Japan tradition – mindfulness – on time

My expectations before starting a 14 days trip to Japan were unsorted. I thougth it will be loud in the cities, a not transparent society, high tech everywhere and sushi. Yes, there were all prejudices you can imagine – but Japan surprised my in every way for the better.

Tokio was full of clouds when we landed 11,5 hrs after leaving Munich. Organised as we are we had the Pasmo cards with us to enter the subway to the city centre. Arriving at Akasaka-Mitsuke station it was only a 3 minutes walk to the Prince Gallery Hotel and up the 31st floor with a magical view from our spacious room. In the far we could barely see the Skytree. We hoped for the weather to clear up and started immediately to explore the city. We were lucky and so we went up the 450 m to see Tokio and its dimensions from the Skytree platform for the first time. We saw the Asakusa shrine from the Skytree and agreed that we go there to get a first glimpse of Japanese religion tradition. In fact we could imagine how deep religious affiliation was present in daily life. Do not miss to try the fortune boxes. Shake the silver looking case where wood sticks with a symbol are in it. Now look for the symbol on the wall of boxes and open it to get your own fortune to take with you or leave there if it is not as good as you had wished to be demolished over night.

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Where should we get a first taste of Japanese food? Well, we just tried the first restaurant that looked good to us and it was a surprise. Ladies only were working and cooking. No Shushi but ramen and fried fish. Good enough to start our metro ride back to the hotel. It is very easy to find the right line and the right direction. Look for the station you want to go, look for the lines that are leading there. Look for the color and letter sign and follow the signs. Attention! You need to be aware where you want to leave the underground station. It can happen, that there is a 750 m walk under ground and if you missed your exit, you have to walk all the way back. Good travel guides tell you where to leave for what attraction. But there are everywhere “you are here” maps to give you an orientation and if you are looking at for more than 30 seconds somebody will ask you if they can help you. The G&T at the marvelous bar and a wonderful view over the night lights of the city let us forget that we are 24 hrs on our feet.

The next morning we choose to get our coffee and a sweet bite at Dean & Deluca to go. Not aware that there are only very view bins in the city to get rid of the cup. So we had to take it till we had walked to Fuji Film Square complex. A stone-cast away is the 2121 design museum and we saw “The Hurdler”. The concrete building itself half under the ground is worth visiting. Onwards to the Mori Museum we passed the National Gallery and saw a visitor line up of 80 min. Thinking we are smarter we decided to come back tomorrow to see the Alfons Mucha exhibition. At Mori I recommend to buy the combi ticket for the museum and the Sky Deck. If you are lucky you can get a glimpse of Fuji-San from there. Where to go to eat? Finally we found out that in a lot of business buildings and first and foremost in metro stations or Tokio station there are hundreds of restaurants, kiosks and fresh merchants (fish, meat, fruits, herbs, vegetables, sweets, …). Look out for a line up and under guarantee you will get quality food and of course Matcha Tea. The sky completely cleared up totally and we started to the Excel Air Service to see Tokio from a helicopter. It was magical and a perfect sunset with mount Fuji in the distance. Back into town near Tokio station we were told to go to Nihonbashi to get a bite. After our experience – stay away from it. Better go down to B1 (basement of the station) and experience the diversity of the food corner.

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Day 3 and NACT surprised with a visitor line up of 70 min. We thought it won’t be so bad not knowing up to that point that Japan is on time, in time all !! the time. Every train, subway, bus, … are dead centre on time. We as Germans are a bit ashamed that we as a high technology nation are not able to cope this. In Japan that makes traveling very easy. You can totally rely on every schedule and time scale. Well if you are in line of a museum it is not so funny. But there is no pushing, jumping the queue and no moaning. As everywhere patience and tranquility is the only option for the Japanese. By the way the city of Tokio is very quiet. The cars are quiet, the people are quiet, everything even the cars are super clean and tidy.

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Everybody tells you that a Tokio visit without going to Shibuja is not complete. You can do it but in my perspective it is absolutely not a must. As well as Tokio Hands (which you find in other cities as well and with less crowds). We walked to the Meji shrine were we saw three wedding processions. They were very dignified and bride and groom in their traditional dress. Near by there was a Bonsai exhibition and I was mesmerized by the fact that some were hundreds of years old. The oldest even 500 – incredible. Time was running out but we made it to see the imperial garden short before closing. As everywhere cultivated and looked after and again you couldn’t hear the noise of the city. It was time to get our first Sushi. We were not disappointed. The cook helped us through the menu and showed pictures of what we just eat. Well a water snail or a sea urchin is tasty and compared to a Schnitzel somewhat an acquired taste. The following G&T at the hotel bar gave some release, but we decided to go back on our last day.

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JR Pass – buy in advance in your country online, activate it at the time you first use it. For JR enter the station at the extra walk through and show it to the gatekeeper. To reserve a seat go a day before to the JR ticket office and they provide you with every possible information in the shortest possible time. At the platforms look for your train and see the signs triangle, circle, quadrate that show you which line (marked on the floor you should use to enter your.

Day 4 of to Kawaguchi Lake and the Hoshinoya Fuji Glamping. We hoped to be mount Fuji very close which we were but as half of the year “he” is covered by clouds. Coffee and Aperitivo at the cloud terrace within the woods and dinner at the restaurant which was served with lots of small details that made it unique.

