Sleep Schedules

There are dozens – if not hundreds – of sleep schedules online. Ranging from monophasic, biphasic to polyphasic sleep.

In simple term, monophasic sleep describes the regular sleep you might be accustomed to: 8 hours of sleep per night without any naps during the day.

A biphasic sleep describes a sleep pattern, where the sleep is divided into two sleep blocks or chunks. One popular type of biphasic sleep is the Siesta sleep. You sleep – for example – 6 hours at night and then have a 20-90 minute Siesta nap around noon.

Polyphasic sleep is where it gets more sophisticated. You divide your sleep into multiple chunks: for example three 90-minute blocks of sleep divided over the day, or six naps equally divided over the day.

My Experience

Over the last few years, I often experimented with sleep regarding health, well-being, and productivity. I found differences between summer and winter as well as sleep schedules for well-being and productivity, which I want to share with you.

Sleep Schedule for Well-Being

The best sleep schedule for human well-being is biphasic in the summer (±5h at night, 90 min during the day) and monophasic during the winter (8-10h sleep at night; no nap during the day).

It’s best to wake up with the onset of the morning dawn (slightly before sunrise). It is natural for most humans to wake up with the sunrise. When you sleep without an alarm clock for several weeks, you’ll see that you’ll naturally wake up shortly before the sun rises – no matter whether you went to bed a 9PM or 12PM.

In the summer, the sun is rising earlier and setting later. This is why I believe during the summer, it’s better to go to bed later and wake up earlier with overall less sleep (5h or even less) and have a siesta nap (20 or 90 minutes) during the hot summer noon.

In the winter, this is not the case. Naturally, you sleep much more during the winter time. There is less natural light and it is colder. You naturally have more sleep need which is why you often get tired quite early in the winter. With artificial light, it is easy to prolong the bedtime, but it’s probably best to sleep earlier and longer in the winter.

Sleep Schedule for Productivity

When your goal is productivity instead of well-being, I find that waking up and working early is preferable to staying up and working late.

While I can be insanely productive at night, I found it much harder to fall asleep after closing down the laptop well after midnight. While this may also have something to do with our circadian rhythm, blue light and so on, I explain it with my brain is being in work and problem-solving mode. This means when I decide to go to bed, I’ll still lay there thinking about all kinds of problems, issues, ideas. Not good.

When I stop working several hours before I go to bed, I never have the slightest difficulty falling asleep. My brain, by that time, got out of work mode and is ready to peacefully leave all issues and ideas behind to quickly fall asleep. Tomorrow is another day.

Another plus: when I finished my most important tasks before 8AM, the day will be a success, regardless of what might happen.

But waking up early – which fore me means around 4AM – comes with a cost. Either you’d have to go to bed very early (at 8PM) or you’d accrue an unhealthy amount of sleep debt.

For me, neither sounded interesting, which is why I naturally started to have multiple 20-minute naps during the day.

When I started to research sleep schedules online, I stumbled upon a website called There I got the idea of a longer 90-minute nap in the noon. This is interesting out of two reasons: first in a 90-minute siesta sleep, you’ll get REM sleep. Sleep which is necessary for your regeneration. Second, you can view this long Siesta sleep as a second real sleep block. You didn’t sleep for only 5h at night. But you slept 5h at night and 1.5h during the day – ergo you slept 6.5 hours in total.

This made sense to me, as I experienced a real energy low around noon in the summer. The heat was daunting which made it impossible to work productively – especially without an air condition.

Instead of torturing myself through these noon hours, I recharged my energy with a 90-minute Siesta nap.

The Siesta nap took quite a while to adapt. First, I wasn’t able to sleep at all for 90 minutes. After a while, I naturally woke up after 60 minutes or so. After one or two weeks, I adapted. I felt very energized in the morning, afternoon, and evening with only 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep in total.

Would I slept 6.5 hours on a monophasic sleep schedule, I would need a couple of cups of coffee, and I’d sleepwalk through the day.

So to sum it up: With a Siesta sleep schedule of 4.5 hours to 5 hours of sleep during the night and 1.5 hours of sleep around noon you:

  • Feel equally energized as on 8 hours of sleep with only 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep.
  • You can wake up very early (4AM or even earlier) but can still participate in social events in the evening
  • You get rid of the noon low (or food coma) by sleeping
  • You can accomplish your most important task before 7AM

If you have the luxury of having your own schedule, this is a superb sleep schedule – especially during summer.

