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by Daniela Köhler
March 2000: gold rush mood in Germany. The Internet start-up boom had reached its peak; the “Neuer Markt” promised endless possibilities – on March 10, the Nemax (Neuer Markt Index) reached its all-time high. Nobody seemed to be bothered by the fact that only one in ten households had Internet access and that some of the gold diggers were hardly able to correctly write the @ sign. And then the crash began: many Internet companies disappeared from the scene again, including lighthouses like Kabel New Media, Brokat or Netlife. The gold rush was followed by the big hangover.
It was in the midst of this period of upheaval that novomind AG was launched: On 1 March 2000, we started operations at Bramfelder Strasse 121 – with everyone asked to bring their own chair and desk from home as we didn’t have any office furniture yet. Start-up feeling. Our heads were full of visionary software ideas for electronic customer dialog through avatars, chatbots and the likes.
We wanted our intelligent software solutions to “conquer” no less than the whole world. The first product consequently was called novomind iQ. We started with so much determination that one of our investors actually complained about our low burn rate – asking us to please spend more money…
Time was spinning fast. The saying was that “one calendar year is seven Internet years”. Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Netflix and the likes did not exist yet. No iPhone either. The big ideas and platforms were still in the minds of visionaries, strategists and developers. Their breakthrough marked the beginning of true worldwide connectivity. And we were right in the middle of it. Like a chameleon – always ready to adapt to change. With a cool mind and full of innovative strength. That’s where our DNA lies: novomind combines artificial intelligence with a creative development spirit. Technology made in Hamburg. And it all began 20 years ago, in March 2000.
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