Life’s taught me a few lessons. Every now and then I take time to reflect on them. These principles are a distilled version of my take-aways.
- 5️⃣The Top Five
- 👶 Life in General
- 🛠 Getting Things Done
- 🧑✈️ Entrepreneurship
- 🤝 Collaboration
- 👨🏫 Learning & Personal Growth
- 📣 Communication
- 💶 Investing
- 📸 Photography
- 📣 Communication
- 🏁 Collaboration
- 🗓 Meetings (synchronous communication)
5️⃣The Top Five
👶 Life in General
You can do anything if you're focused. Do one thing at a time and excel at it.
People often fail at the basics, not at the big challenges. Internalize how to do the basics right before you pick bigger battles. Train your inner COO and make them excellent. That's when the inner CEO can focus on the next big thing.
"Things" are a distraction. Use tools but avoid maintenance. Focus on people, passions and projects. Memories are made to last, things will break and vanish.
Set priorities and act on them. Realize that you can only do so much. Communicate your priorities to those who matter, they'll help you.
We advance more efficiently if we share our experiences, learnings and world views. Be brutally open and share. Be vulnerable, that's where life becomes interesting.
Whether you call them problems, hiccups or ups & downs, the only thing that matters about challenges is how we react to them. Don't spend time on excuses, focus on solutions.
Life's too short not to try. Bet big, give it everything. Fail often, make big wins, become legendary. Don't try, do.
Most things in life don't come easy. Focus your energy. Either go after it or let it go. Don't dwell.
Instead of trying to 'not work', find work that is so fulfilling that it doesn't feel like work and more like a calling.
My brain is good at small decisions but my gut and heart are capable of making big decisions. While my initial reaction is often to use my head to try and bend the reality, I know that the answers lay in my heart and gut.
Embrace challenges - they are where you learn and grow. Always look for the next bigger challenge.
Life is too short to keep wondering 'what if?'. Have fun, understand that learnings are just as valuable as wins.
Don't try to cut the corners. Do things right the first time and you'll surpass everyone who's trying half-assed.
Embrace failures and cherish them for everything you learn. Make sure you win from time to time to be able to fail again.
Freedom always comes at a price. Find out where you want to be free and where you're willing to make sacrifices.
🛠 Getting Things Done
Focus on what's important. Keep the messaging to the point. Act with direction and purpose. Don't waste anyone's time.
Getting started is the most crucial part. Don't procrastinate. Become active and feel how it multiplies inside you.
Someone else's time is the most valuable resource. Use all other resources first and help yourself. Communicate your proposed solution if you're unsure - instead of asking for help.
Anything that is done more than three times should be automated or defined as a process.
When you encounter a new challenge or task, document how you solved it as a process. Always assume that something will happen again. Make sure you don't reinvent the wheel over and over again.
Follow processes that exist but never let a process keep you from reaching a higher goal. Never use a process as an excuse for why something was not done (on time).
Don’t let any process get in the way of making progress. It’s important to always think of the greater good and take the necessary steps.
Assume that you forget everything. Take notes and make them searchable. Categorize and tag them. Check your notes when you meet the same person again.
Redundancy equals maintenance. Keep information in one place, the right place. Link to it from other places.
Use asynchronous apps to your advantage. Don't create overhead. Pick up tasks and get them done. Think about whether or not a message has value.
The most basic decisions can be made with your head, everything else requires gut.
- Ask yourself if you have all the information needed to work on a task. If not, get it.
- Get the task done. If it won't be done on time, communicate.
- Test / double check your work before submitting it. Don't waste other people's time to find mistakes that are easy to find.
Know what you want. Understand what it takes. Do what it takes – day in and out.
Our brains aren’t wired to multi-task. Doing one thing at a time will not only improve the quality of your result but also your productivity.
fix the root cause, not the symptoms
Don’t take focus and time away from your team if you can help yourself by googling or searching internal documents. Check all information that is already available to you.
If the specific case is not covered, look for guidelines and principles in our internal documents and suggest how you would apply them in this situation.
When helping others in your team, always answer in general terms that give them guidance in similar (yet not exactly the same) situation. Where appropriate, add to our guidelines so that new cases are covered and only need to be discussed in person once.
