What Is LocLunch – Jan Hinrichs From Beluga

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Have you noticed a lot of salad bowls on LinkedIn recently? That’s probably LocLunch. What exactly is it? If you’re a newbie like me, learn more about the community in this episode.

I got to talk to Jan Hinrichs, the founder of LocLunch. We split the 2.5-hour long interview into 2 parts, in this one you can learn the following:

  • How LocLunch started
  • What makes a good ambassador
  • How to get rid of a bad ambassador 😁
  • The key to growing communities
  • What happened to LocBurgers
  • Is LocLunch for introverts
  • How to “Change your life with LocLunch”
  • The future of LocLunch

⏲️ Timestamps ⏲️
0:00​ – Intro, red sweater, safety word
09:18​ – The story of LocLunch
17:15​ – Ambassadors, the brand
43:41​ – Conferences, offline/online, introverts
54:50​ – Team, community, strategy


Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I would like to welcome you to the localization podcast. Hello, hello.

Jan Hinrichs 

Hello. Hello, Andre. So thanks a lot for having me. great pleasure.

Andrej Zito 

How are you doing, man? I’m very happy that you put on your red sweater. I’m not sure if it’s the same one that you were for the panel for multilingual, that was actually my request, you know from from that panel that you attended for multilingual I learned that it’s good to put on the clothes that make you stand out against your background. So, thank you for that lesson.

Jan Hinrichs 

So we will see a lot of panelists in future are dressing in red-

Andrej Zito 

– Or bright, bright colors, bright colors. Yeah. You know, one thing that I’m curious about is actually your name. And FYI, the reason why I’m talking to you is because of Javi. And the reason why I was talking to Javi was because of Jeff Beatty. So Jeff Beatty recommends Javi and Javi community like I should talk to y’all. But Javi always says, Jan, Jan. And when I say your name, Jan, as you know, probably is like one of the most common names in Czech Republic. Do you have anything to do with it? Or is it like, Where are you from? Let’s start with that.

Jan Hinrichs 

So I have nothing to do with the Czech Republic. My background is really Nordish born in Germany and Hamburg, very close to the North Sea. So influence of Jan was actually my parents or a ship going by Hamburg port, with a name Jan. Red, by the way, a red ship called Jan, well, I guess this is a story. But my name is you know, my name is Jan, my brothers called Lars, no second name, very short. So that that was something that my parents really appreciate it be short, straightforward and, and red.

Andrej Zito 

Now you live in Spain, right?

Jan Hinrichs 

Now I’m living in Spain -in Madrid- for the last 15 years. Yep.

Andrej Zito 

Can I ask why you decided to move there?

Jan Hinrichs 

Woman and good food.

Andrej Zito 

Weather, maybe?

Jan Hinrichs 

The sun?

Andrej Zito 

Oh, when you mentioned sun, you meant like the sun that shines? And the planet? I thought he had a son- as your son.

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, the weather conditions. Definitely. Because Hamburg is one of the most beautiful places on earth, I would say with all my pride of being from there. But you know, the ratio of sunny days to rainy days is pretty hard here in Madrid. It’s likely the opposite.

Andrej Zito 

Right.

Jan Hinrichs 

So my wife is from Spain, we met in Germany. She wanted to go back to Spain. And I said: this is my opportunity. This is my trade going Southwards. And like an ice age, I’m traveling, you know? So that’s cool. That’s where we reach Madrid.

Andrej Zito 

Is Madrid, your wife’s hometown, or was Barcelona also a consideration?

Jan Hinrichs 

No, no, it is Madrid. Her family’s from here. And US alone is lovely. But it’s super different. Barcelona is like the sister city of Hamburg. So it’s like the same feel of society of you know, beauty, coolness, and all the surroundings. And why Madrid because it’s, you know, my wife come from here. And the second thing is, the climate here is super dry. Now we are reaching 40 degrees and in summertime, but super dry. So have no problem at all, to you know, just to hide to channel hopping. And to just be a great Meanwhile, 30 degrees or 35 degrees in Hamburg or Barcelona and you die. You know, you’re you’re melting away.

Andrej Zito 

Now, before we get into localization, I have one thing to ask you. Do you think we should set a safety word for this interview?

Jan Hinrichs 

Thinking about that, if you want to have a safety word-

Andrej Zito 

Okay, maybe maybe let’s give a background to the people who were not listening to our private discussion before. Explain to me because you told me about that. So what are we talking about?

Jan Hinrichs 

Okay, so we were talking about the great podcasts in Germany I’m listening to and it is an endless podcast. So the only way to end that podcast is by saying the magic word. The guest, the host has to pronounce at the beginning to fill it in. In my case, it would be ginger, which is the name of my dog new dog we have at home at any moment of the podcast when the guest pronounces the word, which I won’t pronounce, because then immediately it shuts down. It’s all over. Everything is set in this. This is the title of the podcast, everything is set in Germany.

Andrej Zito 

Now, yeah, how did you get into localization? Same year, but please explain.

