The Messe U-bahn crush business indicator

November 19, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
Hurrah, Electronica was busy once again.

At peak times there was even a return to the old Munich Messe U-bahn crush although I don't think a return to the old tactics of traveling away from the show ground to be able to actually get in a Messe-bound train were necessary.

But plenty of people on the U-bahn and in the halls made a nice contrast to the previous Electronica two years before when the halls seemed quieter than they should and public transport was far too comfortable.


My take is that corporate travel – at least as it extends down from senior levels through the organization – is paid for out of profits. And two years ago not enough companies were making much profit. To generalise, two years ago executives told engineers to stay home and design. Also, two years ago, with the zeitgeist that everything was about portable gadgets and far-east markets there may have been a touch of "What is Europe good for?"

Two years on and companies are making profits, they can see markets such as the Internet of Things (IoT) beckoning and those designs of two years ago are now products. Now the mantra is: get out there and sell, gain market share so that we can rise with the market tide.

And with regard to Europe, a lot of companies have realized that margins in consumer equipment can be razor thin and while an Apple, Samsung or Xiaomi design-win is great, any subsequent design loss can kill a supplier company. Slow-but-steady markets such as automotive, industrial, medical are looking good to many.


And what is Europe good for? Automotive, industrial and medical electronics.


There is also the China effect, with Chinese companies and other south-east Asian companies increasingly looking out from their home markets for new territories, of which one is Europe.


And so it is safe to say that the Messe U-bahn crush Business Indicator was