The Future of Immersive Experiences: Interview with Daniel Büttner, CEO & Co-Founder of Lofelt

Daniel Büttner is the co-founder and CEO of Lofelt, a German startup that’s pioneering the new wave in natural haptics.

Through advanced high-definition haptic technology, Lofelt is building a natural connection between people and their digital devices, and enhances the user experience of some of the most popular consumer devices around the world. By using the physics of sound waves and giving us a new way to interact with machines, it creates a deep immersive experience with music, movies and games.

Prior to co-founding Lofelt in 2014, Daniel worked at Ableton for almost 8 years and held various roles, such as Product Specialist, Lead Sound Designer, Head of Sound Team, and Product Owner.

He has a Master’s Degree in Music from NYU and Bachelor’s of Arts in Music from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In our interview, Daniel talks about his favorite books on analytical methodology and problem-solving, how the future of music might look like, and more.


What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

I wouldn’t consider any business books being part of my “favorites” library. Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors, specifically The Border Trilogy. In my previous life, when I studied music, my favorite was Thomas Bernhard’s Der Untergeher (The Loser).


Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell us about it?

A few years ago, I became really absorbed in analytical methodology and problem-solving: the 5-Why and Toyota’s A3 approach. One of the books, Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement and Lead, contained a story of a Japanese supervisor / mentor and how he was guiding his junior colleague in his thought process to solve a complex problem without ever dictating his actions. The story was told from the student and the mentor’s perspective simultaneously – so you could perceive the story from both angles. During that period, I learned a lot about the importance of determining a root cause to a problem before jumping to a conclusion.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? Perhaps changed the way you see things or dramatically changed your career path.

Thinking, Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It’s an amazing life’s work of a Nobel Prize winner and the insights into human bias are fascinating. To me, this is the modern continuation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.


What five books would you recommend to young people interested in your career path & why?

I don’t have books specific to my career path. There are a couple of books that inspired me or gave ignition to a new thought process:

In terms of biographies, I liked:
Richard Branson – Losing my Virginity
Charles Mingus – Beneath the Underdog

Methodology:
Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement and Lead

I also came across two children’s books I appreciate:
Wütend and Fortunately, which is essentially telling the story of the up-and-down life of an entrepreneur. Whenever I get a chance, I read those books to my kids.


We’re interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How do you make time for reading? How often do you read? What format do you prefer?

There is no simple answer. There are times when I read a lot, and times where I don’t read, or only short abstracts like Blinkist. I read on both Kindle and paper. I like listening to music while reading, specifically music that fits to the mood of the book.


Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

Yes, lots of notes. I try to write down anything that I find useful. It’s more the process of writing it down and giving it thought, extra time and attention than finding or reading those notes again later.


How do you choose what books to read next? Do you prioritize books recommended by certain people?

Following friend’s recommendations mostly. At Lofelt, we have an internal book channel in Slack.


What book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

I just finished The Blank Slate and have just started reading an old book, Catch 22.


You have a background in the music industry and now, you want to take haptics to another level. At Lofelt you created a Basslet, a product that will change how people will “feel” music. How do you think will look the future of the music industry?

In the coming years, digital music making and production will break out of the computer toward a modular approach with smart hardware devices that integrate and connect seamlessly, while offering dedicated haptic interfaces for multimodal augmented feedback. As part of that trend, music and other forms of entertainment will continue to evolve into immersive experiences. As a result, even more of the senses will be engaged and utilize the powerful ways in which we take in information.



Links where you can follow Daniel Büttner or find out more about his projects:



All books mentioned by Daniel Büttner in our interview:

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