Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spotting the Team Dynamics

We're coming in the last few days of the selection process for this season of Startupbootcamp HightechXL. But we can already see that access to brilliant mentors are one of the main reasons for a high-tech startup team to choose a particular accelerator program. Only a few focus as we do on hardware high-tech, but as the Internet of Things morphs quietly into the Internet of Everything (at least CISCO would like us to believe that), it looks like this a just the right moment to add the hardware side. And just as the teams pick and choose their accelerator, so we pick and choose team. As Richard Branson wrote recently, 

There is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success. However, the best person for the job doesn’t always walk right through your door.
The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner. That doesn't mean you can’t take risks when building your team. Don’t be afraid of hiring mavericks. Somebody who thinks a little differently can help to see problems as opportunities and inspire creative energy within a group. Some of the best people we’ve ever hired didn’t seem to fit in at first, but proved to be indispensable over time.
Guus Frericks is the manager of Startupbootcamp HightechXL. He believes we can go further that just that gut feeling.

Guus Frericks, Startupbootcamp HightechXL
"As entrepreneurs, we know that team dynamics are the key differentiator for successful start-ups. So during our Final Selection days on October 14 and 15th we've partnered with InContext to do some rather sophisticated personality assessment of the finalist teams. So rather than just relying on the intuitive approach that Branson refers to, we're also using technology to explore strengths and weaknesses. That helps our selection teams ask some explorative questions. And all the teams, whether they get in or not, will get access to their respective team reports. These are a great way of understanding the team dynamics and what motivates (and really annoys) others. Some of the missing talent you can hire in when needed. But there are also things that founders should never delegate to others until they have validated their business model canvas"

We have also been talking to other mentors in other programs, making this compilation of views on why mentors matter. Enjoy. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

MN.20.11.1997.When Comdex was riding high

I often feel that some exhibitions will go the way of Comdex - a whole series of computer exhibitions in the US which suddenly collapsed in a black hole. Those were the days when phones were phones and the only way to make a video on it was to fiddle around with Powerpoint. 

Check out this episode!

MN.03.11.1983 Invasion of Grenada

Very early edition of Media Network when Dennis Powell reported on monitoring the US invasion of Grenada in November 1983. We did everything on very ropey old phone lines which must have sounded horrendeous on shortwave. But we got the news out.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Why Choosing the Right Mentors is so important

Working through the Business Model Canvas
We just completed the first of two Mentor Master Classes for Startupbootcamp HightechXL.

At first, it might seem strange that an accelerator would organise a master class for their mentors. Surely, they already know everything there is to know about entrepreneurship? Indeed several have started up companies on the Hightech Campus which were later sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet we are taking a different approach with our accelerator. We're cherry-picking from the Lean Start Up methodology and adapting it to fit the world of high-tech startups. Since hardware is involved the money needed is more substantial and you can't change a minimum viable product by tweaking a few lines of code. But the rewards are also bigger if you get it right.

Last week, Startupbootcamp HightechXL organised its inaugural Master Class for mentors. It was designed to explain the Business Model Canvas approach we're taking and what we've adapted. It was also a chance for two startups to explain their challenges and how mentors really make a difference. Michail Boloudakis
Co-Founder and CEO of Kinemsone of the 9 teams selected for the 2013 Startupbootcamp program in Amsterdam. He came down to Eindhoven to explain the challenges of building a company that helps builds games for children with a learning disabilityIn my personal opinion, Kinems was one of the best teams to come out of the Amsterdam program.

Michail Boloudakis explaining the lessons learned by Kinems
Michail was clear that they were looking for mentors with very specific qualities.

"They must be an entrepreneur. We tended to avoid consultants because they often explain theory rather than practice. Entrepreneurs understand the pressures when things go wrong, as well as how to validate hunches with real customers. They speak from recent, practical knowledge and always keep trying. We also looked for mentors willing to open up their network, even though they know the startup is still at the early stages of development and may pivot. Having said that, the startup also needs to show initiative (i.e. following up suggestions or saying why the contact is not relevant). Good communication is essential.

"In the beginning you get a whole avalanche of advice, both on selection days but also in the first weeks of the program. We listened to all the advice. But we also had done a lot of homework.. We arrived at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam with something like 11 Business model canvasses already worked out. We knew where our weaknesses lay. I cannot stress enough that preparation is essential because there is no time during the program."

