Applified’s birth: On how we started!
This is a nice story about how we met.
As an experienced entrepreneur, having started and sold several IT companies, I have the honor to introduce myself and Marelle and Marco also, being the “digital natives” of Applified. My name is Lex Beijer.
Well, to start I can say that being an entrepreneur originates, I suppose similarly for any entrepreneur, from restlessness, a desire for independency, and hunger for being independently successful. That was certainly my motivation. After I graduated I’ve had several jobs in IT. But deep inside there was dissatisfaction about how things were done, how managers made decisions, how the companies I worked for were running their businesses. I must confess that making this big step, from security to an insecure adventure, from a comfortable fixed income to nothing more than a small monthly allowance, really seemed like an adventure, and it was!
And now, almost 16 years later, after a roller-coaster of events, failures, successes, ups and downs, I’m starting all over again! What’s on my mind? Why am I doing this? How does this story unfold?
Actually, that’s quite simple, entrepreneurship is addictive to me, its like a drug, but of course only with the positive effects of it. So, after my last entrepreneurial adventure, and some time of, I headed to San Francisco, invited by a friend, to visit the Bay area and Silicon Valley.
A small side story: the Dutch government budgets approx. € 40M per year for trade missions. All kind of commercial companies gather around this pile, trying to get some of this money, organizing members and a trip agenda in return. Well now, who do you think helps with this agenda? Guess what: the Dutch government itself! Via the Netherlands Business Support Offices many of these trade missions come into existence, like ours to SF for example.
So, my friend and I joined this trade mission. Together with several other entrepreneurs we were treated on a whole bunch of visits, all IT and open source related, from boot strapping startups to $30M series C venture capital investments, from official governmental drinks to the wild nightlife of SF. What a week! Well, as it turns out, Marco and Marelle were also part of this group, so that’s how we actually met.
Back home, we agreed to meet each other in Amsterdam one month later. Together with some other participants we had a nice evening, reliving the memories of SF. Marelle then proposed a dinner at my place, politely inviting herself and Marco to enjoy my modest cooking abilities and to meet my family. Well, why not, we liked each other and had good laughs in SF and Amsterdam, so indeed, why not continuing our acquaintance?
Again a month later, during this dinner, I asked my new young friends about their ambitions in life. What do you aspire to become? Where do you think your opportunities lie? What are your ambitions? And they answered: “We want to become entrepreneurs ourselves”. In a sense, we already are entrepreneurs and we want to start a company that makes a difference in this world.
Well then, why don’t we start something together? For example a company that moves in the mobile space, an industry that we’ve seen is growing and pulsating in SF? Like a company that builds Apps for enterprises!
A long road has been traveled since and our company has started up! What an adventure!