N°13: the Algarves, Portugal [and my love-hate relation with golf]

Hey world. It’s nearing the end of the year – so the top lists of the year are getting published again. Last year I gave my top 10 for the industry. But I thought: what’s my top country experiences? Since 13 is my lucky number, I’ll go for my personal top 13.


First in the list: the algarves in Portugal.


My 1st trip to the algarven intended to be a sunny golfing trip. It became a rainy golfing trip. Every day we went out to play on a different course in the beautiful landscape of one of europe’s most extraordinary landscapes. Golfing trip alongside the sea (named ‘links’ in the golfing jargon), or across creeks, or up and down hills. Incredibly beautiful, and so is the rest of the south of france.


However, on the same time – I have my love-hate relation with golf. Not that I don’t enjoy golf. On the contrary. I lived intense moments of utmost concentration during approx. 4 hours out in nature. Even if you think the golfing sport is not a sport as many do, see it as playing biljart on 400 meters biljarts in fantastic scenery. Beats 2 hours in a biljartroom. But golf takes it a bit further. It takes your mind off everything. It gives you a feeling of total freedom, without asking too much physical effort (about 4 to 5 km walk in about 4 hours) – but if you take it a bit serious and give it your best, it gives you something back. It’s difficult to understand, but there’s actually 3 sports that give me this feeling: golf, sailing and cycling (and in all honesty football before my ligaments & knees got injured).


But: there’s in some clubs, in some circles, in some areas this sense of snobiness. It’s only a small percentage, and often created by those who absolutely have no reason to create it, but it’s there. I call it fake elite. And that unfortunately took away part of my golf pleasure. But yeah: who cares – so I got over it. I play golf again to calm down, to focus, to be a bit alone, to enjoy knowing someone a bit better, to seeing incredible scenery, to be out in the open, to enjoy the rest of nature. I enjoyed a fantastic golfholiday with a friend of mine (hey bart) in both marocco & tunesia, but my favorite golfing moment remains however completely alone, preferably a slight rain, end september. Exactly the moment when we were in the Algarves. It rained a lot, it even poored, but with my good friends Guy & Bart we had a lot of fun. Focused fun.


Yep – I thouroughly enjoyed that trip, that moment, that scenery.



21:14 Gepost door bart | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |



A friend of mine starting working in a start-up ... in amsterdam. Not gonna go in detail, but his idea looks pretty good. Linked to the tv-industry, and he gave up a ‘big’ job to start there - won’t tell more.


And I think it’s truly great:

- start-ups are back: the pioneering feeling is back, similar to the crazy start of the internet (but with some prudence)

- it’s not only in the internet, but it goes somewhat broader

- not too much happening in Belgium


Thoughts of a tuesdayevening man: how come belgium has so few new initiatives ? how come that the cool start-ups (a friend of mine in A’dam, one in Bangkok, or belgian’s like the Flock.com try) leave our beloved country? Why are so few things happening in Belgium for the moment on new media or internet or whatever (except some extensions to existing activities & brands).


I doubt about the attitude of us 30 years olds: many young people that came back from the internet startup rage all are back in, they’ve taken up a ‘family’-job, and no-one regrets their experience. However, many 30+ are spoiled: at the end of their 20’s, they got a cool car, good salary and a job they like pretty much. So they keep their job, and become risk averse. And all who preserve the past may loose the future. So dare to re-invent yourself. I need to re-invent myself. We all need to re-invent ourselves. By staying ourselves.


So to all that doubt: become and entrapreneur, become an intrapreneur, dare. Don’t live safe as of your 31st, you’re the CEO of your own life. This is the 2nd time innovation will disrupt in 10 years. It may not come again.



23:28 Gepost door bart | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Power to the passioned!?

Got a question last week that made me think (yep, it does happen J).

Hans Hermans from Bizzmagazine asked me: “Did you get business ideas from other blogs that you implemented afterwards in your professional life?”


The bigger question that I wondered afterwards became: “Where do I get ideas ? “. It lead me back to my young years.


Aged 13 (20 years ago…) I did a summer holiday & bought a computer (c-64). After only a couple of weeks, I started programming. 1st in basic, then in assembler to end in machine code. During about 5 years, I programmed and designed nearly obsessively. And I met a lot (A LOT!) of people.


And during all those years, many ideas, projects & manifests came from discussing, adapting, pushing limits. As well as mixing & mutating different ideas. Very much similar like the fantastic current mashup matrix.


It’s now near 3 years that I’m leading Skynet, and due to Hans’s question I realize I’m doing near the same as 20 years ago … It even lead me this week-end to send ‘reunion’-mails to my former palls work at Alcatel, Telenet, Yahoo, MSN, Google, VRT, NBC and one that just retired at eBay. They remain in nearby industries indeed.


In other words: in developping services based on design & technology that create enjoyment and ease of use via web, tv, mobile, iPod, gaming, … – we may have today people in their 30’s with more than 20 years experience !


That’s probably the reason why so many ‘young’ people are leading & starting great companies. They are not just younger as some say.

They mix professional & private passion. And if you look at the globally successful leaders, they seems to breathe product & industry passion: Google’s Sergej Brin & Larry page, Yahoo’s Filo & Yang, but also Apple’s Steve Jobs & even MS’s Bill Gates fit the profile


You may ask yourself: “Are they professionalising their hobby throughout their lives, or do they start their professional career in their early teens?”


Maybe we should invest thouroughly in stimulating our younger generation who have the consumer feeling, technology savvyness and entrapreneurial skills to undertake new ventures. The new SMB approach, eventually guided with some senior management skills. 



13:04 Gepost door bart | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


The end of TV?



Many discussions about the future of tv, due to recent happenings in the tvmedia landscape:

  • Heineken announced to stop all tv advertising because other media showed to be more effective
  • New interactive concepts proof to get message better across, thanks to broadband (adsl & cable) & better customer contact. These videocasts of the ceo of wpp (Sorell) & Gill Gates (microsoft) provide good insights in new thinking
  • Coca-cola, procter, unilever, volvo announcing to shift tv advertising budgets shifting more and more to online & idtv media
  • All agencies are starting interactive cells, now even in Belgium: hypervision, these days, mortierbrigade, and some other like Jo Caudron
  • Online companies soaring in growth [google, yahoo, ebay]
  • And so on, and so on …

My opinion ?

Old tv is not dead. It’ll probably keep on decreasing 15-25% every year, prices will drop every year. acceptance & reaction of decline to e-build diversified new media is key. why ? Generally, I'm not a believer in above the line media. 30 seconds is not enough to tell a story anymore, because stories look alike too much. You need more & different to get your soulstory communicated. Read Seth Godin’s new book in that respect.  Everyone is looking for ways to tell, show, fell their story.


“He who harvests the past will loose his options for the future …”





02:20 Gepost door bart | Permalink | Commentaren (3) |  Facebook |