"I have a very specific recommendation for the teams joining Startupbootcamp HightechXL to do during their first few weeks of the program.  Be very clear as soon as possible about what kind of expertise you’re looking for. For instance, I knew we needed sales advice (cold calling, etc). Rather than wait for something to pop up  in the program, I used our mentor network and was talking earlier than others to someone who runs a sales accelerator. Our team got a lot of useful advice as a result of being pro-active."

"That preparation in the beginning was worth it because we clearly made the right choice of mentors. That's because even though we're 6 months further in our development, the lead mentors we chose are still on board. Because their skills are still relevant."

"The Amsterdam program is now over. Our technical support has moved back to Greece. But our headquarters and our sales team is based in the Netherlands. This part of Europe is an important market for us and it's a good base from which to plan our global expansion. We've found it an excellent environment for entrepreneurs. The Dutch are very focussed on the bottom line and deadlines. And they say what they mean. That takes some getting used to, but it means you identify problems so much faster. There is also none of the hierarchy that you find in other countries.  The mentors lend their credibility to the program. For instance, when we were talking to a hospital in Ohio, they immediately asked for references. We were able to report that we were doing trials with a Dutch therapy centre, through our mentor circle at Startupbootcamp.  That made subsequent acquisition so much easier. Lead customers often don't want to be the first customer.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Adapt don't copy if you're planning to succeed

Mapping out a strategy at the Hightech Campus Eindhoven

There is a very thoughtful post over on the Lean Startup Blog which caught my eye. That's because I'm working with a team who are adapting the great practical learnings from Silicon Valley and applying them to building successful high-tech companies in Silicon Polder. 

I see that a discussion about the different business cultures is taking place on September 24th, although it is 3 am here in the Netherlands. Startup experts Kevin DewaltTakashi Tsutsumi and Justin Wilcox will meet for a webcast to compare notes. Not sure if I will be the sharpest at that time of the morning. So here are some thoughts up front. Let's start with that blogpost that inspired me: 

In her post today, Lisa Regan, a writer for The Lean Startup Conference notes: 

Entrepreneurs beyond Silicon Valley, including those working abroad, often have to retool Lean Startup methods to apply them in places with very different business cultures.  Kevin Dewalt—a speaker at this year's Lean Startup Conference—is an entrepreneur, investor and adviser who has served as an investor for a strategic U.S. government fund and as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the National Science Foundation. Two years ago, he moved to Beijing, where he founded Lean Startup Meetup Beijing, as well as his current venture,, a platform for leveraging one-to-one relationships to build reputation and word of mouth. 

“Two years ago I moved to Beijing...... If you ask people in Asia about Lean Startup methods, they’ll often say, ‘I’m not sure that would work here,’ and in a sense they’re right–many of the familiar methods won’t work if applied unmodified. That’s why I recommend that people focus on ideas rather than tactics. Lean Startup ideas will work even in places as different from Silicon Valley as Asia–the specific tactics will need modifying, though. 

“Think, for example, about the way we talk about sales and customer development and the idea of ‘getting out of the building.’ In Silicon Valley, you can go to people and ask them what their problems are, and what solutions they would value, and they’ll be happy to answer you. People in Silicon Valley are accustomed to openly discussing change, and to talking about what’s wrong or needs fixing —it’s culturally accepted there and you get a lot of practice at it. In most of the world, that’s just not the case. If you walk into a manager’s office almost anywhere in Asia and say, ‘I want to talk to you about your problems,’ he’ll tell you that everything’s fine, that he has no problems. He’ll probably suspect that his boss sent you. Right away, by talking in terms of problems and change, you’ve lost that person; they’ll just shut down. 

“This is not to say that you can’t get out of the building in Asia, too. But you'll need to do the legwork to get introduced, and to become really known to people before you ask them for help or information". 

“Another resistance or challenge faced by people starting businesses in Asia comes from within the startup itself, around getting support from co-founders and investors. There’s often a practice in Asia of locking onto the first idea as ‘the idea.’ Impatient investors and team members give little support to a founder trying to do Customer Development to verify or modify that idea. They often look on this as a waste of time. And then, when customers are not buying the product, the blame will tend to focus inward — on the founder for perceived shortcomings in the product, rather than examining the question of whether the product itself is actually solving a problem. 