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Day 5 4:30 pm it got bright outside and we opened the curtain a bit and like magic – mount Fuji in its full contour and a few minutes later the peak was orange illuminated by the sun. We couldn’t believe our luck to be able to see it so close, so clear. As we “really” woke up “he” was in clouds again. Breakfast at the room terrace and tranquility. We took the hotel bicycles and drove around the lake in 1,5 hrs and ended in the Lake Bake to get a onion soup. After relaxing time we got dinner again on our terrace which we recommend strongly to do.

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Day 6 after a freshly brewed coffee on the camp terrace and breakfast at the restaurant we started first with the bus to Mishima and than with Shinkhansen to Nagoya. The Atsuta shrine and one of the grill restaurants on the plan. There is not really to say more.

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Day 7 was quiet more interesting: Nagoya Castle which will be completely restored in 2018 was impressive. From Nagoya station by train to Magome (incl. a 20 min bus drive) to the country side. After strolling around we started the 8 km walk to Tsumago which is a must, if you are not afraid of bears. But to keep them away there is every kilometer a bell which you are advised to ring loud. So you should be fairly save. Sport shoes are enough if it doesn’t rain, but take some water with you. It was marvelous and – except of the birds – an almost holy calmness. We were back for dinner in Nagoya and ate in an iPad restaurant at the station. All orders are placed on an iPad. Food and drinks arrive immediately.

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Day 8 we went to Kyoto. The most vibrating city we visited. Some southern flair at the river with its 100 restaurants and terraces. We checked in at the new Four Seasons which was in every aspect the right decision. Near the city centre but with a huge garden, very relaxed and quiet. Excellent service and the best breakfast we had on the trip. Most rooms are overlooking the city and the Spa is one of its kind. We started to walk to the famous Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple. Thousands had the same idea, but as always in Japan, with great respectfulness of others, helped to get through. Than we passed the Yasaka Pagoda to see Kodaiji temple, its gardens and the Yasaka shrine. From there we wanted to start a tour through the city, but we decided in Gion quarter to take a taxi back to the hotel to enjoy the amenities incl. an “Elephant” G&T which surprisingly comes from Hamburg, Germany.

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Day 9 Ginkaku-ji temple, the philosopher path, Eikan-do temple, Nanzen-ji temple – well it is Japan and if you don’t become diseased by the AFT or AFS syndrome (another f*** temple or another f*** shrine syndrome) you get a glimpse of the Japanese culture with its deeply religious habits. And I can’t say it enough times – all the temples, shrines gardens have there special tranquility/serenity even in the middle of a million people city. Of to more secular desires: Nishiki market and its adjoined shopping arcades will serve everything. A speciality could be grilled sparrow or pigeon, octopus, sea urchin and more – why not. Nijo castle gave a very good and understandable idea (every sign was in english too, which is usually not, nowhere) of how the castle living was in ancient times. Tired and hungry we asked for a Chinese restaurant (yes) and the concierge gave us some relief for the strange question, he said that we do not have to excuse for that strange wish, he is Chinese. At about 9 pm we walked back to the hotel through the gion quarter, but it was “dead”. All activities are at about 6-7pm so we missed that.

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Day 10 we started to Nara and the Toshodai-ji buddhist temple and walked on to the Yakushi-ji temple. But than it got amazing – the Todai-ji temple is the largest wood building in the world and the Buddha statue inside the largest of its kind in bronze. A milestone on our trip. Well you can also feed the hundreds of deers in the park, but you do not have to.

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Day 11 and 12 promised to be contemplative. But as we arrived in Koyasan and the Fuchiin temple (were we slept) we came down to earth very fast. The friendly staff could not hide the fact that there was no cost benefit calculation. We immediately shortened our stay to one night and survived nevertheless that the joint use showers were musty, the so called Onsen was with out any atmosphere and carelessly places between wooden planks. The food was – lets put it this way – special. At least we really enjoyed the famous cemetery night tour. But be aware of not tripping over the steps of the first two bridges – if so you will die within the next three years. That is what the monk claimed more or less trustworthy.

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Day 13 if you are in Koysan it is also worth to see the Kongobu-ji temple and the Danjo Garan complex and the Konpon Daito pagoda. As always every means of carriage on time. Bus, cable car, train and before we arrived at our last stop in Hiroshima, we stopped in Himeji to see the spectacular castle. Our guide said we will arrive at Hiroshima with a very certain emotion and it was. A vivacious city welcomed us, but …

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Day 14 … as we came closer to the memorial we were somewhat dither. Inside I never saw so many visitors in a museum or memorial with tears in their eyes as we watched the videos of the survivors of the bomb. Exploding about 600 m over ground at “063096” and killing 140.000 people and many more years later cause of the radiation. 6th of August 1945 8:15 am and the world was not the place it was before. So many had to bear unbelievable misery. Burned skin, loss of beloved ones, brutal wounds, and never ever of the mind.

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Deeply affected back to Tokio.

Day 15 Yanaka quarter was vivid and you should not miss the Asakura Museum of Sculptures, the Coffeeten, and some more little shops. Ueno is in walking distance and the National Museum of Western Art strongly recommended. The Zoo – if you never saw a panda ok, but you will be disappointed by the rest.

