Nils Berger is an experienced founder and serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in information services, technology consultancy and in the automation industry. In 2016, he transformed the Vienna-based university spin-off Viewpointsystem into an operational deep tech company. Under his leadership, Viewpointsystem has invented the “Digital Iris” technology which uses the eyes as human-machine-interface (HMI). Making Eye Tracking applicable for Mixed Reality, Digital Iris creates an intuitive connection between man and machine. In early 2018, the disruptive potential of Digital Iris was recognized and acknowledged by the EU, which funded Digital Iris with 2.3 million euros as part of the “Horizon 2020” innovation program. This amount is the sixth highest funding ever awarded in the EU in the open disruptive innovation scheme.
Nils completed his MBA in international marketing, strategic management and controlling at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria before he held various positions in marketing and sales and as head of his own management consulting firm. Nils is no stranger to the stage and to media attention. He appeared on CNN during CES 2017 and is a speaker on topics such as HMI, Human Behavior Modeling and Mixed Reality in B2B applications. Recent speaker engagements were at CES 2019, AWE Augmented World Expo 2018 and Wearable Technologies Conference 2018.
Nils’ private passion is motor sport and he is a successful amateur car racer himself. His specialty, endurance racing, trains both his ability to make quick decisions as well as perseverance and team spirit. Watch Nils at the panel “Putting Wearables To Work” at CES 2019
As always, luck/destiny was a factor and one thing led to another. It was a logic/natural extension of what I was doing with my previous company.
More and more market participants are now realizing that B2C smart glasses are still a very long way off and that the B2B market is currently the place to be. It revolves around remote support, documentation and training.
In general, it is about making distance irrelevant with regard to the know-how required on-site in form of a specialist. So it is about being more effective (doing the right things) and then more efficient (to do things right), by first of all not wasting hours and days getting on-site (time and travel expenses of the expert, plus the costs having the problem not resolved whilst travelling), not being sure whether you have to send someone (assessment of the situation) and if you have to send someone, whom to send (expertise needed). So the customer saves time and money, has an improvement of the service level and does not have to have people travelling all over the globe without really knowing what´s going on on-site. So you reduce a lot of unnecessary CO2 footprint, too. It is good for your production, your customers, your suppliers, your employees and our planet.
That´s a tough one: In general, I believe that you cannot motivate people. You have to find people that have an intrinsic motivation and you give them a vision or a cause worth fighting for. That´s how inspiration really does have an effect. If you have to motivate your people, then you either picked the wrong people or you did a miserable job in understanding what everyone needs to give her or his best in the job. And you missed the point in “leading” your company. A leader does everything to make himself able to be substituted; the company will still pursue its vision and goals without him or her there. You will only get there by giving your staff the confidence that you will not act erratic, that you explain the “reason why” of your decisions and embrace failure as an evolutionary must in your company. By that you will have people who are thinking whilst working for you and take conscious risks with the decisions they make.
As an entrepreneur, there is not so much difference between your personal and business attitude. So as a human being, I want to be happy in every aspect of my life and sharing that with others on my journey.
Our industry, the global Mixed Reality and smart glasses market, did a miserable job in managing the expectations of all the stakeholders. Customers were promised miracles; employees a bright future just around the corner. So my advice is: Under promise, but over deliver and don´t get blinded by the wizards of self-marketing.
I never give up. Whether it is about my personal or business situation: Life is all about commitments. I keep mine.
The day to day challenge is to stay consistent, reliable, trustworthy, committed and to keep the energy level up at all times to support each and everyone.
I can. I will. End of story. That´s my mojo.
My dad. He was an entrepreneur his whole life. When he failed he got up immediately and never gave up. He has a very objective and unbiased way to have an intense and even contradictory discussion and always stays fair, never gets personal, but remains hard set in his opinion. Meaning: He HAS an opinion, but is not dogmatic.
Make more good decisions than the day before.
Become the role model the company needs and deserves.
Say hello to everyone personally first thing in the morning.
Get the job done.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
It has the highest quality of living on the planet and you can feel that in the way people treat their city and its inhabitants with respect.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
No breakfast (always late ;-)). My favorite dinner spot is en vogue “Zur goldenen Kugel” with its traditional, but creative Viennese cuisine. They serve the perfect Schnitzel and Viennese originals, but can also cook without meat.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Sleeping or trying to stay asleep
10:00 AM – Communicating either face to face or on the phone
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Wrenkh, a highly popular vegetarian restaurant near our downtown office – but VERY RARELY do I go as I usually work through lunch time
7:00 PM – Wrapping up the day, starting to plan the next day
11:00 PM – Sound asleep
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Still water throughout the day. Wine if the occasion is there. And if the shit hits the fan, a good old GT does the job…
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
LinkedIn for communication, information and own posts. I am linked with many tech futurists, but do also appreciate the posts of big names like Dieter Zetsche (CEO Daimler) or Bill Gates.
What should everyone try at least once?
One lap on the Nürburgring Nordschleife which is, since its construction almost 100 years ago, enjoys a reputation as a terrifying and merciless route through the Eifel forests in Germany. The Formula 1 driver Sir John Young Jackie Stewart was so impressed by the circuit that he gave it the name which it will probably never lose: Green Hell.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In discussions with family, friends and foreigners. Geographically: In Tokyo.