Many of the challenges Kevin describe resonate with Takashi Tsutsumi. Takashi has been a venture capitalist for fourteen years, investing in technology startups both in Japan and in the United States. Enthusiastic about the scientific approach for a startup, he personally translated both The Four Steps to The Epiphany and The Startup Owner's Manual into Japanese. On weekends, he evangelizes Customer Development and runs a Lean LaunchPad class nationwide in Japan. Takashi spoke to us specifically about what it’s like to try to bring Lean Startup methodologies to a business culture as conservative as Japan’s. He described two challenges, and two pieces of good news. [Ed note: Takashi emphasized to us that his ideas here are his own and not affiliated with any companies that he works for or is involved with.]

“Japan is known for its conservatism and the norm of lifetime employment, both of which result in a lack of entrepreneurship. The following are a few examples.

“Challenge #1:  Perfectionism and detail-oriented culture

“Japanese are known for their perfectionism and the Japanese culture is highly detail-oriented. This culture particularly contradicts with minimum viable products. Entrepreneurs worry that they will lose their trust and reputation with customers if their products compromise features, UI/UX, quality, etc. In addition, although entrepreneurs come up with good MVPs, they gradually add more features as customers say that A, B, and Z are missing, resulting in a ‘maximum’ viable product instead. Therefore, one of the keys for success to practicing Lean Startup methodology in Japan is to encourage entrepreneurs to be patient in minimizing their products. I sometimes refer the nice rule of thumb from Eric Ries, ‘Take what you think is right now and cut it in half and do that two more times and ship it back.’

“Challenge #2:  Pivot is failure?

“Pivoting is a key Lean Startup concept, but in Japan, pivot mostly means failure. The Japanese perfectionism affects this thinking in that people consider it right to complete a plan once it’s developed. First, this is true for entrepreneurs. They stick to the initial idea (i.e., the hypothesis) even if facts tell them it’s wrong. They just hate to admit being wrong, or they believe themselves too much to change their mind. Second, and more important, stakeholders, such as investors and management, think this, too. Even when entrepreneurs get used to the principle of Lean Startup, in which a pivot is not necessarily a failure but is progress, their stakeholders don’t share the sensibility.

“Good news #1: Perfectionism and detail-oriented culture

“Perfectionism and detail orientation inhibit adapting Lean Startup methodology in Japan, but they turn out to be strengths once people buy in. Once they buy in, entrepreneurs in Japan follow and execute Lean Startup exhaustively. 

“Good news #2: Customer Discovery nurtures entrepreneurship

“Customer Discovery is never easy in Japan. Ordinary people do not talk to strangers, knowing they hate unsolicited inquiry. However, the more customers an entrepreneur talks to, the more they learn. What surprises me, however, is that talking to customers also turns non-entrepreneurs to entrepreneurs because they feel a sense of fun and confidence in their idea. 

I hope these thoughts encourage you to explore the full post.

In my work with Startupbootcamp HightechXL, a hardware accelerator right in the heart of the High-Tech campus in Eindhoven. With Philips, ASML, NXP next door, and with 60 nationalities on site, it's one of the most inspiring ecosystems I have ever worked in. And it's expanding rapidly so 10,000 people will be on site within a couple of years, 2000 more than now.

Kevin and Takashi are spot on when they say you should adapt the ideas to fit the local culture. We've taken the lessons learned from Eric Ries and Steve Blank and adapted a few things. European VC's usually have a financial background rather than experience in running a start-up themselves. Explaining that a Business Model Canvas needs to come way before any thoughts of a plan are alien to many, especially those who worked in research units that then spun out into their own companies. Companies invented for you, making huge guesses behind high walled fences. 

Plenty of friendly faces at the recent Expat meet and greet in Eindhoven
We're seeing in the South of the Netherlands much less of the arrogance that you see in big cities. May be it is because they have to try harder to find and keep the international talent. But it is also because Philips and others were some of the first to adopt an open innovation approach based on trust and collaboration. 

Getting start-ups to present their idea in a clear, logical, interesting format is much harder in Europe than in the US. Sometimes it is the language barrier - you write a news story in French or Dutch in a different way to English. It is more like a zoom in rather than a zoom out. Which is why English VC's shout at many European startups to get to the point. 

