SHIFT: Sustainable Technology from Germany

Spotlight, Spotlight

SHIFT is a manufacturer for sustainable technology from Germany. A few years ago, we heard about their SHIFT phone, which we now also sell in our shop. Since the SHIFT phone, the company has also designed and produced other sustainable and modular hardware, ranging from tablets, monitors, electric bikes and even headphones and speakers.

About Samuel Waldeck

Samuel is one of the founders of SHIFT. Together with his brother Carsten and their father Rolf, they founded SHIFT in 2014 to bring sustainability to the technology industry and commit themselves to environmental and social responsibility. We’re thrilled to present you with this interview, so without further ado, let’s read Samuel’s answers to our questions.


How did you come up with the idea of founding SHIFT?

We didn’t actually intend to develop smartphones. The idea came from another product that Carsten and I were working on. It was a camera crane. A reference monitor is needed to assess the image from the camera mounted at the top of the crane. During the development of this monitor, we realized that many of the requirements were similar to those of a tablet – and we didn’t really want to develop a niche product. So we developed a combination of tablet and smartphone and the first SHIFTphone was born.

What’s your and your brother’s background? What made you want to start in the technology industry?

We both come from a “design” background and love innovative technology and beautiful product design. But what has always bothered us about smartphones is the design – the fact that everything is glued together and the devices are therefore difficult to repair. It is no longer possible to simply change the battery, as we used to do in the past. With our devices, we wanted to break new ground here and enable every user to replace a battery or a broken display themselves in just a few minutes.

What made you combine the topics technology and sustainability?

When considering the challenges of climate change, the topic of “finite resources” quickly comes up. Such resources are also found in many electronic devices. As sustainability and technology play a major role in our everyday lives, we quickly realized that there is a lack of sustainable rethinking and sustainable products in this industry. We wanted to offer an alternative here and develop products with a modular design. This design allows the devices to be repaired and reduces electronic waste.

What was the first product you created? How did you decide which other product categories you want to get involved with?

The first product was a smartphone, the SHIFT7. In the past, the numbers in the product name referred to the display size; since the SHIFTphone 8, the number has stood for the device generation. At 7 inches, the SHIFT7 was our largest smartphone, which is why we often referred to it as a phablet, as its size made it resembles a tablet. Our devices then became a little smaller again, but even more modular.
Electronic waste is a problem that doesn’t just affect the smartphone industry. We want to make a big impact with our products and therefore ask ourselves what products, apart from smartphones, are subject to high wear and tear or are prone to repair and where we can incorporate our experience from other products. The development of a tablet (SHIFTbook) was therefore an obvious choice. As we are also passionate musicians, the audio sector with the SHIFTsound BNO and SHIFTsound SP was also close to our hearts.

You are a Purpose Company. What exactly does that mean?

A key characteristic of a purpose company is its focus on meaningful rather than profit-oriented action. Through our work, we want to create positive change for the environment and our fellow human beings. In doing so, we want to do as much good as we can and cause as little harm as possible along the way.
We have consciously developed from crowdfunding projects and act independently of investors. This allows us to ensure that the SHIFT heart keeps beating. No profits end up in private hands. Neither through profit distributions, bonuses or dividends, nor through excessive salaries. Profits flow into new product development and projects that promote sustainability and social justice.

Which future plans do you have that you can tell us and our readers about?

At the moment, of course, the full focus is on the SHIFTphone 8, but what we are still missing to complete the SHIFT workstation is a monitor. The SHIFTscreen will be one of our next projects, and crowdfunding has already begun. The SHIFTscreen will be a 4K 27” OLED monitor or graphics tablet with multi-touch and Active Pen support. Thanks to its light weight and flexibility because of the VESA mount adapter and touch input, the monitor can be used as a graphics tablet and is particularly suitable for artists or people from the event and music industry. In addition, there will be a new generation of our detachable notebook – the SHIFTbook 2 (crowdfunding start 27.05.24).

And here is some space for everything you‘ve ever wanted to say or write 😉

SHIFT happens!

Thank you Samuel and thanks to the nice team over at SHIFT for these insights. Let’s drive the change together!

Make the SHIFT!

For all iodé fans that want to get their hands on a SHIFT product: We have a 40€-Voucher for you. Add a iodé Shift in your basket, use the code “SHIFT” during checkout and you‘re set.

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