Jan Hinrichs 

My brother started this international company called Xing which is a German social network competitor to LinkedIn, in 2003, a few months after LinkedIn started its way. And he was trying to negotiate with with the LinkedIn team to bring it to Europe and from Europe, European operation. They said no, he said, okay, he built up a company, which is now stock market listed and October 2003. He started 2004. January, I joined the company to run. And he said, Yeah, you know, you are insane. We need localization, Europe is a different place than the USA, Europe from day number one, you need internationalization to get on scale. You know, it’s not enough to be the one and only in Germany, because you will have immediately copycats in all other places. And it’s really about speed and getting foot on those markets. So internationalization was important. He said, You are in Spain, you know that very close to managing languages. So get in touch with the translation agency, run the operation, and build it up, make it done, make it happen, you know, and this is how I came into this industry. And we started working with the translation agency, we exhausted again, there was no fit the workflows of the SaaS company were completely different in terms of ongoing translation management. So there was no fit we Infosys, we ramped it up to 15 languages in two years. Not only my work, but a teamwork of, of different people. But I was always in the loop in 2006, came my international career, and university was ended. And I started with a question now what? Now what question was, okay, shall I go into a Spanish company, to work for a Spanish company, as a German in 2004, that was not like in the 90s, where a German could come here and say, Hey, I’m German, you know, hire me, and people might have ended up hiring you just because you were German, you know, so 2004 was pretty different 2000 sorry, 2006. And the alternative was starting a business at that point, my wife wanted to leave Xing at that moment, and to start a freelance translator, life, you know, to, to work independently, and so on. So you have a job for me, maybe. And, you know, and I studied business. So I pitched her to say, you know, that that’s a great idea, you know, you’re, you can make it and now I have to create a job for me, which is the best way. We started companies, you know, externalize ourselves and do the same what we have done for thing for other third party services, and build up companies that surface serve these kinds of clients. And that’s what we have been doing since 2006.

Andrej Zito 

That’s so romantic.

Jan Hinrichs 

The real story of Beluga.

Andrej Zito 

Started Beluga, just so that your wife can get a job. I love it. So, in this interview, we will mostly talk about LocLunch, actually, not not Beluga. So it’s funny because you said that you had this ‘now what’ moment. Did you also have a ‘now what’ moment when you first started thinking about LocLunch?

Jan Hinrichs 

Talking about LocLunch for me is talking about Beluga as well, because both are completely related to each other in this in the sense that if it were not for Beluga, I wouldn’t have started LocLunch. So LocLunch was in January 2019. When I spent a year with my family back in Hamburg, just to see if the weather still, as I knew it 15 years ago, and it is, it was, but it was still a lovely place that we really enjoyed it. But I discovered that, you know, I had no network in the translation industry in Hamburg. So I knew a few people, but you know, not a whole bunch of people.

Andrej Zito 

Just to recap how far were you with Beluga at the time in 2019? How many years was it operating for?

Jan Hinrichs 

Since 2006, we started the company in 2019 13 years.

Andrej Zito 

And you still have no network? No money in Hamburg?

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, Curiously, because, you know, because our clients are mainly tech companies from the US. So we have a few clients in Germany, we have a few clients in London and Dublin, or Ireland, and our headquarters in Madrid, and I live in Madrid. So we have been working with companies and Hamburg, you’re working always with project managers, in our case with software companies. So who do I know who’s working in the industry, really in the industry, not only on client side, but you know, translators, other project managers, other companies, and I. I knew a few companies, translation companies in Hamburg, but I had no relationship with them. Because we do not have touch points. The only touch points we might have in the past was through LocWorld, like, or, you know, gala contracts is where you come together, you meet for a few seconds. And, you know, hey, bye. Yes, you? Do. You Bye, bye. You know, that’s it.

Andrej Zito 

Here’s my business card.

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, here’s my business card. Nice. Let’s keep in touch, you know. So this sucks, you know, and I, what I was looking for was get to know people. Get to know, other people and happy brainstorming have no common common understanding of what they understand about our industry. What I have in mind, what eventually we both have in mind, or we all have in mind, to get to move forward. You know, and so, try reach out. And in the very Spanish attitude, I said, you know, we have to meet at lunchtime, you have to have a business lunch, and we ended up beingfour people that was one TMS. What can we get from praise to from, from praise.com, which is a TMS company based in Hamburg. We had a translator on board, and the CEO from two lingo, which is a larger Hamburg based translation company. And and so, so what Graham introduced me to the CEO come to lingo, and we just sit down and had a wonderful one and a half hours burger lunch, yeah, talking about it, you know, and what are the challenges and so on. And that was so great that that was the first moment of LocLunch.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, so what was going through your head? Like, I went, Oh, and details like, Is it like, like, okay, like, I had this experience for the very first time. And now I want to see how I can scale this experience, how I can bring this experience to other people, or what were you thinking of the time? Like, Did you really think like, Okay, I’m going to build a community? Or what were your initial thoughts after that, like, you enjoyed it? And then what?

Jan Hinrichs 

Oh, yeah. So I saw a copy paste. I’m traveling to Berlin next week. And I’m doing exactly the same meeting, folks in Berlin, you know, and, and I posted it on LinkedIn. And that was a moment where took corporate, you know, so so it was suddenly that people reacted positively like, hey, and this is, you know, a description of what we are taught how graded that was, what the experience was, I published it to social media and LinkedIn, and people started saying, Yeah, when do you come to Barcelona? When do you come to Holland, you know, when do you come to Milan, when we want to do the same, that really looks nice. And I would say a guy that has a great future. I’m just going around eating all my way through the industry. Okay, so second thought, Well, maybe not that good, you know, in terms of weight in terms of family in terms of business. So yeah, we needed to find a solution and the solution was, you know, do it yourself and become an ambassador in your place and doing exactly the same and maybe I come around one day and visited But it’s so easy, you know, you just, you just need to let people know that you’re there and that people can join without any prejudice, but titles, you know, where they work, just open conversation. And it caught fire.

