The celebration of Peter Laanen’s next career adventure was attended by many of his Dutch and American family, colleagues and business partners. The long list of guests proves that his network is dazzling.
Peter has been the director of the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) since 2007. After his departure this month, he will continue to support business ventures under the nameLaanen The Brand. In short: goodbye to Laanen from the Consulate, hello to Laanen the Consultant.
Peter’s presentation about the West Coast’s do’s and don’ts has been a longtime favorite among Dutch entrepreneurs who decide to take their business to the States. Peter always warns them: don’t joke with police officers or about politics and religion. However, Peter himself is known for his great sense of humor and he will joke about anything and everything in private.
During his time at the Consulate General, he helped hundreds and hundreds of Dutch businesses get started in the US. Many of their start-up stories ended in success. The number of recommendations and thank you’s are countless.
Peter’s outstanding business achievements in the Bay Area can be summarized in one sentence, his motto: Failure is the basis for success. And success he has. In November 2012 he was honored by the Netherland-America Foundation in Southern California. And just last month the California State Senate honored him with a resolution to commend him on his work to improve trade relations between California and the Netherlands.
Another one of Peter’s mottos: Exception reinforces the rule. The rule that a NBSO can’t operate from within a Consulate General or Embassy is a living example. With the closing of the NSBO and Peter’s departure, his work will partly be taken over by other Consulate General staff.
Peter and I had neighboring offices at the Consulate General. That was going to end anyway because very soon all our staff will be moving around, with mobile offices: a computer, laptop or iPad and clean work desks. We will be making room for small enterprises and Dutch start-ups: an orange hub in San Francisco. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Peter back in our offices every week.
SXPD is currently the number one racing game in the US Appstore. It is a cross-over between a high-octane racing game and a state of the art digital comic. The game was Developed by Dutch gaming Studio Little Chicken Game Company and published by OneBigGame
Like all other OneBigGame games, it was conceived pro bono for OneBigGame’s charity. Industry legend David Perry (creator of the Earth Worm Jim series) supervised the development: “When OneBigGame asked me to contribute to their charity initiative, I took inspiration from my favorite 8-bit game of all time, 3D Deathchase on the ZX Spectrum. This game is a tribute to that masterpiece as well as a unique game in its own right, bringing together comic books and games in a new way.” Art Director for the project was well-known graphic novelist Duke Mighten.
The game was recently picked by pocket gamer as part of it’s weekly round-up. “The combat racing is as frantic as it should be, while the storytelling immerses you in a world of anarchic terrorism and shootouts. It’s as good as it looks, basically.”
Jammers with Consulate General Staff Members Ard van der Vorst & Bo-Peter Laanen
The previous week saw San Francisco host the Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center. As an extension of the GDC, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco is proud to have hosted Games [4Diversity] Jam’14 USA, a program of two 12-hour days devoted to creating games focused on incorporating feminine and LGBT aspects to games, this weekend, March 22-23, 2014. With only a few video games willing to show or allow displays of same-sex relationships, Menno Daan from Games [4...] Jam (http://www.studiolapp.nl/LinkedIn) believes the game industry needs to see more diverse content.
Jammers present gameplay
The demographics of game developers themselves are changing, seeing more women and LGBT developers joining the community, and its time to see that reflected in game content. With 20 developers at the Games [4Diversity] Jam, groups were made to create game concepts, then bring that concept into a game prototype.
Four groups were able to produce four different game prototypes, check out those on the Games [4...] Jam website here, under Games [4Diversity] Jam’14: http://www.gamesjam.nl/games/
Earlier today, Facebook announced it has released an open source version of it’s new programming language for HHVM named Hack. (Available here)
This announcement is particularly exciting for the Dutch Community in Silicon Valley, as two individuals from the Netherlands were particularly instrumental in making Hack possible. Erik Meijer of Applied Duality (Twitter: @headinthebox, applied-duality.com) has been recognized as part of the core team to develop Hack. As an early adopter of the language, Alexander Mols (Twitter: @iam_asm89) helped develop Hack as well.
Hack is said to interoperate with PHP, the popular scripting language suited for web development, seamlessly and has been fully integrated into Facebook:
“We have deployed Hack at Facebook and it has been a great success. Over the last year, we have migrated nearly our entire PHP codebase to Hack, thanks to both organic adoption and a number of homegrown refactoring tools.”
The usefulness of Hack lies in it’s ability to speed up the time code is written and shipped by engineers, which for a company the size of Facebook will make a big impact.
See Facebook’s announcement regarding Hack here: https://code.facebook.com/posts/264544830379293/hack-a-new-programming-language-for-hhvm/