Police in Violation of Parking Laws in San Francisco – @SFPD

A couple of years ago, I received a parking ticket. Not an ordinary ticket because my car was parked in the wrong section, or forgot to fill up the meter, no I got one because I was 10 Centimeter in the lower section of the curb. The ticket claimed I was blocking potential handicap people crossing the street. The ticket was $350,-! I had my fair share of parking tickets in San Francisco. I always paid these just right away, even the expensive one, as it's just hard to fight these tickets and you'll have to go to court. Since I'm not a US citizen, but a green card holder, I rather stay away from rubbing the court system the wrong way, even if I know I could win.

I already spotted SFPD officers not following those same parking laws as ordinary citizens have to obey to. A couple of times I took some pictures of police vehicles being parked in red zones or next to a fire hydrant. See the two below here. One police car was even parked in the red zone for more than 24 hours (post in Dutch). Just imagine if a fire would have broken out, while the cop car was blocking the SFFD to get water out of the hydrant.  The San Francisco parking police sometimes also totally ignores the signs.

This morning, while walking in the Richmond neighborhood I spotted a police officer parking his car in a way which blocked the pedestrian crossing completely. As neither his light or his sirens were on, this could not have been an emergency stop. The officer hopped out of the car, and went into the little convenient store. Probably to pick up a quick doughnut. I started to make pictures, and was thinking to switch my camera to video to document the parking violation. Should I confront the police officer? Based on video's I've seen online, I chose not to do this. The SFPD hasn't been very nice to people exercising their 1st amendment rights. And, although a green card holder has the same rights as citizens with regards to making pictures in a public place, I don't want to test these cop on how nice he will be.

Police parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 fine

Sometimes the SFPD thinks they are above the law. While the officer was just doing a little shopping, and it took only 5 minutes, maybe, he should have just parked his car somewhere within the parking laws.

This is not the first time I've seen SFPD park in a way which violates all parking laws. Check out these two I made pictures of earlier:

SFPD parking in red zone, next to fire hydrant

Police car SFPD parked next to fire hydrant, for more than 24 hours, in red zone

Converse Chuck Stars & Stripes

While walking on Market Street in San Francisco, I walked by the Converse store. Check out the Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers Stars & Stripes wall for 9/11!

Converse Chuck Taylor Stars & Stripes

Never forget!

Will You Work for Free?

Free MoneyWould you work for free? Would you spend 20 minutes on the phone with somebody you have never met, knowing they will make a good amount of money based on the conversation you had over the phone? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for helping out strangers to extend my network, or keeping up with my current relationships. But some people are just pushing it… Sometimes, you get an email out of the blue from somebody you don't know, and it makes you happy. Sometimes you get an email from somebody who is trying your name out with the company domain as the email address, and they succeed to reach you. The latter won't become my friends easily! First of all, if you are trying to reach me, you can easily do that through my contact form. But be aware, if you contact me and ask for free-bees...little chance there are any for you!

Like it so far, share with a Tweet:

Case in point… I received the following email on my new work email. Now you need to know that I have no business cards yet, and have not visited any conference since I joined Airbnb, where my email could have been harvested! (bold, italic and color added by me to emphasis what makes me mad)

Hello Mr. Goedegebuure.

I am a partner with XXXXXXX Capital, a New York-based investment firm, and am conducting research on eBay Inc. for possible investment.

As a first stage of the research, I am speaking with a wide variety of  former eBay executives and others,  to try to assess the abilities of the leadership team, as we put heavy emphasis on management quality. I am getting getting in touch with you because of your  tenure in various management roles from 2002-2011, as I see from your LinkedIn profile.

I am writing to ask for about 20 minutes of your time, by phone, sometime over the next week or so.

Please note that I am not seeking insider or confidential information about any company or situation. I am only looking for a broad perspective on eBay senior management.  The information I gather will be shared  only within  XXXXXXX and won't be circulated or published.

If  there's a time convenient for you, please let me know. I would be happy to accommodate your busy schedule. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Name changed]

Sure, I have information. What I don't have is a lot of free time on my hands. We recently welcomed a new born in our family, and with little help around from family, we have our hands full. So any time spend on telephone conversations like these, either come at the expense of my current job, or at the expense of my family. So if I don't know you, have never met you, or even have never heard of you, and you ask me to spend 20 minutes to talk to you over the phone, it better be worth it for me, as those 20 minutes I will never get back, that is part of my life you are asking to give up!