Other Observations

Other than experimenting with sleep schedules, I also found that the more I meditate, the less sleep I require. This is why I believe that our body uses deep rest periods – as you achieve them in meditation – to regenerate, without sleeping.

Secondly, the less I eat and the more raw plant-based food I eat, the less sleep I require – naturally.

Overall, I don’t believe in the notion of you must have 8-hours of perfect sleep every night. When your body works efficiently, you need much less sleep.

The more bad things you do to and put into your body (little movement, bad food, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, excessive workouts) – the more time will your body need to recover.

On the other hand, when you care about your body with spiritual practices, healthy food, periods of fasting, a lot of movement such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Kung Fu, you’ll naturally sleep less.


Finding Really Good Books

Finding really good books is a multi-billion dollar market. Think about it for a moment: How do you find new books to read?

I assume it will either be through:

  • a recommendation of a real person you know (the best way),
  • a recommendation you read online (including Goodreads),
  • an algorithm,
  • an advertisement,
  • or a bestseller list.

The best way to find a new good book is through a recommendation. You are conversing with a real person, he understands your situation, your needs, or your preferences and based on this, he is recommending you a book.

Another a good way to find a new good book is through a recommendation you stumble upon online. You search for your preference or a specific topic or problem, and you will find online communities or blog posts pointing you to a specific book.

Algorithms, advertising, and bestseller lists all have one thing in common: they want to sell you something. Despite that, algorithms can still dig out good books for you, based on your preferences and past reading history. But don’t expect to ever find real exotic books outside your current interest bubble.

Books on bestseller lists can be good, but generally, they are simply the best marketed books or have the best known authors.

Again: bestseller lists are listing the best-selling books, not the best books.

The question is therefore, where do we find, and how do we identify the best books? And why is it an important problem we should solve?

4 Million Books

Let’s say on a bestseller list you can discover the 20 best-selling books on a specific market. On the New York Times bestseller list, you’ll find the 20 best-selling books in the U.S. On the SPIEGEL bestseller list, you’ll find the 20 best-selling books in Germany.

Let’s say we add multiple markets together. With many overlaps and translations, we’ll optimistically end up with 100 best-selling books in all Western markets.

That’s only 100 out of roughly 4 Million books published each year worldwide – including self-published books. That’s roughly 0.0025% of all books published.

As we’ve said, the bestsellers are listing the best-selling books – not the best books.

With a very high certainty, there are several thousands of books which are better than those on the bestseller list, but whose author simply does not know or does not want to market the book heavily and professionally.

A lack of marketing and selling, however, does not make a great book a bad book. It only makes it an economic failure. But it is still a great book.

Recommending the Known

When you think about the last time someone recommended you a book, the probability is quite high, that he found this book on a bestseller list, through advertising, or an algorithm. This means, we are ending up in the same recommendation and feedback loop: the best marketed and best-selling books get recommended over and over again – while some of the best books ever written in human history might remain undiscovered.

The Billion Dollar Market

Finding a really great book is therefore a billion dollar market. Why? Because among 4 million partly self-published books, the majority will be bad (really, really bad). People will naturally stick to books directly recommended to them through friends, other individuals online, an algorithm, advertising, or a bestseller list. Because it is today the best shit-filter we have.

We need a new technology to discover the diamonds among several millions of published books. And this – ladies and gentlemen – is a multi-billion dollar market.

What may be a solution? I don’t know the solution, but here’s what comes to my mind.

People get served pieces (abstracts, chapters, etc.) of an anonymous book. After reading it, they rate it. When they read the piece of the book, they don’t know the popularity, they don’t know the price, the book cover, the author, or the ratings of other readers. They rate the book totally unbiased. Based on these ratings, one could create non-commercial book recommendation algorithms or deep learning models.

Only by making everything anonymous can we judge a good by its quality – not by its cover (or bestseller rank, advertising budget, etcetera).

Whether this is the best way to do it? I don’t know. But finding really good books is a problem worth to be solved.

