Archive for the ‘Amsterdam’ Category

Electro Boy

September 20, 2008


Sign of the times.

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United Stats of America

September 17, 2008

Column: Opgroeien
Emerce 79, 11 september 2008 – Door Richard Derks

living in america

living in america


“Honestly man, this is the internet. If people have holy cows they aren’t supposed to be in this industry.”

Ik skype nog even met mijn oud-marketing manager van Respectance in Frisco. Ik lig thuis in bed, zij is net haar dag begonnen. We lachen nog wat over het vorige stukje dat ik had geschreven over de leegte in Second Life. Het blijkt dat er echt fans zijn van deze ruimtes. En ze zijn niet blij met minder positieve opmerkingen van de boze buitenwereld.

Het is voorspelbaar dat als ik in Amerika iets zeg over hun land, dit snel felle reacties oproept. In het minste geval ben ik voor altijd verdacht en zal mijn ‘European’ accent dat van een verrader zijn en niet van een charmante trofee. Het is een mooi avontuur. De kunst van het loslaten begin ik al aardig onder de knie te krijgen. Eerst heb ik mijn relatie opgegeven om naar Amerika te kunnen en te start-uppen. Nu zit ik twee jaar later weer helemaal terug in Amsterdam. En alleen. Maar ik heb veel geleerd, ook over de United ‘Stats’ of America.

Een startup runnen is als het laten opgroeien van een baby. Je kan moeilijk het kind van moeders buik grissen bij de geboorte en het leren piano spelen. Of leren voetballen, in het geval van mijn vader. De site groeit zelf, in zijn eigen tempo. Je moet blijven voeden, je moet blijven waken en aandacht geven. Maar de baby kan niet in een jaar tijd een volwassen persoon zijn. Die verwachting hebben we bijgesteld. Maar de potentie van het kind, want het is geboren in openbaarheid, is nog steeds overweldigend.

Het is ons gelukt om de markt in beroering te brengen. Van de twee grootste concurrenten, weten we dat ze nog steeds aan het zoeken zijn hoe ons product bij te benen. En wij zijn pas een jaar bezig. De grootste concurrent al meer dan tien jaar. Ze hadden nog nooit noodzaak gehad om iets te doen aan hun sites. Sinds wij er zijn, liggen in één keer hun zenuwen en zwakke plekken bloot.

Misschien is dat ook iets wat een kind doet bij ouders. Opeens gaat papa voorzichtiger autorijden. Doet liever geen al te gekke dingen meer. Ouders voelen zich verantwoordelijk en worden met zichzelf geconfronteerd. En van hun kleine kind hebben ze allemaal de verwachting, stiekem, dat het ooit een beroemde wetenschapper, president of popster zal worden. Of voetballer, in het geval van mijn vader.

Het wonderbaarlijke is dat als het voor de buitenwereld lijkt dat je steeds minder hebt, je zelf weet dat het tegenovergesteld is. Ik ben terug voor een reden. De wereld is de markt. En ons kind gaat al op jonge leeftijd talen leren.

Inderdaad, de heilige koeien zijn op het eerste gezicht meer aanwezig in dit platte land. Als ik uit het NS- dubbeldekkertreinraampje kijk, zijn ze overal. Nergens wordt de witte melk die ze voortbrengen zoveel ingenomen als in het holle land. En toch weet ik dat de jeugd in dit land de kunst verstaat om zelfstandig een weg te kiezen. Zich weinig aan te trekken van hun ouders. Zo gaat ook ons kind groot worden. Net zo groot als de stats van de gemiddelde Nederlander.

Nu.nl interview

August 29, 2008

Yeah!! we got an interview for nu.nl, the biggest news site of Holland. So proud that we’re officially out. I selected the venue, hope you get it.

http://www.nuzakelijk.nl/20080829/nuzakelijk-video/respectance-levendige-community-voor-doden

New lady, new office

August 29, 2008

We have a new powerful woman in the team of IIZT. Femke van den Boogert is what she listens to. And she has taken the job to clean up and pimp our office. Two improvements!

