Category: Filosophy / Integrity

The Together Gardening Initiative.

City gardening

The Together Gardening Initiative is an initiative where gardening tools and machines are bought and stored central so everyone can start gardening without owning the tools needed. Everyone who’s a member of the TGI initiative can rent out these tools for the time they need. Via the convenient app and website, you can check whether the tooling you need is available. That is done with sensors on each tooling. The price for renting out tooling and machines is simple; When it leaves the storage space area, the time starts. When you return the tooling to the storage space, your time stops and gets translated in a digital invoice. By offering the winnings of your gardening efforts to other TGI members, you receive discounts up to the point where you can use the tools and machines for free. This idea is especially thought of in the light of city gardens or social gardening areas but can also be used by people in rural areas who just don’t want to buy stuff that they only use once per year.

ACE: self-service group for creatives and entrepreneurs.

troubled conversations

People with alcohol problems go to the AA. Others who suffer from obesitas go to the Weight Watchers. All those people have the same goal in mind. They want to find support in their attempts to be and keep on being sober or losing weight. And the particular thing is that it works for a large part of the people who voluntarily join these associations. ACE is pretty much the same but for creatives and entrepreneurs. These people are very outspoken but when it comes to dealing with (vanity) problems, they are mostly very alone in their thinking. ACE would be a Anonymous group of Creatives and Entrepreneurs who need to have some support in their personal life.

Coache.rs – Mentoring coaches for a better life/work style.

Coaching for a better lifestyle workstyleCoache.rs is a site where you can subscribe to and get personalised coaching techniques recommendations, based on your personal preferences, whether it’s sport, literature, business articles, music, nature walks, games etc. For every program, made after an interview with you, you can reach out to a coach whenever you need to. You get invoiced by the minute you are in speaking with one of the coache.rs facilitators on the website. The programs themselves are free.

Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

business from prison

Thugs and thieves are some kind of entrepreneurs. I am a firm believer of people taking the faith in their own hands and creating a future for themselves. That’s why I think it’s not such a bad idea to start prison entrepreneurship programs. Dealers and healers appear to be great salesmen, others have a talent for organising logistics and distribution channels, and some others do miracles with finances… It seems to me that if these people want to get a decent chance in society after they are released and regained freedom, the best way is to take matter into own hands. No job interviews where they will be refused because of their criminal record… As founders of a company, their past doesn’t really matter. It’s all about the things they are going to do. They can prepare and start their business from prison. Maybe a prison VC fund can support this…

Every voice is a vote: democracy 2.0

Every voice counts

I’m watching House of Cards and I’m really enjoying it. Kevin Spacey is brilliant. The script and story lines are just… they have no mercy at all. I think I enjoy it so much as I tend to believe that I’m not like that. But in reality I might taken over some of the asshole tactics because they just work. Anyway, I use it for the better so don’t shoot me 🙂

Everyone that has an opinion about politics and politicians wants to share their thoughts. Why not directly? Every voice is a vote is the platform, powered by the government where direct democracy gets executed. Everyone can log in with their e-ID and get access to the legislation texts, amendments, reports of parliament, etc. and participate in the discussions.

So everyone is a potential influencer of what society could be. When participating in the discussions, you get a vote. Hence through letting to hear your voice, you get a vote, literally and figuratively spoken.

iWILLvault.

Free wifi from tombstone

What happens with your digital self after you die? It’s a very valid question. I have thousands of online services I use(d once) and I have no idea what will happen with those after I die. Therefor an idea that will solve that.

iWILLvault’s goal is to provide a safe haven for your will, all your online identities, services and passwords. In your will, you can state what needs to happen with this after you die. The service needs to be accessed periodically to remain active until the people you assigned your iWILLvault open will receive a message from you in heaven and can read what to do with everything when you’re dead.

An obvious partnership with lastpass or 1password can enlarge the potential of the iWILLvault service. There is a very small fee per month to keep on using the iWILLvault service.

Help at least one person a day.

Thoughts

This has been a very interesting day for me. I had insights on myself, who i am, what drives me, what makes my life worthy. My advice is one I practice every day. Try to  help at least one person a day. It’ll come back when you need it most. Share and talk to a lot of people. Sharing is caring.

Thank you, Tom, Kenneth, Eric, Sheila, Heidi, Luka, Annick.

Lifehack of the day: don’t use your phone before xx am.

addicted to the phone, not to life.

