Notes

Release Night of “This Is What I Want To Do”

Like I said before, I was shitting my pants before I had seen the film. Andreas Brüggemann and Stefan Nitzsche were working on this since beginning on 2019 and many things happened during this time. Many things that those two might see different to how I see it and in general they have a different view on things than I do. That is perfectly fine, especially as I would never think any either of them would have any intention to harm beyond tellerrand or me. But surely they also did not want to create and advertisement film about my event and needed a certain distance to the event and also me. Difficult situation for them. Now, last Friday was the day, when they were finally and proudly presenting the first film of this kind they ever did together.

A squared image with a black and white photo. You can see Marc Thiele in the front and the audience of his event in the background. A white logo stating “This is what I want to do”, looking like being painted with a brush sits above Marc.

In the following I won’t give any feedback on how the film is. I think it is not on me to decide how well made, good or needed the film is. I am too close to the subject of the film and can’t judge about this or whether a film about what I do and who I am is needed on this planet 😁, but I have to say I had a wonderful evening.

At 7:30pm doors opened for 200+ invited guests. A variety of drinks and a few nibbles were offered and I was surprisingly recognising that the people showing up were a wonderful mix of my past and present. People I haven seen for more than ten year mixed with family, people I regularly see these days and people from my web and design bubble. That was lovely to see.

8:15pm we went into the cinema and the film was shown. After roughly 1,5 hours, people applauded and stood up and it seems they had liked what Andreas and Stefan made here. The two, Elliot, who was the MC for the night, Nicolas Schuele, who created the music for the film and I had been asked to come on stage for a round of questions. When it came to me and the question what I had to say, I said something like “I am very happy and humble about all the lovely things that had been said about me and beyond tellerrand in this film. Thank you. But surely for me all this feels a bit awkward and crinchy, as it must be for my family and especially my children, right?” – I looked to where our three children were sitting, but thy all were shaking their heads and said they massively enjoyed and liked the film and later on said they are proud … wow. If not anything else, but THIS really made my evening!

Now this chapter is closed and I can say “There is a documentary, a film, about beyond tellerrand and me, Marc Thiele”. I am not sure if Andreas and Stefan plan to publish it somewhere online. Right now, I think, they have plans to leave it unpublished to have the chance of being part of some film festivals. I keep you posted about their plans of which one is to show the film again around beyond tellerrand in May.

Thanks to Andreas, Stefan and Nicolas for all their work on this project.

A Film About Me and What I Do – I am Afraid

A statement upfront: by the time writing these lines, I haven’t seen anything from the documentary apart of the three trailers on YouTube

It must have been end of 2018 or maybe beginning 2019 that Stefan Nitzsche approached me with the idea of creating a documentary about beyond tellerrand and, well, me. He and his friend Andreas Brüggemann wanted to create a film about the event, the people coming and my input to make it what it is. I wasn’t sure, if someone really needs this, but I liked the idea for some reason and we met for a first chat about a theme and reason to create this documentary.

If you know me, I am not a person who likes to point the camera into my face and tell you how great I am or how cool it is that I make. I like what I do, I learned in 23+ years of doing what I do, to be kind of proud of what I do and especially of what I have achieved over the years. But I would not – for a single moment – think about creating a movie about myself or my work.

That was also one thing I wanted to make very clear to Andy and Stefan. It is their work, their project and I have no saying in the final outcome. I also wanted to make sure that anyone who gets notice about the film clearly understands, that I have nothing to do with it. I did not plan anything, I had no saying on how this film would be created, what it contains or what the overall story would be. So we needed to sit down in the beginning, so that I would get an impression about their overall storyline and idea of why they want to create such a documentary.

Their first idea beginning 2019 was to take the three cities beyond tellerrand took place in by then as the hooks: Düsseldorf, Berlin and Munich. Later that shifted to the idea of showing the three “main groups” at such an event: the attendees, the speakers, the organiser. Once more, I need to emphasise, that I don’t think what I do is special, but I do understand, that the fact that a single person runs everything (even the tech on stage) sounds crazy – well, and it sometimes is.

