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Patrick Boos

Associate Partner at dgroup

„We are still seeing only the beginning of digital transformation.“

About

​Can you please tell us your personal background?

I have been working in the digital arena for more than 20 years. After graduation from university and some years in the TV Broadcasting industry I founded my first Internet Start Up WEBMILES in 1999 and sold it to Bertelsmann later on. Afterwards I became Managing Director of ebay Germany and later on joined Ringier Axel Springer to drive Digital Transformation as Chief Digital Officer in Central and Eastern Europe. I also spend some time at Hasso Plattner ventures and have been involved in multiple Start-Ups as investor, manager and supporter.

I am happy to live in Berlin with my wife, three kids and our dog. Berlin has clearly evolved to become the German Digital Hot Spot and is a great place to live.

​What was your main decision to dedicate your life to dgroup?

I have had the privilege to see a broad spectrum of industries, business models and companies. I was part of innovative companies that disrupted traditional companies and worked for traditional companies that were under attack to be disrupted. I understood the limits of young and ambitious Start-Ups and what they could can learn from corporates and later worked on applying agility and innovation of Start Ups to corporate players.

When thinking about my next professional step, I decided to utilize my knowledge and experience in the consulting industry. I got to know dgroup and was impressed what the team has had achieved so far in terms of clients, lighthouse projects and reputation. At the same time, I immediately felt comfortable with the corporate, value driven culture. And being an entrepreneur by heart, I felt that as a partner I can enjoy highly flexible work and at the same time achieve great output in a collaborative partnership of outstanding colleagues. Last but not least, the opportunities are tremendous. Digital transformation in many industries has not even started. The demand for know-how, expertise and execution will remain huge for decades.

Can you please tell us your personal view on digital today?

We are still seeing only the beginning of digital transformation. Back in 1999 at webmiles we were introducing one of the first WAP services. Checking your webmiles account balance on your Nokia 6210 took a couple of minutes but was still awesome. Today our smartphones have replaced multiple other devices and we are already using it many hours per day. My sense is that innovation and disruption will rather accelerate. Many digital natives will neither read newspapers nor will they step into banking outlets nor will they buy physical books. In some industries, companies are already alert and take bold steps to transform their business models, especially in segments where products can be literally digitized, such as movie or music content. In other areas like Finance and Banking, many companies seem to be reluctant to leave the comfort zone of corporate legacies. It will be interesting to see which set up will finally win: innovative an agile vs. large and established or a combination.

Clear to me is that from the customer perspective the future will be bright and fascinating through ubiquity of information, increase of convenience and range entertainment. For companies the transformation will create both opportunities ant threats. Only those companies will succeed that have the serious commitment from senior Management and the willingness to accept the destruction of their core business – for the sake of digital leadership. And finally the digitization will have serious impact on the society, the way we work and the way we communicate.

​Digitalization is changing our lives, can you please tell us your personal vision of our digital future?

For the major things in live I have each a bright vison but also some concerns. In terms of work, the access to information and technology will help us to work more effectively and with a higher degree of flexibility. People who are ready and able to utilize the potential of digital development will have huge opportunities. At the same time the old model of permanent employment and secure working environments will decrease for many segments. We will see more “Click workers” that work on demand and that are confronted with higher competition on the basis of more transparency. In general, not only in production we will see more and more replacement of human work by computers.

In private live we will enjoy more and easier communication, more instant entertainment opportunities and tools that will make life easier, longer and safer. The challenge, however, will be to also keep the human aspect in relationships and take digital timeouts.

Digitization changes almost everything. And every substantial change implies both advantages and challenges. As human beings we need to find the right balance between what makes sense and what is technologically possible– but causes social damage.

​ Please tell us three things you would like people to remember about you?

  • This guy knew what he was talking about
  • I can learn something from this guy
  • This guy is fun to work with

Posts

How incubation programs in China make Western start-up initiatives look ridiculous

The start-up landscape in Europe and the U.S. is ever-flourishing. But we should wrap up warmly: China unfolds incredible start-up traction which is strongly supported by the government.

View full article
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