It’s simple. Your quality of life is diminished when using your (smart)phone prior to any other action in the morning. It screws up any routine you may have, in fact for most people it is the routine. And that’s a shame. I’m doing it for a week now. I do not touch my phone before 7am. That means I have a full hour before I get sucked in the trivia of social media and work. Yesterday, I only took my phone at 7.20am and then a second time at 8.25am. It a strange feeling. A feeling of relief.  I admit it’s hard at first. But it becomes easier by the day. I’ll try to keep this as my routine. The tea I take in the morning tastes better, watching my kids play or argue is just plain fun. I didn’t see it that clear… But now I do. 

How to start with this lifehack? Easy, set yourself a time before picking up your phone in the morning and stick to it. It may beep, vibrate, moan, whatever… It definitely leads to a more qualitative life. Enjoy!  

Improving the sustainable lifecycle: Label & Certification.

Improving Sustainable Lifecycle Label & Certification

I am following a workshop series in how lifecycle thinking can be applied and this philosophy not only takes into account capitalist arguments but also sustainability as a whole. It you think about they end-to-end process of any service or product, you will be able to apply improvements along the way if you not only look at your part in the lifecycle but work together with suppliers, partners and customers in making a dent for the future. It makes you think  about raw materials, energy use, use of land, impact on the environment and health, climate change, eutrophication of the ground and the toxicity of used in the progress. They try to measure impact by touching base on all these different axis. They calculate a benchmark called functional unit. A gain is not calculated by comparing individual parts of a product or process but on volume and the gain on that volume. A benchmark is not to compare for instance a PET bottle with a glass bottle, It is to compare the usage of commercial drinking water in a restaurant for instance. Context is also very important.

It’s not a new movement in thinking. It has been around for twenty years or even more. With ups and down people try to do business in a sustainable way. But now, since the rise of the ‘green’ and ‘clean’ energy industry, it became top of mind of both customers and entrepreneurs as it gives them an extra edge, a competitive advantage.
It is more a philosophy than a science, although some instances try to treat it like a science… But with all things that are measured in a philosophy, the truth of finding a benchmark number is pretty far fledged as with numbers you can proof pretty much everything and you can certainly find meaning and value. That’s what it’s all about. Emotion defines how far you run with the ideology.

One example was someone who did in coatings. Because he works with small quantities only, he loses about 50% of this powder. If he could collect that powder and reuse the same power as a raw material instead of throwing it away, he can buy less to start with, he doesn’t need to bear the cost of the waste, … Although the cost is too low today to recycle, it made him think. If he applies a solution for it in which he recuperated 95% of the powder, and took his time frame broader than 1 year, this isn’t such a crazy idea to apply. He would definitely win most on raw materials, but also on the part that comes from the waste business and has an impact on our environment, etc.

Therefore, my idea today is to create an international sustainability label and certification. One in which companies should show that a percentage of their business revenue and/or profit is used to analyse, evaluate and make modifications to the lifecycle of the product or service they are involved in.
This certification could have different levels in which investing in the knowledge (set benchmark) gets you the lowest level of certification, a percentage of the budget spent on improving the benchmark gets you to the second level of certification. A third, and highest level, of certification can be acquired if you actively improve the lifecycle 360 degrees, meaning you don’t only look at your own impact but on the lifecycle as a whole.

The business model for something like this? The label needs to be renewed yearly, certifications should be renewed yearly, a ‘certified partner’ membership network could be created, …

There is no competition in this market yet. So the first who runs with this idea, wins the market.

Stop the ‘Commedia dell’arte’! in soccer.

I love soccer and I like a good duel. A perfectly placed tackle, a pass over 40 metres, a brilliant dribble resulting in a magnificent goal. But what I hate are players that play foul and players that play like someone attempted to kill them. They scream for two minutes but stand up and play like nothing ever happened. I had it with that. I don’t watch full matches anymore. Only the highlights… But they also call it a highlight when something happens like that.

My idea is a fair play campaign that could be turned into a rule. When somebody is playing la commedia dell’arte, the fourth ref can alert the main referee and should give the player a yellow card. Soccer is so much nicer when it’s played fair and fast.

A simple support principle: don’t close tickets.

excited customers

Don’t you hate it when some customer support system automatically closes tickets without them being solved? The personal touch is gone and often people who are not helped, refuse to enter their question for a second time. The perception on customer support, your product and/or service and brand will be bad…

A simple support principle would be that you don’t close tickets yourself but ask your customer to do so. If not, (s)he will be contacted. Creating opportunities to touch base with end customers is not a buzzword. It’s simple principle whereby you create a dialogue and you will get to know numerous ways on how you can improve your product, service and brand perception. The feedback from your customers can be used to drive your business as they will be your first brand ambassadors.