If you encounter challenge - whether yours or someone else's - always communicate ideas for how to move forward. Instead of simply acknowledging the problem, always be part of the path to the solution.
If a meeting or call can be avoided, it should be. Meetings should not be used to transfer information - that should always happen in advance. Think twice before booking a meeting or call - whether it's internal or external.
If you learn that you will miss a deadline or anything else changes, let me know asap. Also, if you have any doubts whether you understood a task correctly, confirm any uncertainties with me.
Please review everything twice before you send it to me. Use a tool like Grammarly to check messages and documents before you send them to me for review.
Plan for eventualities and make sure you're a couple minutes too early for most meetings.
Don't use other people's time if what you are looking for has been documented or can be found with a 5min Google search.
👨🏫 Learning & Personal Growth
Make sure your learnings are unique and new. Use all the tools to learn from other's failures - books, podcasts, peer networks.
Whether or not, you liked it, always say 'thank you for the feedback'. Understand that how you are perceived is just as important as how you are. Ask for feedback often and honestly.
Accept that new things can look complex at first. Go by first principles, run through examples before you try to understand every facette.
Think about the overhead your message will create. Make it as small as possible and as long as needed. Get to the point. Be clear.
Think one step ahead when you text. Instead of asking 'Can we have a call?', suggest call times. Make it your goal to get end the conversation in as few steps as possible. Have coffee in real life.
No two days will be the same. Welcome challenges when something unforeseen happens. See them as fun reminders to keep inventing. Keep your team updated on the challenges you’re facing but always communicate solutions.
We work on our own and in a distributed setup. This works if you communicate often and openly. Make sure that losses and problems can be discussed quickly and wins and learnings can be celebrated and shared.
Own your mistakes. If you realize something wasn't communicated properly, fix it.
Good news can be shared via text, bad news are best delivered in person.
synchronous comms to get to know someone, asynchronous afterwards
Ideas are meaningless. Validated ideas are priceless
If you are going to panic, panic early
Money doesn’t matter. Lack of Money matters.
Fear is not a strategy
You can be up 1000% many times but 100% down only once
negotiate on short docs, not SPA/SHAs
Contrasts make images interesting
Shoot at eye level
give kids enough to do something but not enough to do nothing
- how to involve me in decisions
Taking calculated risks is part of our job. We invest and support ambitious teams - so ambitious that not all of them will succeed.
We have strong opinions and back them up by investing in projects that shape the world we want to live in.
Independent from whether we are investing into a company or hiring a team member, Introductions are always our primary choice.
We don't invest in competing companies. We research a space and choose the company we want to partner with.
We use English for all our internal and external conversations to make it inclusive for everyone inside and outside the team.
A big part of our job is to ask the right questions. This goes for our conversations with founders as well as the conversations within our team.
We value our time as well as the time of the entrepreneur we work with. It's our goal to give them clear, concise answers fast. We constantly strive to improve our processes.
Whoever we interact with - it's a human. Not a founder, employee, freelancer or partner. We understand that everything outside of work is at least as important as everything work-related. We make a conscious effort to meet each other as humans, not just colleagues.
We have a flexible vacation policy - take a rest when and for how long you need to. We believe that it's important to disconnect from time to time to remain strong and to keep a fresh mind. We keep the rest of the team up to date when we plan our time off to avoid any disruptions.
We know that feedback will make us better. We want to avoid blind spots and understand others' perspectives and perception. We thank others for their feedback - whether it's positive or encouraging.
🗓 Meetings (synchronous communication)
If you’re blocked and cannot proceed without input/feedback from others on the team, ask them for a spontaneous meeting. These should only be held if the benefit of having them outweighs the downside of distracting everyone.
To avoid confusion and overhead when we communicate times: If a time is mentioned without a specific timezone, assume it's Zurich time.
Video is so much more powerful than just audio - it let's understand how we react and feel. That's why we make a conscious effort to always have our video on.
add top 5
- think 1 step ahead
- do what you say you’ll do
- do one thing at a time
- if it’s not ‘hell yeah’ then it’s ‘no’
Date the body, marry the lens
A good measurement for personal freedom is to look at how many of one’s areas in life need to be treated as a secret