Monthly Archives: January 2017


Simply irresistible!


Half an episode of the Count of Monte Cristo later and the little man is well asleep. On that note it’s time for my bedtime too 🙂

Not yet a month into the new year, yet it feels like an eternity. We are hit with new earth shattering political headlines every morning, to the extent that what is the point of brewing the coffee? It will grow cold anyways before I’ve gone through the news and the numerous opinion pieces. It’s time for a change in routine. I am still pondering on what that change will be, in contrast to the new POTUS, I don’t take decisions on a whim. Even if they only affect myself.

But this is not a political piece (I’m terribly bad at them anyways), and more to do with what’s on my mind this Sunday morning. Yesterday whilst at the gym, I decided once and for all to cut all the unhealthy eating and sugar and turn to a much stricter diet. I resolutely kicked off with great gusto, having just two boiled eggs and asparagus for dinner. It did the trick and one day into my healthy eating regime I have lost 1kg, with another 8 to go. Be prepared for going to bed hungry dear!

I have started my action lists and kanban boards. Focus is key. I went through another diary of mine from a few years back. I quickly realised I’d achieved almost half of the goals, but only last year. Curious, but perhaps not surprising. There were a few change agents that rendered this feat possible.

Change agents… for better or worse, are indeed curious things. The key is to realise them as moments in time opportune to capitalise on. So is 2017. So let’s make the best of it! Let’s indeed not waste another precious moment.


the world is your oyster

…as the old adage goes, if you want peace, prepare for war. Never been so true in the day and age we are living in.

Relief at the entrance of the former Military Casino of Madrid (Spain), built in 1916.

Relief at the entrance of the former Military Casino of Madrid (Spain), built in 1916


We have a long standing tradition to go out for dinner after Sebastian’s swimming lessons. So far we’ve opted for a Mexican in the neighbourhood, but as the quality of food and service has unfortunately declined we found another alternative in Koren-Beurs situated on Spaarne no 36.

With a relaxed atmosphere, Italian/French cuisine and excellent ginger cocktails, it’s rapidly become a hit with the Waldau family :).


Victoria joined…


for a family dinner


duck stood on the menu


Victoria in mummy’s vintage mink


a piece of Haarlem. In fact it’s the old cafe Nobel in new shape

…the girl out of Sweden, but not Sweden out of the girl I believe the saying goes. It wasn’t quite my home country, but the Ardennes offers both nature and scenery to satisfy the visual senses. In other words a feast for both eyes and soul.


the day is drawing to a close


lost in translation


with all this snow…


let’s make snow angels…


…and have some fun…it was about time 😉

After a dinner with the now Maltese part of the family, I found this picture from last year’s holiday. Dinner at the Villa in St Julian. Wonderful holiday, and one cannot help but wishing for sun, sea and sailing again!


one of many family dinners

I can’t recall the last time winter hit the low countries with such a vengeance. With the exception of snowing, the temperatures have plummeted to -4 degrees, with even my bike giving up its ghost (well the breaks that is). Instead I was in for a long and cold walk back from the gym this morning. Having had my exercise of the day out of the way, I can now focus on other matters. Sebastian is coming home in a moment and I expect we will put together the Minecraft lego box which has stood unopened since Christmas.


morning view


It won’t be long before you see the kids skating on the canals I suspect


Ever since packing up my belongings some 2 years ago, I stopped reading books and turned to documentaries. I can easily get through 2.5 documentaries on a daily basis (the 0.5 attributed to the fact that I fall asleep to one and start off in the morning at the point where I succumbed to sleep). Documentaries in all honour, I sorely miss my library and today is the day I have decided to re-enter the wold of bibliophiles. The first one I am waiting to devour with gusto is The Spy by Paulo Coelho.

Madame Zelle….it’s you, me, Gnossienne No 5 and a glass of white. It’s a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance.


Saturday afternoon pleasures


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Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann

That has become the mantra of today’s Internet age.

