Posts By Ton

3 Easy Tricks to Improve Your Online Privacy!

It’s what everyone (and their mother) seems to be talking about: online privacy! Here are 3 easy tricks to quickly improve your personal online privacy:

1) Install Adblock Plus

This is the first thing I recommend everyone to do: install Adblock plus (Firefox/Chrome). Adblock plus does what its name implies: it blocks ads from showing up on your browser. This makes for a much cleaner user experience, and if you do want to see ads on certain websites – it also allows you to mark specific websites as whitelisted so that blocks are not performed.

2) Stop cookie tracking

The next thing you should do, is let your cookies expire when you exit your browser – and disallow third-party cookies. This is very simple to do. Here’s the quick explanation for Chrome:
Go to your settings menu, and scroll to the bottom to click on “Show advanced settings.” Then, look for “privacy” and click on “content settings.” Now, check 2 things:
- “keep local data only until I quit my browser/for current session”
– “Block third-party cookies and site data”

3) Browse privately


I browse incognito in Chrome the majority of the time I spend online. It’s pretty much the same experience, except:
– all history is deleted once you close the browser
– all cookies are destroyed once you close the browser
– bookmarks and non-private history are preserved

How do you browse privately? It’s simple. Different browsers have different ways (and names) for browsing in private:
– Chrome: Click on file, select “new incognito window”
– Firefox: Click on orange menu, select “start private browsing”
– Internet Explorer: Click on settings (gear symbol top right corner), go to “safety” and select “InPrivate Browsing.”

There you go! 3 very simple ways to quickly make your internet experience much more private.

Meet the Izooble team: Egbert Teeselink!

He always wanted to be an inventor, has experience at several startups, heard about Izooble through Hacker News, and is very excited to lead the Izooble development team!Meet Egbert Teeselink!

How did you become involved with Izooble? 

egbert teeselink izooble 2Via Hacker News, a social news site about startups and technology. In a discussion thread I complained about the low startup count in Eindhoven. Marc Köhlbrugge, the founder of, replied that it’s not so bad at all. He shared a list of Eindhoven-based startups that included Izooble, I got in touch with founders Ton and Joshua, and started hacking with them in my free time. When things started getting serious, they asked me to build and lead the development team, and I gladly accepted!

What are the main challenges/triumphs leading the Izooble tech team? 

We really started coding just three months ago, so I’m bound to be somewhat humble about triumphs. That said, we got an amazingly great team together, one much better than I had dared dream. The passion and enthusiasm going around in the team is simply mindblowing. We’re all really eager to go live with the public beta, and it’s amazing to see how ridiculously fast the app is coming together.

Our main challenge is getting a great product out in very little time. I don’t believe that messy hacks can ever lead to great user experiences, however, so we have to ensure that quality is high both internally and externally. We want to go live as quickly was we can though, so the challenge is to do things decently without sacrificing time. This means I try to get everybody to really take time to think about design and architecture, but then still choose the simplest option that could possibly work (for more than two months). It’s an odd mental stretch, but it makes the job very interesting.

What did you want to be when you were little, and did that come true? 

egbert teeselink izoobleI wanted to become an inventor. At the time, I thought of it like a smart guy in a lab coat putting a unique and ingenious machine together with screws and hammers. In fact, this is what I do, except that you can’t really touch the machine because it is software. There’s no greater area for an inventor to work in than software, because we software engineers can truly create something from nothing. If you install an app on your phone, your phone does not get heavier, the app does not need frequent repairs, but still you got yourself a new tool that gives you an ability that you did not have before.

What software/apps did you work on before, and what are you most proud of? 

I really enjoyed my time at BinC, an Eindhoven-based startup that unfortunately did not make it. We made technology that connected alarm systems to cell phones, so that whenever an alarm went off, you had all necessary information to decide what to do at your fingertips. We integrated with many camera brands and alarm systems, and the solution was a software-hardware hybrid. For a nerd like me, it had all the aspects: embedded software in custom hardware, mobile apps, cloud data, real customers with real problems. Unfortunately, however, we burned money faster than we could attract customers. I learned a great deal about how to do things in a startup, and also quite a lot about how not to.

When you’re not drawing, calculating, and leading the developers, what do you do in your spare time? 

Programming some more. Also, allotment gardening and playing games with my son.

What should all Izooblers know about you? 

  • At times, my haircut perfectly resemble Jacek’s. We’re both very proud of that.
  • When people copy and paste code within the same codebase, I become aggressive, overly muscular and green. I then burst out of my shirt but not my pants.


Meet the Izooble team: Alain Le Loux!

If you say start-up, I say Alain! He successfully started several high tech start-up companies himself, is an experienced start-up coach, is writing a book about start-ups, and is currently the Business Accelerator for EIT ICT Labs (European Institute for Innovation and Technology).

Alain_Le_Loux_izoobleAlain, how did you become involved with Izooble?
As Business Accelerator I’m currently coaching Izooble about subjects like Strategy, Marketing and Investments. I like the concept about recommendations about apps.

When you’re not working on Izooble, what else do you do?
I coach a lot of different hightech startups all throughout Europe. I’m also writing a book about startups (The Startup Workbook).

