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Tim Cole (full name: Connor Timothy Cole; * 2. April 1950 in Moses Lake, Washington) is a German-American Internet expert, book author and commentator
Tim Cole was born in 1950 as the son of a US Air Force officer and military chaplain, Connor Garton Cole, and his German-born wife Irene Eleonore Cole. Due to his father’s service assignments, the family was often on the move, and Tim Cole spent years (and often only months) in places as far removed as Alaska, New Jersey, Texas, Montana, and California. Follong the separation of his parents in 1961, he moved with his mother and brother, Theodor Clifford Herbert Cole, to Germany where the family first moved in with his mother’s parents in Schwetzingen, a small town near Heidelberg. He attended secondary school at Hebel Gymnasium in Schwetzingen and at the Economic Highschool (“Wirtschaftsgynasium”) in Heidelberg. In 1968, he returned briefly to the U.S. where he received a diploma from Central Union High in El Centro, California, where his father had settled after his retirement from the service, where he enrolled at University of Southern California (UCLA). To avoid the draft, he returned to Germany in 1969, where he became an apprentice journalist (“Volontaer”) at the local newspaper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung. At the same time, he enrolled in night classes at University of Maryland, where he majored in history and philosophy. In 1977, he received the degree “Associate in Arts” with “summa cum laude” honors.
After finishing his training as a journalist, Tim Cole was hired as a local reporter for the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, where he quickly rose to become assistant producer and police reporter. He was also one of the first reporters for a German daily newspaper to be assigned to regularly cover the topic of environmental protection. From 1976 to 1978 we worked for the largest German mass-publication daily, “BILD Zeitung”, followed by two years as a reporter for Germany’s leading car magazine, auto motor und sport. In 1979 he was assigned by his employer, Motor Presse Stuttgart”, as text editor Audio, Germany’s first popular hifi magazine. A year later, we was appointed managing editor of a new hifi magazine, stereoplay, which was initially produced in license from the Italian publishing house Edizione Suono.
In 1980, Tim Cole left Motor Presse Stuttgart to become a free-lance journalist, working among others for the German edition of Playboy magazine, for Diners Club Magazine and the respected gourmet magazine Der Feinschmecker. In 1986, he co-founded the publishing company CDS Verkag together wih Gerhard Dolde and Hans-Martin Schwab, where he developed Reisemobil international, a special-interest magazine for the owners of recreational vehicles and motor homes which remains a market leader in Germany today.
In 1989, Tim Cole was re-hired by his former employer, Motor Presse Stuttgart, and placed in charge of a newly formed unit called “Editorial Group Multimedia”. In this function, he oversaw the editorial activities of a number of special-interest magazines, including video and videoaktiv, and Zounds, a pop music magazine. He was also responsible for the development team that created connect, Germany’s first popular magazine focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. His duties also included overseeing the teletext (“btx”) activities of the parent company.
In 1992, Tim Cole left Motor Presse Stuttgart again and moved to Munich, where he invented for himself the job title “Internet Journalist”. He was founder and editor of “Internet Report”, the first publication in German to bear the term “Internet” in its title. In addition, he wrote articles and commentaries about the fledgling Internet industry for such prestigious business publications and computer magazines as Capital and Computer Bild. In 1998 he became editor in chief of Net Investor, the leading business magazine for the New Economy. There, he developed a dotcom stock exchange index, the “NICE Index”, which became a staple feature of regular business news broadcasts by the German CNN affiliate n-tv.
In 1999, his book “Success Factor Internet” (“Erfolgsfaktor Internet” was published by Econ and became a bestseller and made him a well-known public speaker at conferences, customer events and economic summits. From 2000 to 2002, he co-hosted a TV talkshow “eTalk” on the news channel n-tv together with his longtime friend and collaborator Ossi Urchs.
In 2000, his book The Customer Cartel („Das Kunden-Kartel“) co-autored with Dr. Paul Gromball, das Cole gemeinsam mit dem Unternehmensberater Dr. Paul Gromball was published, which was the first to predict the rise of customer empowerment in the wake of digital communication and the Internet. The leading German business daily, Handelsblatt, later included the title in its list of “100 Best Business Books of all Time”.
In 2004, Tim Cole co-founded KuppingerCole + Partner, an analyst group focusing on digital identity and identity management. In 2007, KCP organized the first European Identity Conference, which he chaired, and which has become the leading event in Europe for the identity industry.
In 2012, he published Digital Transformation – Why Germany is falling behind and what to do about it! whih explores the effects of digital technology on individual departments of a typical company, including marketing, sales, manufacturing, logistics, controlling, and management strategy.
His latest book is entitled Wild Wild Web – What the history of the Wild West teaches us about the future of digital society. In he, decribes the parallels between how the West was won and what still remains to be done to make the Web a civilized and rewarding place to spend out time – including breaking up the giant GAFA monopolies and establishing a new framework of digital ethics.
Today, Tim Cole lives and works in St. Michael im Lungau, a remote and picturesque valley in the Austrian alps, where he specializes in Internet Business, customer management and business technology. He writes columns and commentaries for various business publications, including Pro Firma, a respected business magazine published by Haufe-Verlag. He continues to give keynote speeches at events all over Europe, as well as serving as moderator and facilitator at prestigious conferences and exhibitions such as CeBIT, Funkausstellung or DIDACTA. As a sideline, he founded the consulting and training company new-media-training where he conducts media trainings and coaching for business managers from both sides of the Atlantic.
In his private life, Tim Cole is an keen long-distance runner and a regular participant in running events such as Berlin Marathon and Athens Classic Marathon. He also loves to cook and collects vintage wines.
The famous German national daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung once described Tim Cole as the “wandering preacher of the German internet”.
This article was originally published in German at Wikipedia