How we went from entrepreneurs to book publishers

How do you get from having the idea to write a book to actually publish one and handing the first copy to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands at the Royal Palace? I have simply applied a few of the lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur to this idea.

Presenting Queen Máxima of the Netherlands with the first copy of Project Prep

Presenting Queen Máxima of the Netherlands with the first copy of Project Prep

Think possibilities instead of problems! Or as one of my favourite sayings goes: 'Don’t open your umbrella before it starts to rain'. Of course I had not done this before and had no idea about what problems I would face down the line but I decided to go for it and tackle whatever crossed my path when it happened.

I took a risk with this project. Financially because I financed everything myself but also more in general because of course I did not know if it would be successful. What if it failed? What would people say? Think? Honestly? I did not care. For me this was and is extremely important and I believed it would work. It was something I had to do. So while this might have seemed a risk to others, I never perceived it as such. I just saw opportunities and possibilities to make a positive impact on people’s lives. An important one to contribute to improving diversity in tech.

I have experienced that asking for help really pays off. I started talking about my idea with people. To get their feedback but also to see if people had any tips. My business partner Joelle happened to know a famous Dutch children's author, Niki Smit, and she ended up writing the book (more on that later).

Last but not least: Think big! Why would something not be possible? I thought it was a great idea to hand the first copy to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. A lot of people made fun of that idea but for me it made total sense. So I took the previous lesson and started asking people for help. Until Neelie Kroes heard about my wish and helped me realise it. And on a nice sunny day in June, the day before the book would arrive in stores, we were at the palace to hand the first copy to the Queen.

Written by Janneke Niessen