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Category Archives: Inspiration

De Correspondent – Dutch Journalists’ Crowd Funding Success

De Correspondent Logo

De Correspondent – Dutch News Crowd Funding Success

We all know the paper press is in Dire circumstances. To Paywall or not to Paywall your content? What about the Paper Guidebooks apparently going down the drain now that Google has announced to ditch the paper Frommers Guidebooks. What will happen with the Lonely Planet Guidebooks? We all know there is an ongoing battle between Travel Journalists, Travel Writers Travel News sections of paper press and so on and so forth.

The more refreshing is the outcome of this experiment:

Target met within 8 days

De Correspondent- First Masthead
Only 8 days ago a group of Dutch reasonably known journalists, column writers and bloggers (see the above picture of their first “masthead”) teamed up and launched a membership site De Correspondent with the intention to source 15,000 members who solely based on the good name of the founders and a promise to start an alternative only online news presence, without a very clearcut idea of the form or the content….

Within 8 days more that 15.000 Dutchman have signed up and have paid their membership fee and the number is fast going up and counting (at the moment of publsihing this post the counter shows 15.239.

Very interesting to see how this experiment will go on.

Update

The final number of members after 30 days:
correspondent_counter_end_result

Counter copied from their blog post.

Lola Lo-Lo-Lo-Lo Lola – Not what you Think!

Lola-Bikes-and-Coffee-P1040328

See this Quirky Bicycle?

Rather than resting on its side standard or a back standard, it rests on its front standard in front of a shop in The Noordeinde in The Hague.

Lola-Bikes-and-Coffee-P1040337

Lola?

Off course when I hear or see “Lola” I associate that immediately with the famous Kinks song “Lola“, but this is not about that Lola and maybe I’m too old for you to remember this;-)

The name of the shop is Lola Bikes and Coffee soon daringly being opened officially in the posh Noordeinde in The Hague directly opposite the Lion’s Den of the huge Dutch coffee brand Douwe Egberts.

Lola-Bikes-and-Coffee-P1040335

A Combined Bicycle Show Room and Coffee Bar

The owners of a bicycle rental shop a couple of houses away from this new shop have taken the initiative to combine renting bicycles with selling extraordinary nice new bicycles while serving coffee in a trendy bar and also combined with the repair shop in the back of the bar. Clever and daring. I wish them a lot of success!

Lola-Bikes-and-Coffee-P1040338

Coming Soon

They’ve issue a trendy Bicycle magazine already. Their web presence is limited to a FB page for the moment but will come soon. I had a feeling the owner (left) was discussing the website with the designer….and through the window you can just see the coffee Goliath’s name (Soon to be divested from Sara Lee).

Steve according to Guy

Steve Jobs Apple Logo
Borrowed from Jonathan Mak

I’m not an Apple fan

From years on I’m reasonable versed with computers.

At university I was the only law student who did some programming on a mini (then the name for a mini sized mainframe) computer. You know how? By feeding punch cards with program lines to a card reader. One error and you had to change one card, stick it correctly in the stack and wait your turn when 20 other students were waiting their turn to process their stacks.

Commodore PET

For me Personal Computing started with playing around with a Commodore PET.

I use Windows pc’s. I’m not a Mac lover. I’ve occasionally looked at Apple, but time after time decided to stay with windows, even if CTRL ALT DEL is my most used key combination. Occasionally I’ve even tried to load a PC with Linux in various tastes, but time after time decided to stay with Windows…

My main aversion is Apple is too expensive and too closely controlled to my taste. I rather tinker a bit:-)

However, I have to admit I have an Ipod and very recently an IPad as well. The Ipad I bought mainly to try and get my Dear Wife involved with e-mail and Skype….

But even the Ipod proves my point: rather than sorting throught my collection with ITunes I sort my music with MediaMonkey

But

That doesn’t mean I don’t respect Steve Jobs who passed away last week.

Who better to quote than Guy Kawasaki, the once Macintosh Evangelist who has closely worked together with Steve before he went on his own?

Steve Jobs teached us a lesson or two – 12 according to Guy, but he might be a bit biased.

Guy Kawasaki Steve Jobs Apple Logo

Following I saw on Guy’s Google+ account where he copied it from his blog:

Experts are clueless.

Experts as journalists, analysts, consultants, bankers, and other “gurus” can’t “do” so they “advise.” They can tell you what is wrong with your product, but they cannot make a great one. They can tell you how to sell something, but they cannot sell it themselves. They can tell you how to create great teams, but they only manage a secretary.

