A list of simple solutions

I’m a simple guy and I like simple things. I like books that are easy to read, wine that is easy to drink, and insights that I instinctively know are true. I grew up in a small town and never went to university, so maybe I’m just too dumb to understand why some advertising proposals […]

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Colours of Tmall

This is just for fun, ok? A big part of my job in Shanghai revolves around e-commerce, especially Tmall — which owns over half of the online retail market in sales volume. So browsing through Tmall on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but notice the vivid colours, and how they’d create interesting swatches. It started […]

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Joy City

These photos we taken near a shopping mall in Shanghai, called Joy City. The shopping mall has all kinds of shops from global luxury brands, and even a ferris wheel on the roof. This area, next to it, is one of the many old low-rise neighbourhoods that’s demolished in Shanghai, as in other big cities […]

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Tap the mind to grasp the enormity of change in China

The mind is a mysterious place. We can never fully understand what goes on in the mind of someone else. We can never see and feel what others think or feel. Nor can we ever share our own thoughts and feelings without first translating them into words or actions, by which they’ve lost most of […]

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Nuance

In moving to China, what surprised me most is the lack of a culture shock. Sure, Chinese history, language, culture, food, media and smartphone usage, and tons of thing are very different — and on my website I’ll continue to write aplenty about other peculiarities. But the grand irony is that living in Shanghai is […]

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Henk Sneevlietweg metro station

97 years ago today, the Communist Party of China held its first congress in Shanghai, to unify its branches across the country and plot its course through history. It was in fact a Dutchman, Henk Sneevliet, who had urged the Communist to gather for a national meeting. Sneevliet, also known as ‘Maring’, was a seasoned socialist […]

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A Geek in China review

There is nothing geeky about this book. Sure, it describes China in very broad strokes — which may suit total newcomers (Did you know China is the most populous nation on earth?). Christensen’s book comes across as a selection of Wikipedia pages, bundled in a bright softcover with stock photography. And it doesn’t get better […]

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The over-marketing of things, and praise for the OV-fiets

Originally written in Dutch on Marketingfacts. I’d like to talk about telecom providers who work with influencers, but communicate from a noreply email address, or have a ten minute telephone queue. About how every energy provider wants an app. About how the internet is about to burst with well-meant selfie campaigns and Facebook live-sessions and blogs that […]

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Citizens of the Bowery

The Bowery is a lively neighbourhood in New York, thanks to a close-knit community. For a hotel that’s about citizens of the world, it made sense to highlight the citizens of the Bowery — and so KesselsKramer teamed up with photographer Christelle de Castro to honour the locals on the new 22-floor hotel: “Welcome to […]

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China’s media landscape and lessons for the West

Earlier trips to Shanghai already taught me that looking at China with an air of Western superiority is ill-advisable. While rural areas are still developing, urban areas are so far ahead in some aspects that at times, Shanghai felt like science-fiction. In moving from Amsterdam to Shanghai and started as a strategist at Seventy Agency, […]

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