(These pictures are of the real Ki and Niku-Udon because I missed Japanese food)

Hello, this is KUZUHARA at ATL. This is my 3rd diary entry.

In this entry, I will write about a startup in which I participated, my explanation of KIWI.KI, and my first impression since I have started working at KIWI.KI’s office in February.

First of all, about KIWI.KI, you might understand it better by watching this presentation than I explain the details myself. This movie shows that the two founders at KIWI.KI and a chief architect gave their presentations in the session of Startup Battlefield in TechCrunch Disrupt Europe 2013 held on October 2013, where each startup talked about a brief overview of its service, and they competed against each other by giving presentations about innovative superiorities and about marketing strategies. Actually I attended this event last year, and I saw that they were giving their presentations in person.

To be honest with you, this is all about what they setting presentation, but I want to write about it in this article. KIWI.KI is a startup company mainly in German which undertakes business deployment for making a solution with hands-free for lock control of outdoor (giving you an idea in Japan, a condominium entrance with self-locking.) of German buildings such as an apartment and a condominium.

For lock control with hand-free, there are two ways: Near Field Communication by a device using RFID and control using a smartphone application. The former way is named as Ki by KIWI.KI as you see the picture above, and a user can unlock a door just by approaching the door with Ki in his/her pocket. This is something like a smart entry key to car.

Of course, you can set it to almost all kinds of doors in addition to outdoors.
(Ki in this picture above is for the one to a door in KIWI.KI office.)

As mentioned in this presentation, KIWI.KI is deeply committed to B-to-B business in addition to products for general users.

For example, in German apartments and condominiums a mailbox and a dust box are often placed on the inside of the locked door. So, German post officers (mostly Deutsche Post Post) and garbage collection suppliers such as ALBA have to work by unlocking and opening each door having dozens of keys to the apartments.

KIWI.KI will provide wireless key devices to such suppliers and companies, which will enable them not to carry dozens of keys and to unlock all the doors in charge just with one device. Actually, KIWI.KI does provide the service to some German companies.

This is all for a brief explanation and I started joining in KIWI.KI from February. As I mentioned before, I participated in TechCrunch Disrupt in October 2013 and I remember they were making the presentations when I had an interview with them. So, I felt like a miracle because I have work here for only a little over three months after knowing KIWI.KI for the first time.

On the first day, I started working by hearing what jobs they were doing mainly from engineers. In KIWI.KI there are established engineer roles of backend, frontend, built-in, and infrastructure, and I heard each story.

What surprised me was that there is no German engineer here although KIWI.KI is a Berlin startup company. The lineup of engineers has changed a little bit now from February but there are engineers who came to Germany from outside of Germany to get a job in KIWI.KI.

As all conversations are in English in the office, there is no problem with having multinational members although KIWI.KI is a startup company in Germany.

Since not all the members are native speakers of English and I could not understand their spoken English, I had no idea of what they were talking about when I did not get use to English especially at the beginning, which troubles me even now.

After hearing everything, I read API specifications and source codes for a couple of days, and I talked about the first project.

I gave some ideas and proposals in poor English, but most of them were already discussed and they are in implementation or before release, which disappointed me due to my shallow creativity.

Therefore, we came to a decision that I would work from an easy task and I would write a script for a client and release it as open source.

I will write about my job description of my job at a later date, my feedback after working for a couple of days are as follows:

  • There is just one engineer per each role. It is the same in UX designers, and I thought each of them are so excellent at managing jobs. Especially the chief architect is really awesome.
  • There is not an exact example, but it was interesting to see engineers often annoyed by business people saying something impossible.
  • There is an atmosphere of welcome but I feel they don’t trust me in a sense, and I will be having a tough time to fit in without fluent English.
  • As I expected before, I feel terrible because I cannot talk to the coworkers during lunch time.

I am going to write about the difficulties in work and the differences in addition to working between Berlin and Japan.

Finally, a German meal is still not good for me and I often have an upset stomach. So, I go and find a Japanese restaurant. The picture of Niku-Udon is taken at a Japanese restaurant. I found other good restaurants and I will show them in the future.

This story happened in February, but I am now writing on the 14th of July 2014, when the finals of Germany V.S. Argentina had just finished. I hear the sound of fireworks, horn beeping, and joyous yelps all over the city.

I will stop writing here. (Continue to the next…)