Father suggests: Enrico Gasparotto (Giro)


When I had my father on the phone, we mainly talked about 2 things:


First - he told me that my ‘Joost’ didn’t work. Since my father embraced the web, I suggest new initiatives for him to test. I explained him there were a lot of new content distribution platform on the web, such as Joost, babelgum or brightcove - but overnight it became 'MyJoost'. All the things that didn’t work perfect have become My – such as MyBelgacomTV (he had a point there as I had been busy 50percent of my time once to put belgacomtv in the market), MyBittorent, My xxx (replace xxx by everything that I recommended but that didn’t work flawlessly) but surprisingly enough it is not MyGoogle or MyPod (he is probably very happy with that). Guess it’s a father-son thing. For all of us sons ;-)
Just FYI: Joost is an interesting tv distribution platform that is preparing a public launch, but it had indeed a couple of hick-ups these last days


Secondly - he told me to watch again the opening stage (a team race against time) of the Giro d’Italia. Enrico Gasparotto, a quite unknown (but very talented IMO) team mate of Danilo Di Luca (one of the favourites to win the Giro), wore the leader jersey. And it was great to see: normally the team leader (Di Luca in this case) comes as first over the white line in teamchronos, so that he is first in the general classification. You saw Di Luca screaming at Enrico Gasparotto to slow down and let him go first, but he pretended not to hear anything, ended first and yep: won the first pink jersey.


He told afterwards that he didn’t realize, but I know better. He read my previous post, and projected himself at 70 looking back at his life. He had the choice between being the faithful helper that cycled all his life in service of Di Luca, or pretend not to know what happened, get over the finish first and be(come) a pink jersey leader. One of the great honours for Italian cyclists. I saw already him showing off in his Toscana house to his grandchildren: ‘look here – an old picture of your grandfather when he was first in the Giro d”italia’. I saw him thinking:’ it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven’. Look at this picture: does he look like he feels very bad? :-) And just for the record: I am not judging, just describing.


Enrico Gasparotto will have had and continue to have a tough discussion with his team or at least with The Manager of Di Luca – but I saw on his face, and I am sure he would do it again. Any time. For the sake of being able to tell his grandchildren some stories at his Toscana hill house.




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.





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





Let's follow our hearts

Dear reader, colleague, friends,

to whomever may read.


My last post of the year … What is more relevant than combining the breakthrough service of the year (youtube clip), with the company that confirmed against all odds (Apple) about the thing that matters most (your heart and mind).


I’ve been swept away some time ago about this speech by Steve Jobs. I agree so much – and if you haven’t seen it yet, please take some minutes to look & listen.


May 2007 be a good and healthy year for everyone. May we all remain hungry, stay foolish, dare to dream and follow our hearts.



22:18 Gepost door bart in digital media | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: newyear, becks, apple, jobs, hungry |  Facebook |


 Person of the year



Time chooses you, us, everyone as the person of the year. Every blog will probably run the story, so I’ll save you my comments, which will be near identical all others. Yep, it's a changing world and it has only just started.






Dare to belief

Hey allemaal.


De laatste dagen hier en daar wat over mij geschreven door een aantal veranderingen. Vrij juist en correct, behalve misschien eentje van vandaag. Titel: “ik doe alleen wat ik graag wil doen” ... Nogal arrogante titel, en eigenlijk niet wat ik wilde meegeven.  ‘Ik wil doen waar ik in geloof”. 1 woord en toch een wereld van verschil. Voor mij althans.


Ik denk niet dat iemand enkel en alleen kan doen wat hij graag wil doen. Het leven is zo simpel niet. Maar ik denk wel dat iedereen moet streven naar wat hij wil doen en waar hij in gelooft in zijn leven, enr zullen altijd elementen in zitten die minder leuk zijn. Jammer genoeg zie ik soms mensen die wegkwijnen in hun job, of die weinig perspectief hebben of creeëren. Maar vanuit de schrik van verandering blijft men in zijn eigen hoekje, dat dan dikwijls een hokje wordt ...


Maar ja, vandaag schrik ik wel wat. ‘Femke, er staat niet wat ik wilde zeggen’. Uiteraard lees waarschijnlijk alleen ik zo’n artikel, en is het voor een journalist in een kort gesprekje onmogelijk om dat te weten. Ik doe er al 34 jaar over, en heb het al moeilijk om alles juist te begrijpen J


En je moet nogal wat geluk hebben in je carrière. Ik heb geluk gehad om bij Fnac de stiel wat te kunnen leren. Bij Skynet om Philippe Lemmens te hebben ontmoet, en om niet als directeur maar als manager langzaamaan in te groeien. Zo kon ik eerste heel wat leren van mijn toenmalige baas en toenmalig salesdirecteur van Skynet (en nog steeds goede vriend) Guy Bouckaert. Ik heb wat zaken geleerd van heel wat mensen binnen Belgacom: Didier Bellens, Jean-Claude Van den Bossche, Scott Alcott, John Goossens – allemaal heel straffe personen. Didier Bellens gaf mij als 30-jarige de mogelijkheid en het vertrouwen om skynet te leiden. En ik ben dan ook zeer dankbaar voor de kans die ik van hem kreeg, de samenwerking die ik door de jaren heen heb kunnen opbouwen en de vele zaken die ik heb geleerd van hem. Ik leer elke dag van mensen. Elke dag opnieuw, daarnet nog. Een les in relativering (danku D), in perspectief, en geloof in het goede. In les in geloog in idealen. Maar meest van al heb ik een leven met fantastische mensen die samen in iets geloven. Thuis, in familie, op bedrijf, in organisaties, bij vrienden. Dat is onbetaalbaar.