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After all the culture, museums, temples, shrines, … we owed our beloved ones to go shopping. We tried very hard, but Japan is not a country with special tourist items, except you are interested in chop sticks. So we made it like the Japanese – we bought loads of well wrapped sweets.

Last year after being in India I claimed that if you have not visited India you have not seen the world. This year I am summarizing the trip to Japan: go there, even with your kids, enjoy the super clean country, the super on time transportation, the way of living social, the way of preparing food and the respectful association with nearly everything. I took some thoughts back home and try to be a bit like the Japanese – not to adapt 100%, but learned how living together possibly could be.

This BBC travel article goes into deep to understand the Japanese social way of mindfulness


Neuromarketing Kongress 2017


Was wissen wir über das Konsumenten-Hirn und was wissen wir nicht, das war die übergreifende Thematik auf dem Neuromarketing Kongress 2017, der mit “CREATING STRONG FEELINGS” überschreiben war. Beantwortet wurde dies von hochkarätigen Referenten, die sich in den Themenfeldern und der Persönlichkeit auf interessante und unterhaltsame Art und Weise voneinander unterschieden haben.

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Wie immer, aber in diesem Jahr zum letzten Mal, stellte Prof. Dr. Häusel seine eloquenten und amüsanten Anmoderationen unter Beweis. Als Gründervater des nun im 10. Jahr stehenden Kongresses, zieht er es vor, die Bühne selbst zu verlassen, bevor er eventuell angeschoben werden würde. Chapeau vor dieser Entscheidung, die damit auch einen derzeit überall vieldiskutierten Wertekanon um eine weitere Variante anstimmt. Häusel sagt, dass Werte aus unseren Emotionen heraus entstehen, die wiederum aus unserer Belohnungserwartung erweckt werden und somit lustgesteuert sind. Doch Wertekonflikte sind eine Herausforderung, der sich unser Denken sekündlich aussetzen muss: Ego vs. Nächstenliebe / Aufbruch vs. Bewahren / Hedonismus vs. Askese, Disziplin und Sparsamkeit. Werte sind also Mittelwege, aber die Mitte bringt Langeweile und so ist der Mensch immer wieder bereit, die Extreme zu suchen und “Achtung-Schilder” auszublenden. Dabei entstehen Räume, die bestenfalls eine Entwicklung möglich machen. Aber wo liegen diese Werte auf der Limbic Map? Das wollten die folgenden Referenten gemäß ihrer Fachqualitäten aufzeigen.

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes, BCCN Berlin, verrät, dass neurokognitive Determinanten uns die Kaufentscheidung erleichtern. Aber wie könnte man eine Prognose erstellen, wie sich die Kunden A, B, C entscheiden werden? Wo gibt es also den Buy-Button in unserem Gehirn, wo ist das Zentrum des Verlangens? Belohnung + Motovation + Auffälligkeit + Gefühl + Mustererkennung = Auslese. Aber was ist die Absicht? Noch können wir nicht so tief in das Gehirn einsehen, dass die Entscheidungen, die bereits bis zu 7 Sekunden vor der eigentlichen Handlung im Gehirn entschieden sind, auszulesen. In Zukunft wird die Technik in der Lage sein, genau diese Mustererkennung zu analysieren und vorweg eingreifen. Spooky? Ja, aber die unkritische Masse wird aus Bequemlichkeit diese Eingriffe zulassen und so ist die Entwicklung unaufhaltsam.

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Dr. Henning Beck, Neuro-Science-Entertainment, behauptet – Daten haben keine Geschichte, Menschen hingegen können Geschichte machen. Lernen, Verstehen ergibt das Wissen, das uns für Entscheidungen wichtige Ankerpunkte verstehen lässt. Menschen erkennen Konzepte – z.B. die Symbole für 😦 traurig oder 🙂 freudig unterscheiden sich nur in 50% der Daten, aber zu 100% in der Bedeutung, die ein menschliches Gehirn daraus ableitet kann.

Der Gruppe Nymphenburg Vorstand Bernd Werner sprach, trotz starker Erkältung, die Unterschiede von Print, Online und der jeweiligen Endgeräte an. Das LEA Limbic Emotional Assessment hilft dabei, welcher User (sprich welcher Limbic Typ) von welchem Touchpoint Tool bzw. welchen Touchpoint Social Media Plattformen angesprochen wird. Zukünftig ist dieses Erkennen entscheidend, will ein Unternehmen Streuverluste vermeiden und den direkten Weg in den Kopf des Konsumenten finden.

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WuV war wieder Gast auf dem Kongress und Dr. Jochen Kalka fügte nahtlos an Herrn Werner an, in dem er behauptete: “the print is your friend“. An zahllosen Beispielen zeigte er auf, dass Haptik & Digital gemeinsame Wege gehen werden. Und – dass man sich nicht fürchten muss, denn jedem Trend sein Gegentrend – the law of the opposite.

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Endlich Fußball – dürften vor allem die männlichen Kongresssteilnehmer gedacht haben, als der enthusiastische Carsten Cramer, seines Zeichens Marketingleiter der Borussia aus Dortmund die Bühne einnahm. Der BVB vereint auf einmalige Weise und vor allem über die extrem emotionale Bindung seiner Fans die Ambivalenz zwischen Sport und Kommerz, Herz und Ökonomie. Sehr interessant war der Ansatz, die BVB-App auf dem Startbildschirm in 3 Kategorien zu unterteilen: ich bin im Stadion / ich bin vor TV/Radio / ich bin unterwegs (nur kurze Informationen), sprich – gezielt Daten und Informationen rund um das Spiel, usergerecht einzuspielen.

