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The Business Model Canvas of mr. Osterwalder is one of the most used, and most useful ways to analyse your own business model and for designing new and alternative business models.

When designing such a canvas, you can use the regular post-it method, where you and your team are putting post-its onto a BMC, but when you’re further apart this might cause some troubles.

Luckily, there’s a solution for this, in the form of BMDesigner.com. On this site you can find an online version of the canvas, which you can fill online, and on which you can also cooperate with people somewhere else.

Quite a nice solution for any larger company who’s looking for something like this. To check it out for yourself, hop over to BMDesigner.com, and also take some time to browse through the models that can be found there.

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The Revival of The Burger

For quite a while the hamburger was a fast-food only product. Companies like McDonalds and Burger King were dominating the entire market, and normal restaurants would not even think about serving it.

Luckily, lately there’s a shift towards selling burgers again by normal restaurants. Proper burgers.

Over the past few months I’ve visited several restaurants that brought back the burger, and all three had different concepts for this. The “part of the regular menu”, the “Specialized in Proper Burgers” and the “Build your own Burger”.

The first and most simple version is by putting some well made burgers on the menu. Use some local products to create a real thick meat burger, add some nice vegetables and your signature sauce and you’ve got a nice addition to your menu. For example Downtown, a restaurant in Dordrecht does this.

If you want to take it a step further, you can specialize and become the burger restaurant to go to. For example, in London there’s Byron – Proper Hamburgers, a place specialized in making plain but very good burgers. On the menu they’ve got around seven different versions, but all at the heart just a plain but good burger.

And then there’s the ultimate version of the hamburger, the Build Your Own Burger. I had one at Café Bar Bistro Central in Peiting, Germany. They offer you the chance to build your own burger, by starting with a meat or vegetable burger, to which you can add all kinds of vegetables and sauces, just to your liking.

And you only pay for what you choose, so you can really make it your liking based on price and what you like as vegetables.

As a usually hungry man I’m happy that the burger is taking over Europe again, by bringing high quality products at reasonable prices.

But this also offers a clear example that it is possible to take over the world by taking cheap products and bringing them to the market using better materials and offering a better atmosphere at a slightly higher price.

So what’s the next product you think you can use this for?

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The Dirty Rhine

In the beautiful city of Koblenz the river Rhine meets the river Moselle. At the place where the Moselle flows into the Rhine, you can see a clear difference between the two.

The Rhine is very dirty, especially when you compare it to the Moselle.

When looking at the measurements we can see that the Rhine has become much cleaner the past few years, but when looking at it in real-life we can see that it can be improved even more.

So I hope that this opens all of your eyes. The water may be clean, but as always, everything is relative, so it can be made even cleaner. And this can be done easily by yourself, for example by not leaving any trash on an open field.

Together we can make the river more clean, and hopefully one day this difference will be gone, and we will have to look at other things to see the difference between the rivers.

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Most science is done because people want to know something. Other scientists have a more social responsible look at the research they do.

One of these scientists within the Netherlands is mister Jan Rotmans. He calls himself a “socially driven scientist” and so his research focusses on all kinds of sustainable issues, with a specific focus on the transition to a sustainable society.

On his site you can find many examples of the work he does, and he also explains how he foresees this transition and why he thinks that it needs to happen.

I think that his ideas on sustainability are sometimes a bit radical, but it’s interesting to take a look at them. So if you’ve got a minute, take a look for yourself over at JanRotmans.nl

AcademicHat

The Next Level In Home Study

One of the downsides of studying in Eindhoven and Living in Amsterdam is that it takes me about 1:45 hours to get from my house into the college room.

Now this wouldn’t be a major problem if I would have multiple classes on one day, but they somehow managed to schedule almost everyday 2 hours for me.

Luckily, this problem has a big chance of disappearing in the coming years, according to this news article by BNR radio.

They talk about bringing entire courses online, thereby making them available to the entire world. Last year the TU Delft did one of these so called Massive Online Courses on solar energy, and when they asked about the results, they got response back from all over the world.

