Vacation Musings

Tomorrow I am leaving with my family for a vacation in the Dominican Republic. After done with packing and sending my last emails it is time to relax. The beginning of a vacation is for me always a great moment to look back over the past year. Like closing of a chapter of the book called My Life.

The last year has been interesting to say the least. I have emigrated from The Netherlands to the US, got stuck because of a volcano eruption, survived my first blizzard, a hurricane and an earthquake. How about that?

This time last year we were finishing up the series A funding of Shapeways. We were preparing to move ourselves, families and the company HQ to New York City. That brought some tough decisions for us. We could not take everybody with us to New York City. That meant we had to say goodbye to some great people. At the same time we had to find an office, setup an American company, sell our houses, work on visas, recruit new team members and keep the company moving forward. But we made it and arrived in the US on December 16th 2010. Just in time to get snowed in for a few days.

Shapeways had a great year and we have seen some great growth. We introduced silver, ceramics and frosted detail. All three of them are a great success. So much that we ran into supply chain issues which is a good thing and bad thing at the same time. We hate to disappoint our customers. But it is good that we have found yet another three materials which are greatly appreciated by our users.
We setup our own production facility in Eindhoven and are now printing part of our orders ourselves. The distribution is now also handled by us as well.
We have some great things in the pipeline. One of them is ready for launch next month and I am looking particularly forward to that. It is a world first. We worked on it on and off for 2 years. I am happy it is done now and in testing.

For me personally there have been a lot of changes as well. Moving from a 200k provincial town in southern part of The Netherlands to cosmopolitan New York City is somewhat overwhelming at first. Not only for me but also for my wife Daniela and my son Dinand who was 1,5 years old at the time. He adjusted quite well. After 4 weeks he switch “nee” for “no”. Today he understands English as well Dutch without problems. It is amazing how fast young kids can learn a new language.
In January we expect our second child – a real American in the family if all goes well.

The next two weeks we are on holiday. We are doing what they call here in the US a “European holiday”.

I promised my wife I am off the grid while on holiday. So if you email me I will get back to you after my holiday. If you really need me you can call me or send an email to interruptyourvacation@schouwenburg.nl. It is up to you.

See you in 2 weeks!