“I have the perfect solution, it’s environmentally responsible, extremely convenient and above all fun,” I joked with the team from The Dubrovnik Times. The very first copy of the tenth season of the Times came out last week. Blimey, where did those ten years go! It is a project that is very close to my heart, one that I am proud of, my little baby, the oldest or should I say the first English language newspaper in Croatia. When I think of the thousands and thousands of our guests who have read the paper it gives me goose bumps. So to celebrate the first copy the team “invaded” the Old City and handed out copies to locals and tourists.
A billionaire businessman recently explained the secret of his success, “when you are in your twenties don’t be afraid to try new things and make mistakes, in your thirties learn from your mistakes, in your forties don’t try anything new and in your fifties learn from the younger generations.” With this in mind, although I am still making plenty of mistakes, I have collected a younger team around me. They will probably learn from my mistakes and their own mistakes – might make them twice as bright.
“So what’s your big idea,” replied the younger generation. “Let’s move our office to the Old City,” came my answer. Their faces took on a question mark expression. “It makes perfect sense,” OK I was joking just a little. “We are in the newspaper and information business, we are now in the heart of everything,” I said as we sat around a table in front of Cele café bar in the heart of the Old City. “We have all the solutions right in front of us,” and my list began. Well join two tables together under those postboxes on the corner. Our new address will be “On the Corner Cele 1, Dubrovnik.”
Being on the corner we could just hand out newspapers as tourists walked by – distribution solved. We have free Wi-Fi from Cele all day long – IT solved. We would be sitting right under two postboxes so just raise your hand over your head and drop the post in the box – communications solved. And don’t forget that the postman would bring us the post right to the boxes. We are sitting right on the Stradun and right under St. Blaise, so we could almost lean out and take a photo – illustrations solved. On the wall just to the left is a public notice board with all sorts of info placed on it every day – events and small adverts solved. We are surrounded by almost a hundred different restaurants – catering solved. We are sitting in a café bar so there will be no problem for coffee breaks, they will bring it directly to our tables – coffee breaks and snacks solved. All of the tables here is either full of locals or tourists, both a great source of information – local and international news. The bank is just up the Stradun and you could distribute newspapers as you walked to pay the bills – financial department solved. There are nearly two hundred different businesses inside the city walls – advertising and marketing solved. All we would need is to drag our graphic designer down here and find a printing shop and we could be totally self-sufficient inside the city walls.
People lived for hundreds and hundreds of years inside these walls, they had almost everything they needed here, why wouldn’t we! We could even change the name of the newspaper from The Dubrovnik Times to the Republic, as a mark of respect to our elders and forefathers. It was just a bit of fun after a busy morning but it got me thinking. All those centuries ago people lived just like that; their working day would have been pretty much the same as I had just explained, but probably without the Wi-Fi. A much greener, less stressful and probably more rewarding way of work and life, and yet we have moved forward to a different future.
Needless to say the few copies of the Times we had went in a few minutes; the constant flow of tourists along the Stradun was never-ending. We could have had a thousand copies and still wouldn’t have been there for more than an hour. With a large “serving” of positive energy we greeted tourists from all over the world, for when you live and work in the Republic the world comes to you.