En dus ja, ik verander professioneel vanaf januari. Toch zal zal ik mijn hele leven lang met plezier terugkijken naar Skynet, naar Belgacom groep in het algemeen. Je zult nog veel horen van het onwaarschijnlijke talent dat binnen skynet zit. Nooit heb ik zo een groep talent bij mekaar gezien. En het begint zich nog maar net te tonen!


Maar laten we het ook allemaal relativeren. Vandaag gaat het goed, morgen kan en zal het een keer tegenvallen. Voor mij, voor u, voor iedereen. Het enige dat er blijft is de warmte die er overblijft nadien is de warmte. De warmte tussen mensen die mekaar graag zien, respecteren, proberen wat dingen samen te beleven en te realiseren. De warmte, misschien wel het beste middel tegen de maatschappelijke verzuring, is iets uniek. Dat gaat over jobs heen. Over bedrijven heen. Over generaties heen. Dus laten we allen mekaar geluk wensen in nieuwe relaties of huwelijken, baby’s, jobs, ervaringen of wat hij ook belangrijk vindt. Laten we mekaar zoveel mogelijk gunnen en helpen. Het gemeenschappelijke, maar ook ons individuele geluk zal er alleen maar wel bij varen ... En dat kan volgens mij als we allen blijven doen waar we in geloven!



10:22 Gepost door bart in digital media | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: becks, sbs, skynet, geloof, goossens |  Facebook |


 Bart Becks appointed Senior Vice President of SBS Broadcasting group

Hey all,

although I don't usually indicate professional Skynet news on my blog, I've received so many calls, sms's and mails that I'll post some personal news here as well.


After 8 fantastic years at Belgacom Skynet in Brussels, I will move to Amsterdam to work for the SBS Broadcasting group.


Hereby an extract of the complete press release:

"SBS Broadcasting Sarl announced today the appointment of Bart Becks (34) as Senior Vice President New Media of SBS Broadcasting Group, with a start date of January 1, 2007. The announcement was made by Patrick Tillieux, acting Chief Executive Officer of SBS Broadcasting Group.In the newly created position,


Mr. Becks will be responsible for the overall development and coordination of digital media services and revenue streams based on the internet, mobile devices, interactive television services and other emerging digital platforms across all of SBS’s operating units. He will be based in Amsterdam."


A successor was appointed, being Eric Brant, a great senior leader from Proximus. You can find more about it via the Belgacom press center.


No-one leaves a fantastic company and team easily – so it was not something decided overnight. This said, I'm really excited to go to Amsterdam and build out a new future within the SBS group. I sincerely think and wish for Skynet to keep growing like the past 4 years, and for everyone to find the same passion and pride! The direction team in place will surely lead in that direction.


More later.



17:58 Gepost door bart in digital media | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: new media, ceo, sbs, skynet, becks |  Facebook |


Immortal beloved

A reflecting afternoon. I love to read, surf, listen some music and think. Just think. Suddenly I felt like dvd’ing ‘Immortal beloved’, Bernard Rose’s movie with Gary Oldman playing Ludwig von Beethoven’s life and love. And while writing this, I’m having Beethoven’s third (‘the eroica’) on my iPod.


I love Beethoven. You may or may not know, but for some years I studied classical music history... Beethoven awakens each time my passion for romanticism. Beethoven and Goethe were probably earliest to convince that art can be about feelings, doubt, joy or any other emotion. Art can be about ourselves, not just about others, not just about landscapes, castles, emperors – but about our opinion, love, despair or undefined sensitivity for these objects and persons. For quite some time I reflected about ratio and emotion, and have discussion with 2 close friends (hey Rudy and Jean-Louis!). Some say ratio should always prevail. I don’t agree. Passion may be dangerous. But passion also makes us worthwhile. I makes us fragile, it allows us to be human. For others, but also for ourselves. I believe in the right balance of passion and ratio. Not as a compromise, but as a co-living. I’m not sure yet, and will never be, but hey – I believe some doubt would do us all some good.


Romanticism meant for me also the constant opposition between wanting to discover and see the world, and immediate realization that this is impossible. Sehnsucht & Weltschmerz. This creates the highest joy and the deepest grief – and thus the ability to discover emotional intensity.


I love Beethoven. I love romanticism.

Romanticism was our fight against the domination of pure rationalization, and to place human emotion first. We are who we are. No fooling anyone but ourselves, only we judge ourselves.




18:48 Gepost door bart | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: beethoven, becks, rose, romanticism, sehnsucht, oldman |  Facebook |