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Cold Calling for Start-up Founders

As a seasoned sales professional with over 10 years of experience, including six years in start-ups, I have seen firsthand the importance of effective sales and distribution for the success of a start-up. In fact, I believe that the main reason start-ups fail is often not due to a bad product, but rather due to poor sales and distribution efforts. That’s why I am a strong believer in the power of cold calling as a tool for startup founders looking to grow their businesses and achieve success.

In this article, I will outline the top five reasons why more startup founders should embrace cold calling and provide five techniques that introverted startup founders can use to get started.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, cold calling refers to the practice of reaching out to potential customers or clients by phone or email without having any prior contact or relationship with them. It may seem intimidating at first, but with the right mindset and approach, it can be a highly effective way to generate leads and close deals.

5 Reasons Founders Should Embrace Cold Calling

Here are five reasons why more startup founders should embrace cold calling:

  1. It allows you to reach a wide audience quickly. Cold calling allows you to reach out to a large number of potential customers or clients in a short period of time. This can be especially valuable for startups looking to get their products or services in front of as many people as possible.
  2. It allows you to test your messaging. Cold calling gives you the opportunity to pitch your products or services to a variety of people and see how they respond. This can help you refine your messaging and learn what works and what doesn’t.
  3. It helps you build relationships. While cold calling may not result in a sale right away, it can help you build relationships with potential customers or clients. These relationships can lead to future business opportunities down the road.
  4. It’s a way to differentiate your startup. Many startups struggle to stand out in a crowded market. Cold calling can help you differentiate your business by giving you the opportunity to directly connect with potential customers or clients and explain why your products or services are better than the competition.
  5. It’s a skill that can be learned. Cold calling may not come naturally to everyone, but it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon with practice. Introverted startup founders can start by identifying their strengths and using them to their advantage when cold calling. For example, if you are a good listener, use that skill to really understand the needs and concerns of the person you are speaking with.

5 Techniques Start-up Founders can use

Now, let’s look at five cold calling techniques that introverted startup founders can use to get started:

  1. Prepare a script. It can be helpful to have a script or outline of what you want to say when cold calling. This can help you stay focused and avoid awkward pauses or gaps in the conversation.
  2. Practice your delivery. Practice makes perfect, so take some time to practice your cold calling script with a friend or colleague. Pay attention to your tone and pace, and try to sound confident and sincere.
  3. Use open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” response. They encourage the person you are speaking with to share more information and can help you better understand their needs and concerns.
  4. Be prepared for objections. It’s natural for people to have objections when being sold to, so be prepared to address common objections and have counterarguments ready.
  5. Follow up. If you don’t get a response after your initial cold call, don’t be afraid to follow up. It’s important to be persistent, but also respect the other person’s time and boundaries.

In conclusion, cold calling can be a powerful tool for startup founders looking to grow their businesses. While it may not come naturally to everyone, it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon with practice. By preparing a script, practicing your delivery, using open-ended questions, being prepared for objections, and following up, introverted startup founders can effectively use cold calling to generate leads and close deals.

Will you Take Action?

As a startup founder and salesman myself, I can tell you that the key to success in business is to take action. And when it comes to getting your first customers, there is no better action to take than picking up the phone and making cold calls.

I know, I know – the thought of cold calling can be intimidating. It’s easy to feel like you’re bothering someone, or that they’re not going to be interested in what you have to offer. But let me tell you, those are just excuses. The truth is, if you don’t make the call, you’ll never know what could have been.

So, let me ask you – what’s holding you back? Are you afraid of rejection? Let me tell you, I’ve been rejected plenty of times in my career. But each and every time, I learned something new and used it to become a better salesperson.

Or maybe you feel like you don’t have the right skills or experience to cold call. Trust me, anyone can learn to cold call effectively. It’s just a matter of finding your own style and being persistent.

So let me tell you, the key to cold calling and success in business is to take action.

When it comes to getting your first customers, there is no better action to take than picking up the phone and making cold calls. You never know who you might reach, or what opportunities might come your way.

So don’t wait any longer – pick up the phone and start cold calling. The only thing you have to lose is the chance to grow your business and achieve success. Believe in yourself, and take action today. So, pick up the phone and start dialing. The only thing you have to lose is the chance to grow your business and achieve success. Believe in yourself, and take action today.

