It is April – relatively early in 2012. But it is safe for me to say, this is a year of changes. Last year in August I ended my position as Digital Managing Director at TBWA Switzerland. It was a position we created, a great job and I loved my work. But differences with the CEO and a reversal of the strategic direction for my department made it impossible for me to stay.
What followed was a reorientation. I have been an independent consultant for many years, so it felt right to go back to these roots. Holding an executive position in an advertising agency involves responsibility, but it also removes the ability to act agile and without constraints.
Consulting and Speaking
I had plans I wanted to pursue. 2012 is the year to realize them. For one, I like being in a position where I perform best, in product development, researching, and applying my knowledge and experience in concepts of interesting projects. 99% of these are Internet related, like a social networking job platform I have been looking into. But there are other kinds of projects too, products or services that involve more aspects of life. I have always embraced the idea that Internet and real life are not meant to be separated. The Internet is an extension of our communication capabilities, it provides an additional layer to our real life space.
I will also continue to speak at events I am invited to. In autumn 2011, I was speaking at the Vision Scapers Network, with a presentation about “products as living beings” (I will make this presentation available soon).
Second, I have a longterm vision for a startup company called River. Creating this startup has been a long time dream of mine, and I am happy to say it is beginning to come alive.
The first child of River is Steps, a new task management app that was designed from the ground up. Which means it works better, more intuitive and simpler than most apps in this market, but it doesn’t make compromises on necessary functions, such as reminders, adding notes, or syncing with a cloud service.
River is very young, in its early stages. It requires a lot more nurturing and investments (thought and financial investment), to grow up. But it is coming along well and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.
There Is More
This website started as a small portfolio and profile site. It was made during the evenings, lunch breaks and weekends of the last couple of weeks at TBWA. It served its purpose perfectly, but it was quite static. The content and code was not separated. Every change I made needed to be coded manually in HTML.
In the last couple of days I switched this system to WordPress. I chose a framework (called Skeleton) and moved the content from the old pages to the new CMS. I needed to make a couple of small compromises, due to the limitations of the way this framework works, but the advantages on the other hand are great. I have now an easy way to update projects, add images, galleries and slideshows, or write blog posts related to my work, my research, my passion and love for what I’m doing.
Let me know how you like it. I’m always curious what you are thinking.