business networking productivity

How to optimize your networking energy

Freelance Community FreelanceSwitch has a nice article about how to optimize your networking energy. The article itself was written by Jonathan Fields, who’s weblog can be found here.

… either be transparent about your motives or move on. Nobody likes to be used.

business productivity various

The 4-Hour Workweek nu ook in het Nederlands

Het boek “The 4-Hour Workweek” van Tim Ferriss is een absolute aanrader, en vanaf nu ook beschikbaar in het Nederlands volgens zijn weblog.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss


Survey on the use of Social Networks

Online Social Networking websites (LinkedIn, Ecademy, Facebook, …) zijn voor veel mensen een manier om nieuwe contacten te leggen en bestaande contacten te onderhouden. Omdat er zo veel initiatieven zijn is het soms niet eenvoudig om door het bos de bomen te zien. Welk netwerk kies ik? Op welke website schrijf ik me in? Via welk netwerk kom ik het eenvoudigste in contact met een specifieke doelgroep. Dankzij An De Jonghe van Ulysses Consulting is vanaf nu meer geweten over Social Networking; de trends en verwachtingen, wie er gebruik van maakt en wat hiervoor de motivatie is. Met een enquete die wereldwijd gehouden werd, heeft ze alles duidelijk in kaart gebracht. Hieronder alvast het persbericht over de enquete, meer info en uitgebreide resultaten zijn terug te vinden op haar weblog.

Dilbeek (Belgium), 1-8-7

International Survey on the use of Social Networks:
Professional Networks Are Leading the Pack

Ulysses Consulting and Titans have announced the results of their survey on social networks worldwide. The survey was set up as research for the book “Social Networks Around The World: how is Web 2.0 changing your daily life?” by An De Jonghe, headhunter & social network expert.

Over 850 respondents from 54 countries took part in the online survey which was held from January 07 till July 07 on

Thirty to forty year olds made up the largest number with 35%, followed by twenty to thirty year olds and forty to fifty year olds, each with 24%. The majority (75%) is employed and has a partner (66%); 44% has children. Surprisingly enough, only 27% of the respondents were women, although other research shows they are the majority of social network users.

The participants of the survey were from Europe, the USA, South-America, the Middle East, Russia, Asia and Australia but the Top 10 showed the following results:
Belgium (27%), the United Kingdom and the United States (15%), France (6%), Germany and the Netherlands (4%), India (3%) and Canada, Australia and Tunesia (2%).

Participants could choose from 335 different social networks and indicate which ones they were a member of. The Top 10 consisted of: Linkedin, Xing, Ecademy, Facebook, MySpace, Viadeo, Ryze, Orkut, Hi5 en 360° Yahoo. Strikingly enough, the first three social networks are predominantly business networks. When asked what their main reason is to join a social network, 89% of the respondents quote “professional reasons”, against a mere 53% “keeping in touch with friends”. It seems that the term “social network” has less to do with “socializing” than with “networking” nowadays.

For more details on the results of this survey, please visit :


The human hand as a business model

Earlier today, I found an interesting article on about global business and it’s comparison with … the human hand. Choosing the human hand as a model for global economy seems very simple but I believe it’s an interesting approach that has a lot of truth in it. The author is Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo‘s President and CFO. She wrote her speech for the graduation ceremonies at the Columbia UNiversity’s Business School on May 15.

Nooyi’s vision is that every finger on a human hand (5 for most of us) represents a country or region that has an influence in wordwide economy. As each finger has a specific task, she believes that each country has a strenght and economic position of it’s own. The hand itself being the sum of all fingers while none of them considers itself being less or more important then another. I recommend you to read the full article here but will give you a short explanation for each finger.

  1. Our little finger: Africa
    Not because of it’s size, but because of it’s place on the world’s stage? From an economic standpoint, Africa has yet to catch up with her sister continents. And yet, when our little finger hurts, it affects the whole hand.
  2. Our thumb: Asia
    Strong, powerful, and ready to assert herself as a major player on the world’s economic stage.
  3. Our index / pointer finger: Europe
    Europe is the cradle of democracy and pointed the way for western civilization and the laws we use in conducting global business.
  4. Our ring finger: South America, including Latin America
    The ring finger symbolizes love and commitment to another person. Both Latin and South America are hot, passionate, and filled with the sensuous beats of the mambo, samba, and tango: three dances that — if done right — can almost guarantee you and your partner will be buying furniture together.
  5. The long, middle finger: North America, in particular the United States
    The middle finger anchors every function that the hand performs and is the key to all of the fingers working together efficiently and effectively. As the longest of the fingers, it really stands out.