Andrej Zito 

So who was the first ambassador, you got?

Jan Hinrichs 

So I think that was YUKA from from Barcelona. We have three, like, three people, but it was. And it just Didi actually was one of the first as well. He was the uterus, he ran the silicon slope. Meeting for meetup, you know, I was just a meet up. And he was there as well, you know, and saying, hey, great idea, you know, and let’s talk and we we started off, you know, just brainstorming a little bit how we can get the structure. And it came, like, you know, let’s do it, like once a month on the 15th of second Thursday, or Wednesday, or whatever. And the second, Thursday, was, like, three days away from the day I’m talking about, and this was the day Yuka told me, you know, yeah, that’s great. You know, how do you do it? How can I say, you know, what, you didn’t need to do this, this, this and this, and just go, you know, just say, Hey, I’m down there in the cafeteria. And join me. And hey, voila, you have a lot lunch, you know, and, and yeah, I think I was persuasive. Enough, she took my work. And we had this Barcelona LocLunch. That was a big one, it was already nine people see could gather. And a few months later, Barcelona, LocLunch ramped up some 30 people in place. Eating everybody all from the industry great as such, at the same time, we had like 10-15 other LocLunches around the world to say,

Andrej Zito 

Have you over the time, thought more about the requirements for an ambassador. And I know the last time when we talk about, he told me that you were having to chat with someone who wants to be an ambassador somewhere. So I would assume actually, that could be another question. Like, if you had like, a bad experience with some ambassadors. So how did you like, shape your requirements for Ambassador? over the time? Do you have something like like an interview, like, hey, if you want to be an ambassador, you need to show us this, you need to do this? Or is it more like a volunteer? And anyone can do it?

Jan Hinrichs 

Yes and no? It’s a it’s a good question. And this is actually, you know, from almost a two LocLunch, it was clear, we need some guidelines. What what makes a LocLunch, a LocLunch, you know, and what, what it is not? And what is the requirement for an ambassador. And you know, the, this is a conversational format. So we knew what we don’t want. And Jeff Ed, and Jose Calomiris from the US were very clear about that, you know, people with a long standing experience in conferences, you know, they know all the sales people in the world because everybody has to pitch them at a certain moment, their services. So, you know, the common understanding was, this is not a sales tool. So we’re not looking for anybody who just wants to promote themselves to run LocLunch. So we came up with a few guidelines for the good ambassador, which is basically, you know, you’re representing yourself, you have an in genuine interest in creating network and building up networks, that you believe that a network will benefit all you in the ambassador as well. No, but it should be leveraged for everybody. And it needs to be inclusive. So the ambassador is the one who needs to run the flag and say, no pitching, no straight away pitching to set the stage of this conversation that is neutral and positive for everybody. So and I run this interviews, we have a playbook. We created a playbook with like, all the steps you need to do it’s not a lot, but you know, some guidelines just for people to know what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. Then this is a serious question. You know, building networks is a, it’s an ongoing process. You’re not building a network from today to tomorrow. So I pitched all all candidates that they have to consider is they are really, you know, interesting in building up networks, because it needs frequency every month. Ideally, you pitch for a new, you organize a new event every month, month after month after month, and you grow with your network. And today, we have some very, very successful, LocLunch ambassadors who stuck to the frequency, who embrace the virtual ones as well, and are now organizing monthly sessions of 30 people, great conversations really insightful, you know, and they’re really heroes.

Andrej Zito 

So let’s talk about the ambassadors. We don’t have to name them who didn’t turn out to be that great. Did you actually have anyone like that where you saw something happened to somebody who attended that event? And said, like, hey, yeah, and I went to this event, and this is what happened to me. This this, you wonder LocLunch to be because the other the older ambassadors basically represent the brand of LocLunch, right? Like, what you stand for as LocLunch, like what it should be? So did you have that experience that somebody did something like, really against the guidelines, and you had to cut and cut them off?

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, we had that one, we had that that case. And, you know, I basically, they missed some sense of purpose. And, or they try to become ambassadors, but they’re, they do not have social reputation. So without social reputation, at least, you know, especially when you’re, like most most of the people are. So LSP people, this is a intersection of, you know, we have the translators, we have the lsps. And we have the buyer side, and maybe you know, all the other types of formats we have around them. But I think the most dangerous part is in the LSP Park, where people might think you know, this, our party, also tool to a park, where people might think, you know, this is a cool way to make business. So, if people grasp this, the LocLunch will go down. And this is a, this is a very basic social behavior system that kicks in. So I don’t have any control. You know, I can’t be in any LocLunch and all the LocLunch in the world, right. But if somebody is against the roof, you will see it paid out very, either because people protest, and say, Hey, I don’t know this guy that we had just won. Fortunately, again, I try to be a little bit more precise in my pitch. But yeah, that’s it.

Andrej Zito 

one of the things that I’m thinking about is if people come there to share their experience, maybe to ask questions and to collaborate. Have you ever thought about somehow collecting all this knowledge that’s gets shared on this LocLunches, maybe, like, shared with the people who did not have a chance to attend those? Or do you just want to keep it for the group?