So I responded:

Dear Mr. [Name Changed],

Sure, you can hire me as a paid consultant.

I can send you over the paperwork, after which we can schedule a call.

My hourly rate is $400,- with a minimum of 1 hour.
Please let me know how to proceed.
Thank you
Dennis Goedegebuure

This should bring home the message. I don't want this job, I don't need this job, but if somebody is willing to fork over $400 for me to talk 20 minutes with them, sure I'll take it and pay off part of the hospital bill with the funds!

But you guessed it right, Mister Wall Street investment banker is not willing to pay for the information he wants

Thanks very much, Mr. Goedegebuure, for your speedy reply. As a policy, we do not compensate for these brief conversations. I certainly understand and respect your position on this.  I am willing and able  to circle back at the end of the project and share, by phone, some highlights of our findings, all anonymity protected. If that appeals to you, great. If not, I understand and sorry to bother you.
Best,[Name Changed]

So this is where I get the inspiration from for writing this blog post. Listen, I have a masters degree in Economics, with focus on Finance, specifically investments, and Marketing. I know what this information might be worth, as this is a classic case of Information Asymmetry. I posses information on eBay which is a possible investment of the firm. This information is not freely available to any other market agents, where the possession of the information could be of great value to any investor. You're going to make millions with the information, and you ask me to give up 20 minutes of my life, stealing it away from my kids?!?

So unless you are going to compensate me for my time, you are not getting any of it!

Just imagine you are calling a plumber with a problem, let's say, your sink is leaking water and unless you get it fixed fast, your whole new hardwood  floor will be ruined. Now, when you have the plumber on the phone, asking him for time to drop in to have a look at the problem, and fix it to avoid you having to pay the ruined floor, you ask him to do all that for free...how do you think he will react?

Right, my point exactly!


If you agree, share with a Tweet:

Image credit: Free Money Day Under Creative Commons

Just Lost a Week of Life – Turns Out… I’m Allergic for Antibiotics

I just found out that I'm allergic for a certain type of antibiotics; Amoxicillin. And I found out the hard way, loosing a full week in the painful process. From now on, I'll have to carry a note saying what medication I cannot have, as the next time I get an attack after taking these kind of meds, I might not be so lucky that I can write a blog post about it.

As the effects of the allergy were so impact full, and at first I didn't pay too much attention to these, I decided to document the way I went through the week to remember me taking better care of myself next time. Most important, I NEED to give a giant shout out to my wife Fiona, as she was picking me and the 3 kids up. Unbelievable..!

But more important, there might be more people out there in search of how to respond to a sudden outburst of hives, flames in their skin or sudden cramps in their hands and if you just started on Amoxicillin, you might want to seek medical help.

Why take Amoxicillin

But first, what was the reason to take an antibiotic in the first place. Mr. D, now 4 years old, is on the schedule to get his tonsils removed. It will hopefully help him to get some better sleep. Running up towards the date of the operation, we found ourselves with some severe coughing people in the house. For already 1.5 week both my wife F and I were coughing, where it turned out to be a beginning lung infection for F. The doctor was so kind to prescribe some medication for us. That's where it all started...

From Wikipedia:

Amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanate are recommended by guidelines as the first-choice drug for bacterial sinusitis (Sinusitis or rhinosinusitis is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. It can be due to infection, allergy, or autoimmune issues. Most cases are due to a viral infection and resolve over the course of 10 days.)

Taking a first dose of Amoxicillin - Day 0

amoxicillinIt was Friday afternoon when I first took one of the large pills. Hoping my cough will be going away soon, I spent a nice evening with the family and a late night walk with F to top off the week. Before going to bed, I popped another one of these pills, since I was on a 2x per day schedule.

It started to appear to me that the skin on my hands started to itch. I didn't pay too much attention to it, since I just came back from a long week at work, and a busy weekend and next week ahead of us. Still, it suddenly came up, where I hardly could stop myself from scratching my fingers, especially the knuckles.

Day 1 - Busy Saturday

Our Saturdays are always very busy with kids sports and swim lessons. But this Saturday was extra busy with a family member from The Netherlands returning. This meant airport, saying goodbye and driving back and forth with the whole family.

