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Iedere dag vrij – Bob Crébas

I remember exactly where I was when, in 2004, I heard that Dutch ad site marktplaats.nl was sold for a staggering 224,5 million euros to eBay. A polder Cinderella story.

This success was, however, no accident. Of course, luck was involved, but this is true of all successful businesses. A few years after this deal Bob Crébas (don’t forget the acute accent), wrote down his experiences that lead to this deal. And this has resulted in a very fun auto-biography.

Iedere dag vrij (Every day off) – Bob Crébas (2006) – 238 pages

Bob

A former, staunch anti-nuclear energy, jobless and musically inclined hippie, from a farmer family, who was not particularly concerned with appearance and image, first grew a thrift-store chain into a multi-million euro business before deciding to jump on the internet bandwagon. And then he defied several odds (there were *many* competitors) before striking gold with this internet thing.

I read this book in one sitting: it is an absolutely fun, well-written and energizing story. And the internet deal (my primary interest) is only a small part of this story. Which is proof that this is a balanced story and that there is more to the writer than just this one deal.

I particularly liked how he weaved the entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit of the new land and the zeitgeist of the 60s and 70s into this story. And of course, the bands he played in are absolutely fantastic fun to read about.

Bob comes off as an interesting character and this auto-biography seems to be the accumulation of someone who is able to define and articulate his life philosophy succinctly: it’s about being not having, and it’s about creating and giving and not taking.


Also published on Medium.

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