At kañooh, we implemented this principle, next to some other customer touch points. So far, this works great and our clients think so too. Try it for your business.

Maps of ‘friendly’ places.

Kidfriendlyplaces.org

Although most people love kids and small children, a lot of commercial places are not really suited to receive them. When we were on the road in France, we wanted to stop somewhere where we could eat, relax a bit with the children playing nearby. This idea needs a good name and a website. The website shows a google map with pinpoints of child friendly places with brief descriptions of what you can expect. Also places that are not child friendly at all are added.
Apparently, it exist small scale already 🙂

The same theme could be applied to the theme of disabled people, pets, gays, …

Freestyle Experience Travelling: Where you are going…

Freestyle Experience Travelling

The goal is simple. You have none. You just reserve a decent amount of time and off you go. You stick your thumb up and start hitchhiking. Whenever someone stops and ask you the famous question: “Where to?”, your answer is as simple as: “Where you are going, if you don’t mind.”

If they don’t mind, you jump right in and start explaining the concept. You are freestyle experience travelling and you need to stay with the same person for 8, 24 or 48 hours. Within the hour, you need to agree on the timespan you’ll be together. All the consequences of being with a person, shadowing him/her and to experience what this (wo)man experiences are is what’s freestyle experience travelling is all about. You’ll laugh, perhaps you’ll cry, you’ll learn, you’ll have a great time. Once the agreed timeframe has passed, you need to say goodbye and, wherever you may be, continue your travel.

The hitchhiker

This idea is based on my ‘Looking for Margot’ (I don’t know) experience & Valentijn‘s We Work We Play principles. It could be something for Dave Gorman to do. It could be for any adventurous traveler interested in human sciences. Let ne know if you try this out! 🙂

International disconnection day.

live offline

We went for some quality time to Antwerp last weekend. I went in a shop to get my iphone repaired but was too late to collect it back. (btw what F!@#ing shop closes at 4pm on Saturday!) By consequence I was disconnected for almost 48hours. And Sofie didn’t pack her charger.

Normally I do follow everything pretty closely but i felt really relaxed without my phone. I even had to stop people to ask what time it was. We took the time to read a magazine in a coffee bar, made walks wondering we could live in Antwerp or not. Not only can I recommend the Antwerp Nord District, I can recommend to take a disconnection day.

Why won’t we all just do this? 🙂

life is best lived offline

‘A children’s approach to astronomy’ Videocation.

Videocation

My son is really interested in the world as a whole with a particular interest in the moon and stars. Apparently, he gave a lecture this week to his fellow scholars about the sun (who didn’t know!) and he’s only (almost) 4yo. I would love to tell him more about astronomy but although I kinda of enjoy watching skies from time to time, i have no profound interest in it to educate myself to know more about it. I just tell him what I know but I don’t think it’s enough 🙂 

If there were (children’s) video education programs on youtube, intro’s to subjects so education/learning would be something of interest so people or children could hook in when they want, whenever they feel like it, i think children would easier discover what they are really passionate about. I realise it should come from video enthusiasts now but it could be so much more if the government would record lectures around topics and themes with several difficulty levels. I loved the concept of TED and DWDD University but bundled in thematical approaches this type education is something that brings it in reach of thousands that have no education but only need a screen and internet connection.

Perhaps this is something that Arnaud Raskin and his mobile school initiative could develop? 

NoMoreFraud.org, an e-commerce fraude detection service and insurance. #oipd

e-commerce fraud

I am the owner of the feelgood brand for pregnant women ZOYOKO.com that offers designer maternity wear of the highest quality from a large variety of suppliers. We use Atos Worldline and Ogone for our online payments but in all fairness, they suck bigtime for vendors because they only protect the customer. In November we had a good sale for almost 900 EUR. As the credit card was Japanese and used in Greece, we waited for shipping the goods until the amount was registered in our bank account. We shipped the same day and a couple of days later the goods were delivered at the address requested.

In december, we got the request from ATOS to provide them with proof that we authorised the fraudulent payment and requested the payment back. We acted in good faith (we have regularly expats buying) and as we pay Ogone a monthly fee of 10 EUR + 0.3% of the total revenue on top of the normal fees for fraude detection. I was really upset when they told us WE should configure the module ourselves and that it is no guarantee it will detect fraude. It can only assume there is a higher risk of fraud involved… When they told us we should contact every customer whereby the ‘lights’ are orange (>75% of the cases…) and ask them to pay by bank transfer, I felt deceived. So not only do they not take any responsibility, they just make you pay without asking or delivering a service worth the price.