The other challenge is the mainstream media. Science reporting has been seriously neglected by many European public service broadcasters. It is either event journalism with no substance, or foreign material (often excellent) reworked into a local language. That means that local ideas and developments never get the credit they deserve. The work that the Dutch have done with wifi, bluetooth, and chip design are known only to few. That may be because companies like ASML make the machines that make the chips, but there is never an ASML inside label on the outside. So startups in this part of the Europe may have world-class technology. But they have to work 3 times as hard to get the attention of the public as well as investors. Fortunately the better accelerators realise this challenge and help the start-ups build a media strategy as well as finding a context for the new product or service.

Can I also say thank you to the Lean Startup Conference and the eco-system around it for all the inspiration and guidance you have given through books (we bought the Kindle versions), podcasts and blogs. We understand that content is king and putting the ideas to work in a new context is probably King Kong. 

We're blogging about our adventures on these pages and we're always willing to share our experiences with those in this vibrant community.


Heading for Barcelona with Startupbootcamp HightechXL

Heading for Barcelona on October 2nd where Startupbootcamp HightechXL is organising a special pitch day for high-tech startups. If you have a hardware solution, then now is the time to sign-up. Only a few places left. All the details are here

Startupbootcamp HightechXL Barcelona Pitch Day from StartupbootcampTV on Vimeo.

Also a great opportunity to find out about our very different approach to accelerating high-tech startups.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Last call for Hardware in Helsinki

Will we see you in Helsinki? Team of high-tech mentors and investors flying in to the Finnish capital on September 25th. If you're serious about your hardware hightech startup, you know you gotta be there. Full details on the Startupbootcamp HightechXL event page.

Startupbootcamp HighTechXL Pitch Day in Helsinki September 25th from StartupbootcampTV on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Last Call for Hightech Pitches

Startupbootcamp HighTechXL Pitch Day EuroZone Eindhoven September 20th from StartupbootcampTV on Vimeo.

In the studio to get the word out about our pitch days in Eindhoven on September 20th. Glad to get the vocals of Jim Cutler to punch through the static, just like old times. Thanks to all who helped us out so far. One final push to get the word out as we approach the home straight.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Elon Musk, Tony Stark, and the Future of Design

So is Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur, industrialist and inventor a sort of real-life version of fictitious hero Tony Stark, Marvel Comic's Iron Man? I don't think he really cares. He's got his hands full with ventures like SpaceX (space launcher) and Tesla (Electric cars) is hardly out of the headlines at the moment. The difference is that, in contrast to some others trying to develop alternatives to petrol engines, Elon has engineering at heart. Other companies are driven purely by design. That might work for an app. It doesn't seem to be working when it comes to designing an electric car - which is basically a giant battery on wheels.

Musk is worth following because he shares at least some of what he's up to. Look at his recent release on the future of design. It's like Microsoft's Kinect, but then in 3D. Why would hand gestures be useful? Because you have direct control over the navigation rather than trying to fiddle with a joystick.

SpaceX is exploring methods for engineers to accelerate their workflow by designing more directly in 3D. We are integrating breakthroughs in sensor and visualization technologies to view and modify designs more naturally and efficiently than we could using purely 2D tools. We are just beginning, but eventually hope to build the fastest route between the idea of a rocket and the reality of the factory floor. Special thanks to Leap Motion, Siemens and Oculus VR, as well as NVIDIA, Projection Design, Provision, and to everyone enabling and challenging the world to interact with technology in exciting new ways.

They Threw Away the Best Bits

The Dutch current affairs TV programme, Een Vandaag, conducted an interview between Elon Musk and (what they claim) is his Dutch counterpart Michiel Mol (who currently lives in New York). The first bit of the interview was the PR stuff to please the Dutch authorities. Of course that went out on air. But I had cause to explore the public broadcaster's website for a client, and discovered a longer un-cut version of the interview with Elon Musk. Skip the first bit that was used and explore the latter half of the interview. The interviewer gets into a discussion about the technology, especially in current capabilities of batteries. They are not there yet, but much further than I thought.

Elon says the Model S has a useful range of around 400 km at the moment. The new car can charge at 120 kW, 60 times the power consumed by the average household. So the charger and battery need to perform a dance which needs to be monitored. Charge too fast and the battery will overheat (and could catch fire I suppose). Charge too slow and the customers start looking for alternatives. Public expectation is that the battery can be charged just a little slower than filling the tank with conventional gas. Science hasn't yet caught up, but you can be sure they are working on it.