Von User kann man bei Slyrs, der einzigen, besten und größten Whiskymarke aus Bayern nicht sprechen. Connaiseure trifft es wohl besser. 75% Männer und immerhin schon 25 % Frauen lassen sich, idealerweise am Ende eines Tages, mit feiner Unterstützung der verschiedenen Whisky-Sorten wahlweise erheitern, beglücken oder den angefallenen Belast erleichtern. Bayerisch urig und mit stämmigem Selbstbewusstsein, erzählte Florian Stetter den harten Weg von der Idee, die zeitlich gesehen, weit weg vom Produkt war, über die Produktion und den Vertriebskreationen des flüssigen Goldes. Ganz der schottischen Tradition folgend, gibt es natürlich einen Highland Whisky, aber ganz Slyrs-kreativ auch einen Lowland Whisky, der auf einem Boot vor Sylt die nötige Reife erhält. Selbstverständlich lud Herr Stetter alle Anwesenden zur Produktionsbesichtigung und Verkostung an den Schliersee ein.

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Nach soviel veredeltem Wasser, war es Zeit für die Kaffeepause und einen riesigen Kuchen, mit dem sich die Teilnehmer die bisherigen 10 Neuromarketing Kongresse noch mal auf der Zunge zergehen lassen konnten.

Sina Trinkwalder, ich glaube, ich trete ihr nicht zu nahe, wenn ich sie als Urgewalt bezeichne. Sie steht auf der Bühne und lässt sich weder einen – Zitat: “Scheiß” erzählen, noch will sie einen – Zitat: “Scheiß” produzieren, noch – Zitat: “scheiße” mit Ihren Arbeitskraftnehmerinnen umgehen. Der durchaus harte und teilweise verlachte (von Männern in Anzügen) Ansatz, den sie (Frau in Turnschuhen) mit begeisternder Konsequenz beschritten hat, hält vielen im Auditorium sitzenden Zuhörern den Spiegel vor und mahnt zum radikalen Machen. Einfach so, ohne Powerpoint und Skript wandelt Sina auf der großen Bühne und motiviert ohne Bitterkeit, aber mit unmissverständlichem Nachdruck, Konventionen nicht nur zu überdenken, sondern zu konterkarieren.

Probleme müssen sofort gelöst werden – ein markantes, gelebtes Statement von Wolfgang Grupp, alleiniger Inhaber des baden-württembergischen Stoffherstellers Trigema. Man könnte am Auftritt, der äußeren Erscheinung von Sina und Herrn Grupp annehmen, dass diese beiden Branchenteilnehmer Welten unterscheiden. Mitnichten! Die Konsequenz, mit der beide ihre Unternehmen führen, leiten, bewahren und vorantreiben ist durchaus ähnlich. Eigenverantwortung und Probleme nicht auf “äußere” Einflüsse zu schieben, ist beiden verinnerlicht. Grupp ist dabei wichtig, seine Eigenständigkeit gegenüber Banken und sogenannten Beratern zu wahren, in dem er jede Produktionsstufe selbst aus dem FF kennt und die Disposition Chefsache ist. Auch, dass er durch ein Großraum Büro seine 35 Verwaltungsmitarbeiter im Blick hat – nicht zur Kontrolle – sondern zur Erleichterung schneller Entscheidungen. Eine “Nichtentscheidung” ist ihm ein Gräuel und der Quell, dass kleine Probleme durch verschieben irgendwann zu großen werden. Verantwortung in letzter Konsequenz ist seine Lebensphilosophie, die er nur zu gerne auch bei seine Kinder verwirklicht sehen möchte.

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@wire Dr. Stephan Sigrist erklärt der anwesenden datenbasierten Gesellschaft mit einigen veranschaulichenden Filmchen zum Abschluss, dass mehr Menschenverstand durchaus die Dinge wieder gerade rücken kann. Das würde auch helfen die herrschenden Bedenken oder gar bestehende Angst vor Überforderung zu nehmen. Der “Tippingpoint of information overflow” ist bereits erreicht. Lesen (auf dem Smartphone) und zuhören (Gespräch, Meeting) ist schlicht nicht möglich, daher ist eine Standardisierung geboten, die der Differenzierung entgegensteht. Die Informationskanäle nennt er gar anglisiert “Bullshit Amplifier“. Denn nicht nur immer mehr prasselt auf uns ein, sondern es wird zum großen Teil nur der bestehende Informations-bullshit wieder und wieder verquirlt hochgewirbelt.

Wer genau hingehört und hingesehen hat, konnte kleine Veränderungen des etablierten Neuromarketing Kongresses bereits bemerken. Die Macher werden auch zum 11. Kongress wieder Neuerungen bieten, denn wer sollte es besser verstehen, als die Gruppe Nymphenburg und der Haufe Verlag, dass auch das Kongress-Teilnehmer-Hirn eine Entwicklung durchläuft und eine Veränderung erwartet. Also – bis zum nächsten Jahr und zur Vorbereitung das aktuelle Buch Touchpoint Management lesen.

