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March 25, 2021

Ep. 3: CEO - Co-founder Gruenderszene Mark Hoffmann

In Episode 3 "Voices of Ecosystems” Julian talks with Mark Hoffmann about ecosystems in the media industry.

Mark Hoffmann stands in front of a green wall.

Welcome back to our new video format “Voices of Ecosystems” which will bring you closer to ecosystem topics and give real-life examples.

In episode 3, Julian talks with Mark Hoffmann about ecosystems in the media industry, the way a special interest city portal can adapt the ecosystem approach, and the role of investors within business ecosystems.

Mark is CEO of Germany’s city portal Prior to his current role, he co-founded “Gründerszene”(in English “founders scene”), an online platform that reports about startup news, and sold it to German media company Axel Springer.

Here are the most important take-aways from this talk:

  1. Ecosystems in the media industry are fast-growing. Scale is achieved through, community and content. Both can be good starting points and eventually, they benefit from each other.
  2. Media companies have to ask themselves whether they attract users through quality journalism or entertainment. Depending upon these strategic questions, ecosystem offerings and partners have to be selected.
  3. The crucial factor is the user’s attention span. With so many options to spend “screen time”, it is key to connect users to your ecosystem. Here, Trust is key for ecosystem business success.
  4. From a business model perspective, there are currently two major monetization options in the media industry: I) Subscription: If your offering is highly attractive, users are willing to pay for a media subscription. II) Data: The more information users share the bigger the ecosystem can grow by adding new offerings based on deeper insights about the customer needs. Data is gold in the ecosystem era.
  5. Once a startup has a working MVP it should take on an ecosystem mindset and think of possible partners to create more synergies (to better monetize your offering).
  6. For startups, a broader ecosystem perspective is also good to get investors on board. Most Investors think in ecosystems and even connect different ecosystems.


To learn more, read our other blog posts. If you want to stay up to date, please sign up for our newsletter. You can also use our tools for free for your company.

If you are interested in ecosystem education learn more about our Masterclass here.

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