By the end of this year, there will be supercharging stations in metropolitan cities in the US. It should be possible to drive coast-to-coast in the US and remain in range of an electric charging station. As far as Tesla is concerned, the first charging stations in Europe will be installed in Norway. These guys, who made their fortune with oil, have now bought more electric vehicles than anyone.

By the end of 2014, you will be able to be able to travel across Europe and charge the car through the network. And charging is always going to be free. The charging stations are powered by solar cells. Elon also explains why he got involved in the SpaceX project and his fascinating with the planet Mars. He points out that for the first few years they got no help from the government, relying on something like the Lean Startup Method in order to get across Geoffrey Moore's Chasm that faces most hardware entrepreneurs.


Google has been setting up Hangouts between Richard Branson, Elon Musk and the public. Pity that Google doesn't do anything like the preparation required to bring tempo to such a fascinating conversation. Note how emotional Elon becomes around 39'10"into the interview when he went through a very difficult year and had to decide where to put what was left of his money. Clearly he is passionate about what he does. That's the mark of a true world entrepreneur. We shall continue to watch and learn. Hope that Elon comes to this part of the world more often.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Guinness Ad - a fresh approach

At last Guinness breaks through the cliche beer commercial format, getting its message across to 2 million via YouTube in just a few days. I like it because it tells a story of real friendship and genuine team work. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

Close but No Cigar! - Eindhoven Needs to Switch to Plan B(rabant)

The Netherlands and Malta get to pick their respective cities for the title of European Cultural Capital 2018. This is often seen by city mayors as rather like being chosen to host the Olympic games. And on a day like today when the winner is announced, there's a whole swarm of press and cameras who arrive with the satellite trucks out of nowhere. 

Always amazed that news crews are still using satellite trucks - and each station doing their own thing...

Like a White House press conference....
Over the years cities like Liverpool and Linz have put on spectacular festivals of cultural heritage in the broadest sense: music, design and the arts have featured prominently. But Linz, Austria managed to build a bridge with science when they were the Cultural capital in 2009 with their spectacular ARSElectronica festival.

The battle between the cities

Malta has already decided that Valetta will be its candidate. The Netherlands has organised a two year bidding process when the cities of Utrecht, The Hague, Almere, Maastricht, Eindhoven and Leeuwarden, who all showed initial interest, were gradually whittled down to just three. Maastricht, Eindhoven, Leeuwarden. Each came up with a very different interpretation. 

This afternoon, the international jury announced the winner is Leeuwarden, the capital of the province of Friesland. It came to me as a surprise because their performance at previous public presentations was thorough but not spectacular. Evidently, a rethink and team reshuffle in the final rush to the finish paid off handsomely. Their performance this week was first class. The jury was unanimous. Well done.

Eindhoven: what next?

Banners will still flying this morning in Eindhoven. Hope they don't rush to rip them down.

There can be only one winner. And Eindhoven's Mayor van Gijzel and his team, were clearly disappointed today that their bid involving 5 major cities in Noord Brabant wasn't chosen as the winner. They have set aside substantial funds over the last 2 years to realize a comprehensive bid, bridging industrial design with high-tech for which the region has built a worldwide reputation.

Eindhoven Mayor van Gijzel
I asked Mayor Rob van Gijzel what would happen now?

"This has been a supreme effort on behalf of many people. We're a smart city with a focus on the future. Our lead in the bid also involved working closely with four other cities in our large province - Tilburg, Den Bosch, Helmond and Breda as well as the provincial authorities. It has brought us all much closer together, especially because we were working towards a common goal. I am proud of our bid and the plans to build experimental gardens to push European frontiers of creative thinking."

"Albert Einstein has a strong link with our city of Eindhoven. And one particular quote has inspired us. "We can't solve the world's problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them". I would say that our region of the Netherlands is becoming known globally as a centre not only for disruptive thinking - but also doing."

"On Monday we will meet to decide how to proceed further. I hope that some of the goals we set ourselves for this project bid will still be able to be realised, even though we won't be doing this under the banner as European cultural capital. But during this exercise we have learned a lot about ourselves, our cities and our rich and diverse heritage. We also know that industry like Philips, and more recently ASML, have attracted thousands of foreign nationals to the region, along with the students studying at the great Universities in our region. So we congratulate our colleagues in Friesland on their successful bid. And we ourselves will also move forward."

