German manufacturer envisions smart everything, embraces Silicon Valley
Volkmar Denner, the chief executive of German engineering and manufacturing giant Robert Bosch GmbH, is trying to bridge Germany’s vaunted manufacturing know-how with American Internet savvy.
Mr. Denner is betting that the future of his company—one of the world’s largest private conglomerates, with products spanning home appliances to auto parts and industrial tools to monitoring systems—depends on the “Internet of Things.” He aims to connect everyday wares and devices over the Internet, fueling the rise of “smart” homes and cars. And he wants to digitize Bosch manufacturing in “smart” factories.
Unlike many German executives and politicians who see Google Inc. and Silicon Valley as threats, Mr. Denner says German manufacturers can learn from U.S. Internet companies. He has even ruffled feathers at home by joining a U.S.-led Internet initiative.
The American lesson for traditional German companies is “to increase speed” while adopting an “innovative spirit,” Mr. Denner said in a recent interview.
That means being more willing to make—and learn from—mistakes.
Read more: The Wall Street Journal