Are you a startup founder looking to grow your business and increase sales?

Book Cover of the book "Your First Customer – The Cold Calling Guide for Startup Founders" written by Marius Schober

Look no further than my book on cold calling for startup founders. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to get every customer who should buy your product to actually make a purchase. You’ll also discover a lean-selling method to test your product-market fit, identify the right decision makers and leads, and avoid common pitfalls on the phone. Additionally, you’ll learn how to use clever argumentation to win customers, recognize buying thresholds and overcome objections, master trade fair visits, and use LinkedIn and cold emails to complement your cold calling efforts. And that’s not all – you’ll also learn how to build a personal brand to unleash your full potential in sales. Don’t miss out on this invaluable resource for startup founders looking to maximize their sales success through cold calling.

The best? You can read it for FREE or you can get a print version on Amazon.


Global Citizen Journalists

For the last two years, I thought about setting up a global network of citizen journalists. One journalist per country. Every journalist is reporting on what is happening in his country on a monthly basis – covering everything from problems and corruption to progress and opportunities.

Today, it’s easy to recognize the problems of one’s own country. But when it comes to other countries, it’s really tough to get an accurate picture of the real situation in that country. You don’t speak their language, you don’t talk to local people who actually live there, you cannot follow independent insider news, and you are not aware of critical journalism in that country. Which means you have to rely on Wikipedia or corrupt and biased (state) media.

A global network of citizen journalists could publish a monthly update on the current state of affairs and living of every country in this world – based on real citizen journalists.


Force and Authenticity

When you do something, there are always two ways of doing it.

Either you have to force yourself, or it feels natural to you.

If you force yourself to do something, then what you do is not authentic to you.

People sense this inauthenticity, which makes everything you do even harder.

When you really, from the core of your soul, want to do something, then there is no force.

Because there is no force, there is flow.

It feels like play to you, even if it is incredibly hard.

For those looking from the outside, what you do will look easy.

When there is no force, then there is authenticity.

When there is authenticity, everything will fall into place.


Christmas Week

Good morning from Tenerife!

Today is another beautiful Monday. Which also means it is a new start into a new week. This week is special, as it is Christmas week. Only five days until Christmas – unbelievably how fast the time goes.

We booked a flight to Germany on the 22nd. If everything goes well, we’ll spend Christmas with our family in Germany. They announced some strikes at the airports, but I’m sure it will all turn out alright, and we will fly just as planned.

But before this flight, I have many tasks which I still need to cross off my checklist. Yesterday, I launched a sales course for startup founders, which still needs to get promoted. Then there are several frogs – important tasks I procrastinated for too long because I didn’t want to do them – I should better cross off, before I go into Christmas.

Thereafter, I’m completely free. Like a bird. No commitments, nothing.

I will use the days between Christmas and New Year to contemplate and plan the new year 2023. I have many interesting and promising ideas. I’m absolutely excited for 2023. I never felt better.

But first, let’s tackle this week.

I wish you a beautiful start into the week.

May God, Allah, and Krishna bless you.



Ambition Magnets

Over the last two years, we’ve seen a massive shift towards remote work. Employees were forced to work from home. Just as executives, lawyers, and civil servants. Many enjoyed and learned to love working remotely from where they want to work – not from where they have to work.

This shift towards working remotely also affected young entrepreneurs and researchers. Suddenly, they could work from where they liked – not from where their peers, co-founders, customers, investors, or employees were located.

This shift towards remote has been so significant that it will never return to normal – meaning pre-2020.

People enjoy working remotely for a variety of reasons. You can summarize all of them under one term: “freedom”.

However, making use of this newly gained freedom comes with a cost.

The location and thus the city where one lives has an enormous impact on one’s ambition.

Where you live has an impact on how ambitious you pursue your goals and thus whether we – as a human society – advance.

Back in 2015, I spent just over a month in Silicon Valley. The entire neighborhood screamed at me: do more, risk more, innovate more! I lived in a shared housing with a couple of other entrepreneurs and everyone was hustling hard on their startup idea. Every night I could attend meet-ups on a variety of bold topics with people at least 10x smarter than me.

