Barbara de Roos
“What is important for me is to really live and enjoy my life to the max and to acquire as many qualities during my lifetime as I can. What I do is less important to me than how I do it. When I would be a shoe polisher, I would try to be the kind of shoe polisher that not only lets your shoes shine, but also gives you a piece of wisdom, or cheers you up.”
After 14 years in the magazine industry as a copy editor for women’s magazines, I started to think about new media and I wanted to know more about it. So in 2001, I deliberately started on my own path to become more experienced about how to publish on the Internet and how to make it profitable.
At first I went out and got jobs to learn more about it as an email marketer, a content manager and even tried at that time to be an entrepreneur trying to convince big publishing houses in the world to start customizing their content. And then I decided to get an MBA in the field of Cross Media and get a job as a publisher at the Dutch AAA (ANWB). This was a good move, and I’m happy to say that I have just recently graduated on the subject of Mass Customisation.
So now I want to put all these ideas into practice and I’m part of a start up again. I want to publish a magazine in Holland that will be the first mass customized magazine in the country with content that is customized to the needs of the recipient. I think if you do it both on- and offline it will be profitable but I have to show people it can be done – so this is my challenge.
It’s inspiring work because it I can really have fun in doing something that has never been done before and discovering new ways of communicating. Sometimes you have one article and you edit it in five different ways because it goes to five different types of people and when you look at all the publishers who are ailing, these ideas can lead to new ways of sustaining journalism. For the consumer I feel I can provide relevant content and contribute by helping people save time while they read only the things which are meaningful to them and it also saves trees!
What is important for me is to really live and enjoy my life to the max and to acquire as many qualities during my lifetime as I can. What I do is less important to me than how I do it. When I would be a shoe polisher, I would try to be the kind of shoe polisher that not only lets your shoes shine, but also gives you a piece of wisdom, or cheers you up.
I also discovered recently that when you acquire qualities you don’t have to choose. For example – between being smart or being kind. I think you can choose both, because in the end all your qualities interconnect and make you stronger. The more qualities you have, the less they compete with each other and the more you can contribute to the world. As I tell my friends, choose as many as you can and don’t torture yourself by being too selective.