Having been rather intensely involved in the city for the last couple of months because of the new high-tech accelerator Startupbootcamp HighTechXL, I've come to know the area as great cradle of innovation. They welcome alternative thinking with open arms. In fact, people there thrive on it. 

The vast changes to the city as the result of globalisation meant that the whole region "pivoted". They converted buildings which were once the world's largest radio factory into design studios and apartments. And out on the HighTech Campus, where I have been busy recently, the mentality changed from guarding secrets into open innovation and collaboration. 

I personally hope Eindhoven and the Province will reflect for a moment on what others did better. And then implement Plan B(rabant) to make as much use as possible of the creative energy and international good will that has been built so far. After all, that's exactly what experimental gardens (proeftuinen) were set up to do.

The title of this post has a double meaning. Spent last night together with around 200 expats at a meet and greet at the van Abbe Museum of Modern Art. Discovered that van Abbe, like many other wealthy entrepreneurs, came from a family of cigar makers. They made the town famous long before Philips. But that's another story.

Quick Cheat Sheet: What is a European Capital of Culture?

The European Capital of Culture is intended to promote European cultural heritage in all its richness and diversity. European citizens need get to know and understand each other better, becoming aware of the larger community to which they belong. The European Capital of Culture phenomenon was introduced by Mélina Mercouri, an actress, singer, writer and the first female Minister of Culture in Greece. She used her energy, persuasiveness and perseverance to convince people of the added value of art and culture for society. In 1985, Athens was chosen as the first European Capital of Culture, which proved to be a great success. Since then, one or two European cities are put in the spotlight every year. Since 1985 nearly 40 cities were European Capital of Culture, including Amsterdam in 1987 and Rotterdam in 2001. This year the European Capitals of Culture are Marseille (France) en Košice (Slovakia)


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Sorry, my lips are sealed on this one. But did take photos....

As a journalist, it's kinda frustrating not being able to blog or tweet about the great high-tech pitches I saw today at the second open pitch day for Startupbootcamp HightechXL.

That's because it would be unfair to dozens of teams who spent 30 minutes interacting with several mentors from the lead partners EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and Dutch Expansion Capital. You need "Chatham House" rules in order for both sides to be open with each other. It's all about trust, especially when the intellectual property could eventually be worth a lot of money. But I can say that the teams from several countries gave us all the backing we needed.

One team even went as far to say that access to Europe's Silicon Valley in the South of the Netherlands was even more important that his current sales activities in Palo Alto. "People forget that the Netherlands has trade agreements with hundreds of countries, making it so much easier to expand to other markets."

Most of the teams have ambition to expand their ideas to wider markets. For those on line who still want to be considered for the October 14th finals in Eindhoven, there are only 4 days left. September 8th is the deadline because we want to be fair to others. If you know teams that haven't yet heard about Europe's leading hardware accelerator, break the news to them today!

Here's a sneak peek as to who dropped by at the office for the Startupbootcamp HighTechXL side of the selection call.  I was there too, but someone had to be behind the camera.

Know a great team that should be in Eindhoven for the finals? Then stop reading this and persuade them to head off to They'll thank you for it, believe me.

Patrick Gabriels, Eric van den Eijnden, Bart Lugard (seated), Eric Broekhuizen, Guus Frericks take a serious look at a great pitch. Bart and his team have screened 5000 potential companies.

Victoria Martinez and Nick Kalliagkopoulos also cast a sharp eye on the conversations coming in.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Signal CellPhone Jammer

I know a couple of restaurants that purchased these kind of jammers. Although it brought peace and quiet, those on business duties (like doctors) quickly started avoiding the place. Their phones and beepers didn't work. I would avoid similar establishments.  It should be offered as an open service, not a clandestine box for restaurant owners. That happy music makes it look like they are selling lollipops.

I suspect that authorities already use them at public demonstrations - have you seen how poor cell coverage is? Sometimes you also see very strong signals - so much so that I wonder if I am really connecting the right carrier signal. Just because it says Vodafone on the mobile screen is no guarantee is it?

I remember DATONG that used to build shortwave equipment for amateur radio operators (the Woodpecker filter), gave that up and went into building wireless networks of all kinds. David A Tong came up to Durham university in 1980 to explain about the company then. Very different to today.