The incredible DLD conference in Munich, Germany

From Sunday to Tuesday I attended the DLD conference in Munich. DLD means Digital, Life, Design – and was (surprisingly for me) one of the best conferences I attended over the last 5 years. Similarly to the incredible Google Zeitgeist in California, DLD programmed a conference very widely: from art to science, from technology to media, from profit searching to environmental care. Plus with a vision that all of the above don’t need to be in contradiction.


On top of that, the incredible Herr Burda and his Leiterin of Burda Frau Steffi were incredible hosts at this 1500 attendees conference. They made us all feel part of something special, introduced us to each other, and had a daring vision about the future. And there is the young but very talented Sebastian, just off school, but an incredible talent to watch who organized many of the practical and social elements.


I was the European representative that discussed audience fragmentation and evolutions in media, advertising en entrepreneurship. Fantastic panel, with 4 great American expert leaders, although I find we can and should be more proud of what we Europeans are currently achieving.


I met and talked with some fantastic people like Tariq from Netvibes, Craig Newmain (Craigslist), people from Yahoo, Marissa Mayer from Google, Caterina Fake from Flickr/Yahoo, Beth Comstock from NBC, Walt from Wall Street Journal but also Nicolas Negroponte (MIT), James Murdoch (BskyB), Niklas Zenstrom (Skype, Joost), the chief designer of BMW, …. So much sharing, caring, talking, searching – so different than those narrow self-defending ones we all go to regularly.


I am alive J And a bit trapped in this snowstorm here in Finland today…



Vegas Part 2: NATPE

Early up to attend Natpe Mobile, the mobile congress of the Television industry. NATPE stands for National Association of Television Programming Executives, and it’s quite comparable to Europe’s Mipcom. A cool dinner, where speakers of the conference are invited by the Natpe Board, PwC and KornFerry. I learned quite a lot about the television and studios view, methods and way forward on mobile productions, be it via sms, DVB-H or others. Very international participants: mainly US, but Asia and Europe well represented. Interesting!


Today I spoke on a panel, to discuss IDTV and digital media in general in Europe. Over 20 questions from the audience, that’s always a good sign. I attended this one together with the VP innovation of Telefonica, the person in charge of content from Microsoft, and the marketing director of Thompson – while the moderation was done by Marcel from PwC who lives in Hong Kong since over 20 years. Afterwards got invitations to speak in Hong Kong, Spain, NY – but I declined to avoid having a full time job doing speeches. Time to do some work.


Overall, very good conference, and some sessions were real eye openers, such as the TV network bosses explaining first run series, vertical integration, syndication and digital distribution. Although I’ve been dealing with the media industry to launch services across different media, I’m now looking from inside the industry towards the world of movies and its different windows, series, programming, platformed distribution and the challenges they are facing. Interesting to see that the Media industry doesn’t quite know how to deal with, or what to expect from, telecom companies and internet companies. And vice versa. I’m happy I understanding one somehow, and getting to understand the second.


Half of the conference was about online, interactive television, mobile tv, user vs professionally generated content, etc. Europe is a lot ahead of mobile and IPTV, US is clearly leading on online streaming, on demand services and other models. Interesting period coming up, cool to be part of it.





Vegas Baby, part 1.

Although our hotelroom is amazing with a fabulous view over the strip, we went from the busiest to the calmest place on earth: from the strip in Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.


First, early morning going from the airport flying to the Grand Canyon, than with a helicopter between the caves down on the Colorado river, than a boat trip over the river, than helicopter back up just next to the canyon, than a tour in the Indian maintained part on the west rim, and finally flying back.


Over the last 2 years, I biked through the Calanches in Corsica, I (again) biked with my good friend Jan in the black desert of Lanzarote, but this I have never seen. Truly unbelievable...


It is said that the Grand Canyon is one of the few things in the world that doesn’t disappoint when you actually see it … I know understand why!




My longest birthday ever!

De laatste jaren probeerden Femke & ik steeds een feestje te organiseren bij onze verjaardagen. Reden uiteraard om een beetje te vieren, maar nog belangrijker om onze verschillende vriendengroepen samen te brengen. Vlamingen en Walen, Limburgers en Antwerpenaars, Skynetters en EDS’ers, werk en privé, oude en nieuwe vrienden, familie en nieuwe kennissen – yep: vanalles.


Dit jaar kon het om praktische redenen niet deze week, so it’ll be for a later time. Maar ... net terug van Amsterdam, en we gingen voor 1 drink in de Archiduc, maar dan toch maar langs AB Café en Daringman. Toch fijn en grappig gevierd, gelachen met Eric en serieus gebabbeld met Arno, en dus maar afgesproken om allemaal samen naar zijn concert in Amsterdam te gaan.


9u ’s morgens: vliegtuig naar LasVegas over Atlanta. Zowat 18h onderweg, maar lokaal nog steeds maar 18h. So birthday celebration again! Ons vriendenfeestje is pas binnen een paar weken, maar this was pretty cool. Blij dat het gedaan is though...


en dank u voor alle lieve berichten allemaal... was er niet goed van.








First days in Amsterdam

Damn, what an amazing city. First days in the new office, function, city, industry, … Much to create, willingness is huge. Over the last weeks I stayed in various hotels – am becoming quite an expert ;-)


If anyone would care to go to Amsterdam – try to find last minute rates for The Pulitzer (yep, the one from Oceans 12), the Krasnapolsky and Hotel de l’Europe. The Lloyd hotel is pretty cool and arty, but no window isolation in any of the rooms means that I can hear the bikers as of 6am… Didn’t sleep a lot – but still very cool atmosphere at Lloyds.


One of the first days, I attended the New Year’s drink of IAB Holland, Ipan and 212amsterdam. Weird, in any Belgian event I entered and knew about half of the room. Here I arrived, knew no-one of the 400 persons that were there – so decided to buy a beer to another lonely arriver. Soon, I met some colleagues from IAB Europe (hey Jeroen), the editor of Marketingfacts, a cool and inspiring digital media site (hey Marco), and a lot of other cool guys. I’m feeling welcome already!


But I’m really amazed by the vibe of Amsterdam. Something’s happening; it feels a bit like San Francisco, though different and not yet fully happening. Brussels is more rock’n’roll, but Amsterdam is much more confident, creative and open.


Yep – we (Femke and I) both like Amsterdam, though we still see Brussels as ‘our beloved Brussels’.






Hey all,

another one to stop talking about apple, and it confirms my belief in future employment of tendencies. More on that later.


Waw - an iPhone. Just released at macworld - see engadget for full review, pics, transcript of Job's speech (with E.Schmidt/Google and Jang/Yahoo as co-presentors0.


amazing. stay foolish, despite many s.o.'s