"Responsive Spaces creates tangible, walkable digital installations.“
Ed.: Markus, you have just recently spun off your own company from Netural. What kind of special quality takes a Netural employee to this level?
Passion. Period. Being totally committed, with the necessary expertise as an of course. The long history I share with Netural is also helpful. We have built up loads of mutual trust, which is essential once you get down to starting a business.
Ed.: You have been with Netural for 17 years. Can you name important career milestones? What kind of challenge can a company provide to keep you exited over such a long time?
It was all a hugely exciting trip and it actually feels much shorter that it really was. The whole team of digital professionals at Netural went through permanent development and reorientation of both skills and organization. We were always testing and pushing limits. I myself started out as a one-man multimedia team and eventually wound up running the Netural Lab. We enjoyed a great amount of freedom and trust in all this, and after burying Flash we found new exciting terrain in Augmented Reality. Tilling this field, we have harvested more than a handful of international interactive design awards. Now along comes the „Responsive Spaces“ spin-off with its whole new challenges. The fun never stops! laughs.
Ed.: What exactly does Responsive Spaces do, and what distinguishes Responsive Spaces from Netural?
Responsive Spaces creates tangible, walkable digital installations, including everything from developing an idea to its full implementation and operation. Netural provides digital solutions for standard environments like desktop browsers and mobile devices, always in longer-term strategic customer relations. Responsive Spaces provides custom setups, often for limited time periods. At this year´s Biennale art fair in Venice for instance, where we run nine synchronized projections in one room: The ephemeral with its special attractions, and also the challenges of live performances, makes the main difference to Netural´s core business.
Ed.: What potentials do you see in Responsive Spaces, and where will you lead the company?
Digital transformation has already had a huge impact on the economy, but in many respects we are still only scratching the surface of what is really possible. Exciting and innovative installations make sense in all kinds of exhibition and trade show environments, and I am thinking far beyond huge, impressive events like the IAA automotive show in Frankfurt, as much as we enjoy contributing to this. I would define continental Europe as the market for Responsive Spaces. In Austria alone, there are so many great companies, and I want to encourage them to add a handful of digital stardust to their national and international events.
Ed.: How does it feel to suddenly be your own boss? Has the new challenge changed your perspective?
It is scary, intimidating, ambiguous, delightful, exciting, motivating and liberating. I have been through all these states of mind, and roughly in this order. But backed by Netural´s structure I enjoy the luxury of being able to focus on the substance of the job. I am hundred per cent sure I made the right decision and I am glad I had the guts to make it. There weren´t any tangible changes in the physical world I can think of. Except maybe that I have significantly more business shirts in my wardrobe now.
Ed.: Thank you for your time, Markus!
Always a pleasure!