Jan “Honza” Havel

I was introduced to Duane by my wife many years ago and ever since the first moment have found this man fascinating in his approach to life, business, and generous support of young people.
On my first trip to the West Coast, I spent a short night in Duane’s house in Galt, CA before departing south in his old Volvo to travel around California with my wife. Since then we have met on numerous occasions, mostly during Duane’s trips to Europe. More importantly, we have been able to stay in touch via e-mail exchanging opinions on a range of topics.

In the early years of my digital agency Actum, Duane proved to be a valuable source of inspiration. Not only on specifics such as search engine optimization, which we frequently discussed. His website on BMW motorcycles is a benchmark in the industry and one of the most frequently visited sites for BMW enthusiasts who need repairs to their veteran motorcycles. Being home-made with simple tools, with very basic design and limited knowledge of internet standards, the site is a proof that content is what at each site’s core- a fact that was later acknowledged by the industry in a saying “Content Is King”.

I was happy to learn about Duane’s deep love of freedom and liberty; After introducing Duane to the theoretical foundations of the Austrian School of Economic Thought, I started receiving interesting links to articles and thoughts of Duane, which provided inspiration for my academic career, as well as critical insights challenging the official communication on US policies.

Duane stands out as an example of flexibility and ability to take on just about any job this planet offers. From supervising airport construction, to checking backup batteries of cellular network equipment, to test driving prototype cars, Duane has always been able to bring in insights that helped him always exceed expectation — An example to be understood and followed.

One can tell a lot about a relationship when a phone rings or an email arrives; I am always happy to see a message from Duane and feel genuine interests in the content. That is a simple proof that Duane’s place in my life is of importance and value. Thanks, Duane!

Jan Havel
Prague, Czech Republic
Ph.D. in Economic Theory, Board Member of Liberal Institute, Founder and Partner in Actum and Actum+, largest digital agencies in the Czech Republic

Updated 29 April 2024

There’s so much new at Actum. We are around 400 people these days and have just published numbers for FY23, achieving around €26 million in revenue. The US is a risky move. We won’t build an office but rather look at options to acquire a small agency somewhere on the East Coast.

We have 14 divisions, started a joint-venture with ex-consultancy partners, and most recently started a subsidiary and an office in Zürich, Switzerland. That’s my pet project and I am enjoying it very much!

I heard you had moved back to California? Was Texas too hot? Here, the kids are growing and the oldest one (19) is about to finish high school and go for bachelor’s degree in business, most likely in Norway.

I look forward to receiving news from you!