Thank you!

I have had an absolutely amazing 2011. It’s hard to imagine, but this was the year I went ice racing in Sweden with Mazda, I drove my first Ferrari around the Fiorano racetrack and I felt the love of friends and family when both my son and wife were hospitalized. So in no apparent order and with the risk of overlooking someone, here you are: THANKS.

Erwin and Corrie, for putting up with me and giving me the opportunity to write and have adventures for Bright. Ivo, for being more human than PR. Dennis Homberg for your kindness. Mare, Merijn, Ritzo and Marijke, for offering shelter in a time of need. Nienke Maat for telling me what’s up. Vincent for giving me a supercharged V8 ride. Victor for being proof long distance relationships CAN work. Dirk for a nice party. Esther for cooking me crappy chili sin carne. Marten & Grietje for letting us use your trailer without us feeling guilty. Harm for drinking all my beer. Thea for being strong and loving. Rudo for always having my back. Katy Barber for surviving falling ceilings. Roger and Ronnie for Frankfurter adventures with white russians in bathrobes. Jur for having me on your team at -27. 2C for cucumbers. Bart and Mandy for electricity. Gerard for getting me some beautiful new doors and a floor to dance on. Ard for nagging me to work at his office. Hans for surviving 2011. The other Ard, for getting me some grade A transport to Berlin. Jan-Pier for being headstrong and positive. Hendrik-Jan for being patient. Albert for putting life before contracts. Remi Sinaï for his name and a little conversation on an Abu Dhabi rooftop. Allard for getting my son some shoes. Team Australia for nearly beating the Russians. Dunja for having me do the talking. And most of all: José and Joas for being their radiant selves every single day.

Bright #43: Godzilla

Bright #43 is about to hit the shelves. For a preview you can visit Bright Night this evening. I wrote an update on the Nissan Leaf longterm test, an item on the electric DeLorean and an article on the Nissan GT-R. With photography by Roelof Bos. Other highlights include the Bright 25 for 2011 (with the Nissan Leaf as one of the entries) and a nice piece on The Internet of Things. Jaron Lanier would not be pleased.

From consumer to producer

I’m rereading and checking everything I have written for my book on concepting and here’s another chapter I’d like to share.

From consumer to producer

Way back when we used to work for God. Ploughing, sowing, harvesting to make as much from the world as we could. The official line was that this all benefited the glory of God. We needed machines to ramp up production. We were increasing production and our goal became being the best cog in the machine you could be. But after a while we were producing so much we weren’t needed primarily as producers, but as consumers. And here we are today.

We are surrounded by branding, marketing and advertising. Companies want to sell us products and services. So we need to crave their products and services. And never be completely happy. The craving is what keeps us buying. Stand a few feet away from your life and consider the impact that our consumer society has on what you see, feel, want and eventually buy. Unless you live in a convent there is no denying the omnipresence of brands and companies in your life.

All that screaming and yelling, all those flickering lights, subtle seductive voices, funny videos you want to share: they all eat away at our time. Time we could spend talking to friends, making something, being bored (very important!), we spend watching commercials, playing Angry Birds, checking up on facebook. (Just by writing that I felt the urge to take my phone out of my pocket and check facebook).

You need to make the rules.

You need to stop being a consumer of the news, the entertainment, the friend-updates, the weather, games and bags of crisps. Be a warrior instead, or an archaeologist of culture, an inventor of entertainment, a shrink for the masses, whatever you want to be. Just stop wasting time. If you already are one of these, I am terribly sorry for yelling at you.

Now, since you have changed so much as a person by me writing these lines, I’d like you to take a look at the world around you. H&M is selling designer clothes once a year. All our cars need to be ‘sporty’. We have just realised we spent all of our allowance for the next twenty years. People who never take the train, hate the train. More and more people are single and don’t want to be.

Since you are a producer: you need to get to the bottom of all of this. What is this world about? Why do people do things they regret so often? Read books. Talk to people. Talk to other people. Interview a hero. Interview another hero. Work on the knowledge that is important to you.


The University Medical Center Groningen is looking for medical students to enter their programme to become specialists. Together with Sander Tiekstra, who has been flying solo for a couple of months now, I have come up with a way to make a campaign site within the new UMCG site.


Tomorrow I’ll be hosting another night for Floss. Interviewing artists and scientists who talk about their fascinations. The theme for tomorrow night: tradition. And there will be food as well. Unfortunately you’re too late if you want to join us, but as a consolation I’ll tell you how nice it was afterwards, okay?


Last week I had to be in Amsterdam for a couple of days with the entire family. Adidas introduced their new F50 miCoach soccer boots in the same week. So me and junior headed to the Ajax training ground to have a go. My first time ever on real soccer shoes. Full review (in dutch) on Bright.