So keep on schedule, waking up was not that hard and all the morning activities went on auto pilot. A quick breakfast with another one of those large pills made me ready to go. Although the pain in my hands was becoming worse, I had a job to do and didn't want to make others worried.

While we went for coffee in Burlingame before racing to the airport, the itchy feeling in my fingers and the palms of my hands was becoming more severe, where I just had to scratch and scratch the skin of inside and the top of my hands.

While driving back from the airport, my wife started calling the doctors office to get advice how to proceed. Obviously the first advice I got was: Stop taking more of the Amoxicillin pills. To stop the rash and the itching skin, I could just buy some Benadryl, an over the counter allergy medicine.

And stubborn as I am, even after the kids swim lessons and my hands were swollen and red, and other parts of my body began to break out, I didn't seek a doctor directly. My wife drove me to a weekend medical center to see a doctor, but he/she was not there for the Saturday afternoon. Later that night I tried to visit a night clinic, but it was closed as well..So we went into the first night with more severe itching and burning sensation over about 30% of my skin.

Day 2 - ER Sunday

Waking up Sunday was no fun. I immediately knew I needed to see a doctor fast. The skin on my hands was burning, and if I used my hands, it felt the skin would burst or crack. My face had started to show red hives and was itching like crazy. The first couple of red spots started to show up on my legs, which came with an increase in temperature as well. Overall, I felt like I had been lying on the beach for a good day in the blazing sun.

ER visit UCSF

Luckily it was so early on a Sunday morning, that I was the first and only one in the emergency care facility. However, after a quick examination, and some discussion, I was sent home with a single dose of Prednisone to combat the allergic reaction. As it said in my discharge papers: "You should not take augmentin in the future or PCN equivalent medication...It will likely take a couple of days to resolve the rash because of the longer half life of the antibiotic you were given".

So off I went home to hang out on my bed, trying to sleep a little and trying to help my wife, who was stuck with the 3 kids. But without hands, any husband is useless! Later that day my legs were beginning to show many more red spots, and my face was just completely red like I had been heavily sunbathing.

Amoxicillin allergic reaction red spots on skin

I thought it would have been done. I went to the ER, got some more medication to counter the allergy, so I must go up from here! Besides, it has been more than 24 hours since I took the last of the Amoxicillin. Little did I know yet the worse was yet to come...

Day 3 - Moving Monday

Red spots from allergy of AmoxicillinWith Monday breaking the week open, I had good hope the Prednisone from the hospital would have done the job. It would be an important and busy day at the office, where we would move into a new office with all the festivities and fun that would come with it. Although my hands were still cramped, swollen and itchy, the rest of my body on fire, I dropped my kids off at school, and joined the rest of the company for the move. The comments were as expected, everybody thought I had been lying on the beach for the full weekend and thought I had a little bid too much sun over those days. Having to explain myself that the red color in my face was from an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin was not too hard, I just had to lift up one of my sleeves of my pants to showcase the red spots on my feet and legs which had become much worse.

After just have moved into the new office, a light lunch and some email work, I threw in the towel. The itchy feeling, hot flashes and skin burn was just becoming to much. I had to get out of there so bad. By the minute it started to get worse, so I quickly packed my stuff and got home as soon as I could to go rest on my bed.

As soon as my wife saw me, she started calling with the doctors office to discuss my condition. We managed to get a new appointment to see the doctor and discuss what the next step would be. After arriving, the doctor herself looked surprised and concerned I had broken out so badly. Immediately she wrote me a prescription for 9 days of Prednisone medication. Next to the meds to combat the allergy, there were also drugs to avoid a heavy itchy skin; Hydroxyzine.

Prednisone to bring down Amoxicillin allergy

With the comment by the doctor that Prednisone is somewhat a magic pill for the allergic reaction I got, I had hope again I would be back in business within a day or so.

Day 4 - Tuesday with Meetings

Tuesday I wished I could have stayed at home from the start. short sleep, constant itching skin, and a red, puffy face were not the ideal circumstances to go into work. But with a meeting planned with people from out of town, it's a no-go in my book to cancel at the day itself, where people have been flying in for seeing you.

Just for the one meeting I ran into the office. The Prednisone was barely doing its work, where constant hot flashes were indicating I was running a fever, while the itch was now over more than 60% over my skin.