I do also see, that the people attending create the atmosphere, many people talk about. The friendliness, the warm, welcoming vibe. And yes, maybe it is because I set the tone for this. But would this make me create a film about it?

So the question for me at this point, two weeks before the premiere of this film takes place: Why does someone want to create a film about me and what I do?

As said above, I have no decision in what they gonna show and I am pretty sure, many of the things told and show will be “too much”, too bold for me and my taste.

At this point right now, I am afraid. Afraid that I don’t like what they have done. Afraid of the reactions of others. Afraid of the idea that someone thinks I told them to create this film about beyond tellerrand and me. Would you be afraid? But I guess, there is no return now? People have been invited and I can’t not show up. That would be rude to Stefan and Andreas who put in so much time and work and also to the people they invited. But I’d love to hide or be there dressed up at someone else. 🙈

I remember what Seb Lester said once on stage, when he showed a still of a YouTube video by Casey Neistat, in which he was a guest:

Can you imagine, how a trapped rabbit feels? That was me in this situation.

I first said, I don’t want to see the movie, but a few things that happened along the way made me change my decision here and I asked the two to please send me a preview, which I will watch in the next das. You know, I bet it will be a nice evening, where I hopefully see a lot of nice people. And maybe the whole situation isn’t as bad as I imagine it right now. Let’s find out. It is simply not my nature to be in the spotlight like this.

How Do You Turn a Conference Into a Festival, Marc Thiele?

I often get asked “What is the secret to a successful event?” and surely you first have to define what “success” means in this context. Mostly, when asking me, the asking person means the fact that past attendees speak about my event as a friendly event with a special atmosphere that is way more than a usual conference. That surely is a huge compliment for me and what I do, but honestly, the actual answer would be “I don’t know”.

I can only look back at what I did and try to find the things that make it feel different and which people are talking about, when they say this. It is my nature to welcome people and see myself as their host, wanting them to have a great time while they are at my event for those two or more days.

With 20+ years of running events, I certainly have an idea, what people refer to and I want to focus on and refine those bits each and every time I host an event.

In his Podcast, Christoph Luchs and I speak about those parameters and the history of how I came to do what I do. If you understand German, head over to his website and listen to the podcast episode titled “Wie verwandelst Du eine Konferenz in ein Festival, Marc Thiele?”

Thanks for the lovely conversation, Christoph.

⇾ 9 Questions For ... Marc Thiele

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A few weeks ago Keir Whitaker, good friend of mine and also part of beyond tellerrand since a couple of months (well he always has been somehow), threw 9 questions my way. I like to answer these kinds of questions, as I mostly learn something about myself while answering them.

He says:

“9 Questions For…” is an interview series in which I ask founders and solo entrepreneurs to share their experiences of doing “their thing, their way”. The questions might be the same but the insights certainly aren’t!

Well, and here are my answers to those 9 questions

⇾ Visit: 9 Questions For ... Marc Thiele

Upgrade to Kirby 4

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This afternoon I upgraded three of my sites using Kirby to the new version Kirby 4. It was super easy and nothing that bugged me really actually had to do with Kirby itself, but upgrading to a newer version of PHP here on my local machines.

I, for example, use Mamp on my Macs and older versions of PHP were installed locally. When I recognised that auto upgrading did not work, I tried to install Mamp manually by clicking on the upgrade function inside of Mamp. It threw an error stating “MAMP (PRO) can not be installed yet” and some details, that I followed, which did not help in the beginning. I then downloaded the Mamp installer, but it gave me the same error when starting the installation. For one of my Macs I had to rename the Mamp folder to get the installation started even, then rename it back to the original name and continue installing. Then I got the error “The installation cannot be continued”. After a bit of research I found out, that I had to kill all processes with the names “httpd” (there were around 20–30 running) and “mysqld” (also quite a few of them running). After killing those, I was finally able to install a newer version of Mamp with more options for new PHP versions also.

