AA #14 - The 4 stages of communication evolution and what the 5th will be

Our Guest Professor

Our guest for this episode is Christoph Burgdorfer, a holder of a Master of Arts degree in Networked Media from the Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication/London and the Zurich University of the Arts. In 2009, Christoph set up coANDco UK in London, focusing on building connected platforms for web and mobile. Christoph is a public speaker, on TEDx, amongst others.


Ways To Listen To This Episode

Here are the highlights of my conversation with our Guest Professor:

  • 1:43 : His personal background from going to art school and becoming a web designer, discovering the internet, working in the mobile technology industry, moving to London to learn more about media and finally deciding to start his own gig,
  • 03:23 : His start up story and why he thinks that the mobile tech industry is a dead end and how these realizations led him to set up coANDco UK,
  • 05:40 : Christoph takes us through the evolution of communication which includes the four big steps where the patterns of human communication had changed in dramatic ways:
    • Stage 1: Sharing the human language 400,000 years ago,
    • Stage 2: Storing the language with charcoal pictures 40,000 years ago,
    • Stage 3: Spreading, distributing, multiplying,
    • Stage 4: Mass media,
    • ..and, his vision of Stage 5 : People of different cultures communicating beyond language barriers through effective translation.
  • 14:06 : Sharing his Uber experience during a holiday in China as an example of why we should develop an ecosystem within apps which will eliminate the need for miscommunication due to language and cultural differences, and how he envisions these innovations to be developed
  • 17:12 : What they do in coANDco including connecting platforms and the fun ‘last Friday of the month’ where they can work on any of their crazy ideas for experimentation where interesting projects had stemmed from
  • 25: 54 : Sharing some assumptions of how one of their apps become a hit in one very tiny island and connecting it to why finding the right target market fit is essential in planning your projects out, and
  • 29:36 : His thoughts about target advertising: mistakes that you can make along the way and how his fifth step (translation) can aid advertising.


Rapid Fire Questions

  • Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them why?
    • Definitely execution. Nowadays, having ideas is not so difficult anymore but what makes people use it is actually the execution of the idea. The execution is 80% and the idea is 20% of the success.

What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?

The user experience is becoming increasingly important so do not be afraid to remove functionalities to make things simpler and easier. That’s why very popular apps are very successful

What is your favorite business book?

The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries

What is your favorite mobile app resource?


Hacker News


What is your favorite app and why?

Tube Exits

What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?

I would say the Where Are You app is one of my favorites because it involves a lot of development, research, experimenting and playing around which makes it a really exciting project.


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