Posts Categorized: 1. Joop.in:

Meanwhile, at the blind-Korean-GPS-marketed-witch-doctor’s house

I visited a very special practitioner on Friday the 22nd. A blind chiropractor called Mr Ahn, with a special approach. — for his diagnose, he touches certain body points, after which he gives lifestyle advice or prescribes natural medicines. The man has gained popularity, and people from all corners of Korea are lining up in front of his house. Interesting part of his popularity is the relation with GPS technology, an example how old traditions meets new technology in Korea.

Free GPS marketing

Mr Ahn was trained as an acupuncturist by a monk ever since he was just ten years old. At the age of forty, he had a car accident and became blind. At that point he became a chiropractor and became popular in an interesting way.

The CEO of an in car GPS company had a very sick son, the baby had something with his intestines. The hospital couldn’t do much, and planned a second operation in the same month. The CEO couldn’t stand the approach of the hospital and decided to visit mr Ahn.

The blind practitioner pressed his stomach, and closed the babies nose and anus. The mom had to breathe air through the babies mouth, and when she did, and the parents visited the hospital, the problems for the baby seem to have vanished.

The CEO was so happy with the result, that he made Mr. Ahn a point of interest on all GPS maps that were produced by his company, so people would be able to find the practitioner that saved his baby.

The point of interest is unique in the catalog, and its a good way for customers to find them. He lost his sight with a car, but gained popularity with the technology designed for cars.

So what did he tell me?

To be honest, I am not very open-minded towards alternative medication. My whole family works or has worked in a hospital at some point of time, including me. I prefer allopathic approaches to medical problems. Call it luck or coincidence, but I had the opportunity to visit him for free, and without a waiting in line, so I decided to experience his approach and see it for myself. Open minded towards the culture, and some curiosity I guess…

Inside the typical Korean house (no tables, and a big HD tv) I had to lie down on the floor, with my head on a pillow. He felt my hand and feet and told me that I had a high salt concentration. He told me that jogging would be the best sport for me to keep cholesterol levels low in the future. Then he explained that I was to stressed, and that I should take things more slowly. He started to write something in Braille and finished with a joke.

The advice was pretty general, jogging reduces cholesterol and everyone thinks they are stressed. The only thing that really struck me is his story about the salt. The Dutch cuisine is generally accented with salts, while the Korean cuisine is accented more towards sugar and sour tastes. I prefer to eat a lot of salt, and his immediate response that I ate to much of it, still boggles my mind today. What do you think?

Working at Meganova, because sitting at home is a bitch

“Finally a holiday!” I yelled earlier, but soon I found out that sitting at home was not as good as I imagined in the first place, don’t get me wrong, I have enough work but I realized that I felt tired all day long and couldn’t get any work out of my hands; do you know that feeling? I decided to get back in the office, simply to regain business rhythm and to meet new people while I am here.

The first thing that came to mind was a business incubator located in Amsterdam called Meganova. Meganova hosts a annual web-conference called ‘Thenextweb’ and operates a weblog with the same name. I visited the office before, and they seem very entrepreneurial people. This attitude is quite simulair to what we did at opencoffee Sweden. Good! I felt lucky on my birthday last week, and send them an email. I got an excited response back, and am currently working at the headquarters as co-editor for their weblog.

I aspire to start a company but I think that being around some people that speak the same (web) language, and hearing the successful and unsuccessful stories that they cope with is a valuable experience for that matter. I might be able to pitch an idea at the same time.
Although my time in Korea will start very soon, I realize that the coming few weeks will be full of surprises, and I am happy that I have some time to enjoy it and being back in Amsterdam also feels good. Sitting at home is a bitch, so I am back at the office!