Immediately after the meeting I left for home, and fully expected to recover fast, as it has been already more than a couple of days since I took the Amoxicillin, and I had been more than 24 hours on Prednisone. The magic pill should be doing its job by now.. right? Nope!

Day 5 - Worst Wednesday

severe Amoxicillin allergy red skin
Wednesday proofed to become the worst day so far. After just 2-3 hours of sleep due to the fever, itching skin and restlessness, it became clear the thing was not over yet, long from it. 80% of my skin was showing a rash, little bumps and was looking like it was burned from the sun or a bad acne. My legs were completely red, where the skin on my hands was about to crack.

The day was spent in bed, but it was strange. Normally when you're sick, you would like to sleep, or not eat. Now, my brains worked as best I could expect on a couple of hours sleep, I had a healthy appetite, the only discomfort was that I had the hot flashes and the itchy skin everywhere by now.

Still, this was not the worse. The night from Wednesday to Thursday would proof the worse time. There were times I was laying in my bed ready to scratch my skin off my flesh so bad was the itchy feeling. There were times I wanted to lay in a bathtub full with Aloe vera lotion to cool my skin down.

I had taken 3 sleeping aid pills, all the Hydroxyzine I was allowed to, but nothing could take down the burning of my skin which was so badly itching me. I ended up to stay the full night awake, not because I wanted, but simply because I couldn't sleep of the bad feeling on my skin. And it doesn't help either that one of the side effects of Prednisone is: Insomnia...

Day 6 - Tired Thursday

Finally at around 5 am I couldn't take it anymore, and took a cold shower for 45 minutes. If only I could get away from the itchy feeling on my skin all over my body for 5 minutes, I would have been thankful.

I don't remember too much of the Thursday morning. So tired and wanting to feel better, I slowly fell into a state of unconsciousness. Half-awake, vs half asleep, I just didn't care anymore if my skin was itching. I could feel it, and it drove me mad, but finally there was a feeling of acceptance.

I managed to get some rest in the morning, where in the afternoon we paid the doctor another visit. Finally the redness of my skin was retreating, where the legs were first showing an improvement. Later it proofed the symtoms on my skin were moving upwards, where the legs were the worst on Tuesday, my Torso bad on Wednesday & Thursday. So the face comes on Friday?

Day 7 - Fuzzy Friday

At least I could sleep better. Still lot of itchy feeling on my chest and shoulders making it hard to fall asleep, but when I woke up on Friday morning, there was real improvement. At least to the skin on my torso. A new thing has popped up, and I instantly felt it opening up my eyes. That didn't feel the same as normal!

Looking at myself in the mirror when I woke up was scary. I could have sworn I was staring in the face of somebody who just had a long night of drinking behind him. At least 3 bottles of bad whiskey was starring me back in my face...Picture below was from a couple of hours later, so just imagine those eyes 5 times worse!

Puffy Eyes

But this I could handle, as long as these sacks under my eyes were not permanent! The skin was looking much better, where the legs were almost back to normal. Still the chest and the shoulders were itching, but long from  as bad as the two days before. My skin felt like I had been sunbathing for at least 2 weeks in the south of France, and started to peel off. Oh great new signs of this thing not over yet!

Day 8 - Road to Recovery Saturday

Finally on Saturday, yesterday, I could say that the rash on my skin was under control. The eyes were still puffy, and the skin in my face and ears were clearly showing there was a new one coming underneath, but the redness was gone for 80%.

Peeling skin due to Amoxicillin allergy

For a couple of days more, I will need to take the Prednisone pills, as we are building down the number of pills I'm taking per day. I'm sure all the other signs of this bad reaction to Amoxicillin will disappear with the next couple of days.

Lessons learned

While I was laying around, scratching my back, a couple of things have become clear to me which I tried to remember for this blogpost.

Skin - your largest Organ

I research a number of aspects in this situation. One of this is Skin. Your skin is actually your largest organ, and so important for all its functions: protection; sensation; thermoregulation; control of evaporation; storage of synthesis; absorption of important ingredients of life; water resistance.

It is essential to take good care of your skin. You think you can stay out in the sun for a long time, sunbathing to get a great tan. That is actually real bad for your skin. So No Más!

Oh, and drink lots of water, everyday, all day!

Support system

With a limited support system for us here in San Francisco, it shows how vulnerable we are for situations which are unexpected. F and I are alone with 3 little kids with a couple of friends from their school and some real close friends at around 30 minutes away.
Although we love all of them, and know they would be there for us, it's not the same as family.