This shows that it is possible to change the universities into a more online system, where it’s possible to follow online courses from the best universities world wide, just from your own home.

And a bit further in the future this might lead to students graduating which did their entire master study online.

One of the problems I foresee now is with writing a good thesis, but with options like Skype and other online social media, I don’t see this as insurmountable, but more as something to think about in the coming years.

So I hope that for the coming generations all over the world the best education will become available, so that also in second and third world countries the people are offered equal opportunities, so that they can start creating a better world around them.

Let There Be Wine

A few weeks ago, I spent my summer holiday in the beauty of Germany.

Though it is not the first thing you might think of when talking about Germany, they have some fine wine fields there. And I visited one of these areas, on the borders of the Mosel.

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The only odd thing there is that all the wine houses have extremely modern buildings, often at the borders of the old cities with half-timbered houses, like this one.

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Sustainable Energy is one of the hottest topics in the world these days, and so many innovations take place in this huge field. Solar-Photovoltaics – one of the many techniques – sees many new initiatives and innovations every day.

To keep track of all of this solar news, the website Solar Novus Today was founded.

On the site you can find all solar news from all over the world. They have case studies on large scale production facilities, but also news about innovations and trade show news about new products.

So there’s enough to see and it’s a very nice site to keep up-to-date with the solar news. If you want to see it yourself, hop over to SolarNovus.com and enjoy it.

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My Big Train Data

Over the past college year I kept track of every train journey I made. Almost all of them are between Amsterdam (home) and Eindhoven (university), but the third most frequent station in it is Dordrecht.

So far so good, so let’s look at some numbers.

In total, over the past year, I spent 373 hours and 5 minutes (that’s about 15,5 day) in trains, traveling 293 journeys. On average a one-way journey took me 1 hours and 17 minutes, with a standard deviation of 15 minutes.

The longest journey took place on the 23rd of september, when I had to take a local bus from Breda to Tilburg due to some wildfires around the tracks. The journey from Dordrecht to Eindhoven (56 minutes according to schedule) took me 3 whole hours that day.

The shortest on the other hand is only 4 minutes, from Duivendrecht to Amsterdam Zuid, to get past a working area of the subway.

Now looking at the most annoying part, the disruptions, I must say I had a pretty good year.

Only twice I returned home since the trains couldn’t get me to my destination.

Only five times I was hindered by a switch failure, but on average they meant 52 minutes extra journey time. Also, I had two unfortunate people who had an accident with a train, causing me an extra 1 hour and 49 minutes of travel time.

But taking an overall look at this, I can say that the railways have been good to me the past year. A very large majority of my journeys just ran on time, or with minor delays of several minutes.

Now it can be that I’ve just been lucky, but it’s not always as bad as it seems. The only thing that really helped was the warm winter, which caused me many delays the past few years.

For this year I’ll try to do the same, so I can see how it keeps up, so next year we can see how it compares to this.

Nice View

Sometimes I wonder what the people who are responsible for the park benches think…

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Both of these can be found in Amsterdam.

Any other nice examples? Feel free to post them in the comments section.

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Most government institutions are known for their fairly slow pace when it comes to change.

Luckily, there are also some people who do things different, and so our government is no different.

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, has his own Facebook page, on which he regularly posts about things that he’s busy with. Being it a meeting in Europe, what he’s doing in the aftermath of an air crash in Ukraine or a full speech he has just given somewhere.

By using this page he tries to connect to the people, and he can show part of how he operates, which is interesting to see, since most of the times politics only say something vague when they’re interviewed.

This might also be an interesting thing to do for the leaders of large corporations. By showing what they’re doing and why they decide to do certain things, they can create more understanding throughout the entire company.

And you don’t have to make it a public Facebook page, but using Intranet for this can be a very good idea.

Just make sure to keep the posts short and make sure that everybody can understand it, so not too much technical jibbajabba.

Fotografie en Innovatie – Net even anders