Event Report
Fuckup Nights The Hague #7
On Tuesday, 21-01-2020, we had yet another edition of Fuckup Nights The Hague. The day after the so-called Blue Monday we were here to cure the Monday Blues with the motivational stories from our Fuckup Night speakers. The beautiful venue of Bleyenberg ended up being completely packed, with over 80 people attending the event. We are very proud of everybody who helped to make this event such a success. A big thanks to our visitors and all the partners, including Impact City and Bleyenberg, for putting their trust in us. Curious to learn what stood out during this event? We will tell you all about it in the text below!

-For the protection of our speakers, we will not publish any insights shared or questions answered regarding their presentations. If you’re really curious to know what to expect or learn from our speakers, make sure to attend future events.-

The event kicked off with a short inspiring talk about fuckups by our spiritual leaders Arthur and Anna, whose synergy became even better since the last event and they are on a roll to rock the stage again. The hosts shared their vision on publishing and consuming content about the good and successful things in life while people mostly don’t speak about all the things that went wrong but taught us the most, as failure is a better teacher than success. This often brings a lot of insecurities to all of us, but they took a moment to emphasize that in the end we all have fuckups and those who fuck up the most also grow and develop the most.

Next, we had five very different stories from the speakers all related to making an impact. They guided us through their journey of lessons learned using our 5f format (fail, facts, feelings, find & future).

First up was Jeff van Dijk, who shared his story and vision on how to fuck up a promising pitch by yourself. The phrase he used the most was: “a pitch is a bitch”. He told the audience that competing against others is a good challenge once in a while. But if you are the one who you are competing against, it only can go wrong.

It was very clear that Jeff van Dijk is a brand strategist, dreamer and doer. He is not afraid of radical change and he is at his best in taking up against what is common but just not right. The main take away was that Jeff urges you to listen to your inner soul, focus on what you really want to do, and not just go for what’s best for business.

Next up was Emma Smillie, a Scottish entrepreneur who has worn many hats over the years from her years of training to be a chef, to her corporate career in health & safety, learning & development. Now based in the Hague for the last 2 years, she works as a transformational coach supporting people to find the answers they are looking for in themselves, about what matters most in life. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to Emma if you’re (still) dealing with your purpose, any insecurities or your fuckups in life and business.

In her talk, called “From Burnout to Breakthrough”, Emma talked about how building business for a year in New Zealand led to the biggest transformation of her life into an Impact-Driven Social Entrepreneur and cofounder of The Hague’s only mindful, wellness focussed coworking boutique – Flolab.

Third speaker Jeroen Nederveen spoke about the magic of problem-solving: how to make money with your mind as a service without getting screwed (aka mindfucked).

Solving problems is something Jeroen is good at, so good in fact that he can solve them within the first 5 minutes of a meeting, and that has cost him millions on revenue. His greatest asset in business was his biggest trapdoor and largest fuckup as an entrepreneur.

Jeroen shared some personal things that he has faced and experienced in life, which truly touched the audience. Jeroen is both smart and wise man, a polymath with analytic deductive reasoning skills and a very direct personality, and also a human being with one of the purest souls out there (which is also vulnerable to cold hard business).

Overall the audience could clearly see and feel his passion and dedication to doing good, even though life and business kicked in him the face multiple times. But he stood up, he fought and nothing is stopping him now, which the audience encouraged the most. Being The Concierge of Solutions, he visions himself traveling the world, providing solutions & innovations for nearly any technical real-world problems.

After the break the stage was given to Jean Richard Witteveen, who is an innovative and passionate Tech Entrepreneur with 19 years of experience in guiding businesses in their growing period. He is always up for a challenge to develop, improve and implement tech, marketing & sales strategies and solutions to grow.

Jean shared his lesson from being an entrepreneur that built a Startup/Scaleup from scratch and got screwed over by his partners/investors. Jean raised 1,5 Million in funding and created a company that on its second year took over 1% Dutch market share. It nearly reached 1 million in annual revenue and then went broke. Why? How? The main takeaway was that you should be very careful with what type of partners/investors you get on board. Make sure your partners/investors fit or at least align with who you are, what your business is doing and where you want it to be heading.

Jean is now an experienced startup builder and is already working on his next (two!) businesses and therefore he will definitely pursue being an entrepreneur. Go, Jean!

The final speaker Leslo Wanders shared the most personal fuckup out of the five speakers, but definitely one everyone could relate to in some way with lessons that we should not intend to forget.