Your current favorite app/movie/book?
I travel a lot, so my favorite apps are:
– Skyscanner

My favorite book:
– “Influence” by prof. Caldini

When you’re not working on start-ups, where can we find you?
Chances are I’m at a golf course, I enjoy to play golf in my spare time.
You could also find me at a mall or stores, because I also enjoy shopping.

Idea? Start doing it!

Any entrepreneur, founder, or anyone who has ever been part of something new will understand this. If you have a great idea, don’t fool around thinking about it: actually start doing it! That’s what Ton van de Ven, the founder of Izooble, did 3 years ago – and look what a great team is now working on the coolest product. We can’t wait to share it with the world :)

“Time’s a wasting – don’t talk about wanting to do something, just start doing it” – Garrett Murray.




5 Facts about Trust and Advertising!

When you are about to buy a product, are you more willing to trust a TV advertisement, or a personal recommendation from a friend? That might sound like a silly question, but think about it: when you Google for any sort of product, chances are you’ll find a bunch of advertisements, company-pushed websites, and reviews from complete strangers. What if you’d find a recommendation from a friend instead?

Here are 5 facts about trust and advertising:

  1. trust_izooble92% of consumers say they trust earned media, such as social media, word of mouth, recommendation from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising (source: Webbed Feet)
  2. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations (source: Socialnomics)
  3. Only 14% trust advertisements (source: Socialnomics)
  4. 57% of us respond that we “cannot trust” most people; 38% of us respond that we can trust most people (source: General Social Survey)
  5. 70% of global consumers say online consumer reviews are the second most trusted from of advertising (source: Webbed Feet)

What if we could turn the advertising world upside down: what if your search results would not be based on advertising, but on your social network instead? A world where you can find what matters to you: without advertisements, cluttered feeds, or privacy concerns. A world full of trust.

Did I trigger your curiosity? Read more about Izooble. You’ll like it – trust me.

Successful Demo Day!


Smiles, handshakes, and lots of happy faces all around: the Izooble demo day was one big success! All Izooblers left hugging and high-fiving, very excited to be part of this ride.

Investors, team-members, and others interested in Izooble were given a demonstration of the latest Izooble version, a presentation on marketing and the plans for the coming months. And even though this was one of our very first meetups, we all felt the excitement and anticipation in the air. We couldn’t be more fired up about our future!

To everyone who was there: THANK YOU for coming. We are so happy you’ve joined our Izooble team!

Here are some demo day pictures:


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Meet the Izooble team: Marco de Groot!

Marco is a big drive behind the Izooble development team. Even though he wasn’t planning on working for Izooble, he found the challenge too tempting, and this tech master has joined us since January! When he’s not staring at his screen, Marco likes to ride his bike or walk in nature.

Izooble marco de groot senior developer- What’s the coolest thing about Izooble?
It’s clear what the product is, and it’s not the customer. So no hidden tricks to sell information about you.

- How/when did you join the Izooble family?
I’ve been introduced to Izooble by Mark around December 2013. My plan for the first few months of 2014 were; doing nothing (at least not working). But somehow the plan failed and I’ve joined Izooble since January. It seemed like fun and the challenge was just too tempting!

- Where are you from, where have you lived?
Currently I live in Almere, just near the Oostvaardersplassen (and yes, it’s a beautiful movie, but De nieuwe wildernis is not my favorite). Before Almere it was Amsterdam, Amersfoort and born in Utrecht. Seeing this list, I think Eindhoven, Oosterwijk, Ilpendam could be future cities for me!

- You’re an author? Tell us more!
Somehow a few people got the idea to write a book SQL and a some years later a book about Model-Driven Development. The books are not about features and products, but about principles. Trying to show, and learn, the reader why and how. My biggest involvement in the books was technical knowledge and writing software to support the books. Both books are filled with examples where thre readers can easily try things themselves!

- When you’re not at your computer, what do you do?
I’d like to ride my bike or walk in nature and I try to make some time for reading, but somehow computers always keep asking for attention. And of course I love to watch movies and series. After a hard day of work, just staring at the screen without thinking too much.

- Your favorite app/book/movie at the moment?
My favorite movie at the moment; technically of course Gravity, just amazing. The only recent movie I’ve seen more than one time is Life of Pi, so in a way it’s a favorite.

My favorite app: hmmmm, it isn’t an app, but I’d like to nominate my whole Jolla phone as favorite!

My favorite book: the two books I’m trying to finish: “Thinking fast and slow” and “Price of Inequality” (ahum, this list has been steady for a few months, moving page by page)

- Your proudest moment?
The moment I can remember best; more than 10 years ago we developed a software program for a company with a small team. It took quite some time to develop, working many hours a day and the new program was really a major change for the customer. Finally we went live, and the first day passed without any major issues. When we drove home, really exhausted, we realized; we did it!

Meet the Izooble Team: Thom Prüst!

thom prust izooble cfoThom’s favorite app is…his banking app. You probably guessed it, he is our CFO, our number expert!
Over a decade Thom has served both national en international companies to optimize, secure and manage their R&D costs effectively. In his spare time, you can find Thom lure fishing on Dutch rivers, and as a true Izoobler: he has lived in several countries!