But how do you disrupt? And if you one day wake up (and smell the coffee so to speak), how do you respond?

Here are 10 disruptive business models behind some of the most well known companies and brands today, as covered by Jo Caudron and Dado Van Peteghem in their book Digital Transformation.

Further you’ll find 7 strategies on how to respond to disruptors if you are finding yourself on the wrong side of the fence, as enumerated by IMD’s Professor Michael Wade, co-director of the IMD Leading Digital Business Transformation course.



The Subscription Model (Netflix, Dollar Shave Club, Apple Music) Disrupts through “lock-in” by taking a product or service that is traditionally purchased on an ad hoc basis, and locking-in repeat custom by charging a subscription fee for continued access to the product/service.

The Freemium Model (Spotify, LinkedIn, Dropbox and tons of online and mobile games). These disrupts through digital sampling, where users pay for a basic service or product with their data or ‘eyeballs’, rather than money, and then charging to upgrade to the full offer. This works where marginal cost for extra units and distribution are lower than advertising revenue or the sale of personal data

The Free Model – Yes remember how it all started! (Google, Facebook) Disrupts with an ‘if-you’re-not-paying-for-the-product-you-are-the-product’ model that involves selling personal data or ‘advertising eyeballs’ harvested by offering consumers a ‘free’ product or service that captures their data/attention

The Marketplace Model
(eBay, iTunes, App Store, Uber, AirBnB) Disrupts with the provision of a digital marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers directly, in return for a transaction or placement fee or commission.

The Access-over-Ownership Model (Zipcar, Peerbuy, AirBnB) Disrupts by providing temporary access to goods and services traditionally only available through purchase. Includes ‘Sharing Economy’ disruptors, which takes a commission from people monetising their assets (home, car, capital) by lending them to ‘borrowers’.

The Hypermarket Model – another golden oldie (Amazon, Apple) Disrupts by ‘brand bombing’ using sheer market power and scale to crush competition, often by selling below cost price (loss-leader – remember the cheap printers but oh so expensive cartridges?).

The Experience Model (Tesla, Apple) Disrupts by providing a superior experience, for which people are prepared to pay.

The Pyramid Model (Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox) Disrupts by recruiting an army of resellers and affiliates (see affliate model and marketing) who are often paid on a commission-only model.

The On-Demand Model
(Uber, Operator, Taskrabbit) Disrupts by monetising time and selling instant-access at a premium. Includes taking a commission from people with money but no time who pay for goods and services delivered or fulfilled by people with time but no money.

The Ecosystem Model (Apple, Google) Disrupts by selling an interlocking and interdependent suite of products and services that increase in value as more are purchased. Creates consumer dependency. AKA Lock-in, also to be compared with the walled garden model.



The Block Strategy. Using all means available to inhibit the disruptor. These means can include claiming patent or copyright infringement, erecting regulatory hurdles, and using other legal barriers.

The Milk Strategy. Extracting the most value possible from vulnerable businesses while preparing for the inevitable disruption.

The Invest in Disruption Model.
Actively investing in the disruptive threat, including disruptive technologies, human capabilities, digitized processes, or perhaps acquiring companies with these attributes

The Disrupt the Current Business Strategy.
Launching a new product or service that competes directly with the disruptor, and leveraging inherent strengths such as size, market knowledge, brand, access to capital, and relationships to build the new business.

The Retreat into a Strategic Niche Strategy. Focusing on a profitable niche segment of the core market where disruption is less likely to occur (e.g. travel agents focusing on corporate travel, and complex itineraries, book sellers and publishers focusing on academia niche).

The Redefine the Core Strategy. Building an entirely new business model, often in an adjacent industry where it is possible to leverage existing knowledge and capabilities (e.g. IBM to consulting, Fujifilm to cosmetics)

The Exit Strategy.
Exiting the business entirely and returning capital to investors, ideally through a sale of the business while value still exists (e.g. MySpace selling itself to Newscorp)