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Creative destruction: keep an eye on what comes next

Creative destruction: keep an eye on what comes next

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How can you be sure you're business will be obsolete soon? "Rest on your laurels, close your eyes, be arrogant and don't understand your business," says Moritz Hohl, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Young Internet, the creator of the Panfu social and gaming site for children.

Moritz Hohl, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Young Internet

Panfu is enjoying spectacular growth, yet Mr Hohl says he constantly thinks about "creative destruction" – keeping an eye on what might creep up on him and overtake his company, making his business plan obsolete. "We don't want to be the next My Space," he says, referring to the formerly leading social network that fell as Facebook claimed the market.

"It is not only new economies replacing old economies. It can be new economies being replaced by new economies. Big companies have fallen very quickly because they just don't have it in their DNA," he says.

Mr Hohl says avoidance of such a fate requires "making risky, bold, really decisive moves to get something going."

"One lesson is, 'never be too sure with what you're doing, always keep innovating', he says. "But the other lesson is, there are a lot of good stories of the little David taking on the Goliath. You can take on anyone. Groupon is the big Goliath right now, we're going to see a few Davids taking them on and probably being successful."

Panfu has seen its revenues double in each of the last three years. It gets 15,000 new users each day and a million people play its games in 10 languages every month, with an average age of 10. The platform, which has free and paid-for elements – the 'freemium' model – relies on subscriptions for much of its income.

Tablets and mobile devices are the future for his company,  Mr Hohl says. "In five or ten years, every phone will have a big screen and be a gaming device," he says. "Kids won't take books to school, they'll take an iPad to school."


Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2011-04-11 14:15

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Here are the summaries of all speaker presentations at Digital Media Europe, that was held in London from 11-13 April 2011. Read more ...

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