Jan Hinrichs 

First of all, in the there’s two phases, we have the offline ones, and the online ones. So offline, once is clear, you know that nobody is running around with a video camera, you know, I’m filming everything are taking recordings. No, not yet. And, and not yet, not yet. Fortunately, fortunately, because, you know, people should be free to, to just join and have that discussion. And now we go over to the online version, where you have the possibility to record where you have the possibility to analyze speech, where you have the possibility to, you know, take note, publish it, and all the way. So, in theory, it’s possible. But, first of all, it requires a setup, you know, and common rules and tools. Now, in zoom, you can’t create these tools on a structured level, you know, for an organization. I couldn’t run the ecosystem, with soom analyzing all what happens and structure this In one place, if it were possible, it might be interesting to take this approach on the second most important human resource part, you know, the one who’s right now taking notes. Other ambassadors, so they write a summary, most of the time, you know, what are the topics we talked about? But again, you know, we’re not here, this is nothing where anybody makes money from, it is a place where you can just push your ideas, you know, when I’m hiring, for example, we had a wonderful discussion now in Canada last month, about hiring, you know, and what are the, you know, the experiences were you looking for what, what are the other part idea of techniques to find the right candidate and so on. You know, when we start recording and assessing everybody’s participation, then people will shut up, especially in a corporate environment. Because the risk, you know, maybe I’m telling something wrong,

Andrej Zito 

right?

Jan Hinrichs 

That’s not worth you know, and that’s not the aim of LocLunch. The aim is you share if you like to join us, and take out whatever you like, take notes yourself. And you have more than ever opportunities to take notes today.

Andrej Zito 

So you mentioned that the very first LocLunch before it was LocLunch happened when you have your burger lunch. So I’m wondering is there anything more to the name than just combination of localization and lunch

Jan Hinrichs 

A lot burgers. There was, of course, a nice, nice one. But we very soon discovered, you know, not everybody is a fan of burgers. So maybe this is not really localizable. So, of course, you can go for whatever, but then we have a brand new issue. So again, you asked before, you know, what came into my mind when we when this started to grow. It was when we want this to grow on a global scale, we need a brand. And we need consistency, consistency and communication. This is a one and most important law in marketing. Be consistent. Create a brand and create brand value. So LocLunch. Okay, so this is, this is a great, easy rememberable name. And I trademark it as well, I often get the question, you know, hey, there’s GM, you know, this, you know, this is an organization is okay, so what happens in that early days was I tried to register the domain LocLunch.com. And it was just like three weeks after my initial post, and the domain was taken. So there was the LocLunch idea was basically not a new one. Because in LinkedIn, there was this Swedish guy who ran an initiative called lunch in and it was for all LinkedIn people, you know, just coming together for lunch and running it so I didn’t invent anything else. And I actually thought you know, this is a cool format. And you know, I’m not so much interested in everybody on LinkedIn, but on people in my industry so I took the format the lunch in people registered trademark their domain and I thought maybe there’s a reason for that. Especially when we try to build up a brand global brand then you know, it gets some solid solid piece to the name because it’s not the same to say a lot a lot drinks or a lot a lot puncher a lot whatever Baba Baba, this comes and goes. So when you sign up and register something it gets a little bit more solid and it has proved to be a very solid brand. We’re creating that right now.

Andrej Zito 

So just to be sure that got the square so LocLunch.com is owned by the-by you. So you-

Jan Hinrichs 

No LocLunch domain.com is by somebody I don’t even could figure out

Andrej Zito 

Oh, you could’nt track them down. Maybe?

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah. Undisclosed.

Andrej Zito 

What are they running on the website? What is it about?

Jan Hinrichs 

I haven’t bothered to follow up on that. You know, because I signed up for LocLunch.net LocLunch.com. Okay, this is the first thing you might think about. At the end, you’re just establishing internet presence and need to cater it. And so right now the website, we have a LocLunch.net is really has a very brief introduction in the, and the concept itself, some FAQ’s, resources for ambassadors to use the forums, I ask everybody to run because this is a typical statistic based enterpreneurship. Yeah, so I’m very much a date data guy. I like to see, you know, if you gather data, you can analyze data, and then you might see pattern. So we started off very early to say, lock your details, you know, how, first of all your events to see how many events have you run we have to Texas spreadsheet is really, really basic, you know, it’s the most basic thing, you can have a Google spreadsheet open to the public for viewing, filtering by Ambassador through a form. And you can now filter and see, okay, who are the ambassadors? How many people? How many LocLunch have we done in Hamburg? How many LocLunches has been done over all other statistics, it’s all open. It’s all freely accessible. And it is very interesting to see also for ambassadors to see, you know, where, where they step in this ecosystem?

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I have two follow up questions, trying to pick which one? decisions, you know, it’s always difficult to make these decisions. Okay, I’ll start with the ambassador. So it’s good that you mentioned that, like, where do they stand? So what if I’m, like, let’s say somebody has already been assigned as an ambassador to Vancouver. And I’m like, hey, this guy sucks at doing it, like I could do a better job. Is there a way for me to kind of like, take it away from him or do value like the existing relationship with Ambassador more. And you just trust the people that they will do the best?