Basically Leslo’s love life was fucked up… He was a magnet for toxic people and thus relationships. And in all those relationships, there was one constant factor – him. In his talk, we heard about Leslo’s transition from a people-pleaser to someone who is making his own dreams comes true.

The main take away was that you should not always be pleasing other people, but clearly focus on what you want in your journey to build sustainable happiness and at the same time should not forget that if things keep on ending up the wrong way, it is you who should look in the mirror, have a good conversation with yourself and change the way to act or react.

What’s next? We will continue to host this event in 2020 with the first events coming up in February and April. Make sure to keep an eye out on our socials for the official announcements.

We want to thank the Bleyenberg and the city of The Hague – Impact City, as well as all our other partners for making all this possible. And once again not only for this event but also for all others that we are able to host throughout the year.

Last but not least, we also want to thank our speakers for sharing their (personal) difficulties and being so open with us. Once again we learned so much from them. And of course, we want to thank the audience for being so involved, makes it all worth our while.

See you at FUN The Hague!

PS: Make sure to check out some of the photos below.


Written by: Tom Zonneveld (host FUN The Hague)
Fuckup Nights
Fuckup Format
We strive to deliver an informal pitch & networking event for an international orientated audience. The official program will run approximately 2 hours. Each of the at least 4 stories about business or project failures lasting 6:40 minutes (Pecha Kucha style). After every presentation there will be a 10 up to 15 minutes moderated Q&A.
Fuckup Guidelines
During the presentation we ask the speaker to use the following 4F guideline:

Fail: What happened.
Facts: Project details
Feelings: Emotional experience.
Find: Learning outcome.

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At Tuesday 11-12-2018 we had yet another edition of FuckUp Nights The Hague. The event was completely sold out, with over 70 people attending. We are very proud at everybody who helped making this event such a success. A big thanks to you for putting your trust in us. During this last event, a couple of things really stood out.

-As for the protection of our speakers, we will not publish any insights shared or questions answered regarding their presentations. If you’re really curious to know what to expect or learn from our speakers, make sure to attend one of our events-

First of all, we had Arthur van de Graaf kicking off this event with a short, but inspirational talk. Arthur is the founder of the Start Lean Funding method and co-host of Fuckup Nights The Hague. This method helps (starting) entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and/or initiatives in the most fitting manner, so they will not have to give away stakes or lose control over their enterprise, but focus on landing their (first) paying customers. This time he talked about getting ready for a launch. If you want to know which lessons Arthur shared, you can always contact him for a talk or book a 30 min session via Start Lean Funding.

Next we had four very interesting and powerful speakers lined up, ready to share their biggest fuckup with us. They guided us through their journey of lessons learned using a tight format called Pecha Kucha (20 slides of 20 seconds, 6.40 minutes). Afterwards there was some time for Q&A. Last time we asked around who’s in the audience and we found out that besides entrepreneurs, freelancers, innovators and facilitators, there were a lot of students in the audience. So, especially for the students, we managed to arrange a student-entrepreneur speaking.

First up was Niels den Daas. He ended up empty handed after building a successful startup for more than four years. He told us how this happened, what painful lessons he learned out of this experience and how you could prevent making them. Curious to know how? Maybe he will tell you himself.

The second speaker was Martina Guzman. She learned the hard way that not knowing when to stop can break you down. basically she told us how important it is that you listen to yourself and learn when to let go.

The third speaker, Jerry Delemarre, firmly believes that having a mental breakdown was the best thing ever happened to him. You might not believe him, but he explained to us how the quality of his life actually improved after it all first went down rock bottom.

The last, but definitely not the least speaker of the night was Gamin Bao. She decided to register at the KvK while being in an internship. She announced this new step in her career, but was immediately requested to take down 75% of her portfolio, or else she would end up being sued. What she did? Act out of love instead out of fear.

After each speaker, there was time for questions. This is when we noticed you guys need a bit more time. Honestly, we expected the audience would ask 2-5 questions to every speaker, but we ended up with you guys asking 6-10 questions. We are very excited about your enthusiasm, so now there will be a timeslot of 20 minutes for every speaker. This will contain 6,40 minutes for the presentation and 10-15 minutes for questions.

We will continue to host this event in 2019 with at least four community events at the beautiful venue of The Student Hotel called the Winter Garden. We want to thank the Student Hotel and the city of The HagueImpact City for making all this possible. We also want to thank our speakers for sharing their (personal) difficulties and being so open with us. We learn so much from them. And of course a big thanks to the audience for their company, insightful questions and the great vibe you give to this evenings. You guys make it all worth our while.

See you at FUN The Hague!