Anyone who talks to people about digitization very often comes across very extreme opinions. Either: technology and new inventions save us above all, including the end of the world. Or: Technology is the devil, soon the robots will take care of our grandmothers and then take over the world. As is usually the case, the truth sits somewhere in the middle and therefore is much more annoying: Digital technology can often help tackle problems, but it hardly ever solves them on its own.
An example: the start-up Not Just A Jewel of the founding team of four people around the fashion designer and communication expert Susana Gomez. Not Just A Jewel sells bracelets that are also used for self-defense, they are mainly intended for women. Bracelets are not a weapon because you could easily misuse them or because they could be used against you, Gomez explains. Instead, they either trigger a loud tone to scare off attackers or a silent alarm that alerts friends, family, or even the police via text message and guides them to the location of the jewelry wearer.
Gomez came up with the idea one night as she walked through dark, rainy Berlin; she had just turned 40 and was thinking about her own youth. His parents had managed to let go. She never got the feeling that they cared about her even though there were still no cell phones and Gomez, as a girl and young woman, actually ended up in the one or the other sticky situation. Would she do the same with her daughters? She heard from friends who followed their kids with a tracking app and didn’t want to do it for herself. “I wanted to be able to provide something that would make me and you feel better, without supervision.” After a few trips back and forth, she came up with the idea for the bracelet, looked for co-founders, and started the small business.
“We want to empower women.
Of course, such a bracelet cannot prevent all acts of violence against women. It alone cannot guarantee that girls and women or those assaulted because of their skin color or for any reason can immediately jog at night or come home from the club on their own by public transport without fear. . But the smart bracelet, equipped with a tiny siren and a GPS, which also works when you don’t have a cell phone with you or when you take it with you, can at least help. “So many people, especially so many women, have had bad experiences and developed avoidance strategies as a result,” says the founder. “They have the key in hand to defend themselves in an emergency, they pretend to be on the phone, they take a taxi in the evening or do not leave the house at night. They don’t move freely, “Gomez says. Your product has to make you feel more secure and able to help yourself, it has to give you freedom.” We want to empower women.
Nothing bad has ever happened to Gomez herself, but she knows a lot of stories – and since she founded the company, many more people have told her about their bad experiences. “It does something to you when you work on a product like this. Many speak of similar reactions, and even in the dangerous little situations of her youth, Gomez felt she couldn’t help it very well. “I was in shock,” she said. That’s why she wanted to invent something that could be operated in a very discreet and intuitive way. Developing the underlying technology has been a huge challenge, partly because it has to be very small to fit in the bracelet, which doesn’t have to be bulky and ugly.
Support from developers, experts, mentors and assistants of all types and genres was easy to find, and there were many people who wanted to help her and her co-founders, Gomez says. That’s because a lot of people think the idea is good – technology that doesn’t save the world, but at least improves something for some people. “And the ‘woman in tech’ factor helps, too,” she says with a smile. “When a team of four women knock with an innovative tech product in their luggage, many doors open. People like to throw something quickly into the 3D printer for little money. Unfortunately, tech companies run by Women are still rare, and that must change. You can feel the support everywhere. I can only recommend it to all women to take advantage of this momentum. “