The first time I ever set foot in Palo Alto, I stepped into a small café. After I grabbed my coffee, I sat down at a table outside, just next to the door. On the opposite side of the door, was sitting an energetic bold man. Somehow we got into a nice small talk until he was joined by a nerdy guy in his late 20s. While I leaned back to enjoy my coffee, they started to converse about a potential multi-million dollar investment into the startup of the nerd who just arrived. It turned out I was by chance talking to a big investor. As you can imagine, this encounter fueled me with a desire to achieve more. It fueled my ambition.

Palo Alto is also home to one of the most prestigious universities in the world – Stanford University. Which is why the chance of running into one of the smartest engineers in the world or the next Mark Zuckerberg so high.

The Silicon Valley used to be a magnet for ambitious people. People who wanted to grab power and change the world by creating technology.

London and New York City are for finance – what the Silicon Valley and San Francisco were for technology. These two cities are the strongest magnets in the world which attract people who want to become super rich.

When I visited London for the first time, the entire city was screaming at me: Earn more! Get rich! And dress better!

The key point is the following: certain cities attract certain people.

The Silicon Valley is a magnet for ambitious entrepreneurs who aim to change the world through technology.

London and New York are magnets for people who want to get rich by any means.

Shenzhen is attracting entrepreneurs who wish to build the great hardware of the future.

Los Angeles is attracting all the people who want to become famous at all cost.

Cambridge is attracting the world’s most intelligent people.

Tenerife, where I currently live, is attracting people who seek quality of life above everything else.

Cities are not great because of their macro factors, but because of the people they are attracting.

The most ambitious researchers will do everything to get to Cambridge where he can be surrounded by the smartest people of the world.

The most ambitious technology entrepreneurs will do everything they can to move to Silicon Valley or Austin – only losers will stay in Berlin or Lisbon.

Just like strong magnets, the best of the best are all attracted to the major city of their field – principally because of the ambitious people they encounter there.

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Magnetic Fields of Cities

After two years of remote work, many people have realized that almost everything is better remote.

You choose where you live: a sunny town with affordable housing prices. Or in your hometown, very close to your loved family.

Instead of a tiny city apartment, you now have a large house with a garden in which you can see your children joyously playing.

You’re growing your fruits and vegetables in your garden and the food is more delicious than ever.

Finally, you can work without any distraction and with it your productivity is skyrocketing.

Everything seems perfect, but your ambition is declining. The magnetic field of the big cities is still palpable. It is whispering at you: You can be more. You can be richer. You can be smarter. Etcetera.

Even though your quality of life is now a 10 out of 10, you deep inside feel the magnetic field of the big city. Whatever it is you want to accomplish – might it be intellectual, creative, or financial – you know that there is a place on earth where the smartest, most creative, or richest people live. And you know exactly:

  • Being in one of these cities is energizing your inner ambition.
  • Being outside these cities is soothing your inner ambition.

From Libraries to the Internet

We’ve finally arrived at a point where the location matters less and less. You finally can work from anywhere – if you wish to.

I decided to do so in April 2022, when my wife and I moved to the island of Tenerife. An absolutely stunning island in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Africa and the Sahara desert. Delicious fruits, tasty vegetables, a lot of sunshine, great people.

The quality of life is a 10 out of 10 here. I couldn’t imagine a better place to life.

But as soon as I moved to Tenerife – I still sensed this magnetic field of the world’s most ambitious cities. I feel and know that there is a city out there, where I should rather be, in order to be all I can be.

But it is not the city. It is the people in the city which are luring me. The melting pot of like-minded ambitious individuals working towards similar goals.

I have the feeling that if I never go there, I might never meet the people I should meet, which may prevent me from fulfilling my full potential. And this feeling can kill you inly.

On the other hand, I know with absolute certainty that cities are not the solution.

Cities evolved over hundreds and thousands of years. Cities were – so far – humanities greatest invention. They allowed people to come together to work on science, arts, politics, philosophy, and religion. Our ancestors created universities, libraries, and town halls. Cities became melting pots of people. And over time, certain cities got to be known for certain specializations: knowledge, art, fashion, philosophy, business, etcetera.

Moving to a city was the only way to meet people and gather knowledge.

There were no computers and there was no internet then. Which means: no PDFs, no email, no Google, no e-books, no blogs, no chat rooms, no social media, etcetera.