Thom, What excites you about Izooble?

What excites me about Izooble is the thought that we potentially unveil a technology that can be used by the entire worldwide internet community, as our technology puts individuals, wherever they are, in the centre of their own network as the starting point for finding and discovering exciting new, relevant and unbiased content.

What makes working for Izooble so exciting/different compared to other companies?

Izooble has true potential global reach so being able to take part in this adventure is both exciting and different compared to any other company I’ve worked with in the past.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAWhat are you like when you’re not working? What do you like to do, what makes you happy?

In my scarce moments of free time I like to spend time with my family and go out for lure fishing on the Dutch rivers.

What’s your current favorite app/book/movie?

Favorite app: Banking app
Favorite book: Ondernemen is gewoon doen by W. van Burgeler
Favorite movie: Django Unchained

Where are you from, and where have you lived?

I was born in Veghel, studied Law at the University of Maastricht and Seville, Spain, and have spent time abroad for both study and work in Spain and South and Middle – America. At this moment I have settled in Belgium.

What advice can you give other startups?

Start your business by sending out your first invoice; the rest will follow automatically.

Meet the Izooble Team: ALEKSANDRA WROŃSKA!

Adventurous. Independent. Talented.
Meet Aleksandra, or Ola, our Polish developer who came to the Netherlands 5 years ago. This is a powerwoman who knows what she wants. And right now, that’s making Izooble a success. We’re very happy to have Ola on our team!

Aleksandra IzoobleWhy/when did you move to the Netherlands?
I came to Holland about five years ago for a European Voluntary Service (EVS). I participated and organized self-development trainings open for all countries and at all ages at Stichting Olde Vechte, Ommen, The Netherlands. I could never stay in Poland for long, the moment I turned 18 I started traveling around Europe.

What excites you about Izooble?
I am excited to be a part of the team that is not afraid to stand up to big companies. I am excited to be part of the team that speaks for users and reclaims their right to find best products without putting up with spam and advertisements.

What’s the deal with your name: Aleksandra or Ola? 
My full first name is Aleksandra and just like most full names, it has a short form. It’s not “Aleks” nor “Sandra” but “Ola”. To make it even more confusing Ola and Olga are two different names. It is one of the very few questions which even google cannot answer.

POI Aleksandra IzoobleI never heard about ‘poi’ until I knew you. Tell me more about it!
POI is a performance art that originated from New Zeeland. It involves swinging two tethered weights in various geometric patterns. I started practicing it when I was in Denmark. The most beautiful POI performances are the ones with fire or LED POIs. It is a great hobby and pretty challenging coordination exercise.

What’s the strangest Dutch thing you’ve seen yet?
Dutch people try to keep everything in order. They make sure that trees grow in a line and that rivers flow straight. They even fix streets or buildings that are not even broken. Of course, it’s an advantage but it’s a very uncommon behavior for Polish people.

What should all Izooblers know about you?
I was a scout for many years so I know how to survive in a forest (yes, I have earned many scout badges). I did parachute jumping for my 18th birthday, it was a gift from my sister. I enjoy doing tricks on ice; playing guitar; travelling; painting and drawing.

Meet the Izooble Team: Emin Thaqi!

Motivated, talented, and proud to be part of the Izooble team: Emin Thaqi. Emin helps with both back-and front-end development of the web appliciation, he’s an adventurous climber and soccer player, and if he could pick one place in the world, he’d fly to Bora Bora right now!


Izooble Emin Thaqi Developer

Emin, you’re from Kosovo. I’m curious, why did you come to the Netherlands?
I’ve been meaning to study abroad for quite a while. I knew that the Netherlands offers prestige higher education in English language.
I was involved and volunteered for some NGOs in Kosovo. Around 2009 I came in the Netherlands, stichting Olde Vechte to participate in a voluntary program (EVS). During that time I looked and found the best school for me, Fontys ICT – Eindhoven.

What’s the funniest Dutch thing you’ve seen yet?
Maybe not Dutch, but I’ve seen them in the Netherlands, mouth-shaped urinals in a well known fast-food restaurant.

What excites you about Izooble?
I liked the project and the modern technology that’s being used, it matches very well with my knowledge and things that I want to work with.

During my interview I was impressed by the approach and modesty of the Izooble officials.
I believe Izooble has a nice vision and the right people to create a modern app that delivers a great experience for its users. It’s exciting to be part of it :).

What should all Izooblers know about you?
I really like football, and I have a very good team in Eindhoven :).

What’s your favorite current: app, book, movie?

  • App(ish): HTC’s Blinkfeed
  • Books: The General of the Dead Army by Ismail Kadare. Starting Out with C++: From Control Structures through Objects by Tony Gaddis
  • Movies: I like movies a lot, and it’s really hard for me to pick a favorite, but here are some that come from the top of my head: The Dark Knight; The Matrix; Fight Club; Terminator 2; Pulp Fiction; The Godfather…

Favorite viral video?

What does your name ‘Emin’ mean?
Emin originates from an Arabic and/or Turkish word which means trustworthy or faithful.