Week 39

A frustrating pitch experience and a great time in Amsterdam with the first CoCities Salon and fine coffee.

Pitch Frustrations

The last two weeks have been frustrating for me when they should have been the opposite. I was supposed to work on a pitch with some of my favorite people from an agency. I knew the client pretty good as I’ve already worked with them. It could have been a great project with a good chance for the agency to win that pitch.

Unfortunately, the client had another idea. First some disagreement with the agency delayed the pitch which gave me some strange “in-between” time where I all of a sudden had nothing to do but also knew that I could be thrown back into full pitch hassle anytime. I’ve learned from these days that I should always keep a list of little tasks that I can do wherever and whenever I find the time for them. As the pitch was finally about the start, the client canceled the whole thing one day before as they had already decided to go with agencies they already knew. Classic.

For a super-small company like us, the cancelation of a full-paid 14-days-project is a big deal. Hopefully, I can make the best of the time that is all of a sudden available and pick up all the inquiries that I had to put off until the end of July. And fortunately, we’re also involved in another pitch that feels much better from the start. It’s well paid, with a decent amount of time and a proper pitch briefing. I’ve not given up hope that just once, after 4 years in this industry, I will experience a nice pitch with a fair end.


#cocities salon #cocities salon by Johannes Kleske / (CC) BY-NC-SA

The good part about last week was our trip to Amsterdam. We were there for our first Cognitive Cities Salon and had an amazing time. Fortunate for us, our CoCities speaker Juha van’t Zelfde was our local support and did a fantastic job setting the whole thing up. We were happy guests of Trouw Amsterdam, a location introduced to us as the “Berghain of Amsterdam” in an abandoned newspaper printing facility. We didn’t have much time to promote the event as our main sponsor took until the last minute for their decision before they jumped ship, so we had around 40 people attending which made for a cozy atmosphere and enabled a nice round of discussions.

James Burke James Burke by Igor Schwarzmann / (CC) BY-SA

The best part for us was that this time, there was nothing to do through the evening so we could listen to our speakers Kars Alfrink, Katalin Galayas, James Burke and Edwin Gardner. And boy, did they deliver. If you have the chance to see any of them speak, make sure you can attend.

Photo by Johannes Kleske / (CC) BY-NC-SA

We spend most of the next day in our new favorite café (very careful here to avoid calling it coffeeshop when in the Amsterdam context), the Two For Joy Coffee Roastery at Frederiksplein. Super friendly staff, a very “gezellig” atmosphere with comfy sofas and free wifi and decent freshly made food. But the best (and for us most important part, obviously) is their coffee. They have it all Australian-coffee-culture-based Espresso beverages, all the pour-over hype stuff like the Chemex. And they take the time to teach you how to prepare and enjoy the coffee. A place after our heart.

After the travel craziness of the last weeks, it looks like we’re going to spend some more time in Berlin in the next weeks. Good to be home for a change. See you on Friday at #FatSIX.

Author: Johannes

Johannes is a strategist and consultant for digital communications. His work is informed by his experience of working with brands like Deutsche Telekom, MTV, Postbank, Maggi and Nike and by his insatiable appetite for finding the bigger patterns behind current developments in technology and science. Holding a diploma in Media System Design, Johannes is a regular speaker at web and marketing conferences like Republica and the Social Media Summit.