From my frustration I got the following idea. A Mollom-like fraude detection service and insurance in case it goes wrong.

What’s a Mollom like service, i hear you think? Well, it uses the wisdom of the crowds not only to detect but prevent misuse of spam comments on (blog/)websites. By offering it for free to small sites, it gets the adoption it requires to grow its knowledge base. Also, it has a build-in robot detection step 2 authentication in case of doubt wherein real people can enter a captcha to proof they’re human.

So the NoMoreFraud pitch is the following;

credit bank card fraud

NoMoreFraud facilitates and guarantees payments on websites while blocking fraude. The service is in direct contact with Card Stop services around the world, it automatically blocks any payment instantly when it knows a credit or bank card is used falsely. Basically it aggregates all blocked bank and credit cards in the world instantly, so both vendors as well as customers are protected better against fraudulent use of stolen or lost cards.

The service works in close collaboration with authorities around the world to catch the thieves who (try to) use the credit card.

On top of pay per use fee (0,1% of the transaction cost), you can get extra insurance in different formulas (1 EUR per month for up to 1.000 EUR value, 10 EUR per month for up to 10.000 EUR value, …) but normally, over time this insurance should become obsolete.

My 2k14 resolutions

 ny resolutions

  1. Focus on what matters most; spend more time with my family and allow myself a break from time to time.
  2. Sell ZOYOKO.com as we have no time to make it really happen. If you’re interested in taking over this feel-good brand for mama’s-to-be, just contact me. It’s a startup with great potential and its ambition is kinda cool.
  3. Build kañooh and turn it into a CMS momument for the Flemish Government while Paddle will be the brand under which we (ONE Agency and ESN) will market Drupal-as-a-service as an enterprise solution somewhere in the next year.meet people for a reason
  4. Grow a netwerk of people who I find interesting and nice. Being member of BRYO helps. I meet a lot of young entrepreneurs, I help them free-of-charge and use them as a sounding board for my own business ideas and actions. In return, I hope to meet the ideal business partner to work with on some future projects.
  5. Personally, I want to grow my overall strategic business acumen. Sometimes I’m too involved in the nitty gritty. That’ll probably requires more reading on business topics. (Currently I enjoy The Lean Startup of Eric Reis as I just act like it already but now get to know clear arguments to defend this approach)
  6. Lastly, I need to write more in English. It’s simple not good enough. So I will pick up the ‘one idea per day‘ (#oipd) creativity writing task again.

P.S. If everything is working out fine, I want to learn a new language. Portuguese perhaps.

learning portuguese

Givemeyourmoneyandhoney.com: feel good messages & donations. #oipd

donate hope love through messages

Just because it’s a silly idea doesn’t mean it’s a bad one… for me. It could be the next one million pixels project!

On givemeyourmoney.com, you can donate your money (to me or your charity of choice) while spreading a message of hope, love, empathy, … and sharing it with the world.

Social city fitness gardens. #oipd

Istanboel outdoor exercisingCity fitness gardens are playgrounds for adults and the elderly where they can exercise (partly) in open air. The idea is to have these close to retirement homes, places where old people live and can come together, a bit like small football fields, outdoor kindergardens, etc. It is all paid for by the government as it increases both the health of its citizens and plays an important (social) role in bringing people together to these meeting places.

Buy and save or donate payment gateway. #oipd

Yesterday, I was so busy I did’t make time to add an idea. That’s why this one should be a good one, a kind one. So here it is.

For any responsible online business that handles e-payments, it would be an act of humanity just to give them customers a choice between a saving or a donation. The payment gateway solution offers it immediately. The dealer should only take into account that a percentage or fix amount of his goods will be reserved to please its customers.

Get a saving or donate for e-commerce plugin

It addresses to both the left and right brainers, as you get yourself a discount or you can help someone or organization. The perception of the brand that uses the buy and save or donate gateway will automatically improve. (No scientific research says this. It’s my guts only saying this)

A new way of education, work, life and retirement. #oipd

I was just pondering and wondering about life in general and how you get where one wants to get.

Education work life retirement balance
I just came across this sheep and it made me smile. so mèèèèèèèèèèèh!

