Hello, nice to talk to you.
Shwen enthusiastically introduced me some time ago as co-blogger, and the first blogpost I write I already have to apologize for my late reaction. It have been hectic times for me lately, and sometimes you have to sort things out first before jumping to something new. But more about that later. Shwen already introduced me quite well, but let me elucidate on that a bit further.
As Shwen wrote, I am based in the Netherlands. The Netherlands, a small Northern European country with some 16 million people and half of the country living below sea level. That’s right, if the dikes break half of the country is gone. We are a small yet pretty tech-savvy country. Nearly 80% of the households have a broadband internet connection, the major hub for the internet from the US to Europe is based in Amsterdam and we have some great inventions on our name (Bluetooth, Wifi, Kazaa, Skype, just to name a few). It is in this country that I found myself starting up my ow company, together with my business partner René van den Bos.
Flashback 1994. I graduated university where I got my BSc in Biology. Started working in research at J&J (Janssen Pharmaceuticals) in Belgium but was bored after a year. Decided to go back to school to do a post-graduate Economics. Started my ‘real career’ in 1995 in a sales function at Diosynth, a company producing and marketing active ingredients for the pharma industry and part of Organon Biosciences. In 1998 I switched to Intervet, now part of Schering-Plough, global number 1 veterinary pharmaceutical company. I’ve had various functions within this company: Assistant Area Manager, Business Manager, Export Sales Manager, Global Product Manager en now Innovation Manager. In 2004 I graduated for my MBA at the Business School the Netherlands.
It has always been a wild ride, with many challenges. But still, I missed something in my daily job. It was only until the rise of Web 2.0 and the popularity of video that I realized there’s more in life than the marketing of drugs. In 2007 René and me started exploring the adventurous world of Web 2.0 and we established the basis for our company DigiRedo in 2008. With DigiRedo we help companies improve communication (internally and externally) by the use of new media. We write about our activities and views on this world on our blog.
Flash forward to today. This year has been an inspiring year for me. First of all because of the birth of my daughter (first kid). Very, very special. Secondly because of the change of jobs within Intervet to Innovation Manager including a scenario whereby I will be focussing less and less on Intervet and more and more on DigiRedo. And last but not least because of a fantastic first year of DigiRedo. We have had the opportunity to work on great projects such as setting up a very successful internal podcast program, interviewed great people (Len Starnes, Tim O’Reilly, Craig DeLarge…), helped people in Tanzania, went to inspiring congresses and spoke on them as well.
2009 will be the year of truth. What will the impact of the financial crisis be on communication budgets, and thus affecting us as well? Nobody knows. Time to find out. I’m ready to take the challenge. In my view the only way to survive these times is by hard and smart working. Hard working by putting your customers in the middle of your activities (don’t know about the US, but in the Netherlands that’s kind of rare). Smart working by continuously improving your self, educating and trying new things. Don’t sit still.
Speaking of that latter, expect from me blogposts on innovation and the use of social media in the pharma business, the use of rich media to enhance your message, interesting interviews with inspiring people and a European look on the pharma world. I will be critical and direct sometimes, but that seems to be in the genes of many Dutch people. By all means, use the comment button…
Wishing you all the best for 2009 and speak to you soon!