Today – on top of all of that – we also have the technology for free global calls. We have high definition video calls. We have virtual reality headsets. Not only that, but we have hundreds of collaboration tools. And most importantly, we have the entire knowledge of humankind accessible within seconds– not only on our computers but on our smartphones we carry around all day long.

But despite all the technological solutions we have accessible today, the magnetic field of ambition is still centered around cities.

If you are serious, a city is still this melting pot of people where you can blossom.

Digital Ambition Magnets

In cities, the infrastructure is only a small part of what makes people want to move there. The primary reason people move to cities is because of the people living there. Which is launching an endless loop.

In cities, where smart and ambitious people come together:

  1. Science happens
  2. Ideas form
  3. Inventions are made
  4. Businesses are started
  5. Jobs are created
  6. Wealth is accumulating

The more smart and ambitious people move to a certain city, the better the city is doing.

Meeting and being with ambitious people has an exponential ripple effect. This exponential ripple effect – which I call the ambition magnet – is always happening when people with ambition and intellect convene. In the past, it just made sense that cities evolved into ambition magnets because these were the places where smart people met.

Today, we are experiencing a turning point in human evolution. For the first time, we see smart and ambitious people move out of big cities. While the magnets of ambitious cities still pull in ambitious people, the internet reduced the force of these magnets. Not only that, but thanks to the internet, smart and ambitious people can now collaborate regardless of their physical location.

Just as in the 1940s the smartest physicists and mathematics gathered in Los Alamos in New Mexico to create godlike weapons, today the smartest physicists and mathematics can come together regardless of their physical location. With the internet, the boundaries of physical location are of little importance.

Imagine how our human species can evolve if we don’t limit science and innovation to physical locations – i.e., cities and countries.

Imagine what can happen when many brilliant and ambitious people not only from the United States, Germany, or the United Kingdom, but also from India, Cameroon, Nicaragua, The Philippines, Russia, and China come together to work on our world’s biggest problems and our world’s unresolved mysteries.

I am certain that if we create digital spaces, where ambition and intellect is not separated by location, we – as a human species – can evolve towards the next step.

To achieve this, these digital spaces cannot simply be a combination of email, collaboration tools, online forums, chat and video calls.

Instead, these digital spaces must be designed from first principles basically from scratch.

First, digital spaces for intellect and ambition must have a magnetic field at least as strong as the world’s most ambitious cities. Currently, the magnetic field of Cambridge with Harvard and MIT is attracting the world’s smartest people to move there. A digital space must have an ambition magnet just as strong as cities like Cambridge, the Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, Shanghai, London, New York City, or Austin.

To do so, the smartest of the smartest must be committed to this digital space.

Digital ambition magnets must allow random accidental meetings. Just as I walked into a café in Palo Alto and all of a sudden, found myself talking to a VC investor. Or just as you randomly meet fellow students in a lecture, the cafeteria, on the campus or an event.

It must also have some kind of entry barrier. For Cambridge, this bullshit filter consists of a ridiculously high tuition fee, a tough selection process, high housing prices, pitiful weather, and a U.S. visa if you’re from abroad.

For digital ambition magnets, there shouldn’t be an entry barrier based on the economic situation or nationality but rather based on input. The more smart and useful contributions you make, the higher your status in this digital space becomes. The higher your status, the more exclusive and small the communities you can interact and work with.

When creating a global digital space, it must also be clear, that the intellectual property and spin-offs are based on a rock-solid legal basis. This might be established with smart contracts secured on a blockchain.

By creating a legal system for these digital spaces, we also turn on the magnetic field for investors. They can now join digital ambition magnets and fund these communities, digital research endeavors and digital businesses.

Most importantly, digital ambition magnets must be created as digital spaces which are fun and exciting to use.

No one wants to join video calls, write emails or post in forums. Digital spaces must be built upon existing technologies but by doing so, re-invent what it feels to use them.

Imagine it as a blend of chats, forums, video-calls, voice messages, videos, photos, and VR games.

As soon a digital ambition magnet is created, it will attract the world’s most ambitious people of a certain field. Whether it is science, entrepreneurship, or philosophy.

This digital ambition magnet becomes a real mastermind which can attack the world’s biggest problems and mysteries.

By making it digital first, we remove the biggest barrier of entry: location.