My first recommendation for the actual Kirby upgrade is to definitely check the Migration Guide for upgrading to v4. It has a lot of valuable information and if you read it before upgrading you avoid a few smaller pitfalls maybe and get smaller issues sorted easily.

Then I do recommend you to install new versions of PHP before upgrading Kirby. This makes sure you get rid of all problems that this PHP upgrade might cause, without you thinking that the Kirby upgrade has caused this error. I myself was running Kirby 3.9.8 and upgraded PHP to 8.2, which caused some minor issues that I needed to fix. After that, the Kirby Upgrade went extremely smooth on my neu•gierig website, as well as on the website for Karl’s and my new event Better by Design. For my blog here, I had to add PHP type hints, that have been added, but that was it.

I had issues to perform the upgrade directly from the Kirby 4 Panel, but removing the old .license file made it possible for me to add the new license in the Panel.

I am a massive fanboy of Kirby anyways, but this new upgrade feels so good already. Excited to work with it, especially using the panel a bit more.

If you want a demo of some of the new features, next to reading the Release Notes, you can watch the recording of the little release show that Bastian and I streamed last Thursday. Enjoy!

Kirby 4 is Here!

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Exciting news: Kirby 4 is here. Upgrade now to save 20% on each license. Super happy for Bastian and the Kirby team to see the release as I know how much work it has been for them. And sooo many promising new features and enhancements. Have a look yourself.

A screenshot of Kirby 4

Excited to see if my pages are easy to upgrade. A few other things to be done before I can have a look, but already looking forward to this.

On that note: there are a couple of Kirby meetups planned in Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, in case you want to hear more about the latest version. I gonna be at the Düsseldorf edition and Basti also. We are planning to do an episode of Stay Curious for the new release also, like we did for the last version as well.

Autumn Walk

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A forest in autumn with brown leaves on the ground and coloured leaves on the trees. A dog is visible small in the middle of the photo.

Skate Aid Night 2023

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Skate Aid Night 2023 just happened on Saturday. I went again and it is great to see how many people supported Skate Aid again to make kids strong through skateboarding and giving them a purpose. This time my daughter Luca joined me, which made me really happy. ☺️

Skate Aid and beyond tellerrand are partners for many years now and part of the ticket money always directly goes to Skate Aid to support their projects.

To My Mother

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To my mother who’d have birthday today!

A squared photo on which you see my hand holding a negroni – a red drink containing equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari

Back from ffconf – Any Why We Need Events like This

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ffconf is an event in Brighton founded and organised by Remy Sharp and his wife Julie Sharp. I know both for a long time and we share a lot of common things when it comes to running events. We run events, because we love running those and bringing people together for which we curate a set of speakers for a certain amount of time. In their case for one day at beginning of November. Julie and Remy, as well as I, come out of a very tough time for event organisers that don’t take their budgets out of a companies yearly marketing budget. We rely on people buying tickets and partnerships with companies who like what we do, who see a sense in sponsoring as they might have a benefit and who keep our events alive with their money.

What makes events like ffconf so important for me is not only the personal curation and with this often much more interesting talks, but also the personal connection people have with those events and the kind of people you meet and are able to exchange with.

Last week Friday, at ffconf, I had so many lovely conversations before, during and after the event that are fantastic input, motivation and thoughts that are different to mine and give me other perspectives. For me personally that is so much value and I hope that events like ffconf stay for a long, long time. What you can do to make sure that this is the case? Well, if you attend events like ffconf, Patterns Day, or mine, beyond tellerrand you can:

  • Get your tickets early – organisers need to plan and work with the incoming money
  • Check their sponsorship prospectus – often times sponsorship starts at a lower cost than you think and even the smallest packages help big times
  • Tell other people about it – there is no big marketing budget, so you, spreading the word, means the world

Especially the last part is an investment in the future of these events.

Thanks a lot to Julie, Remy and their team for this years joyful event and in my case also to Andy Davies, who made it possible that I could be part.