Wouldn’t it be a nice idea that everyone got a general education where personal interests and talents get developed for 15 years after which, people are obliged to continue to study, learn something practical (plumbing, painting, …) or try out entrepreneurship for 5 more years. In these 5 years they can experiment between all these possibilities and thus discover what they really like to do. At 20 years, they start their first professional life that lasts till they’re 40. Between 40 and 45, they get their pension sabbatical period. After that sabbatical, their second professional life starts. You are only presented with a real retirement (pension) proposition at 70. You can however choose to continue to work for 5 more years or go straight into retirement.

The idea is just that when living fast and furiously, you need to have a perspective in which you can really enjoy life fully. For me, this could and would probably work.

People move me. Big time.

I have no longer a team I direct. It’s a weird feeling. I’ve had been in charge of some people before but never I had expected it would crawl under my skin. Building an offshore business wasn’t easy. I worked day and night, I stood up with it and went to bed with it. And often did I think of them and what they did and who they were. I also wanted to get under their skin. And I wanted to make them better in what they really wanted to achieve. I grew the team within a year from 2 to 9 people in a healthy pace. Not all my hires were equally successful but most of them were at least good enough and always offered perspective in some way.

I left the team for holidays almost 8 months ago and – much against my own advice – I never got back in charge of the team. I’ve send them a quick but meaningful and motivational “So Long, Suckers!” speech e-mail which I know they appreciated.

Two of my favorite hires, one because of potential, the other because of talent just left the company one week from each other recently. And I got a little goodbye e-mail which moved me tremendously. I never saw myself as a boss but I tried to be the best boss for each and everyone in the team. Now I know for sure it was the right thing to do:

Hey Mr. T, Continue reading “People move me. Big time.”

FOSDEM inspired me.

I attended FOSDEM, the biggest free and non-commercial event organized by and for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet.

Continue reading “FOSDEM inspired me.”

Appreciation and things to think about.

It has been one of those days. You certainly have them too. You came back from holidays. You’re happy that the world kept turning and all of a sudden, small things go wrong, they don’t look like small things any more and all of a sudden, you think: What? How did that happen? When? Why? What the … should I do? And why the … do I need to fix this?!

I tweeted the simple question without any context: “What should I do?” and three people returned great answers: Continue reading “Appreciation and things to think about.”

J’accuse (bis)

When I saw Fabian Tilmant‘s tweet this morning in which he regretted not being selected to go on a 10-day innovation trip in the USA and I hadn’t received any news yet, my hopes were up. After checking the website of EYIF, all hopes vanished immediately. They had already selected 10, I presume, very happy people. At that moment, I felt a bit sorry for the organizer not having the courtesy to have informed me in person. It’s not that I had just applied by leaving a name and number, no, I’ve spend a couple of hours on thinking how we could close the Innovation gap in Europa. The way they communicated, or the lack thereof disturbed me. But so be it.

I had a look at the names of the winning participants and one looked very familiar. I double checked and indeed, it was one of the co-founders of the EYIF I’ve come across over the weekend when researching what the EYIF was. I was surprised that a member of the EYIF could win a place in the InnotourUSA 2012… Apparently I wasn’t the only one with that feelingContinue reading “J’accuse (bis)”

“Life is like a tale, told by an idiot.”

There is a great program on Eén, the Flemish public broadcasting channel. It’s called ‘God en klein pierke’ (translated it means god and the little worm) in which Martin Heylen, one of the best and experienced Belgian documentary filmmakers and our local Louis Theroux, gets to follow a famous Belgian. Yesterday’s broadcast was about Arno. He is one of the Gods, musically in the whole French speaking part of the world. They followed him during the last weeks of his two year ‘Brusseld’ tour in Ostend, a gig in Leffinge Leuren and some more gigs in Canada. In my family, we admire him for his musical passion and rock ‘n roll lifestyle. Just two years ago, I gave everyone in the family tickets to go and see Arno in his town of birth, Ostend. It was a great concert!

Continue reading ““Life is like a tale, told by an idiot.””

Integrity?

The Mullet Strategy: “User generated content is all the rage but most of it totally sucks. That is why sites like YouTube, MySpace, CNN, and HuffPost are all embracing the mullet strategy. They let users party, argue, and vent on the secondary pages, but professional editors keep the front page looking sharp. The mullet strategy is here to stay because the best way for web companies to grow traffic is to let the users have control, but the best way to sell advertising is a slick, pretty front page where corporate sponsors can wistfully admire their brands.”

Source: Bnox (Clo Willaerts)