17 November 2004


netObjects "is a collection of everyday objects for the home that present real time information from the web. netObjects give body to specific themes: from the latest headlines to personal contact ads, from stock market quotes to daily horoscopes.The collection has been conceived as an attempt to question the role of networked appliances in the domestic environment."

<br /> <br /><body bgcolor="#000000"> <br /> <br />netObjects. Hector Serrano and Victor Vina. Collection of everyday objects for the home which present real time information from the networks. <br /></body>

16 November 2004

Invention or Innovation?

This bit of insight from Michael Schrage (MIT's Tech Review) over at Techdirt's blog may go a long way in explaining our weakness in innovation here in Nederland.

He claims that innovation is much more important - and more importantly - is entirely separate from invention. According to him, inventors were historically innovators. It's only the distance of history that has rewritten their stories as if they were inventors.

Scrage points out that invention has nothing to do with commercial success - whereas innovation has everything to do with it. Furthermore, this ties into the ongoing debate over patent reform: "If you want to learn about the importance of "invention" over the past 300 years, talk to the lawyers. If you want to hear about the importance of "innovation," however, talk to anyone else."

So, the real question then, is whether or not our intellectual property system should be encouraging invention or innovation? I'd vote for innovation - innovation drives the economy. We need fewer lawyers involved with the patent system, and perhaps more innovators.

"The technical excellence of an invention matters far less than the economic willingness of the customer or client to explore it." In other words, any system designed to encourage innovation needs to encourage actually making use of the innovation - and not, for example, sitting on a patent and doing nothing with it.

We're about to hold a Pow-Wow tomorrow about this very issue. Our new initiative - "Innovation is a culture" - builds a path from mind-set through understanding the processes and procedures needed to grow innovation as a culture inside the organization.

10 November 2004

10 X 10

Jonathan Harris has created a visual current event digest 10 X 10.

10 X 10 ('ten by ten') is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time. Every hour, 10 X 10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time.

At the end of each day, month, and year, 10 X 10 looks back through its archives to conclude the top 100 words for the given time period. In this way, a constantly evolving record of our world is formed, based on prominent world events, without any human input.

You can find Jonathan J. Harris work at Number 27.

Death & Destruction in Nederland

Yesterday, many said their final goodbyes to Theo van Gogh - son, brother, friend, film-maker, and controversial journalist.

Theo was assasinated last week by a young Morrocan, educated and raised here in Amsterdam. He murdered Theo for his outspoken and controversial dialogue about fundamental religious impact on women and the community.

Almost immediately, Nederland found itself facing focused terrorist activities - the bombing and burning of an islamitic school for children and booby-trapped building that police are investigating.

The Netherlands is known as a country of tolerance. People can pretty much do what they like and it goes relatively unpunished compared to other countries. Last week changed the dialogue in this land. People are engaging in heated and emotional conversations about their feelings, opinions and most of all, their desire to see a big change in how multi-cultural integration will be handled in the future.

9 November 2004


Neville Hobson sent me an email because he had an idea to gather some bloggers from Amsterdam together to contribute to Metroblogging.com

A cool site - Metroblogging.com - has city blogs from many places, mostly the US of course but also in Europe: London and Vienna.

What a great idea. But no Amsterdam! One of Europe's great cities!

To start an Amsterdam metblog, we need 10 bloggers. I've signed up, so 9 more are required. Is this something you'd be interested in? If so, just sign up HERE.

If you think it's a good idea, would you promote this on your blog? See my blog


If you're interested, sign up. We need a minimum of 10 bloggers. Would be great if we could gather a whole force bloggers with a wide range of interests and contacts for people.

I've also posted it on the club forum for

7 November 2004

New Definition of Marketing

What a nice surprise! The American Marketing Association has presented their new definition of the discipline of marketing. You can read more about it in this article, AMA REDEFINES MARKETING: SURPRISE -- IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER By Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D.

They acknowledge that engaging in relationship with the customer is the core focus in marketing. About time! Now how long do you think it will take to convince business units that a relationship with their customers is top of the list?

"The American Marketing Association is a respected organization of 38,000 members that has been around for more than six decades. Many in the industry see it as setting the standards of marketing practices and education.

The previous AMA definition of marketing, active since 1985, was:
"Marketing is the process of planning and executing conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of goods, ideas and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals."

The new definition of marketing, unveiled at the AMA's Summer Educator's Conference in August is:
"Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."

Jack Hollfelder, Senior Director of Publishing, American Marketing Association, describes the definition change as moving from a transaction orientation to one that focuses on the customer. "Technology and marketing have been changing quite rapidly over the last five to 10 years.
The 1985 definition was not encompassing enough. The new definition more clearly infuses the customer into marketing."

Adam Herman, Senior Vice President and Integrated Media Director at ad agency Beyond Interactive, says that the new definition is a reflection of what's already being done. "The new AMA definition of marketing is very appropriate for most brands, in that marketing should be customer-centric, and not brand-centric," he says. "This renewed focus on the customer, which successful brands have been doing anyway for years, puts the proper emphasis on the group that has the real power in the sales equation -- those that buy the products, not the sellers."

Jeff Weiner, head of the Relationship Marketing Research Practice within Measurement Strategy Consulting at Carlson Marketing Group, sees the AMA definition as a major shift in acknowledging the power of the customer. "The new focus is now on 'managing customer relationships,' which is a huge shift from the previous definition," he says.

Now, let's see if those of us involved in marketing here in Europe can actually convince our clients that the customer is King!

6 November 2004

Goodbye to Mikey

We said goodbye to Mike Ainsworth this past week. I've just returned from his funeral in England. Mikey was a great guy. This is very difficult for me.

I have thousands of pictures and just as many sounds in my mind. I keep hearing Mikey telling me to "land it, Colby - just land it!" I see his round face and watch him pace while he imitates the Dutch or the Norwegians struggling with concepts larger than their language!

Mikey danced through life with his wicked sense of humor, mimicking accents while he shared the cultural hiccups that brought us all to tears laughing. He had a brilliant mind that structured frameworks for assembling even the most complicated thinking...and helped each of us become more of ourselves by engaging with him that way.

What Mikey brought to each of our lives was a real sense of presence. Be here now. Deal with reality and the consequences of your choices. He was not a man to run naked through an emotional landscape. He preferred to celebrate life with a great bottle of wine (or preferably several!), really yummy food, and the company of those that shared the enjoyment of one another's company. That is how Mikey showed his love
for us - he gave us his precious time.

I remember him telling me about Sarah - now his wife - when we were working together in Oslo for the client Nowegian Railroad back in 1998. He did not hesitate for one second as he detailed the research efforts of her company, and then slipped in the
notion that he was sure he was in love. His sense of honor forced him to tell his wife immediately - while we all ducked knowing the cascade of fire that would follow. He carried the responsibility of his choice for Sarah like a badge of honor in a war that he knew his former wife would never let end. He knew it beforehand, but was not willing to risk losing Sarah - his chance of having real love in his life. He was willing to pay dearly for that. He never looked back and never regretted that decision. You've got to love a man like that! Talk about standing for what you believe in.

During his funeral, his brother Peter said that Mikey "fostered the promise" in people. He was a man driven by ethics, fueled with creative spirit and following a path that fed so many others.

We miss you, Mikey. We will do our best to foster the promise in ourselves.