The Bucket List

Cobouw column by Marinus Aalberts

Published on {{ $filters.formatDateWithYear(1497477600000) }}

The Bucket List is a film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as two terminally ill patients who set out on a road trip together. Their aim is to tick off all their life ambitions, such as going skydiving, taking a safari and visiting Mount Everest, before they ‘kick the bucket’.

As a student, I made my own list of life ambitions. I don’t know what happened to it, so I can’t say that has enjoyed my full attention. If I ever find it, I can at least tick off the first item: get a good degree.

I do remember that another ambition was to set up my own business, or at least something which I could call my own and build up from scratch. Now that I’m a salaried employee, you’d think that I’ve missed the boat. But you would be wrong.

Witteveen+Bos is currently running an innovation programme. Staff have been asked to submit ideas, resulting in no fewer than 170 ‘lightbulb moments’. The best 16 proposals have gone on to the ‘acceleration phase’, an intensive process focusing on entrepreneurship and converting ideas into marketable products. This is not a technical development process: it is concerned with those aspects which many engineers find difficult, such as devising a strategic management model and demonstrating the added value of the idea for the client. Perhaps the most important lesson that our problem-solving engineers will take away from the programme is that you must constantly verify the client’s question and requirements. This programme offers everything you need to create something new and build it up from scratch. It is not necessary to set up your own company so perhaps I will be able to tick this item off my bucket list after all.

The Bucket List ends with Jack Nicholson’s character achieving the life ambition of ‘kissing the most beautiful girl in the world’. It is his own granddaughter. I first watched the film just hours before the birth of my daughter. If I ever find my own bucket list again, I’ll be able to add that one and tick it off straight away.

Marinus Aalberts
Manager Witteveen+Bos office Rotterdam

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