People, technology and life

Category: startups (Page 2 of 4)

Got a startup? Be on stage at LeWeb’11!

Yes, LeWeb will have a startup competition again. This year LeWeb is looking for the three best startups for the Social/Local/Mobile (SoLoMo – yes, the theme) marketplace. Is that you? Well, it might be if you have got anything to do with any of these. And the best way to find out is to enter the competition.

Something that I personally love in the approach to the competition this year is that they will be including a video element in their competition. And they have already said that creativity and originality will be the key to success. So, bring out the video equipment, the pizza, drinks and snacks and do an all night brainstorm with your crew how you are going to storm this competition. Read more on the LeWeb’11 agenda.

Btw. why do I love that video element that much? Because I know it will be fun to do, but also because I know it can pull your team together more. Hanging out and trying to get the weirdest ideas going to present your startup will get the most out of your team and bring you closer together after the stress of regular business. How do I know? In 2008 I ran a video competition with Erwin Blom and Lucien Burm. Soocial did a great movie that took the complete Next Web conference by storm. (They were not actually in the end results for the competition as they also won The Next Web’s own startup competition.) Take a look at it below and then get to work!

Hassle Free from Soocial on Vimeo.

Jux, the future of blogging?

A screenshot of my Jux pageYesterday Jux has launched something new. An addition to blogging? An alternative for blogging? I am not sure. I think that for now, I will call it a great tool for sharing. Because for me, that is what blogging and social networks are all about. Sharing with friends and meeting new people through the content that I share. For you? That might be different. For your business? Again. But for me, it is about sharing what I see, what I think about, sharing my thoughts and inspiring others.

So, Jux you said? Yes. Unlike current blogging systems (like this WordPress blog), Jux is not focusing on sharing text and then beautifying it with images. Jux aims for the experience. Images, video and text can all be mixed together to create more of an experience page than a blog in the traditional sense of the word. Do I like that? Yes. A picture says more than a thousand words, and I am a bit of a talker. But I like the way Jux presents the content I can create. I like what I write to be an experience. And Jux allows me to create that. More than WordPress, Tumblr or Posterous does.

Is there a downside? Obviously. You have to have that visual content. And not everyone always has visual content that supports the point they are trying to get across. There also is a distinct lack of lenght. I wouldn’t know how I could share the post on recommending your favorite bloggers for LeWeb’11 in Jux. And that makes it less of a real blogging platform to me.

Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. There is no way to save a post as a draft. Or at least not that I could find. Then there is no way to connect it to your personal URL, which is incredibly important if it is your personal expression space. By my standards anyway. And I would like to have more freedom in moving text blocks around and playing with more fonts and styling elements. But I am sure that will grow in the future. So, Juxers, if you are reading this, this is my wish list:

  • Saving a post as a draft
  • Scheduling a post
  • A creative all text format that I can use to post text only posts
  • Keeping me signed in with Facebook and Twitter
  • Moving text blocks around and resizing them to fit text and images
  • More fonts
  • More styling elements
  • Allow me to change the color of my JUX title
  • Running it on a personal domain or a personal subdomain

But in general, I am going to play with this for a while. Check out my playground.

How many apps do you want?

At LeWeb I met a number of startups. They ranged from not very interesting to very interesting. However the thing that really struck me when talking to them is that they are still so focussed on being the one platform for their users. Most ask you to import your friends, or ask you to at least invite them to their service. A lot of them work only with the information in their own databases and rely on their users to fill them. Frankly, I was disappointed. As an example, I was approached by a startup which operated only on the iPhone and which could recommend places to go based on what others had said about it. The good part of this app was that it connected with Facebook. One less account to worry about. The bad part was that they gathered the information my friends had put on Facebook through their social checkins through other apps. The main problem with this was that I needed to use the app to find a place where I could go. Then I needed to open an app to tell me where to get there. After I had arrived, I then needed to close the app and check in through a number of other apps. I would then use other apps while I would be at the venue for whatever I would want to share with my friends. And at the end of the night I would have to open their app again to rate the venue, tell others what I had done and share that through their network. Honestly? For me, that makes it useless. If you are building an app, try to incorporate the most obvious things into your app so that it your user is not hassled by it, but gets the feeling that the app makes life easier for them.

In the case of this particular app, it would have been much easier if they would have chosen to include checking in on the most available sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook pages etc. And it is not that hard. Most offer an API which you can use, making it relatively easy to incorporate.

What it really comes down to is determining how your app can make your user’s life easier. Because that is the reason we use apps. We want them to add to our life instead of making it an extra something that we need to do. So yes, it is great if “there’s an app for that”, but it is even greater if there is a single app that follows through the whole process that the user is in. And better still if that is done regardless of whether the service the user wants to use is part of the developers’ stable. If that is something you can do for your customer, you might just be on to a winner.

