and I can’t wait to see the old city and all that it has to offer.