Her conclusion?

What is most crucial to my analogy of the five fingers as the five major continents, is that each of us in the U.S. — the long middle finger — must be careful that when we extend our arm in either a business or political sense, we take pains to assure we are giving a hand, not the finger. Sometimes this is very difficult. Because the U.S. — the middle finger — sticks out so much, we can send the wrong message unintentionally.

My conclusion?
Nooyi has a great view on how the United States fit in (or don’t actually) today’s world. She figured out that there’s no single finger less or more important than any other. She’s the right woman at the right place (PepsiCo being a global company) because she’s smart enough to coöperate with the 4 other fingers to reach a common goal. Nooyi’s vision as a new reference in global economics? Why not …

[Note: The original version of this article has been posted on my previous weblog, in 2005]

business technology

Microsoft Office 2007: no more html mails?

It appears that Microsoft Outlook 2007 will take you way back in time when talking html mails. We all have a subscription to that very nice looking newsletter, full of colors and images. Microsoft now decided to take a step back (a few years actually) with Office 2007.

Think of Office 2007 as a mail application that has (according to SitePoint):

  • no support for background images (HTML or CSS)
  • no support for forms
  • no support for Flash, or other plug ins
  • no support for CSS floats
  • no support for replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
  • no support for CSS positioning
  • no support for animated GIF’s

While Office 2007 had to be a state of the art office suite will in fact be a software package with even less support for visual appealing e-mails when compared to Office 2000. Please read the previous sentence again and calculate the number off years in between these two releases. If, like me, you think “7” than ask yourself this. While html rendering in Outlook 2002 was quite good, why do they only have limited functions in a package they launch 7 years later? What did developers do during these 7 years that they will not support CSS, the technology that transformed web and mail design during the last years. When every designer worldwide at last uses CSS to style his/her designs, MS decided they will no longer support this technology in their mail application.

The internet society is stunned, as you can read on
Microsoft drop the ball with Outlook 2007
Open Letter to Microsoft
Microsoft Breaks HTML Email Rendering in Outlook 2007

Another reason to start using Thunderbird, Apple’s Mail application or something else?


Viagra for woman?

BusinessWeek has an interesting article about Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. This German drug maker developed the molecule “Flibanserin” several years ago as an antidepressant. Trials in humans halted the development of the promising drug, but Boehringer Ingelheim found out it could be used for something else too.

Pfizer had discovered Viagra while searching for something else and made it one of their blockbusters since then. Boehringer Ingelheim seems to have discovered the “female counterpart” of Viagra.

Boehringer Ingelheim seems to have launched four major clinical trials to get FDA approval by 2009. If this works out, they have a possible blockbuster in their pipeline that will bring them a lot of profit and the chance to develop even more promising drugs. Even when things don’t work out as planned, sexual problems at least are no longer a typical male problem. Other drug makers are working hard to find a drug that has the same effect on woman that Viagra has for men.

For those of you who are active in trading stocks, Boehringer Ingelheim is family owned since over 170 years and therefore not listed on any stock market.


Pfizer in het nieuws

Pfizer heeft aangekondigd te stoppen met de ontwikkeling van een veelbelovend middel (Torcetrapib) tegen cholesterol. Het officiële persbericht kwam er al op zaterdag maar de beurs kon pas vandaag reageren, waardoor Pfizer zowat heel de dag in het nieuws te zien was (uitgezonderd in het 6 uur journaal van Eén, dat vroegtijdig werd stopgezet wegens een “technische storing”).

Slecht nieuws voor Pfizer, dat had gehoopt om met Torcetrapib een nieuwe blockbuster in het gamma te hebben. Slecht nieuws voor de vele duizenden mensen die zich elke dag inzetten voor de gezondheid van anderen. “Working for a healthier world” is geen holle slogan bij Pfizer. Het is de drive om “de beste” te zijn die Pfizer groot heeft gemaakt, dezelfde drive die er nu voor zorgt dat Pfizer de beste wil blijven.

We will become the world’s most valued company to patients, customers, colleagues, investors, business partners, and the communities where we work and live.

Een veelbelovend project stopzetten na jaren hard werk kost een bedrijf héél veel geld, dat Pfizer ondanks de hoge kostprijs deze beslissing neemt in het belang van patiënten over de hele wereld is etisch de enig mogelijke beslissing. En een bedrijf dat beslissingen neemt op basis van etiek en niet op basis van commerciële belangen, daar zet ik me graag voor in!


(Bovenstaand artikel is een persoonlijke visie op de actualiteit, geen officiëel standpunt als Pfizer werknemer)