Startup Hubs

by renn on June 27, 2011

This weekend, Appsterdam was launched by Mike and an amazing team of volunteers. A great initiative for the city of Amsterdam (and the Netherlands as a whole, for that matter), one that will attract more talent and attention to everybody active in shipping software. It’s just what Amsterdam needed: there is a lot of tech activity, yet hardly any organization. I’m sure Mike will change this. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in a name?

by renn on June 1, 2011

Naming your company is complicated. I have no doubt all entrepreneurs out there have the same woes as we’ve faced over the past years: trying to find a name that defines what you do. An appellation catchy enough to stick, perhaps to even form a verb. A name that resonates with users, co-founders, your team, shareholders. A name with an unsquatted domain.

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The spousal bickering between founders, a love story

by renn on April 20, 2010

A conversation over a couple of beers with my friends Robert and Steven about the stereotypical woes entrepreneurs tend to share with each other gave me a surprising outcome. The commonality is about the complex relationship between company founders. Now, without cheesy puns involving carnal pleasures I’ll play the matrimony card: the relationship with your business partner(s)/co-founders is astonishingly similar to married couples. Even worse. I’ll explain why.

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Pitching the crowd – and winning a startup competition

by renn on April 12, 2010

It’s April again, a very special month for our company. Last year around this time we were right in the middle of finalizing our software builds for a soft launch at The Next Web conference in our hometown of Amsterdam. At the same time, trying to get through the first rounds of the startups that applied for their startup rally. Handling a major deadline, managing a team and perfecting your stage talk is extremely time consuming and nerve wrecking in such a short amount of time. But when we got shortlisted as finalists we actually added a little fuel to the fire and prepared a bit more. Finalize the software. Finish the mobile web client. Produce a cool introduction video. Prepare a great pitch. We used online channels to get as much people pumped up and rooting for us, and got on the stage to do the best we could.

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How to lose weight. No, really.

by renn on November 18, 2009

I used to be overweight. Not just a little. When I’d walk down the street, people would go “Damn, that’s a fat ….” (you can fill out the dots with some creative swearing. I’ve heard them all). At my highest level of fatness, I weighed in at a 145 kilograms, which equals about 320 pounds for everybody on the other side of the Atlantic. I’m roughly a 193 centimetres tall (6.3 feet), which left my BMI at an alarming 38.9 (with 30 being the “obese” level). So the people on the street were more than right.

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Ode to a Bag

by renn on September 20, 2009

It’s been almost two years since I saw a teaser of the most perfect bag in the world. No. Let me rephrase. Not just a bag. It’s been almost two years since I saw a teaser of the most perfect laptop bag in the world. Finding a good laptop bag is not a facile task. Sure, there’s lots of great bags out there, though the majority of them are still black/greyish with “Toshiba”, “Dell”, or “Acer” embossed on the front. Not something that you want to wrap around your MacBook. And definitely not something to be seen with (at least, not for me).

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Don’t start a company.
Start a company.

by renn on June 17, 2009

Since I founded both of our companies with Arjen and Paul in 2007 I’ve been walking around with the concept of documenting the whole process. A task which has obviously been impossible to complete: you would have been reading one of many, many posts instead of this first summary of what’s been happening up until today. Nevertheless, the urge to write about my experiences has never been cast aside, and now is as good as any time to pass on my thoughts and experiences to anyone who is dreaming about starting their own company.

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