Hello, my name is Juergen. [Some spell this ‘Yergon’ - LOL]
I love to make things.
Websites, tropical gardens, the odd piece of furniture, and complete camping vehicles.
I like photography, design, and visual arts.
I tend to be an early adopter of new things: I published my first website in 1996, and I have made a living from the internet since shortly after that. If you are interested how I came to be where I am today please read on.
I have been doing creative things all my life. My first business involved publishing decorative writing paper and postcards, printed on recycled paper. I was responsible for around 70% of the designs I sold. Later I also conceived our first trade fair stall, which was promptly featured on national TV evening news. Working with paper not only taught me that it's heavy, but also a lot about printing requirements, colour separations, and basic design rules. Roughly half way through running this small company I was introduced to computers, and I soon bought my own and wrote a stock management and billing programme (anybody remember Kaypro 10, CP/M, dBaseIII and Clipper?). This didn't go well with the “alternative image” of the business, but from that day on I gained better control over stock levels and finances, and my invoices went out with the goods, not a week late.
Programming my own business management tools helped me to discover many options for running a business on minimum stock levels, drastically reducing the necessity of tying capital into warehousing. This acquired knowledge encouraged me to sell the publishing company and start, from scratch, an import and wholesale business with fashion jewellery parts and findings – a conscious progression from bulky and heavy to small and light. “Farbenspiel” quickly gained a reputation throughout Europe and beyond as a trend setter. The business grew so quickly that I was soon lost in my work, which prompted me to sell the company after only five years (to this day the new owner is doing well, thank you).
During that time, the late eighties, I also had a book published about making jewellery. The income from this was rather dismal (lesson: I should have had an agent or solicitor), nevertheless this book was translated into four languages and sold well in Germany, and even better in the English market (despite a rather conservative English cover). I created around half the displayed jewellery and all the text, and also the initial sketches for all graphics. Colaborating with a professional friend, I also set up most photo shots. Consequently I retained fairly good control over the process and the end result.
After I sold my jewellery business I went travelling for almost two years before I settled down in Australia near Byron Bay. At the time a friend was working for the first local ISP, and he introduced me to the internet. I quickly realised what this new medium had to offer, and that it would be a boon for any business. But the business world, and in particular traditional media, were slow to realise this. In January 1997 a friend and I discussed the idea of setting up a Bed & Breakfast link site with booking options. We decided it would be hard to program, need expensive hardware and an Oracle database license, and hence would probably never make any money. *Laugh!* Nevertheless I did earn a reasonable living from creating websites and placing affiliate advertising on them. As a bonus SEO was really easy in the early days because there weren't many competing sites, so if you were half-smart you could quickly gain traffic. When Alexa first published rankings I had three domains in the top two hundred. Once people heard by word of mouth that I had learned HTML, and later CSS, from scratch, I was asked to do websites for other people, too.
I'll stop here with boring work related stuff and display a few recent sites with “My Work”.
Because travel is my other big passion, which I share with my wife of almost 20 years, we are now “digital nomads”, trying to combine exploring the world and earning a living at the same time. You can support us by giving me a job I can complete from some remote location, possibly with an exotic sounding name!
If you'd like to see where we've been so far please visit our travel blog (sorry, the current layout is from 2005 and had to fit a screen of 640×480 pixels, which at the time was all my parents-in-law had on their computer, so I squeezed the main body into this narrow space).