Emilia Romagna, un’altra volta

Again Emilia Romagna and we will be back again “un’altra volta”. This time we started in Parma and the first surprise was the parking at “Toschi” where we drove in with our Telepass and did not need a ticket. The parking price was booked off the account we use for the payment of the “autostrada”. Just a few meters and we reached the complex of Palazzo della Pilotta. Within there is the Teatro Farnese, a massive wooden “theatro” which impressed us, even more when the guide said that its capacity is up to 3.500 people. The Duomo and the Baptisterio were not less impressive so that we needed some Parma ham (of course) and some pasta. Our wishes were fulfilled at Enoteca Fontana, Via Farini 24.

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For the night we drove to Varignana. A hidden spot near Bologna. It is a construction site, because they add some more 40 rooms (finished by October). The breakfast restaurant is not cosy, but you have a nice view to Bologna and the Emilia Romagna. Besides that – would we stay again? Well, we would ask for a room with airtight doors.

Golf at Bologna Golf Club is special. Founded in 1956 by the grandfather of Maurizio de Vito Piscicelli – a friend and promoter for Emilia Romagna Golf and now in addition for the Galleria Cavour a luxury shopping temple. Wether you go there without wife or without credit card or you go there and take both. Back to golf. In the pictures you see the first design by an english design office for the course. Yes, that was it. There were only 4 oak trees by than. Now it is a true parkland course. Challenging but fair. By the way Maurizio is a multi time winner of the annual championship. In summer after 5 pm a round is € 35 including cart and after 18 holes an excellent food is waiting at the club house.

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I always wanted to be there once: San Luca. A huge church which you see from the “autostrada” cross where you go wether east to Rimini or south to Florence. Up the cupola (only Friday/Saturday from 9:30-12:30 and 14:30-18:30) you enjoy a 360° view of Emilia Romagna, Bologna and the Apennin. You can drive up there or walk a wonderful gallery from city centre (you might see Maurizio there, jogging every evening up the hill, well almost every evening) or take the choo choo train.

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In the city of Bologna, we parked at Piazza del’8 Agosto (again with Telepass charging) and walked through the arcades to the Finestrella via Piella. During sun set a perfect romantic spot. Strolling around, we had our aperitivo at Cafe Mercato, Via Pescherie. Yes, there are about a 1000 more, but we choose that more “antique” one. In this area you find everything your gourmet heart could ask for. Maurizio recommended Piazza Santo Stefano for dinner. We found Caffé delle Sette Chiese to enjoy our Pasta Bolognese (of course).

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Le Fonti Golf the next day was easy to walk but some tricky holes with lots of water. As everywhere people were very friendly and the cappuccino at the bar was tasteful. Than we got our room at Oste del Castello at Verucchio a small picturesque village opposite San Marino. Ask for a room with valley view and do not miss the grotta which contains the sauna and whirlpool. Book it in advance as well as the ristorante Mastin Vecchio which is also a kind of grotta. Delicious food, very friendly and good service. Another place of romance.

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On a cloudy afternoon you can drive by car up to San Marino. Cause of limited parking space it is on a sunny easter Sunday recommended to use the rope way or walk up to the top. Disregarding the discount perfume shops and unneeded weapon / gun shops it is worth to walk around and relish not only a Aperol Spritz at the Piazza della Libertà (Righi), but the views to the Adriatic Sea, south to Arrezzo and north to Ferrara. Nevertheless – once a lifetime is enough.

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We passed Rimini on our way to Ravenna and for a few kilometers we drove along the beach. It is like you saw it in the 60s, 70s movies one umbrella next to the other. We reached Ravenna and were lucky with the parking next to the Duomo. The walk to the different historic sites with the magnificent mosaics leads you through the inner city, which is not quite that nice than in other Italian cities, but very relaxed. For lunch we drove up north to Comacchio. First we tried to eat at a place in the lagoon, but at 13:50 the kitchen was closed. So back to the little village of Comacchio, which is very tidy and clean. Comacina served a fish platter with fresh fish and mussels in a delicious tomato, garlic sauce. On the way to the famous Ponte dei Trepponti di Comacchio over a water crossing there is the chance to buy fresh living eel.

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Our last station was Ferrara. We parked at Parcheggio Diamanti, which is on the north end of the historic building axis of Ferrara. A walk down will bring you – passing the Palazzo dei Diamanti and the Castello Estense (buy the ticket + tower) – to the Piazza del Cattedrale and the Piazza Trento – Tireste. Pure Italy and just a riprap away the Cusina e Butega in Corso Porta Reno 18. Pasta, salami, fish and ham like the famous Culatello are served.

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While driving back home there is still the smell of the hand made “delacacies” in the air, combined with the salt water of the Adriatic Sea, the Po Delta and the millions of pine trees. Plus the assurance that for the people of Emilia Romagna hospitality is not just a word it is a / their way of living.

Perfect service and help for all around Emilia Romagna Golf and accompanied hotels: Maurizio or Paola at Emilia Romagna Golf: www.emiliaromagnagolf.it Tel.: +39-0544-916280

TEFAF 2017

Again in Maastricht for TEFAF 2017. The flowers at the entrance reflect the mood of the visitors and exhibitors or is it the other way round that the flowers determine the mood? It is definitely a wow-effect every year.