When i realized I needed a holiday

August 29, 2008

It was raining, I was at some train station between Amsterdam and Haarlem, and I passed this site. Immediately I decided to book a week to Tel Aviv. I think I deserve it. Well done me.

Privacy is dead, part 2

August 4, 2008

no pictures please

no pictures please

I wrote earlier in the Emerce magazine that privacy is a virtue from the past. Simply, because the rules and times are changing. Faster than a person born before the 80’s can change in his/her life.

Today a judge in Holland declared that a closed environment that a woman had created and in which she called her husband a pedofile, said that she is guilty. She has to pay him money. Because she insinuated that he is, and he cannot defend himself. Earlier on, another judge has called a private environment within the Dutch Facebook-ish site Hyves is nothing more than a living room. There you can say whatever you want, and you cannot be attacked for what you say there.

This is a real sign of the big change that is going on right now. What are our new values? It is impossible to believe that my grandmother shares the same values as my cousins do. There is a HUGE gap between them, that they will not be able to close during their lifetimes. Then my grandmother and my cousins are raised in the same culture and country.
So how do you declare the shared values between a person from Iran, for instance, that moved later in his life to Holland, and my sister who goes swimming in the sea without a bikini on and never thought that her life and acts would be seen as something bad. We were raised that there is equality between men and women and that a proud and independent woman can do whatever she feels like.
I am afraid that they will never be able to close their gap either.

So if a closed Hyves profile is considered by one judge an open space, and the other finds it nothing else than a living room, what is the truth? Is there any?
If this lady gets punished now for saying her ex husband is a pedophile in this closed community, how then is it possible that certain people call for much worse things in much bigger meetings out of a position of a superior to the rest of the group? It seems that something really has to happen with regards to privacy.

I am very sure of what I prefer. I’d rather let it all flow freely and let nothing be punishable. Andy Warhol said we would all get our 15 minutes of fame. Well, I think we will get much more than that. But not only the fame, also the scandals that come with it. You better be prepared for a thick skin like all celebrities need to have. You will be rumored, in closed circles and in the open.

Japan, Holland and why the whole world is not American

August 3, 2008

Gary at Zandvoort beach

Gary at Zandvoort beach

One of the coolest things of the world we live in, is that it is changing really fast. And it is changing in ways we do not really foresee.

My friend from the States was over for 2 weeks in Europe. Gary works as creative event director for the Apple stores in SF. Only 20 and doing two master studies simultaneously. That is already a big difference with the average ambition of youth in Holland.

He realized how different things are here. In Amsterdam you go to drink outdoors and all seats are directed the same way. You should be able to watch all those passing by while you are having a drink. In the States that is called spying on people, he said. Here in Amsterdam, it is the reason why people dress up, even though it seems like they made no effort. We all are aware that we are being watched when we pass a terrace. Perfect for flirting etc.

When my friend and former colleague of KaZaA, Sahoko, was over in spring from Japan we talked about what I was doing with Respectance. She thought it was a very open way of communicating and thought it might be difficult in Japan. Unless we would change it. To me that sounded reasonable.

She also told me about what sites people used in Japan. Of course, anything is mobile in the land of the rising sun. Way ahead of Europe and even further ahead of the States.
Facebook was not a big thing in Japan. The big thing in Japan is Mixi. It was hard for me to understand why that was so hot. You become a more or less anonymous person in this community and talk about big issues or daily things. You take a fake identity and then you dare to show/type your feelings on matters. It matches the Japanese culture.

Now I see that also Facebook is discovering that they have cultural problems. Not everybody in the world is American. What’s underneath the visible culture might shock you.

Eventually, I think that a concept like Mixi might become really popular in quickly changing societies like the Dutch society. Lately, the freedom of speech has been attacked by the Dutch authorities. This does not go well together with the opening up the internet brings. But then, what can you do if the authorities are watching your actions online, and you still have the need to say what you like to say? You do it anonymously. Mixi might be a solution for this trend in Holland.

August started

August 3, 2008
Last day of July

Last day of July

Jezzebel

July 19, 2008

Hurray for Bas

July 10, 2008

Bas started his blog, finally. Now let’s hope we get to see his great photographs and artwork here. I love this one for instance:

huis by Bas van Tol

huis by Bas van Tol