After drinking an espresso this morning, Patrick, Arjen, Babette and me jumped into Boris’ car and headed to Belgium for the first day of our Next Web Open Office Road Trip, destination Belgium. We’ve visited two companies:
Netlash, Webdesign and print design
The Netlash and Next Web teams, Bart de Waele is at the very right
Netlash is based in the beautiful city of Gent and specialized in webdesign and print design. Yet what really excited me, was the number of blogs they’ve developed: 10! Their corporate blog Netlash.com is the no. 18 communications blog in the Dutch part of Europe. Co-founder Bart De Waele showed us around in the office and the impressive soon-to-be office. He told us they will even have a transparent ball pit.
The guys from Netlash are that successful, from 2 to 12 employees in just a few years, that they don’t need a sales division. De Waele: “We thank our success to our flexibility, I always use the metaphor of a big tanker or a fleet of speedboats. The latter symbolizes us, we can change the direction without any hassle and other speedboats can join and leave whenever they want.”
After a good and healthy launch, we got back on the road and drove to Brussels.
Telemak, streaming media technologies
Telemak has impressive list of references and they know how to present it. CEO Christophe Lenaerts told us some impressive stories about people he met. He met Steve Jobs a couple of times, but that’s not the only reason why he is a lucky guy: “When I talked to the people from Victoria Secret about streaming their show in Cannes, they asked me to sent a crew of women and homosexuals. I didn’t understand why, until I was actually working there. It was a pleasant experience.” One of their latest projects is happysmurfday.com. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the little blue creatures, the people from Happy Smurf Day let loose an army of white smurfs. When people find a smurf, they can win prizes by painting the smurfs in a special way. The organization asked Telemak to film it the very night they spread the smurfs through one of the twenty cities. Talking about cool projects…
Now we’re off to Paris. Tonight we’ll have drinks with Raphael Labbe (Frenchweb.org) and Xavier Blanchaut (Viaeuropa.com). Tomorrow we’ll have a relaxing start at Open Coffee Paris. After that, we’ll harass the guys from Netvibes and SixApart at their offices.