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?
Via 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 Betali.st, 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?
I 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?
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, 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:
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.
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.
- 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!
Thom’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!
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.
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.
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.
Favorite app: Banking app
Favorite book: Ondernemen is gewoon doen by W. van Burgeler
Favorite movie: Django Unchained
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.
Start your business by sending out your first invoice; the rest will follow automatically.
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!
Why/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.
I 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.
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!
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?
Favorite viral video?
What does your name ‘Emin’ mean?
Emin originates from an Arabic and/or Turkish word which means trustworthy or faithful.
Mark Bevers is the head of business development for Izooble, and works as the right-hand of Ton, the founder of Izooble. If you’re part of the Izooble family, you gotta love to travel. Mark loves to ski, drive his car, and is a true family man. But Mark also can’t wait to share Izooble with the world!
Mark, what excites you about Izooble?
What really excites me about Izooble is the passion of everybody working on it. I enjoy seeing everybody enthusiastic and committed to make it a success. Of course I also like the fact that when you tell your friends or even complete strangers about the concept they understand and agree to the fact that this is the next step in successful social networking. This is what we all have been waiting for. What else can you be excited about then?
Working as the right-hand of Ton, how do you help each other?
As we all know Ton is a very enthusiastic guy and wants to do everything at the same time, and right now. He is good in being creative and thinking of the next steps. I on the other hand am a type of guy that wants to finish what he started and needs to work structured and organized. In this we can help each other and make sure everything gets done in the right time and really hits the surface. What I’m also trying to do is to bring some structure in the company. Ton has been used to working alone or with a small team for the last couple of years. But now we are looking forward to a successful company that needs to grow fast and has some real shareholders that all need to be satisfied and want to agree to the company’s policy. I need to remember Ton on this.
What are the most important ways to get funding/investments as a start-up? (oh yes, try to summarize this ha!)
This is a really hard one. Not only because there are so many ways to raise money. More important is the question if you really need the money, in what period of time and against which conditions. For now we are not even sure we really want the money, because if we are going to be a success we only need a bit of money for a very small period of time. Why give away the opportunity then? If we do want some money there are a couple of main possibilities. 1) Investors and 2) Crowdfunding. On the other hand, if we really believe in this social network why wouldn’t it be an option to go for option number 3): participation of our own staff?
What’s your current favorite app/movie/book?
To be honest I’m that much into looking for new apps. I use a lot of apps, but am very consistent in which ones I use. Mainly apps for doing business or being informed about whats going on. I hardly use the current social networks. But then again I trust our ideas and am sure I will be using Izooble in the near future. I’m not that much into reading. The story of Facebook is already on my nightstand for over a year.
Movies I like a lot. In my home I have a very interesting HiFi system so I can really enjoy a good movie and am in tears regularly. I’m so touchy lately. One of my favorite movies is “Intouchables”. It’s a very good, touching and also funny movie. I love it. And of course I’m a guy so I also like the more action stuff movies.
Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I was born in the north of The Netherlands, in a small town called Gieten. It’s a very small community. There lived about 5,000 inhabitants in that time and people all seemed to know each other. I liked it when I was young, but since I went to university I didn’t return anymore. Of course I visited Gieten when my parents still lived in this town, but I never had the desire to go back. Nowadays I live in Deventer, also in the Netherlands, a nice and ancient city in the middle of our country. I really like it a lot and have no plans in moving.
What makes you happy?
My wife and family. And not only because she would like to read it. It really is true. Together with Marees I have 5 children. Three of them are mine and two of them are Marees kids. They have the ages of 10 to 20 and we really are a nice family. Of course we have had our ups and downs being a composite family but we have a lot of fun now. What would make me happy is a success story of Izooble!
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to watch and go to the movies. I also drive a nice car and like to spent some time in it with my wife driving around and enjoy our beautiful Europe. Just the two of us. We love it. In winter times I love to go skiing in the Alpes. This year I probably won’t go, because of other priorities, but I hardly can’t wait. In general I like to travel a lot. I love New York for example. Marees and I engaged there and would love to go shopping there every weekend :-).
(In the pictures I still have hair. You won’t see me like that anymore.)
Ton: a bundle of energy, ideas, and optimistic perseverance. A couple of years ago, this world-traveler came with the idea for Izooble (how exactly, he’ll tell you here) – and he’s been leading the Izooble train ever since! You won’t find Ton in an office wearing a suit. All Ton needs is his camper, laptop, a good Internet connection, and his girlfriend of course.
Together with his growing team, Ton is always thinking ahead, working on the next big thing: Izooble!
Ton, where are you now?
I’m in Portugal right now, working my ass off getting Izooble ready to launch from my mobile office ;).
How did you come up with Izooble?
I came up with idea for Izooble while wasting time finding the right stuff online. I got fed up with the cluttered feeds full of advertisements and privacy issues.
Thoughts for other start-ups?
What I’ve learned from having my own start-up is that you need to persevere and never lose focus no matter what they throw at you and that it are the crazy ones that change the world
Your current favorite app/book/movie?
I currently don’t read or watch movies a lot but my favorite app is any.Do, fav. book; the naked ape (desmond morris), fav. movie; Intouchables
Name one thing you’re most proud of?
Hmmm only one Traveling the world (42 countries) and climbing the himalayas, completely on my own for 4 weeks concurring passes with 50% less oxygen and only my daypack and a -20c sleeping bag to rely on.
What makes you happy?
Travelling, my pregnant GF, and going back to basic. And the most important thing that makes me happy is the fact that I’ve learned while travelling to the poorest countries in the world, that the happiest people don’t have the best of everything but make the best of everything.
If you believe in something good go for it.
Some guys can do it all: engineering, programming, AND play guitar! He’s just missing one thing… a dolphin’s brain?!
Arslan Maushov is a creative tech enthusiast with a bachelor in software engineering. Arslan is from Russia, goes to Fontys Hogeschool in Eindhoven, and just joined the Izooble team!
I dedicate half of my time to music
Because I wanted to work in a cool startup where things are really innovative, I wanted to work with great and inspiring people, and I wanted to experience a real adventure
Inspire us! What’s your current favorite app/book/movie?
- Evernote, Anki, Duolingo, Twitter
- Pelna moc mozliwosci (polish book by Jacek Walkiewicz, not translated yet)
- The Wolf of Wall Street
Every Izoobler needs to have excellent taste. Hence, what’s your favorite viral video?
I would like to have afro hairstyle instead of receding hairline
Finish: “I’m proud of…”
meeting all the people that I have met during my life