2017, the quality of the well selected and approved art was again extraordinary. Even if the “best” pieces have been sold again on the first 2-3 days, with information behind the scene there are possibilities to get a bargain. If not, enjoy to be at least for hours in between of so many masterpieces.

TEFAF on Facebook for the “I-could-not come-this-year”

The delicate food stations seduced me to have a bite. But the best amusement is to get to talk to other enthusiastic art “freaks”.

Again, I stayed at the Townhouse, that even has a shuttle service to and from the fair. It is right across the station and in walking distance from the old town centre. The whole town is in TEFAF mode. Everywhere you meet artists and expertised visitors that are keen to share their knowledge. The dutch kitchen is not very famous but in Maastricht there are places where international and local kitchen is well combined. Go to Flo or Harry’s and you are in the middle of hospitality. Fish, seafood and meat are on the menu, but do not leave out the deserts. This time, we had a Crepe Suzette as it should be, flambéed at the table.

Plan some time to visit the city of Maastricht and stroll around, shop, take an aperitif and do not miss the bookshop in the church. I made sure to have my coffee there and of course a nice piece of cake while inhaling this special atmosphere.

See you next year.

Neuromarketing Congress 2016 “Virtual & Reality: How to catch your customer”

Executive summary Neuromarketing Congress 2016 in Munich (#nmk2016)

Traditionally, the introduction was held by Dr. Häusel, who as moderator again pointed out special accents. So the congress starts with the statement that “social relations are not digitizable”. I would want to add „not yet“.

haeusel viel Erfolg

Prof. Dr. Markus Heinrichs was the first of the, especially this year, content-related valuable speakers. He speaks of the “Neurobiology of Trust”, referring to the aspect that trust is a willingness to take a risk, to show vulnerability. Furthermore, trust is when the chemistry is right. This includes our body chemistry in the form of oxytocin. In simple terms – is oxytocin high (in the reward areas) you will become binding-“addicted”. If someone is good for me, I want to be close to him and remain there. If you have social anxiety, oxytocin may normalize brain reactions and can be supportive for your confidence. Trust is a protective factor for the body (life-prolonging) and so important that social contact ability is even better than sports. A quip at the end was that research has found that for women the best reassurance against stress situations that they can get from their partners is a back or shoulder massage and not the well-intentioned good coaxing.

Prof. Dr. Christian Hildebrand was the next speaker, who first called attention to the stork spurious correlation that is allegedly proved that in a region where storks are more common, there are more births. But this is not based on hard facts, but only on the soft fact that people like to create causal relations, which then produce an apparently meaningful coincidence. So the brain calms down and we no longer have to ponder, and the brain does not need to work anymore.
He also analyzes the so-called tool-conversion-rate on purchases. Although the first impression and possibly a first price comparison arises on the smartphone on the go, but the actual purchase takes place in the evening in the lean-back mode on the tablet instead.
Tablets are drivers of “psychological possession”. Which in turn leads to the conclusion that certain products or services should be offered only on certain devices. Two examples: wine trade = 11,4% purchases on tablets, cars = only 2% purchases on tablets
= the more expensive products are in a product line (expensive red wine), the more likely it is purchased via tablet, rather than on desktop. Similarly, when cars are purchased more extras are booked on tablet. The touch is crucial for higher revenues.
Experts prefer to get to the point quickly (for example, auto-configuration). Whereas for “novices” the product must be made more tangible with more gestures and possibilities.
Applied research in practice: in the future we will even buy and learn things without interface.

Prof. Patrick Baudisch has impressively explained, how the way of the new workflow is seen by the Hasso Plattner Institute. If there is a problem in the future, you will scan this in 3D scanners, send it to a 3D Printer and receive an exact copy. Digital in this case also means the ability of lossless replication. However, there are still some legal issues that have been created. If I e.g. print a spare part of a car, then who has the copyright?

baudisch Grand Challenge

After lunch, the presentation by Mrs. Petra Sammer (Twitter: @PetraSammer) followed. She highlighted once again the important way from information to emotion, namely based on videos:
Video Crow Foods Inc. Full range of gamification included. Or this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMIYX_bNnF0

A story still works with the simple basic pattern: It needs a reason and / or heroes (exemplary role model) / then a start-conflict / it must be emotionally touching / and then as today – virality.

Lukas-Pierre Bessis (Twitter: @LuBessis) started his presentation with a selfie with the audience. But the message was that we need an attention economy because of the modern data-tsunami. But he explained in a simple way how today’s successful print / movie advertising works. In his opinion, it takes 6 factors: product-oriented / focused / fast / true / course / striking. Prior to this a cleaning needs to happen: garbage in / garbage out

André Morys (Twitter: @morys) wants to increase the motivation to buy, in which customers are encouraged and confirmed in the action. In this respect, the ROI can be increased by the formula: I can buy > i want to buy > I have to buy. Because our reward system is to blame for chocolate, drugs and Apple products. But only if the goals of users and business objectives are consistent. In the future, the knowledge of the people, their behaviour and the data will be the new oil („gold“).

Phil Winters focuses on the Customer Intelligence and underlines that there are still 5 senses, through which one comes to the customer. He also warns strongly against lies because if I lie in filling out an online form (most popular name Mickey Mouse), then my customers do the same! – “Is the customer wrong or the form?”

