Economy & Politics

PodcastSimon Vestner: “I’m building the nightmare that I can imagine”

Elevator icon image
Elevator icon imageimago images / Science Photo Library

How can the past and the future be combined? What challenges do family businesses face? And what is your experience of digitization? “Everything new …? From the engine room ”, the interview podcast for medium-sized companies.


Simon Vestner comes from a real elevator family. The family company Vestner Aufzüge has been a part of elevator manufacturers since the 1930s and has consistently maintained its place among the big names in the industry. Simon Vestner has now managed the company in the third generation, but withdrew from managing the parent company five years ago in order to build something of his own.

With the company Digital Spine and the brand Aufzughelden, Vestner wants to offer IT solutions that make elevators more efficient and at the same time facilitate maintenance. Regardless of whether they come from your own company or not. “The unanimous opinion of customers is that an elevator should work and should not cost anything. But when it doesn’t work anymore, the screaming is great, ”says Vestner in the podcast“ Everything is new… ”This is where the Digital Spine computer connects, which is connected to the elevator control and automatically transmits the status of the technology.

“New business models are difficult to implement under your own roof”

The idea behind it is a bit unusual, says Vestner. With a view to digitization in medium-sized companies, attempts have been made to develop a product that could compete with their own core business. “We have chosen the approach: I am now simply building the nightmare that I can imagine that can disrupt our very own business – and we then built it.”

In the interview podcast “Alles Neu? … aus dem Maschinenraum” speaking, Tobias Rappers, Managing Director of the Maschinenraum and Personal-Financial.com Editor Nils Kreimeier, speak with thought leaders and doers from German medium-sized companies and focus on the personalities and their motivation

Nonetheless, Vestner deliberately keeps its distance from its own parent company: “We have tried to implement new business models under our own roof,” says Vestner. For customers, however, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence do not fit the classic elevator manufacturer. “Now we are not connected to traditional business at all, to show that we are experts in AI and IoT,” said Vestner. “And that cannot be done under one roof.”

Vestner wants to make the elevator even more digital. It should become the backbone of the networked building. One project: robot minibars that independently bring drinks to the floors in hotels by elevator. An approach that could also be used in hospitals and other places.

In an interview with Tobias Rappers, Managing Director of Maschinenraum, and Nils Kreimeier, senior editor at the business magazine Personal-Financial.com, Simon Vestner explains what role podcasts played for him in setting up his projects and what advantages family businesses have over global corporations in fulfilling customer requests. All episodes of “Alles Neu…? From the engine room ”can be found at Audio Now, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Soundcloud and Spotify.

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