Martin Kahl just started in Berlin as Managing Director of Nodes Germany. In this Q&A you can learn more about Martin, his ambitious plans with Nodes Germany and why Martin is obsessed with apps and digital products.
You started as Managing Director for Nodes just a few days ago. How have the first couple of days been?
Martin: I guess it has been a little bit like working in a startup in stealth mode: I’m sitting in a small office in a great coworking space, hiring first people, making arrangements for PR campaigns and approaching potential clients while still learning a lot about Nodes. Why stealth mode? Well, our PR strategy was aimed to not reach out to the public immediately to enable a coordinated PR impact. Very exciting!
Looking back, what attracted you to the job as Managing Director in Nodes in the first place?
Martin: First it was our CEO Andreas, who took a plane to Berlin, just to meet me. Looking back this dinner was the tipping point because we both felt that this could work on a personal level and I became interested in driving the growth case for the German market. This was followed by a visit in Copenhagen, where I met a lot of other people from Nodes and learned that Nodes has everything in place to succeed.
What gets you the most enthused about starting this new chapter in your career?
Martin: It’s this startup feeling, building up something new and still getting great support from other Nodes locations.
What do you see as your greatest challenge as Managing Director at Nodes for Germany? And how do you intend to overcome it?
Martin: The biggest challenge is to get first projects in Germany, to convince new clients who have never heard about Nodes. So in order to achieve this I need to focus on two things: 1) leverage my own network and 2) to raise awareness across the German market together with our central Marketing.
What can you tell us about your plans for the growth of Nodes in Germany in the future?
Martin: If you look at the market potential Germany is huge. So we must aim to leverage this. But a big market also comes with strong competition. We aim to have around 20 people on-boarded in Germany within 12 months, but of course this can be more and less, depending on the projects and talents we can win.
What kind of trends and tendencies do you see in the German market with digital transformation, apps and mobile?
On the customer side, more and more brands are striving for a platform that supports a holistic user experience, but also adds new business models through an ecosystem of partnerships. It is a competition of platforms and it is about category ownership. Technological speaking, the IoT, voice assistants, blockchain, AR and artificial intelligence are hot topics that will also significantly influence apps.
How do you see that Nodes can grow on those client demands?
Martin: From what I have learned within the first weeks, Nodes is great not only in frontend development and design/UX, but also in backend and platform development. For example, with our expertise in ServerSide Swift and the Vapor Framework, we have a competitive advantage that will also help us with these trending technologies. Moreover, a mobility platform such as we created with “riide” is a strong argument for clients to trust us when it comes to complex and business critical projects.
Last not but least, what are your favourite apps?
Beside that usual stuff like Whatsapp, WeatherPro, some news and smart home/IoT apps I’m a big fan of smartPay. With smartPay from my online bank I can just scan an invoice, and the app does the transfer. Makes life so much easier.
A very good utility is also We Park from Volkswagen, my dev team worked on in my previous company. It turns my smartphone into a parking meter. I start and end my parking time with just one click and do the payment easily. Looking for coins or paying a fine for a parking ticket is over.