The room was of course still fully crowded as the last speaker of this knowledge day Sascha Lobo (Twitter: @saschalobo) stepped to the microphone. His first thesis is underpinned with a photo: Ray Kurzweil and his statement on the exponential progress in the 2030s, we are connected by nanorobots in the brain with the web. The second statement was self-written and more of a statement, because in our world of digital impatience it needs “immediately-ness”. And – about that some hardware manufacturers will be happy and some naturally not – we do not buy hardware anymore, we do buy a platform. Also underpinning this with current figures: In 2016, Android has a market share among young people in Germany of 90%. The conclusion: business models will coagulate to communication.
Video project Soli https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QNiZfSsPc0

MPV: In our opinion this was the best Neuromarketing Congress in the recent years. We look forward to the congress in 2017.

Further links

Neuromarketing Congress by Haufe and Gruppe Nymphenburg (in German only)


India – haven’t been there, you haven’t seen the world

India was a lifetime wish. Every time I saw it on TV or in a magazine, I got goosebumps. I had to wait 50 years until that dream became reality. Colors, smells, noise, massive crowds of people – I enjoyed everything and every minute with all my senses. My friends were split – one half said “oh, I want to go there, too” and the other half was “oh, I would never go there, to dangerous, to unsafe, afraid of Delhi belly, to loud, to dirty, …”

The schedule of that journey was very ambitious. 14 days, 9 different beds, three flights, train and 2.000 km on the road. Ground transportation was organized from a travel agency in India, that helped a lot. The driver was always there and at every stop we had a tour guide who told us about India, the forts, the museums, the temples and he often was a translator when we wanted to ask the locals about life, fruits or habits.

Delhi Leela Palace was our first pillow after a 9 hrs flight from Munich. Arrival late in the night 01:15. We woke up and looked out of the window: Our first ape was jumping from one tree to another and from one roof to the other in the neighborhood. I could not believe that people crossed the massive crowded street in patience. But later got the explanation: walk the street like a holy cow, if you cross like a chicken you are dead. 10 o’clock the guide picked us up and we drove from New Delhi passing the presidential palace, the Gate of India to the old part. Mosques, temples, house of Mahatma and Indira Gandhi, National Gallery of Modern Art, you find everything in your guides. But the first surprise was that life was never hectic – shanti, shanti so to say. Again apes in the streets and at the first untouchables – well today they say “scheduled caste” “Dalit” – which does it not any better for them. I travelled many poor countries before, but here for the very first time in my live I realized that there are people not only living in dirt, they even are dirt. They have no valuation to nobody. If they are sick or die, nobody ever cares. Also the children, no school ever, no chance ever, just the day by day anxiety to get some rice. Some children came to the car or displayed with their empty faces their hunger. I do not know if I find the right words, but it I followed the advice I got from everybody: do not give anything, but be friendly.

Varanasi – mother Ganges and all the myth gather here at that holy place. Still there are dead bodies burned at the Gaths. But it is a religious habit and we are just visitors of a ritual that still means a lot to the faithful. Here we got an deeper experience of small alleys and cows, dogs, apes, in-between. Again unbelievable crowded, loud, colorful. But also unbelievable easy to walk through, and the guide said do not worry that somebody will snatch your bag “that will not happen”. Well pickpocket – yes. But we never felt unsafe or uncomfortable on the whole trip. Back to the total quiet of the Nadesar Palace, it felt unreal, knowing that millions are on the other side of the garden wall.

Khajuraho – we were the last plane debarking on the old terminal. The very small city is very relaxed and quiet. Some tourists all curious about the erotic figures at the temples. But there are only less then 10% erotic the other are “fully” religious. But it is worth going there. We were lucky that at that time the famous dance festival took place where we were invited as “guests”. Also a little handcrafts market took place.

On the way to Orccha and the Janshi train station we passed a “secret” enchanted Maharadsha palace. It was like back 300 years ago. Only a few parrots. All quiet. Back on the road through various villages we saw again people living just under a blanket, in small huts, old and deteriorated house, but always with a smile on their face. Sitting on the street and waiting for customers to buy at least a chewing tobacco. Blacksmith, carpenters, doing their work. In-between cows eating paper or carton, pics nuzzle in the garbage that is dumped everywhere – I mean everywhere. Children playing, grown-ups washing themselves right next to the street at one of the very few water pumps, or facilitating themselves in-between. The maximum “toilet” is a garden wall or a on the street side open concrete box. Things I saw for the first time of my life and unsettled me, but back to reality 1.3 billion live like that and somehow they manage it, so I am not a judge, just a tourist, a guest in that country.

Well the train from Janshi did not leave, there were riots a few miles further the rails and all of a sudden the whole station that was massive crowded before with its typical class segmentation was empty. So a driver got us to Agra. There truly is only one hotel to stay: Oberoi Amarvillas. Every room has a beautiful view to the Taj Mahal. A building everybody from us has seen on a picture. After a delicious indian meal we went to bed early. Alarm clock at 5:30 to be at the gate at 6:15 a few minutes later we saw the in the morning sun shining white marble of the Taj Mahal. It is big, it is mystic, it is a must see.