#LeWeb10: Dr Bertrand Piccard: Het gaat niet om het vliegtuig, maar om de beweging

Dr Bertrand Piccard begint om te zeggen dat hij zich eigenlijk onder gelijken voelt staan, omdat de mensen bij LeWeb weten wat het is om te pionieren. Nadat hij zijn eerste vlucht om de wereld had gemaakt met een ballon, heeft hij zich voorgenomen om de volgende keer rond de wereld te vliegen zonder brandstof. En hoewel er niets meer is om als nieuw te ontdekken, is er nog genoeg dat we nog kunnen ontwikkelen. En een van die grote uitdagingen is om onafhankelijk te worden van fossiele energie. De laatste jaren is er veel gesproken over het beperken van uitstoot, het redden van de planeet etc. Maar de insteek is altijd verkeerd geweest. Het ging altijd om minder reizen, minder verbruiken en minder doen. Dat is het bestrijden van de symptomen van de problemen van de klimaatverandering. Het grote probleem dat we eigenlijk hebben, is dat we te afhankelijk zijn van fossiele energie. En dat is niet alleen te zien in de discussie over klimaatverandering, maar ook op de beurs en bij de prijs van olie. De aandelen van bedrijven die afhankelijk zijn van fossiele energie gaan omlaag en de prijs van olie omhoog. Dat is een reden om het anders te doen.

Dit is de beweegreden achter het vleigtuig op zonneenergie. Want als we dit kunnen doen, dan is dat een basis om een verandering in te zetten. En dit is niet eenvoudig. Ze wisten al dat het vliegtuig vleugels nodig had die even groot waren als die van een Airbus 340 (64 meter), mocht niet meer wegen dan een auto (2000kg) en niet meer energie gebruiken dan een kleine motorfiets. Dat is technisch een grote uitdaging om aan te gaan zonder geld en zonder dat er iets verkocht gaat worden. Het heeft ook veel tijd en moeite gekost om pioniers te vinden die het project zouden willen sponsoren. Met organisaties als Solvay, Omega en Deutsche Bank die de stap hebben gewaagd op basis van enkel een powerpoint presentatie, kun je het zeker hebben over pioniers.

Ook bij de bouw moesten hobbels worden overwonnen, omdat geen enkele vliegtuigbouwer het vliegtuig wilde bouwen op basis van de ontwerpen. Uiteindelijk is er een scheepswerf gevonden die de uitdaging aan wilde gaan, vooral omdat hij niet wist dat het niet zou kunnen. En met succes, want de structuur van de hele romp weegt slechts 50kg.

Solar Impulse is geen vliegtuig. Het is een beweging die moet groeien. Dat is ook de reden waarom Bertrand op het LeWeb podium spreekt. Mensen volgen het project online en verbinden zich aan de toekomst van het project. Want dit heeft de wereld nodig. We hebben een nieuwe zienswijze nodig om te veranderen hoe we vandaag de dag leven. We zullen het in de wereld niet redden als we doorgaan op de weg die we nu zijn ingeslagen. Daarom moeten projecten als de Solar Impulse doorgaan om te laten zien dat pionieren niet iets is van het verleden, maar dat dat nu zeker zo belangrijk is. Mensen die nu pionieren hebben de steun nodig van de mensen om zich heen. Maar daarnaast moet pionierschap en de inslag van de avonturier terug komen op school en in de maatschappij. Daarom roept Bertrand op dat de bezoekers en kijkers van LeWeb ook helpen om de beweging en vooral het idee van pionierschap bekend te maken aan de wereld waarmee wij online verbonden zijn. Want dat kan de wereld echt veranderen.

Foto: eni_kao

Watch LeWeb live on the live stream

Today is the first day of LeWeb, the web conference in Paris that everyone is, or should be, talking about. If you can’t be there for whatever reason, fear not, you can still take part in all the talk. You can follow everything at LeWeb through their live stream.

This is the live stream for the Plenary:

This is the live stream for the Startup competition on Wednesday:

Getting ready to go – are you coming?

I am really looking forward to this. Tomorrow I’ll be leaving to LeWeb with Erno Hannink. Four days of Paris, I won’t have time to see the Eiffel Tower and only glance at the Notre Dame in passing, and I am over the moon about it.
I am really looking forward to the LeWeb conference this year. Naturally I will be writing about what I hear and what I come across. You can find my posts here and on

If you are at LeWeb and would like me to do a video interview or write about you, just come up to me and let me know. Give me a shout on Twitter and lets make an impact starting at LeWeb.