Jan Hinrichs 

You know? So first of all, you know, I would ask you, if you have attended any of their LocLunches, so if your answer is yes, and it still sucks, you know, then why? You let me know, okay, and now it’s this LocLunch again. And it’s still running, you know, I can track down what is, you know, what is the matrix? How many people attend to him? And then I can go into a conversation with this guy, or this lady eventually, and say, you know, yeah, what’s happening here? You know, what, what, what’s going on, and we start the conversation. On the other side, there might be LocLunches. Right now we have these offered LocLunches. And now with COVID, it’s all online. Now, there are a few ambassadors who are reluctant to go online, for whatever reason. So that means this continuity of the community, the local community, which is very bad, because I think it’s to heart investment from from the ambassadors in terms of time and preparation, and so on. And now not going online means at the same time losing this equity, but I can’t convince everybody. Now, if there is somebody who says, you know, hey, London, we’re not seeing any, any community and I would love to go get in touch with other people. So I’m reaching out to the investor and say, Hey, you know, what’s happening? You don’t like it you? Do you accept the co-investment? You know, would it be okay? If I get Andrej to run the ambassadorship for everything is online, and you know, just work as a team? Or maybe he says, You know what, I can’t do it anymore. And so nobody earns nothing here. Right? The only thing you earn is social equity.

Andrej Zito 

And then my second question that I thought of was, you mentioned the data, and seeing the patterns. So what is one of the patterns that like, shocked you, or it stood out from all the data that the ambassador has submitted, and you have this nice view?

Jan Hinrichs 

I think the most most important lesson we have seen in data is continuity is the key. Communities grow by frequency. It’s not about the number of people you invite. Of course, it’s always cool to invite as many people as possible. And to be an awesome host is also important, but it’s way more important to offer this platform frequent with frequency Then you see, numbers growing people, attendees and attendees ship growing, and the overall reach and especially when I look at the people who have joined, like, at the very beginning and happy working on that continuously. This one year, one and a half years on LinkedIn, those people have really strived in terms of visibility in terms of, you know, social relevance in our industry. And, and this is something you have two options, or you work on it yourself, you invest time, or you buy it. And if you buy it from maintenance, that’s expensive. So, yeah, you can reach 1000s of leech. Hey, yeah. And Linda will say, No, we have this fantastic solution for you. But this is not what social selling is today. This is lead generation and the old fashioned way, you still have to make your entry there. And what I’ve seen is, you know, people who have been active as ambassadors understood that social networking and social selling is, is a new norm. And social selling me It’s not that I pitch you my services, but it’s understanding what’s your situation, get in touch, and have an interest in the other part is empathy, to understand, what’s your situation? And maybe I can develop something that just fits your needs. conducted?

Andrej Zito 

My other question was, so since you branded LocLunch, is one of your guidelines that this meeting should always happen during the lunch time, or are you flexible on that?

Jan Hinrichs 

So we defined a lunchtime. Everything before, five o’clock in the afternoon. And LocDrinks everything after?

Andrej Zito 

So you have a LocDrinks now?

Jan Hinrichs 

LocDrinks Exactly. So LocDrinks is not officially branded. It’s not trademark. But it’s a format, you know. So all this branding stuff is to reach people to make it easy to access to access the conversation, and to find it on the on LinkedIn to do all this. But we name it, how we name it, it’s absolutely it’s not irrelevant. Because it’s about the format itself. We’re creating. Everything needs a name for us humans to understand. So this one is LocLunch, and whatever fits in this format of open conversation frequency. Open, inclusive compensation can be a large function that that’s not a lunch and now eating in front of the camera. We have this discussion, which is actually you know, that not everybody feels so comfortable with eating in front of camera.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, speaking of food, that’s a that’s a good segue. Do you like, sell it?

Jan Hinrichs 

Okay, so you want to hear the backstory of salad? The salad bowl? Yeah. Okay.

Andrej Zito 

Yes.

Jan Hinrichs 

So first of all, I eat salad. It’s not that I’m a huge fan of salad. But you know, in order to be respectful for everybody who, who wants we needed sort of identity for visual identity. And Yuka was the one came up with the salad bowl idea from from a logo type for the banner, we’re using to publish it. The method is we need to have this announcement post. recognizable for everybody to understand. Oh, this is a locker Joe cool. Yeah, you know, join it. So you came up with the shower for one. And you know, great, you know, you’re not hurting anybody. You’re not saying hey, burger, burger lunch, you know that is maybe not so nice.

Andrej Zito 

Well, actually, actually, actually, you might be hurting the meat lover people. You know, like I used to be like a huge meat lover before now I’m like getting more into vegetarian and eating tofu. But like salad to me used to be an insult before. You want me to eat a salad like, what am I a cow?

Jan Hinrichs 

Exactly, you know? Okay, so this is like, the last word and I think you know, if we want to go with the time, it means eating consumptions and, you know, how or lamb or pork or whatever kind of livestock this complicated, it’s a, it’s a complicated matter where too many, and where we have a huge impact on the industry has a huge impact, I think especially Gen Z and, you know, the younger generation much more into like, Okay, so this is the only option I have to continue with developing industry or not, you know, how do we get proteins and i think yeah let’s take the salad bowl

Andrej Zito 

i think like, like totally, totally unrelated to things. So first of all, I started reading the book, eat to beat disease to one that you recommended to me, first of all, I was super scared, because it’s like, so big, and the font size is so small, I was like, no. And then I started reading and it’s like, very medical, I was like, expecting just like, you know, like nice images, he this to cure this. But but I like it, but I like it, but I like. And the second thing was, somebody was just telling me, I think what my mom was telling me that Singapore, they started selling commercially, like the first chicken meat that was created in a lab, I think I’m not sure if you heard the news,

Jan Hinrichs 

the lap breed meat. Future, so the ecologic and and the impact of slaughter on cows, on pigs on, you know, with all the problematic around for you can be i i the meat, you know, it’s absolutely no problem with that. But if I would have an alternative, like free meat, you know, free of meat, not from livestock, no suffering, and I still have a good taste, and it still is just an if there’s an alternative I switch. I don’t like to eat a hamburger or you know, and and imagine where this meat come from. And I think this relation, you know, this relation between what we eat and where it comes from. That is something we have completely lost and the industry has made us separate ourselves from from this industrialized production. And, you know, the product itself. So you consume milk, you consume meat, and it’s all great, you know, you just go to the supermarket. And it’s all nicely, like nicely packaged all the, but we have no relation. And at the end, you know, you see a happy cow on the milk. But-

Andrej Zito 

-She wasn’t happy.

