Why I took a job

I took a job.

I'm now head of growth at Bleeve.

Why?

I've always enjoyed being an entrepreneur and I won't stop being one. I'll still hustle on the side.

It's not about that.

I've always dreamt of making a positive change in the world. The well-being of the environment concerns me deeply.

In times where a supposed leader of the world turns his back on the planet it's time to take action ourselves.

Bleeve wants to tackle this problem by helping people make their houses more sustainable.

That's why I took this job. I want to help a company with a great idea grow, to exponentially amplify its impact.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Choose purpose over money.

The value of creativity

Last year I was invited by Innovation Booster to do a presentation about the value of creativity at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and I’d like to elaborate on the subject in this post. I touched on a variety of subjects in my presentation and I will explain them all here. The value of quantitative labour versus qualitative labour; the risk of falling prey to automation; the XY theory by McGregor; the millennial definition of success and the happiness ladder. I’ll include my presentation too!

Killer whales

As a child I was fascinated by the movie ‘Free Willy’ and I became a huge fan of orcas. When given free drawing assignment at primary school I immediately went to draw some orcas and the classmate sitting next to noticed. He gave me a nudge and said: "Couldn’t you draw me one of those orcas?” "Of course" I said. "I see that you have some candy, I’ll do it for some of that.” Within moments half my class stood lined up in front of me to get a drawing.

The reason I tell this story is because I still do this. I’ve worked as a freelance presentation designer for the past 2,5 years now. This technically means I’m still drawing pictures for people who give me candy, sort of. Sometimes you find things you’re passionate about early on in life. These early talents usually expose whether you’re a ‘left brainer’ or a ‘right brainer’ (I know this distinction is already debunked by science, but for argument’s sake I’ll keep using it). 

Left brain/Right brain

A left brainer would typically be considered more of a numbers person, whereas a right brainer would be a creative spirit. This isn’t to say that one would exclude the other, only that you have more talent for one of the other. I’d argue that the people on the quantitative side of the spectrum are more at risk of falling prey to automation. It’s just what computers are typically good at and are able to excel at in a rate that exceeds human capacity.

That’s where I think one of the values of creativity comes up. Even though creative jobs aren’t safe from automation, because of the increased complexity of aesthetics and appreciation, people in creative sectors are safe for at least a wee bit longer. 

If we look at the ages of civilisation throughout history, this statement for me is confirmed. I’ll list the ages we’ve been through and the workers they’ve thrived on here:

  1. Agricultural age (farmers)
  2. Industrial age (factory workers)
  3. Information age (knowledge workers)
  4. Conceptual age (creators and empathizers)

We are now living in an age where creativity is becoming more important than ever. The problem is that being creative is a rare skill, or I'd rather say staying creative is. I deeply believe that EVERYONE is born with creative skills. Unfortunately a lot of people get educated out of it. This is because we still have our educational institutes structured the same way as was the case in the industrial age. Luckily change is happening, but I still see it as the cause of the major discrepancy between the skills that one learns in school and actual market demand. 

So how can you become creative?

I am convinced you can find your creativity by finding your passion. If you are REALLY enthusiastic about your craft or skill, you try to get to know EVERYTHING about it. You get to know your craft in and out. You become an expert. At that point you might even start to see completely different applications.

This, for me, is creativity.

What I've learned doing growth at Travis the Translator

Last month I ran a crowdfunding campaign as head of growth at Travis the Translator. We set an $80K campaign goal, we had a month to achieve that audacious goal. We ended up raising $628K. What a ride.

What I've learned:

1. Your contributors don't find you by themselves It's important to start building community ASAP. Have all of your fans in one place to be able to directly communicate with them and gather qualitative info. You can use this info for your ad copy later. Build a large email list before launch. Reach out to tech reporters. Ramp up your FB ads.

2. You need to check your growth rates daily Growth is a continual process. You need to be focussing on it constantly to keep moving the needle. Running a successful crowdfunding campaign is straight up hustle. You need to continually be running experiments and double down on the ones that work.

3. Crowdfunding campaigns are madness These past few months were madness. It's basically a complete business launch condensed into one month. Lots of chaos but also lots of excitement. This was a crazy ride and I'm super excited for the Travis team and genuinely believe they will change the world for the better. I'm totally excited for my new projects.

Let's do this.

Keep hustling 👊

Hello World!

This the first blog post on my personal website. Ever. I will not use the opportunity to make this a very lengthy and shareable post with many insights. On the contrary, it will be short and sweet and I will use it to introduce some of the topics that interest me so that you know what to expect from me in the future. 

Growth Marketing

I am obsessive about growth. I'm currently freelancing as a growth marketer and love to keep up to date with the latest trends and tools, which I will in turn share here.

Visual Design

I have a background in visual presentation design. Even though this doesn't have my main focus anymore, I still get enthusiastic about good visual design and will sometimes share my opinion on current trends.

Public Speaking

My passion for public speaking is actually an extension of my passion for visual presentation design. I love to visualize my story, but only if it supports my told story in the right balance. I am also a pitch mentor at an accelerator program.

Productivity

I am a huge productivity fan and love to find new frameworks and tools to help me be the most productive I can be. I'm a fanatic GTD-practitioner and use a plethora of productivity tools to keep my day going. 

Those are the topics I am most likely to take some deep dives in on my blog, but there definitely are some other topics (Blockchain, AI, AR) that have my interest and will likely be mentioned here too somewhere down the line. Looking forward to keeping this blog regularly updated with fresh content and some well structured informational pieces!