Mrs. F - My Rock

How could I have survived without Mrs. F. She has been amazing the last week, as taking care of 2 young kids who need to be fed, clothed and taken to summer camp, a young baby with the demands that come with it, and a grumpy husband with all the side effects of the medications going around his body while sleep deprived is no fun!

How you put up with these kind of situations, the demanding kids and especially how you put up with me every day is amazing. Thank you for what you've done!

Conclusion

While reading the Wikipedia page for Amoxicillin today, I learned it was a good thing to take swift action when we had the suspicion the itchy hands were because of the Amoxicillin pills.

The onset of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin can be very sudden and intense - emergency medical attention must be sought as quickly as possible.

The initial onset of such a reaction often starts with a change in mental state, skin rash with intense itching (often beginning in fingertips and around groin area and rapidly spreading), and sensations of fever, nausea, and vomiting. Any other symptoms that seem even remotely suspicious must be taken very seriously.

However, more mild allergy symptoms, such as a rash, can occur at any time during treatment, even up to a week after treatment has ceased.

For some people who are allergic to amoxicillin the side-effects can be deadly.

It took more than a week, and clearly I'm not there yet. Work has been piling up, a lot of emails were left unanswered and the house can use some work from my end. It was heart warming to get all the well wishes, Facebook comments and emails from everybody. Sorry I could not respond in person, as I was just to out of it all...

Timing isn't perfect either with Mr. D's operation planned tomorrow morning, crazy busy and the roller-coaster of life hasn't ended yet.

 

Now go take care of yourself, your skin and most important: your loved ones...!!!

Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third street in San Francisco

Last Sunday I learned there is a specific Neighborhood in San Francisco with a big Hellenic Heritage. It's a part of SOMA where Greek immigrants settled in the early 1900's. I learned this by paying attention to the signs and plagues placed on the sides of the streets to remind people what has happened in the past. I happened to see the following sign at the corner of Third street & Folsom, which is at the south-east corner of the Moscone Convention center, right next to the Yearba Buena Ice skating & Bowling Center.

San Francisco Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third street

 

San Francisco Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third Street

San Francisco's Hellenic Heritage
An Affirmation of the Promise of America

In tribute to the Greek immigrants who settled in the vicinity of Third and Folsom Streets in the early 1900s

And in Commemoration of their pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, faith and pride in their Hellenic Heritage.

We, the beneficiaries of their vision, recognize and acknowledge the significant and vital economic, social and political contributions Hellenes made to their beloved adopted city, San Francisco.

The Hellenic American Professional Society of California
Dedicated in the year 2001

Just two weeks ago, I listened how Dr. Mike presented at BlueGlassX how he liked to take pictures of local signs of historical events or things to remember about the history of a local neighborhood. I had never expected to learn so much new stuff about the area's in San Francisco. Opening up your eyes, and take pictures of the signs and plagues around the city can educate your kids about why there are a large number of Falafel and Mousaka restaurants around Folsom & 3rd street.

 

@Instagram, I Request a New Feature, Will You Listen..?

Dear Instagram,

Line of Deyan's friends on InstagramI really like your product, and Instagram is my preferred way of sharing pictures with people who have chosen to follow me on their mobile smart phone. I love your filters, I love the way I can follow what my friends are up to, leave comments and like their pictures real easily!

However, with you rolling out the public web profiles, I would like to make a feature request; Can you please build in a way I can protect certain pictures from the public eye. I simply don't want to share all my pictures with the whole world! More specific, I have made a conscious decision not to publish any photo's of my kids online. At first, I was ok with sharing pictures of my kids on your service as these were only seen by people who follow me on a mobile phone. But with the easy copy paste online on the web, I'm about to rethink how I will use Instagram. Let me explain...

Identity Stealing Made Easy

Hipster Dennis picture on InstagramBack in 2006, just after my daughter was born, I set up a blog for us to post pictures and stories for my family back in The Netherlands to follow how she would grow up as a little girl. I was able to capture a great domain for her, as her name is really special: Bo-Jools.com. Now we only post her art work here, as the story takes an ugly turn.

After a couple of months, posting a lot of stories about our adventures in San Francisco with a new born; my wife was contacted by a woman in The Netherlands with a strange story. She had been communicating with a mother of a little girl for 6 months, who had built up a profile on a baby site.