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, maybe it’s not so cool to be 10 years in, in a stall, you know, and having to, to feed humans instead of your own kids. And this is MC issues. You know, so again, I think the technology again, like in our industry to go back to our industry. Technology opens up new opportunities to change our behaviors, behaviors, the same for LocLunch, and this is maybe the cycle. You know, before we went to conferences, conferences were tended by a few a couple of people in our industry. So the overall people on LinkedIn, about 600,000 people registered on LinkedIn, who says they work in the translation and localization industry. Okay, 600,000 500,600 sounds more or less a estimate of the overall industry title, including every everybody. Now how many people go to the conference, I went to the conference 16,030 conferences 16,000 attendees and most of them went not only to one but to several so for the actual guard. Wait way less. Now, this represents a fraction of the whole industry and the whole industry is not connected. The lucky few who went to the conferences have access to knowledge, access to to connections, access to whatever and they can strive to thrive. Meanwhile 95% of the people are stuck and have no opportunity. I heard by because of family or personal situation or Neighbors situations that their bosses don’t allow them to go. is because of time of budget, you know? And so LocLunch and other formats, which have been created in the last few years? And I would, yes, I feel like that largely has been a loud voice in this movement to bring democracy to our industry in the sense to access information. And because today, everybody can talk to everybody. And you can talk, you know, yes, the day before, I talked on the LocLunch with Robin, who’s the VP of lionbridge. Sales and Canada. You know, and my, my and call from Bangor, she’s the CEO of Bangor, global, you know, where do you meet him? Well, I met him on a LocLunch in London. We had a great chat, you know, it was free, we had a chat. And otherwise, I would have to go away on the other side of the world, five days traveling 1000s of Euro inexpensive, just to have, eventually this opportunity to talk to him. So this is over.

Andrej Zito 

How did you how did you guys start thinking about transitioning to online? With COVID? Like, when you had the first signs of COVID? Were there some online meetings happening before? Or did you only start moving into online because of COVID? And the lock downs?

Jan Hinrichs 

There was no no online LocLunch before. Again, you know, imagine yourself eating in front of the camera, that was a hard sell. So we, me, especially you know, I always thought like, this is such a great opportunity to meet people. And I would love to go on a European tour, you know, just to LocLunch with people and just take the car and drive through Europe, from LocLunch to blockers and I did this in from Hamburg when I traveled back to Spain to settle back, you know, I was with my car. And I drove through Holland. I mean, I met with the ambassador in Holland, that I met the ambassador of Paris, then I went to, you know, through through fonts. And that moment, we hadn’t had any more LocLunch ambassadors there I was there wasn’t to say my face, it was a little bit far too far away. But again, you know, connecting with people on the way locally, that is such a big, big thing. It suddenly feels like whoa, this is this is the real change in our life. Now, that was very few cases and a heartfelt my family that I’m, I’m on a road trip through Europe for three weeks, maybe. Now, no permission. So, so then COVID took place came, it started. We said you know, safety first, stop LocLunching, there’s no no means and continuing meetings. When we risk life of people. Nobody knew anything about, you know, transmission of the disease. And so I called out to, you know, hold on, hold on, let’s wait. Now, hold on, hold on, hold on. 15 days, 15 days, what the heck is going on? You know, and then you know, it was clear, hey, we we need to go online. There’s zoom. Let’s give it a try. You know, just go for it. And we started the first LocLunches was like, okay, so hello. You know, how do we do that? And yeah, I’m here. You know, people come from all over the world. And now today, the one from from Canada, the other day was just a blast. It was I don’t know, at a higher with 32 people or something like that coming from all over the world to join this LocLunch conversation. And it was just amazing. You know, now today, I think it’s no sorry on the 17th of December. We have all these LocLunches in San Diego in the In many places around the world, they are all virtual. We have already hundreds of LocLunches celebrated this year online. The communities are so big, so many people so much interesting discussions, one and a half hours. You know, just fluent, fluent discussion with others. What comes up? Very powerful.

Andrej Zito 

So please don’t hate me because I haven’t attended single LocLunch .

Jan Hinrichs 

I hate you. You missed out, man, you missed out

Andrej Zito 

I know, probably,

Jan Hinrichs 

But you have the possibility every day you can change your life.

Andrej Zito 

Change Your Life with LocLunch. I think the first person who was inviting me was sanctuary from Singapore. She’s really she’s really into it. She’s like, a hardcore ambassador. So what I wanted to ask, you know, like, like, okay, offline versus online? Like what I imagine look like more LocLunch looks like before COVID. Was that like, you have a bigger group? But for example, me I’m not that comfortable speaking with a huge group, like, I would assume that it like turns into like, a smaller groups, you know, especially like, if you’re eating, you’re probably not shouting to 30 people who are eating their lunch, and probably just chat, like, with few people around you. How does it work in online? Do you have like breakout rooms? or something? Can people get into smaller groups? Or is it just like free for free for all?