The riots were still on so we could not go to the Ranthambore National Park where we hoped to see the tigers. We only made it to Fatehpur Sikri and back to Agra. At Fatehpur Sikri mosque area it was the only time we experienced a very awkward beggars asking for everything and offering apparent help. One more night at Agra was not unwelcome.

After discussions when, where, how we decided to drive on a detour to Jaipur. After 10 hrs !! drive through “real” India where we again saw smallest villages, colorful markets, cows, pigs, camels, elephants and, and, and … we arrived Rambagh Palace and again the welcome ceremony was special. Amber Fort is huge, but you get to see only a part of it. I would recommend not to “arrive” by elephant. Another “disappointment” is that contrary to Tuscany palaces the indian forts and palaces are nearly “empty”. No ancient paintings or furniture. You have to imagine how it might have been when maharadshas, the maharanis, the harem, the soldiers and servants lived and how vibrant it must have been. Of course the guide wanted to show us the jewelry bazar, but we asked him friendly but undoubtably that we want to see the bazar where the Jaipur people live and so he did, despite the fact that he has lost some provision of some traders. The city palace is worth going, plus spend some more money (for charity) to get to the inside. The house of winds is one of the massive crowded roundabouts and much smaller than you have it in mind. But again it is fantastic, that the traffic flows, even with camels and elephants crossing.

Of to Jodhur. The drive through diversified landscape was entertaining and not only because our driver had Wifi on board. The driveway up to the Umaid Bhawan Palace is very special. It is massive in its measures. The staff again is exceptional friendly and service oriented. The view in the morning, at lunch, during sunset to the fort of Jodhpur is unforgettable. In the city was at that time a music festival which we joined for an glimpse in one of the gardens of the fort. But again, just 200 m from the terrace where we choose between exquisite fish, meat or vegetarian meals, Indians cover just with a blanket and suffer. Nobody did choose in which part of the world he or she is born, it is just by accident.

Jaisalmer is the next destination. We stopped at our “hotel”, which it is just some 20 tents, but to name it tent is somehow not quiet right. Air-condition and a bricked beautiful bath with a little pool behind it made it comfortable. It was wonderful to hear thousands of birds waking up at 04:30 in the morning and experience the silent evening atmosphere in the out of nowhere sitting next to a fire was special. The city of Jaisalmer is a backpacker city, tidy, and with hundreds of little hotels, guesthouses and temples. We had a nice walk around and a rooftop view over the city.

Udaipur – well another 10 hrs. drive, but we got some sleep and had a break at Ranakpur temple. After 12 days we slowly suffered from the AFT Syndrom (wright a note and I will explain). Than the landscape changed and we felt like in the alps. It must look wonderful during rain season when everything is growing and blooming. The monkeys were waiting for an apple or a banana that tourists throw out of the window. We got excited to get closer to the Lake Palace hotel. Again everybody knows that from 007 Octopussy or from indian brochures. It is not best maintained, but the colorful wall decoration, the nice, cosy little rooms – some direct on the waterline – and the pool area with the view to the city palace that gloomed in the sunset was our last indian emotion. The city and the palace is worth visiting, but not India as we experienced the last days. It is to clean, to touristy.

Well, India is a country that you can explore easily, but be aware that so many impressions will hit your five senses.

My impressions:

SOLD – TEFAF Maastricht

First time in Maastricht at TEFAF I was so convinced that I booked for next year already.

TEFAF 03-16

What is TEFAF – from their website: “TEFAF is universally regarded as the world’s leading art fair, setting the standard for excellence in the art market. The fair is truly an unmissable event by collectors and museum representatives.

Presenting 275 of the world’s leading galleries from 20 countries, TEFAF Maastricht is a continuously evolving showcase for the best works of art currently on the market. Alongside the traditional areas of Old Master Paintings and antique Works of Art, at TEFAF Maastricht you can see and buy a wide variety of Classical Modern and Contemporary Art, Photographs, Jewellery, Twentieth Century Design and Works on Paper.”

I can truly underline that. It was amazing to see the quality, the expertised visitors and the well selected and approved art. But if you want to buy art you have to be early, many of the delicate pieces have been sold on the first day. But there still remain some from affordable up to a value of a few million euros. Even if your wallet just can afford the entrance fee you should go and dive into the art world and see some of the most wonderful masterpieces.

TEFAF also went social media and if you did not have time to visit, there is a very good chance to be introduced in the fair, its art and the experts that are there: TEFAF on Facebook.
Analog is possible too and if you sit in one of the delicate food stations at the fair there is always a chat with somebody about what you should not miss or what is of any interest within the world of art.


Maastricht itself is worth a visit. I stayed at the Townhouse, that even has a shuttle service to and from the fair. It is right across the station and in walking distance from the old town centre. The whole town is in TEFAF mode. Everywhere you meet artists and expertised visitors that share there knowledge. The dutch kitchen is not very famous but like in Maastricht there are places where international and local kitchen is well combined. Go to Flo or Harry’s and you are in the middle of hospitality. Fish, seafood and meat are on the menu, but do not leave out the deserts.

Church Book

Furniture Cafe

Well, it is no secret, but you have to take time to visit the bookstore in the church and enjoy a coffee in that unique atmosphere. Or you go to the Furniture & Café and stroll around and find the chair you always wanted.

Hope to see you there next year.