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18 Dec

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Thanks & Happy Holidays: That was 2014

December 18, 2014 | By |

This is end-of-year post #7 (all prior ones here). Slowly I’m getting into the habit.

What happened in 2014? A lot. Let’s dive in!

The theme for 2014

In hindsight, I’d describe 2014 as a year of building foundations. Much more than ever before did I focus on creating a stable basis for future things rather than pushing ahead first. This goes both for personal and professional life, like the way I set up my new company as an umbrella for all new projects and signing a long term office lease.

That, and strong presence of both Japan and Finland (in the form of trips, client work and collaborations) which I very much welcome.

Friends & Family

All good & healthy here, and I’m very grateful for it. Some friends had babies, some celebrated weddings. It’s been great to see my dad slowly getting serious about retiring and clearly enjoying it.

Travel

I still get to travel a lot, and still very much enjoy it. This year I was particularly lucky in that I got to go to lots of excellent places. A total of 18 trips lasting some 84 days brought me to 16 or so cities across 8 countries including Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, US.

 

Things started and discontinued

Lots on both counts!

Started:

  • Officially launched my new company The Waving Cat GmbH, a logical and organic next step after a couple of years of freelancing, as an umbrella for all my various activities, including the ones listed below.
  • Connected, a print magazine around IoT.
  • ThingsCon, a conference around IoT and hardware.

Discontinued:

  • My status as freelancer.
  • UIKonf. Rather, we handed it over to a brilliant new team, so the conference lives on.

On hiatus:

Ignite Berlin. But we didn’t forget about it, we were just all very busy. Next installment to come soon, hopefully.

Firsts & some things I learned along the way.

Received a cease and desist for the very shortlived company-name-that-shall-remain-unnamed before renaming it to The Waving Cat. Registered a trademark. Got a height-adjustable desk, which is great. Flew full circle around the globe. Built a shelf from scratch. Wrote and published an ebook. Printed a newspaper. Handed over a conference. Participated in a museum exhibition. Realized I work best with collaborators. Toured a not-yet-opened airport. Flew a drone. Went to Costa Rica and Finland for the first time. Crossed into the Arctic Circle. Got Japanese business cards.

 

Talks given & stuff published

  • Published TICOH, The Indie Conference Organizer Handbook, as an ebook with Max Krüger.
  • Started Connected, the IoT mag mentioned above.
  • Participated in an exhibition at London’s V&A with the fantastic Alex Deschamps-Sonsino and Ana Bradley, building Paper Wearables.

 

Conferences

If anything, 2014 was the year conferences really took over my life, at least for a few months. ThingsCon, UIKonf and NEXT Berlin all happened within just days of each other, leading to an intense conference experience (and sleep deprivation) the likes of which I hadn’t seen in years.

During the conference craze of May 2014 (with ThingsCon, NEXT and UIKonf more or less back to back, plus other events and travel) I posted a paper plan inside our apartment door: 17 days like this, each with date, which conference or trip, where to go. The only way not go to the wrong place in the morning.

On top of that, participated or spoke at (among many others) FooCamp, SolidCon, ThingsConAMS, a Berlin-Tokyo exchange and a conference about the pets industry about quite a range of topics including 3D printing, innovation, manufacturing, IoT, wearables and design.

So what’s next?

In 2015, I’ll focus on fostering a number of collaborations that I’m very excited about, the output of which will go live soon. Growing and professionalizing ThingsCon is high on the priority list. Spending some time abroad, if it all works out. Otherwise, I’m curious to see what the year will bring and embrace it. It’s shaping up to be an exciting year indeed.

Happy holidays!