I do second that. As a former consultant I know that is also the case with services!

Customers cannot tell you what they need.

“Apple market research” is an oxymoron. The Apple focus group was the right hemisphere of Steve’s brain talking to the left one. If you ask customers what they want, they will tell you, “Better, faster, and cheaper” that is, better sameness, not revolutionary change. They can only describe their desires in terms of what they are used to….

around the time of the introduction of Macintosh, all people said they wanted was better, faster, and cheaper MS-DOS machines. The richest vein for tech startups is creating the product that you want to use—that’s what Steve and Woz did.

Big wins happen when you go beyond better sameness. The best daisy-wheel printer companies were introducing new fonts in more sizes. Apple introduced the next curve: laser printing. Think of ice harvesters, ice factories, and refrigerator companies. Ice 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Are you still harvesting ice during the winter from a frozen pond?

My guests appreciate what I stand for only after they have experienced my hotel and our services. Both are beyond expectations.

Design counts.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Which is a quote from Steve himself. See for other valuable quotes: Quotations Page.

Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.

When Apple first shipped the iPhone there was no such thing as apps. Apps, Steve decreed, were a bad thing because you never know what they could be doing to your phone. Safari web apps were the way to go until six months later when Steve decided, or someone convinced Steve, that apps were the way to go—but of course. Duh! Apple came a long way in a short time from Safari web apps to “there’s an app for that.”

“Value” is different from “price.”

Woe unto you if you decide everything based on price. Even more woe unto you if you compete solely on price. Price is not all that matters—what is important, at least to some people, is value. And value takes into account training, support, and the intrinsic joy of using the best tool that’s made. It’s pretty safe to say that no one buys Apple products because of their low price.

Real CEOs demo.

Steve Jobs could demo a pod, pad, phone, and Mac two to three times a year with millions of people watching, why is it that many CEOs call upon their vice-president of engineering to do a product demo? Maybe it’s to show that there’s a team effort in play. Maybe. It’s more likely that the CEO doesn’t understand what his/her company is making well enough to explain it. How pathetic is that?

Real CEOs ship.

For all his perfectionism, Steve could ship. Maybe the product wasn’t perfect every time, but it was almost always great enough to go. The lesson is that Steve wasn’t tinkering for the sake of tinkering—he had a goal: shipping and achieving worldwide domination of existing markets or creation of new markets. Apple is an engineering-centric company, not a research-centric one. Which would you rather be: Apple or Xerox PARC?

Marketing boils down to providing unique value.

Look at it this way:

Top left: unique and valuable—this is where you make margin, money, and history. For example, the iPod was unique and valuable because it was the only way to legally, inexpensively, and easily download music from the six biggest record labels.

Thank you Steve and Guy

Would you consider staying in a notel in stead of a hotel?

Notels-at-Hotel-Haiku
You might consider a notel after visiting a new site on the block: Hotel Haiku, curated by Garri Rayne.

Hotel Haiku has taken up the idea of describing Hotels and, more importantly notels in a real Zen way, with a Haiku:

haiku [ˈhaɪkuː] n. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

I’m particularly attracted to the term notel, because when I started out as a hotelier and was developing our own unique 3 suites only “hotel” Haagsche Suites, I had for some time the idea of naming it Not a Hotel. Eventually I decided to name it “Haagsche Suites” (i.e. suites of The Hague), because Not A Hotel sounded a bit negative. Never thought of notel.

I congratulate Hotel Haiku with the invention of this term notel. As they describe it:

notel [nəʊˈtɛl] n. An exceptional, often architecturally designed, holiday and vacation rental property that draws inspiration from the design hotel phenomenon.

So notel is beyond Hotel, beyond Hip Hotel, beyond Boutique Hotel, beyond Design Hotel or beyond what hotel have you and at the same time it is below the usual hotel radar. Thank you Hotel Haiku!

First Hotel Haiku (@hotelhaiku) found me via Twitter and I noticed it without paying much attention. Then I found out more about the site via our friends over at Tnooz. I refer to their review of the Hotel Haiku site.

I’m set to explore the phenomenon further and created even a notel category, because I’ve featured some notels here on the blog already.

Update:
As Garri pointed out in his comment the undercast n is essential for the idea behind the term notel , so I have edited all, but couldn’t withstand to add little bit of my own: red :-)

Last edited by GJE on April 1, 2011