Once upon a time, there was a shepherd who struck through a bare landscape in the east of the Netherlands with his flock of sheep. His sheep were hungry, but there was no grass or other food for the animals. The flock had become very big in a short period of time, and there just wasn’t enough. The shepherd leaned on his staff and made a decision. He returned home with his flock, and told his family that they had to move again, looking for food for their animals…
A few months ago I made a trip with Jasper Bekkering around the Tribes locations. When we arrived at the last one, we looked at each other. We started talking as soon as we got into the car: "How can we provide all those members with a workplace? We keep on growing!’ We have a nice network in the BeNeLux, but our members grow with us and need a home base in different countries.
We decided we were ready for the next step in our expansion. Jasper and I returned to the base, and we told our troops that we had to move along. We were looking for another new location that offers great opportunities for both us and our members. There were a lot of beautiful cities that came into consideration, and Jasper and I decided to first visit the buildings in Düsseldorf, purely because travelling there is easy. It is a stone's throw from the Netherlands, and although everyone thinks Brussels is closer, Düsseldorf is actually quicker to reach.
Once arrived in Düsseldorf, I fell in love with the city. The international appearance, the chic shopping streets and the tall buildings... I do not understand why this city is still so unknown. Everyone talks about Frankfurt and Berlin, but I suspect that this will be different in the future. I think Düsseldorf is an upcoming market, just like Eindhoven has shown to be a second Silicon Valley. Now we only have to choose from one of the buildings we are going to visit...
A few weeks after the shepherd decided to leave, he planted his staff in the ground again. He knew immediately that this was nutritious soil, on which his sheep could multiply. He knew this was the place where he could take care of his family and where he could put down his roots. If there were national borders back in his era, he would have known that he had settled in Germany.
Jasper and I stood on the roof of the fourth building we were seeing in Düsseldorf. With its 90 meter high, GAP 15 is the tallest building and offers great views over the Königsallee, the city's best-known shopping street. You can feel the dynamics of the city. Jasper and I knew that this should be the new home base for our members. But for me, it was also a feeling that told me that GAP 15 was the right place:
"Do you know Jasper, I feel like one of my ancestors has walked here with his sheep. Here is history, but also future.