Long story short, the woman had used our baby pictures stolen from our daughters weblog to fabricate an online fake profile of a woman with a young baby girl, who was suffering from an early stage of cancer. The story was about hospital visits, fear of loosing her baby, and steep hospital bills. It would make every mother sad to read the full life story of a 6 month old baby, and feel nothing but empathy for the young mother, all alone with a sick baby.

We filed a complaint with the Dutch police, where I was very lucky I had direct connections with their special Internet Crime department through the legal team of Marktplaats, eBay's Dutch Classifieds site. In the end, we were able to get the police team taking up the case due to the fact the baby profile site offered the ability to sell pictures through the site, which made it an official "crime". The initial thoughts of the specialist was that we could not prosecute as there was "no crime committed".

The police did a search on the address of the IP the profile was managed out off. It appeared there was an under age girl behind the profile, who got carried away with her imagination after researching the baby profile site for a school project. Thank god it was not a worse outcome, where our minds were thinking about fake money scams or even worse.

Lesson Learned

Nice machine I like to try picture on InstagramWe learned a valuable lesson online. Pictures of our family, our kids or maybe even of myself should not always be posted publicly, as these can be copied, stolen and used by anybody with good, bad or mal intentions.

As our kids are still little, they have not given permission to us to post their picture online, so we removed all their pictures from websites and public profiles. We get many times suggestions we  should have our kids model for advertisements. But we don't want to, as they should make up their own mind if they would like to do that. Maybe when they are older...

Even on networks like Facebook, we are extremely careful about privacy settings, and who would be able to see the pictures. And still then, we are not posting all of our family pictures there, as you never know how Facebook will change their privacy settings, or make changes to their Terms & conditions you have opted in to. It would not be the first time...

Instagram Public Profiles

Which brings me to Instagram sharing, mobile smart phones & Public Profiles.

Censored Instagram Profile

At first I started using Instagram to share funny pictures using the filters. But as more people joined, and started to connect with me at the service, it became a new way to share moments of joy with the people I like, but not online where all people can see and copy my stuff. Off course I knew that every picture on my Instagram feed could be accessed online, but it was way harder to find and copy/paste these pictures than somewhere else. I did had a feeling I could share some of the pictures of my kids with my Instagram followers, but I was wrong!

With Instagram Public Profiles (mine here), you can see all my pictures from my Instagram feed, up to the early ones. Fun stuff, as I can see 2 year old pictures from my kids, but so can anybody else. And what is more, Instagram does not give you the ability to shield off certain pictures from the public eye. You only have the ability to hide your full stream from the public. It's either all or nothing!

Individual Picture Control

Guinness time picture on InstagramWhich is why I ask you Instagram, build a new feature which would allow me to set the permissions on each and every picture I push into my stream. A simple setting when you take the picture will do. Something like: Share with the world or only on Instagram mobile stream (not on public profile). I believe Facebook has done an awesome job in this, so with the sale of Instagram to Facebook, you should have access to that snippet of code, which would make it extremely easy to adopt the feature!

No Choice

Otherwise, you leave me no choice. I will either;

  • Delete the pictures of my kids and have a boring stream of photo's of everyday live scenes or marketing ideas
  • Set my stream to private, and limit my own ability to use Instagram how I have been in the past 2 years

I'm looking forward to see how you evolve and grow up Instagram. I really love your service, and would hate to abandon you!

 

Cheers

 

DG

OMG I Joined AirBnB


OMG, just like that, I switched jobs! Just after 14 months I'm moving from Geeknet, to AirBnB to head up their Global SEO efforts.

Vacation rentals, private rooms, sublets by the night - Accommodations on Airbnb

New Adventures Begin

With my departure from eBay last year, after almost 10 years, I got the chance to see different companies from up close. Geeknet was somewhat familiar territory, as I was hired by a former VP of eBay, who had just joined Geeknet as the CEO. Although the industry Geeknet was focussed on was completely different than eBay, I was able to bring significant value to the company through the SEO program. What can you expect if you work with sites like Slashdot & SourceForge.

Already before the sale of Geeknet Media assets to Dice Holding, I realized I would like to work in a company or product focussed directly at the end user. Geeknet was too focussed on Advertising products for me. I would like to market a product directly to the consumer who will make the decision and benefit from the product, rather than market to advertisers who will spend money to market to their consumers.