LeWeb, bloggen en de wereld verbeteren

Ja, ik ga naar LeWeb dit jaar. Het is een tijdje geleden dat ik naar een groot evenement ben geweest en ik heb er zin in. LeWeb is altijd een conferentie waar veel over gesproken wordt en waar je veel inspiratie op kan doen voor nieuwe projecten, maar ook over de richting van onze online toekomst. Ik ben benieuwd naar de presentaties van gevestigde online diensten als Facebook, Twitter, Google, MySpace, Yahoo en anderen. Maar ik ben vooral benieuwd naar het streven om online te richten op onze persoonlijke wensen. Onze wens om fit te zijn (RunKeeper), om zonder emissies de wereld rond te vliegen (Solar Impulse) en om de wereld te verbeteren voor mensen die anders geen kansen zouden krijgen (Homeless World Cup).

Ik heb een hart voor mensen en voor de wereld. Ik ga naar LeWeb om te kijken hoe we samen “de dialoog met de klant” ook uit het marketing jargon kunnen trekken en om te zien of we de technologie kunnen gebruiken om onze wereld te verbeteren. Voor onszelf en voor anderen. Om er samen duurzamer, socialer, hartelijker, enthousiaster en beter van te worden. Dat is ook het verhaal dat ik wil delen. Ik zal schrijven over LeWeb en ik zal ook zeker weer wat video interviews gaan doen.

Ken jij startups met een visie om (online) technologie in te zetten om onze wereld duurzamer, socialer, hartelijker, enthousiaster en beter te maken? Of ken je mensen die hier een duidelijke visie over hebben? Ben je in Parijs? Of kunnen we elkaar ergens onderweg ontmoeten voor een kort interview? Laat het me dan weten via mijn blog of via arne [@] Deel je visie met de wereld. Op LeWeb, maar ook daarvoor en daarna.

Vodafone Mobile Clicks and the augmented reality of tears of joy

The room was dark and the heat got to both the presenting startups as well as the audience. The setting was the Vodafone Mobile Clicks finals at the Picnic festival in Amsterdam. Up for grabs was 150.000 Euro’s. A big amount in anyone’s book, but for bootstrapping startups the three prices would mean a lot more. IT would mean a new window of opportunity and the possibility to take their company a step further. Finalists Audioboo, Layar, Woobius, My Name is E, Rummble and Mobypicture battled in front of a very critical jury, but never lost that comradery that comes from being a startups together. The emotions ran high with tears for both victorious startups and startups that missed the top three positions. To Audioboo, My Name is E and Rummble all I can say is, guys you’re all on my phone and I loved your presentations.

A great addition to the pack of startups was Woobius, the third place winner. As the only one aimed at an enterprise market, Woobius aims for an audience that is rarely represented at this kind of event. It was awesome to see the surprise of the group, who saw themselves as underdogs, when they heard they could come up to pick up their third price. Congratulations guys and lets stay in touch, I will have some leads for you.

Mobypicture hardly needs any introduction. Mathys has been a friend ever since I met him and I just love his service. During the finale Mobypicture launched no less than 6 new features. An awesome step and something to be proud of. Your second place was well deserved Mathys and I love your passion for shoot and share.

One of Layar’s demonstrations for their new 3D technology is a rocket taking off. It could not have been chosen more appropriately. Since its launch, Layar has swept the world of its feet with its augmented reality browser. The world has been at their feet ever since. Maarten did a presentation which harnessed so much passion that it was impossible to beat. And the rollercoaster continues. Taking first price, the Layar team has seen a great reward for following its dreams. And for Maarten, the last year has been the ride of his life.

Congratulations to you all and I will be seeing more of all of you, I am sure.

On the road with Max

If you read this blog, it will not have escaped your attention that I was in Berlin last week at the Web 2.0 Expo. It was a fantastic week, not in the least due to the sponsoring I got to do the pitchstops. Through doing those I met lots of new people and exchanged ideas with many of them. A literal vehicle to make this happen was the Ford S-Max. Ford Netherlands jumped in to sponsor our trip to Berlin with a loaded Ford S-Max, which we could use for the interviews we did in Berlin. And I have to say, it was a great car.

It all started off with my question on how to get to Berlin in style for the Web 2.0 Expo. Unfortunately a number of brands rejected the whole idea. Both BMW and Citroën even stated that they were not interested in social media exposure at all. But Ford is working hard on finding the value communities can offer its brand and Scott Monty reacted positively to the idea. As he connected me with Dennis Homburg at Ford Netherlands, the search for a suitable car started and the end result was the S-Max. A spacious car with a sporty outside due to the sports package and the huge 20″ alloy wheels.

To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about the Ford. I have driven Ford’s before and I never really liked the seats. And on a trip to Berlin, you really spend a lot of time in those. However, the S-Max exceeded my expectations. Of course the car dazzled you at first with it good looks and even two-tone leather on the seats. During the pitches in Berlin the car even changed names from the Pitchmobile to the Pimpmobile. But driving it for so many ours revealed that the car was much more than just good looks.