Follow my latest news updates on thenextweb

Launch of opencoffee.se in Sweden, interview from Ezine

opencoffee.jpgThe idea behind “Open Coffee” is that entrepreneurs need a physical space to meet and share their ideas. The meetings exists in various places around the world, such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and London. Now Dutch student Joop has brought the international phenomenon to Jönköping. The goal is to create a situation where new ideas are created. It’s going to be an informal meeting where you can sit in a small group and talk about your idea and maybe show it on a lap top. It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their ideas and get to know new people. It’s going to be completely informal and unstructured, except for the meeting date.

Where did you get the idea? I was an exchange student in Barcelona two years ago where they had coffee meetings, but then it was called “open offices”. It was later labelled “Open Coffee”, by the vice President of Skype. It’s been growing ever since and there are over 80 locations of Open Coffee today. I was working on a project for my master program at JIBS. I found it surprisingly hard to collaborate on a professional level with the various students on campus. Great ideas could emerge if all different entrepreneurial enthusiasts in Jönköping would just meet for an hour on a weekly basis Do you think it will work here? Yes, I do. The idea of creating a weekly networking event for all students, alumni, teachers and local ventures seem to attract many people. When I approached Inger Melin and Annika Anderson from the library they were enthusiastic about hosting a weekly Open Coffee here in the heart of the Jönköping campus. I hope this event will initiate a steady growing club that instantly attracts entrepreneurial enthusiasts, journalists, venture capitalists and business angels.

Somebody tried to rob me at bloemendaal

Another fine sunny day at Bloemendaal! Although somebody tried to steal my wallet, luckily I felt his hand grabbing the wallet in my back pocket. He grabbed it, and I touched his hand while he wanted to dive behind some people. He got scared and dropped the wallet immediately.

Maybe I should have been more offensive, but I am just glad that I still have my stuff. Reminds me of that movie “King of New York“, where Christopher Walken gets robbed by a gang inside the metro and decides to offer them a job. He gives his card and says, “I want you to work for me, please visit my office” The gang was stunned by his proposal and walked away.

To live in Barcelona; The English, the immigrants and hospitality

People who are born in Barcelona, probably die here as well. it is common to see entire families centered around the same neighborhood. This importance of family and the feeling of threat from the rapid increasing number of immigrants make some locals unable to understand and accept the increasingly number of foreigners that are coming to this city. Don’t look surprised if you don’t get any (decent) service in a store if you just talk English. My experiences of over pricing and bad service where although solemnly with the elder local people.

This got me to ask a younger local what he thought to be a possible cause for my experiences. He told me that the root of the anger lies with the number of bachelor-parties given by the English. :-)

Barcelona offers the Mediterranean beach, a good climate and the convenience of the city in a radius of 4 km, not so strange that there are over 1200 people from the Netherlands living in this city. As an outsider, it seems difficult to really get to know the local people. I am wondering how the other people from my country are experiencing this.

gothic area

cycling up Tibidabo Barcelona with my mountainbike

I made a small climb up to Tibidabo with my bike this morning, I wanted to see the beautiful cathedral that I can see from my window every day: Iglesia de Sagrat Cor. My short bike trip lasted longer than I expected when I left! At ten o clock I reached a dead end, and I had to go back down. I kept reminding to myself that it was useless to buy a map for such situations. So I went down to Barcelona again and kept repeating “no it is useless! I have small maps at home, google earth etc.” And tried again; The mountain is obviously present, wherever you are in Barcelona. and i could point out which hills which roads I should take. So I attempted a second try. At about 11 o’clock I realized that the road I point out wasn’t connected to the one I was driving on. and the road that I was driving on was going down again…
This was the obvious result of my blind approach, and I got frustrated by riding up and down all the time. I approached a farmer, (and i kindly pointed in the direction of my desired road) and asked him how to get up to the right track. He told me that I should get back down and he was laughing that there was a spot where the desired road came close to the road I was driving on. “Since there was a path on the hill, I could climb up!” That sounded reasonable! why not? I can climb! The roles has changed: I had to carry my bike for once. Halfway I got stuck in needle bushes and stuff, but I managed to get up the road. Tibidabo is pretty touristic, but the view on Barcelona is quite impressive.