Seeing outside the box: Freakonomics

This is one of the books I was really looking forward to, to read, for a very long time. I was doubting quite often if I should order it, but when I found it at a Books-A-Million store in Florida, I couldn’t resist any longer.
I started reading it on holiday, but I wasn’t able to finish it yet.
I can definitely tell it’s an eye-opener when it comes to seeing (or thinking, whatever) outside-the-box.

More comment on this book will follow.

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Time for some updates….

I haven’t been active on my blog for a long time now. Like a lot of people I’ve been working on too much projects (and with a complete loss of focus). It sounds a bit like the common disease of the 21st centure.

Well, time to change things. And the easiest and quickest changes are the small ones, that can be implemented very rapidly, isn’t it?
So, as from now on, I will be adding the books I’ve read over the last years to my blog, together with some insights I gained with these.

To be continued 🙂

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Long time no see

Woow, it’s been almost 2 years since I posted my last post. A real shame. Well, quite some things have changed since. Let me start with the most easy one: I dropped I had no time anymore to work on the project and I get more and more convinced about the importance of focussing on 1 thing (not that I already succeed in doing that, but OK, I try 🙂 ).

Dropping was a pretty hard decission: it was the first e-project I ever started working on. At that time, the idea was still to create a webshop to supply the entire world with Belgian chocolates and beers. Back in 2002-2003 there was not yet that much out there. Nowadays, I wouldn’t try that again: there is way to much competition for Belgian products (both online and offline) and margins are so low, that it doesn’t seem to be worth the effort anymore.

Besides: even if it would have been a good-running e-project, I still hope I can tell my grandchildren something different then „I sold chocolate bars to the US, despite half of them being melted upon arrival” 🙂 So, I took the hard decision and pulled that plug.

I still have the website’s archive, though. Just in case I would ever…. Nope, I won’t 🙂 Johan

Posted in Belgian Delicacies, Business, General | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

My projects and my dream…

Curious of the projects I am working on or I recently worked on?
Have a look over here.

Though the list is not yet complete, it represents my major projects.
Besides that, I’m wondering if I should include my dream overe here. The ONE thing I definitely want to do somewhere in the future (though, keeping into account the financial side of the story, it will be further away in the future 😉 ).
(and also: unlike the most other dreams I’ve heard of: “THE THING my wife also dreams of” 🙂 ).

Now, someone recently told me “dreaming” is for those people who actually don’t plan to ever achieve. The guy recommended me to “act”, not to “dream” about the thing I want to do within, let’s say 20 years.
He had a good point, but I’m convinced dreaming also helps you expanding your ideas and actions beyond the limit of what you already know/do…
To put the story short: well, who knows one day I will describe it over here. Maybe by then it’s already being realised…

As from February 1st, I will also start a new challenge. I’m absolutely looking forward to it and will provide more information on this soon. It’s will be a good blend of my interest in IT and my knowledge and experience in financial matters.

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About beers…

Woow… the last message on my blog dates from the end of February, while today it’s August 3rd. Amazing how fast time flies.
And especially: amazing how many things can happen in one’s life in the course of, roughly, 6 months.

When it comes to my love for Belgian beers, 2 major things happened: first of all I held a temporary job at the Alken-Maes breweries (Heineken Belgium). Between mid-April and today, I assisted as sales controller in several monthly recurring controlling tasks, SAP-Optimization tasks and the optimization of the use of other business tools such as Business Objects, Hyperion Essbase and BPC. Though I have created an allergy for the latter one when it comes to business tools, this temporary position at Belgium’s second largest brewery was really a great experience. I’ve met a lot of interesting people and I learned quite some things about beers I didn’t know.
If you’re wondering which brands they are famous for, you must have heard already of Grimbergen or Affligem (and if not, have a search on Other beers are Maes, Cristal, Mort Subite, Ciney…

The other major thing is: Continue reading

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Startup in the Florida Holiday Rental Business – 8

FloridaVakantievillas.comOK, I decided: during next week (2nd week of March) the launch of the beta version of the Florida Holiday Rental website will take place! I realize that it won’t have already all features as I planned it to have, but the current version is working and stable enough for a public release.

So, how did I suddenly came to making this decision? Well, first of all because this project has been under development for far too long now. Waiting any longer until the developers our finally completely finished (if ever…) would only cause much more delay, for which there is no time anymore.
And as second reason: some colleague-entrepreneurs I’ve met last week, convinced me to start with what I already have.

Last week, I attended a startup event in Brussels for (Internet)entrepreneurs. It was a very interesting and inspiring meeting. During the networking moment, I talked to some colleague Internet entrepreneurs and explained them the Florida Holiday Rental project. Some of them were in the same case as I am (dealing with never-ending development times and/or having a working beta version). One advise came around several times: “don’t wait any longer, launch with what you already got”.
Back home I started to think about all pros and contras I could invent for launching a beta version. And the only thing I could come up with myself is that the beta should have been launched already a while ago.

At this moment we are preparing for the launch (Woow, actually that sounds really spectacular!). I’ll let you know as soon as the project is out there, in cyberspace! And then, of course, I expect you to be my next visitor! 🙂

Stay tuned,


Posted in Business, Florida | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Some exciting time is coming…

Ok guys, I’ve been away for some weeks, but it’s time to provide you with an update now. For the moment just some bullet points. I will provide you with more information soon:
  • First of all, I left my job as financial controller. I did so for various reasons, but the mainly to be able to focus on my business projects.
  • I decided to launch a beta version of the website on the Florida project, even while not all modules have been finished yet. But before doing so, I want to make sure translations are added and the legal matters are verified. This beta version should be online by February 21st.
  • For the moment I continue with the Apple courses I’m giving. I really like to give these courses and it also forces me to stay tuned on whatever happens on the OS X platform.
  • And we decided that this year we would make a large US-trip (under the condition the Florida project succeeds).
More information will come soon!
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Startup in the Florida Holiday Rental Business – 7

It’s been quite some months since I gave you an update on the most interesting project I’m currently working on: the Florida holiday rental business.
Well, I really wish I could tell you the website came out of the development status and went live, but unfortunately I can’t.
It’s only since mid-September that the developers increased their speed. Actually it felt like they did the same amount of work on six weeks between mid-September and end of October, as they did in the 10 months preceding that period. I don’t know what to think: once they get started again, the speed goes up significantly. But once there is a holiday in sight, you can be sure it takes another 3 weeks to get the project moving again. It’s a fact that by now the website has been under development for more then a year. It could (and should) have been online already several months ago. But OK, things happen and I can only say that I learned 1 very important lesson for future collaboration with web developers: “include a deadline and a penalty when the deadline is exceeded”.

Hope this advice can help somebody else out there as well.


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Some short movies about entrepreneurship in Sillicon Valley

Last week I was looking for something on YouTube when my attention was drawn by a movie called “‪How To Make Your First Billion – Day 1‬”. (Admit, your attention would be drawn as well, isn’t it?).

The movies represent a short documentary made by the BBC. In 4 short movies, we see the adventures of 2 guys who built their own business in Sillicon Valley. At certain moments, the movies are interrupted by known entrepreneurs who tell us about their view on some matters.
Continue reading

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Cursus Efficiënter werken met Mac OS X

Nog tot 11 december geef ik herfstpromotie op een 3u durende Apple Mac OS X training.
Alle informatie op deze pagina.

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