I enjoyed the S-Max thoroughly. So much so, that I never actually let go of the wheel, except when I got Erno Hannink to drive it to the Berlin Conference Center once. But the only reason for that was that I still had to change after running. Sorry about that guys. It was just a good wheel to be holding. Speedwise the 2.5 turbo leaves nothing to be desired, as long as you keep track of the gear you are in. Accelerating from 120 in sixth will not be heartstopping, but go down two gears and you are flying. As long as you make sure the turbo is spinning, performance is great. And one of the nice additions for the autobahn was the adaptive cruise control. It keeps you at a safe distance of the car you are following, regardless of what speed you are doing. Well, I have to correct that. It only works until 180 kilometers an hour as it does not allow you to use cruise control above that speed. And that is not a bad idea. Because you need all your concentration at speeds that exceed that. Nevertheless, even when it topped out at 220, we still had someone asleep in the car. A testimony to the relative ease with which the S-Max seems to be performing. And that was something we all agreed upon. Travelling with five to Berlin and four coming back, we did notice that four adults fitted the car much more comfortably. But five worked great if a bit cosier in the back seat. We never pulled up the two rear seats, because we did not have to, but anyone bigger than a child would have been challenged to sit in there for the whole trip by the looks of it.

As an overall result, I was very pleased with the S-Max. It looked great, had good performance and got us there reasonably rested. A good travelling companion. Thanks Ford. It was a good experience.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin – the pitchstops

Over the last week I have been pretty busy at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin. It all started with an invitation to the bloggers program, but it grew to become something all on its own. This post is a quick overview of all the people that got into the Ford S-Max to do a short interview on their startup or their view of the future.

We started on Monday morning at Upstream in Arnhem. On the way there and in Arnhem we used our qik livestream. You can still find it at However, the quality was not what we had hoped for so we moved everything to youtube. There you can see the video’s of:

Theo Janssen of (in Dutch)

Geert Veneklaas of Muziek voor Media (in Dutch)

Gerjanne Tiemens of (in Dutch)

Lucien Burm of (in Dutch)

Dion Slijp and Bart Verheijen of (in Dutch)

Lori Bonsma of (in Dutch)

Oscar Klein and Rogier Sterk of (in Dutch)

Monique and Henk Jan Winkeldermaat of (in Dutch)

Most of Tuesday was spent talking to new startups and uploading videos. No new recordings were made that day.

Wednesday was a busy day. We had a great time talking to:

Nicola Robinsonova on

Sunny Paris on

Alexander Ljung of

Brady Forrest of O’Reilly Radar on the future for startups

Dania Gerhardt of Amazee

Dominik Grolimond of Wuala

Thursday was the last day of the Web 2.0 Expo. We talked to:

Christian Duncan of Playcharts

Jennifer Pahlka on Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin and San Francisco (

Mike Robinson of Mloovi

Mike Butcher of TechCrunch

Janetti Chon of O’Reilly Media on community management

Mathijs van Abben of Mobypicture

Dr. Michael Alger of Otello

David Lockie of

This is a complete list of all the interviews that I have done over the Web 2.0 Expo. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed watching them as well as showing you some great new insights and initiatives.

I also want to say thanks. Thanks to Ford for supplying the S-Max 2.5 turbo, which was an absolutely great car. Thanks to Nokia for supplying the N82 for live streaming and the N96 for the recordings we have put on youtube. And of course to Vodafone for supplying us with the roaming to work with live streaming.

A very personal thanks goes out to Erno Hannink for selflessly promoting the pitch stops at every single opportunity he could. And another very big thanks has to go to Janetti Chon. Thanks for arranging all we needed to pull this off. You have made this an awesome Web 2.0 Expo.

Behind the scenes at the Pitchstops with Marlooz

We had a great time at the Web 2.0 Expo filming our Pitchstops. And unexpectedly our good friend Marlooz turned up. Marlooz runs Marloozvertizing where you can hire her to do the video coverage at your event. Enthusiastic as ever, she flipped out her camera and did a great behind the scenes of our Pitchstops. Thanks a million Marlooz!

Marlooz is flipping Pitch Stops from Marlooz on Vimeo.

And don’t forget to hire Marlooz for your next event!

Thursday at web 2.0 Expo

Unfortunately these movies have been slightly delayed. They were shot last thursday at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin, but time for uploading, and a long trip home got in between filming and publishing. However, here they are. The last set of video’s of Web 2.0 Expo.

Mike Robinson of Mloovi

Mike Butcher of TechCrunch on startups

Christian Duncan of Playcharts

Janetti Chon of O’Reilly Media on community management

Mathijs van Abbe of Mobypicture

Dr. Michael Alger of Otello

David Lockie of

Jennifer Pahlka on Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin and San Francisco

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