Jan Hinrichs 

So breakout sessions are a possibility, but so far, I think nobody has made use of it. It is, of course, a completely different discussion. Because on physical LocLunches, you have your meal, you have you concentrate, you have conversation with your neighbors with the one in front of you. And moving around this problem, especially when you have 30 people, you know, you won’t get to talk to everybody. And you won’t get to know everybody, even though we have usually these introduction rounds, so that you know, but then you have noise, you have vironment, and so on. It’s a different thing. It’s about relationship building, real real life relationship building. Online, we have this introduction around, but then it’s an open conversation, and everybody who wants to take part in this conversation can can write their their work, you know, write their hand and say, Hey, you know, I think this or that the ambassador is the one who needs to guide the discussion. And he’s supposedly the Yeah, he’s the host, his job is to give a voice to everybody and eventually asked somebody, you know, to listen to the rest, if, if there’s too much conversation happening from once again, but there’s a fourth, I think there’s network force, as well. So if one is just pitching their ideas, it will harm yourself. Because 30 people listening to one who’s not supposed to talk all the time, ultimately will hurt your reputation. So..

Andrej Zito 

For all the introverts out there, is it okay, if I just joined and I don’t say a single word? And I just listen,

Jan Hinrichs 

You will have to say who you are, and what you are about, you know, so even if it’s just like, you know, Hi, I’m Andre, I run the podcast on this is great to meet you all know, and I’m here to listen, and, you know, that’s fine. Perfect. You know, but you still can learn a lot. And the most likely thing is, you get thinking, you got thinking about this stuff that this this car, and maybe not the first time but the second time, third time, you opening up and say hey, wow, yeah, you know, I thought about you and that is a typical introvert, you know, taking notes and I know you and analyzing everybody, let me pull up my file of you. Yeah, exactly. So I have your personality profile. Here. You are, right. You are my next guest in my podcast, for example. You know, this is this is your voice. In such a group. It’s up to you, if you want to, to say if you want to participate and so on, but when you join a LocLunch, you should be you know, you show interest in not being isolated.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, so talking about isolation. You did mention a few names. People that were sort of helping you with this. Do you have Something like a stable team, like who who shapes up how LocLunch will look like, let’s see 2021 is it mostly you? Or do you have like a core group of people that you talk to?

Jan Hinrichs 

I think this is an open we have, like a Slack channel, where we use whatever is, you know, our discussion for ambassadors, you know, what, where we can do what we can do next, and how, what kind of performance work. And so, whenever I’ve, you know, something, something I have in mind some crazy ideas about, you know, the future here and there, I usually, you know, posted there and run it, at least, you know, to have a feedback loop. And then, you know, everybody is free to say, Yeah, I like that, or I don’t like that, or, you know, but yeah, we have this tool where we can discuss, and some people are more accurate.

Andrej Zito 

I touched on the topic of 2021. So, if I would ask you about, like the future of LocLunch the one question that I had for you, like, Is there something like a strategy? For LocLunch?

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, world domination?

Andrej Zito 

Right

Jan Hinrichs 

 We talked about that one. You know, so social network is about types of networks. The more knowledge you have, the more value the network creates. So this is true for Facebook, this is true for Instagram, or Twitter, or whatever social network you’re looking at. So scale effects, we’re talking about scale. Now, my main purpose with the LocLunch community to, to grow steadily to new places, because the more places we add, the more people granularly will join the overall network and can access other LocLunch ambassadors, other LocLunch groups. So you know, we just get more people involved in the conversation. And then this is the main goal to have fluid compensation. Because the more we talk, you know, the more information can flow about the latest out there, you know, and, and eventually structured content like this podcast, people might discuss what we’re talking here. And then they say, Yeah, but this is all bullshit, you know, I have no, no clue. You know, let’s do this. And that, and there is a platform to do this. I think this is a main purpose. Now, what can come out of network? Facebook came out of network, you know, so Facebook. The Social Network, in my understanding for LocLunch is when we add value on scale. So we have a network we have a loose community, a loose community in the sense that we do not have users. Right now. We have no user counts. It’s all you know, very loose. People, ambassadors shout out people join. That’s it. And this is a network grace. It’s a very strange format. It’s a very untypical social network. Because it’s basically it’s a loosely, loosely held together off the network, but it’s, it’s growing strong. It’s very interesting to see that it still continues. It continues to grow and it grows on a higher rate. being such a loose, uncoordinated decentralized, democratized network. COMM this is this is maybe what you know. But anyway, this is this is right now it’s me. And what we can do from from here is something we can, you know, explore and I’m more open to, I’m very open to you know, whoever likes something we’re talking with prazi we’re talking with the big Association. Now what, what kind of impact we can have, as a community in our industry, coworkers better future? I think. Maybe this is a driver. Yeah.

Andrej Zito 

Speaking of social networks, is LinkedIn like the main platform where people share and promote LocLunch? Or do you also utilize other social networks.