AirBnB, My Passion Is Travel, Photography and SEO

For those not familiar with AirBnB, I sorted a couple of interesting articles for you to read:

The company has values and design principles close to my passions; Travel, Photography and Internet. Just look through some of the listings on AirBnB, you could stay in a English castle or in this 1sq meter house in Berlin for just $13. Check the top 40 coolest places on AirBnB. With AirBnB growing really fast, and with multiple referrals, the deal was closed faster than I initially expected and the decision to join a startup was not that difficult. Just ask yourself, who doesn't want to work in such a cool office space...Check this virtual office tour of the AirBnB office ein San Francisco.
AirBnB office in San Francisco

Every meeting room at the AirBnB office resembles a real listing on the site which you could rent for a couple of days. See the picture here on the right, which is a room from one listing in New York. Source: Beautiful Spaces Matter.

Based on the last couple of posts here, you can see that I take this move really seriously. Changing the way I work, getting up early and focus, turning myself into a hipster, cutting all my hear in the process, probably makes me the right person to kick some butt in this new role and accelerate the rocket ship which is called AirBnB. More to come..

As always I like to build close relationships with my readers, so I like to hear what you think of this move. Feel free to comment below here...

How To Become a San Francisco Hipster

A couple of weeks ago I made some radical changes. I shaved my head with an electric hair clipper and for fun I groomed my unshaved face with a moustache. I could only do this because my family was still spending time back in The Netherlands. The first time my daughter saw me on Skype, she started crying. She had never seen me without the longer hair, so she was in total shock. My son picked up scissors in the weeks after, and wanted to cut his own hair, just like daddy did... Bad example for the kids!

Shocking People Hipster Style

Dennis San Francisco HipsterSince I moved to the US in 2006, I've always had the long hair Euro trash style. I build a large network in my industry, SEO, through visiting conferences, and everybody always knew me with the long hair. So for a party by BlueGlass during SES San Francisco, I planned to shock people with the new look. So searching online, I found how to become a Hipster...

How to Become a Hipster

A couple of short bullets on how to become a hipster:

  • Grooming, hair style and facial hair in a particular way... Check
  • Big, trendy glasses... Check
  • Fashion Style, I can pull an outfit out of my closet, how about some White Corderounds by Betabrand...Check

The result is quite interesting..

How Did I Do..?

So now I would like to get your feedback, how did I do as a real Sean Francisco Hipster? And if you were at the BlueGlass drinks at the Clift Hotel, were you shocked..?

Dreamforce 2012 San Francisco Traffic Nightmare

Another week, another technology conference. Just short of a week after the announcement of the iPhone 5 by Apple, is now SalesForce taking up the whole of the Moscone Center in San Francisco for their yearly Dreamforce conference.

Dreamforce 2012, the tenth edition of the SalesForce conference

The city of San Francisco is probably very happy right now with SalesForce. Not only do they bring a large number of people to The City for the conference, who all stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and go to dinner during the time they stay in San Francisco, I bet SalesForce has paid a large sum of money to get all the permits for the conference.

Dreamforce 2012 in San Francisco

Howard street is closed off, and in the middel of the street, there are two large podiums built, with all kind facilities around these to make the conference guest happy.

Two podiums middle of Howard street for SalesForce Dreamforce 2012 conference

With big names as speakers, the Dreamforce conference is drawing big crowds. And on top of it all, a free concert of the Red Hot Chili Peppers! I just would love to see Sir Richard Branson's keynote...

Sir Richard Branson keynoting at Dreamforce 2012

Wonderful for the city of San Francisco, however, Howard street and the streets around the Moscone Center are full with traffic all day long, and we get crazy of the horns of all the cars stuck in traffic just below our window of the office. Parking fees for the public parkings have doubled for this week, where the demand vs supply are controlling the prices and free market spirit of capitalism are winning!

Howard street full with traffic because of the Dreamforce conference

The Social Enterprise - SalesForce

Ustream Flashmob at Apple iPhone 5 Launch

Where can you get free publicity with a Flashmob? Right at an Apple launch event. So with the launch of the iPhone 5 this morning, here in San Francisco, Ustream organized a flashmog. I saw the group early on making preparations, so I kept my camera ready to film. Here are two video's of the Flashmob, where the news anchor mand did a really good job keeping his face straight!