First day at work today, after having enjoyed a wonderful week, last week, in Zürich, presenting at a couple of events and with various different meetings talking about social computing and social software, and one of the things that I keep thinking about, and reflecting some more, is the beauty of face to face social networking activities I experienced. Nothing like the human touch to nurture and work through your relationships to help improve your social capital!
As you can imagine, I had a fantastic week over there and I am surely looking forward to coming back, specially to meet up again some of the great folks I got introduced to during the course of the week. Even though they may all well be a little bit crazy! Yes, you are reading it right. Crazy!!! And if not judge for yourself…
Folks, meet Daniel Saeuberli, Collaboration, Messaging & Portals at IBM Switzerland, and Urs Schollenberger, Manager of Lotus Sales & PLM Switzerland! Two of the hosts I had while I was there for the entire week and who went further and beyond their call of duty to make my stay incredibly comfortable having every single thing sorted out for me and nothing to worry about! Just two wonderful people, to be honest! If you ever get a chance to bump into either of them, go and stop them and talk with them. You will learn a thing or two, I am sure! I did!
One of the many things I learnt was how Daniel is, like someone I know would say, a little bit crazy! Yes, folks, meet Daniel in his spare time. Here is his Facebook profile to give you a hint on what he enjoys the most. It is not playing cards, believe me! Yes, that is right, Daniel is into skydiving, but not the usual skydiving that we are all used to and everything with people jumping off with their parachutes.
Daniel takes it to the extreme and, my goodness, does that word get a new meaning when he is around!! Check this out. Have a look into this video clip placed in YouTube of just a little bit under 7 minutes, where you can see him in action:
WOW! You may be thinking, right? Well, yes, so was I!! Daniel is the one doing all the shooting with the video camera while heading down at an incredible speed, in the middle of the mountains, with plenty of snow and rather cold, I can imagine, and still having a superb time! I still remember the conversation we had last week where he explained how it all got started for him. Purely fascinating!! (And I would fall short in describing how it felt back then!)
Not to worry, I am not going to jumping any time soon, although he tried to convinced me over a drink or two, but just watching over the video you can see what kind of passion drives Daniel and his team to do what he gets to do on a rather regular basis. I think it is just remarkable that out of his already pretty busy and tight schedule he still gets to do stuff like that!!
And they are looking for sponsors for their extreme skydives!! Can you imagine? Having your product or logo flying around in such a stunning scenery going at an incredible speed and recording it all while going down? Ha! Talking about viral marketing, folks!! Nothing compared to that, I am sure.
I tell you, it was a real pleasure meeting both Daniel and Urs, and a whole bunch of other folks while in there. But it was some serious fun as well get to know what these folks get to do, and I mean not just the business person, but the complete person. With their craziness and fascination for skydiving, errr, I mean extreme skydiving!!
Oh, and guess what? Some of his good friends, who are also doing lots of skydiving, actually hang around in a place, which is just about 10 minutes from where I live! In fact, I actually get to see them every single Sunday whenever I go to the beach! Small world, eh? heh Amazing!!
Tags: Zürich, Switzerland, Social Networking, Social Computing, Social Software, Social Media, Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration, Communities, Social Capital, Daniel Saeuberli, IBM Switzerland, IBM CH, Urs Schollenberger, Facebook, YouTube, Skydiving, Extreme Skydiving, Speedflying, Extreme Sports