Jan Hinrichs 

So LinkedIn is blocked in Russia. LinkedIn is blocked in China. Japanese are not using LinkedIn very much So, you know, our ambassadors are taking care of recruiting, you know, announcing and reaching out to their, to society for their attendees. So they are open for everybody to join. I, we we have thought of, you know, lock it on LinkedIn, to have coverage so that, you know, people know that it exists. But as we have this form for you can run an event on Facebook, especially the Russian guys, you know, are on or through what, not what, what’s the Chinese WhatsApp, you know, to, to run your WeChat story. So we had to reach out to your community. And this is absolutely clear. There’s a lot of opportunity to improve outreach and control.

Andrej Zito 

When I asked you the question about a strategy, during our intro call, you mentioned Africa. Do you want to maybe dive more into that? Or is it like a top secret project of yours?

Jan Hinrichs 

Well, domination includes Africa can’t be other otherwise and and Africa? inclusive? Of course, we have to be. So So what is the case of Africa is that LinkedIn is a white Caucasian social network, basically, you know, the majority of users are white and white color. From personal perspective, okay, I might be wrong. I might say, Lincoln, maybe will be against me tomorrow. But you know, that’s, that’s my impression from my feet. Right. Okay. So I might live in a bubble. But still, you know, there’s no conversation. And when we go to our conferencesin our LocLunches, I see it real time that Africa is not involved. Southeast Asia is coming too, slowly. They’re warming up, you know. So what is what does it mean, we have this island, we have this knowledge islands, and, you know, communities, so we have the Northern Community. So everybody who lives in Europe or in the US is connected and has access to our industry knowledge, you know, now, where is the demand coming in the next five years? I think and this is what the UN says, you know, when when you look on statistics of growth, economic statistics, Africa has a young population, mobile access to how huge they are mobile curse. And there’s no reason to think that people in Africa don’t want to join the same ecommerce, and the same, you know, global trade and the same opportunities we have in the north. So, you know, why is there no communication, and this is something I want to break up with LocLunch, you know, just to give a little bit of time to enable the same Congress’s conversation, and to get to know people on the ground, who are not representative of big companies, or, you know, sort of insiders, but for everybody, and then I think we can really understand what’s happening over there. We can create products can create services, to cater not only like, you know, North American companies, or European companies or Asian companies going to Africa, but African companies going the other way around. You know, all these enterpreneurs there, there’s so much into print or understanding of the drive way more than, like gold digger, gold digger atmosphere in Africa, African youth LSC, wow, internet, you know, we have opportunities, and they are on fire to get this. And growth, economic growth was showing an infinite coverage mobile coverage will give them this access. And so I think we need to get prepared Africa is like in the next five years, there will be huge differences between today and within five years when we tell 2027 or 2020 sector whatever it will be. I my guess is will be completely integrated. So and then our industry and this is maybe my question for you, do you think that our industry is ready for Africa? Have you ever interviewed African people on your podcast?

Andrej Zito 

No, never. I think, you know, like, like we how we started the chain. You know, Jeff, Javi. Jan, I think you should propose the next guest for me, which might be from Africa.

Jan Hinrichs 

Yeah, I have good candidates of color.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah. So when is the first LocLunch in Africa going to be?

Jan Hinrichs 

Oh, it happened already.

Andrej Zito 

It already happens. There you go.

Jan Hinrichs 

It already happened. You’re not. I’m not revealing here. Any. So yeah, the other day we were in Abidjan, which is a capital from Cote d’Ivoire, from Ivory Coast. And it was a fantastic lens, it was really diving into, you know, a complete different reality. And whoever wants to, you know, understand it, whoever wants to, is born, you know, of our social problems. And, you know, and all these, you know, whatever, the boring white people just join the African LocLunches, get into the mindset off the people there. Eventually, you know, the conversation goes and, and people start telling you what they do in the localization industry, how they’re doing business, how do they train other people how, you know, and what kind of immense growth potential is over there, how people are empowered to do new stuff. So yeah. know if you’re bored, just instead of Netflix, go to an LocLunch in Kenya and Maputo and you know, Mozambique, we will have Mozambique starting soon. Maputo Abidjan is will be there again. And Kenya Legos. I’m I’m working on on recruiting for Legos. Which is, you know, just a massive city with a massive, massive entrepreneurial spirit creating the next stage. And I remember one on a conference in Munich, like very high level have people there, there was this girl from Legos? She left in Washington, I think, you know, and she said, Yeah, you know, what, I’m back from the future, when I go to latos and then come back, I feel like I’m back from the future. Because it’s all so much more dynamic. Third, so much things happening, we can even it’s like for us thinking about reality in in Shanghai, or in Beijing, you know, in China intends in the real reality with technologies they have. And our reality is, like, pure boredom for what we’re doing here. It’s like 19th century, you know, internet usage. 20th century internet use those guys, it’s like, oh, how calm is everything here? No. Okay, yeah. So and the same happens in Africa. And I think we know we need to get prepared and I really enjoy it. You know, it’s a lot of time I invest in LocLunch as a founder of, of LocLunch. But also, I’m running a company which is Beluga and here we are, again, you know, I’m not doing this just for the good of everybody because I believe that this is something my clients might ask me to provide. So I have to spearhead our, our way through this. And LocLunch is just a way to get to know the greatest talent to understand the market is to build a product services around that you know, and just get connected. This is not only for me, everybody can do exactly the same. So I my call here is join a LocLunch, Andre, you have to join the LocLunch.

Andrej Zito 

My first one will be the African one. How about that.

Jan Hinrichs 

I will send you the invite. And I will track you.

Andrej Zito 

All right.

Jan Hinrichs 

Now you will enjoy.

Andrej Zito 

Yep.

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