Some people cannot move to a certain city because of their nationality or financial situation. Others would rather not move to a certain city because of family values and traditions. Others don’t want to move to big cities because they hate the city life.

Nevertheless, the intelligence and creativity of these individuals who – for whatever reason – cannot or want not move to a certain city may, in fact, be the key to scientific and technological breakthroughs.

Today, by being at the wrong location, the potential of these people is wasted. Tomorrow, with digital ambition magnets, their talent, intellect, and creativity is used productively and will be crucial to solve the world’s most important problems.

It is not a question of IF, but a question of HOW and HOW FAST we can design and create digital ambition magnets, as they are the key to advance human evolution and consciousness.

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I’m Back: 7-Day Fast

On the weekend, I finished a 7-day water fast. It was a necessary reset. Not only for my body. But also for me as an individual. It felt like a “goodbye” to my old me, and a “welcome” to my new best version of myself.

Over the last three months, I was on the road a lot. Not only on the road, but also on planes, trains, buses, and hundreds of thousands of steps by foot.

Together with my wife, I travelled to Istanbul, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

With it came a total shift in our daily routine.

We used to work every day. But as we boarded our first flight, so began a two-months work-free period.

No job. No calls. No Zoom meetings.

But not only work.

We also gave up our predominantly vegan diet for the period of our travel.

We immersed ourselves in the cultures of Kazakhstan and later of Uzbekistan. This included delicious Shashlik and Uzbek Plov.

For some time, we forgot all our worries, all our plans, all our goals.

We were just living. Living life, spontaneously, wholeheartedly. With beautiful people from a country so far away.

As we returned, I knew that I gathered so many impressions that I – myself – became a new and different person.

Now – after refraining from food and cleaning my physical body and spiritual self from the past – I feel ready for a new me. A better me.


Thoughts on Central Asia

As I am writing this, I am sitting in my hotel room in Tashkent – the vibrant and growing capital of Uzbekistan.

For several years – since I worked on Chinahub, where we connected Chinese businesses and businesses along the “New Silk Road” to businesses in Germany – I am not only fascinated by Central Asia but also in firm belief that Central Asia will very soon (again) play a crucial role in our world stage – not only in geopolitics but also in global economics.

No wonder I immediately jumped on the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as soon I was offered the opportunity.

Now, after 1 month and thousands of kilometers visiting Astana, Almaty, and Shymkent (Kazakhstan) and Tashkent and Samarkand (Uzbekistan), I’m even more certain that both countries not only want to become a dominant player in geopolitical Central Asia but also an economic powerhouse along the “New Silk Road”.

In all 5 cities, you can feel “growth” in the air. The population is noticeably younger (!) than in Europe or the United States – but not only is the population younger, the people are also a magnitude more ambitious than what I experience in Germany and Spain.

The mix of growth and ambition make Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan so interesting for me.

But which city in Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan will become the most dominant Central Asian city within the next 30 to 50 years?

From what I can observe, the most investments flow to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The question of which country and which city will dominate is – if you asked me – not about investments only, but about which country is more successful and quicker in tackling corruption.

I’ll keep an eye on both countries and visit them more frequently.

If you’d ask me where I’d want to live, the answer is Almaty. It is a vibrant and multicultural city with great restaurants of any sort, beautiful mountains close by and a working infrastructure.

If you’d ask me where I’d invest or do business, the answer is Tashkent. In Tashkent, there are still countless investment and business opportunities, there are countless things still waiting to get developed, including a more livable city.

Overall, Uzbekistan easily wins for the friendliest people in Central Asia, and also for the friendliest Russian-speaking people.

If you’d ask me to create a Top 3 list of cities in Central Asia,

For living and visiting:

  1. Almaty,
  2. Samarkand
  3. Tashkent

For business:

  1. Tashkent
  2. Astana
  3. Almaty

If you want to travel here, to get an impression, you can do it like me: Fly to Astana, take the train to Almaty, then a train to Tashkent. From here you can visit Samarkand and Bukhara.

Now I have 12 more days to explore Tashkent and to get to know the local business landscape.


Perception and Reality

The question: ‘what is reality at all?’ — is a really tricky one. If I’d have to reply in three words, my short answer would be:

Perception is reality.

But as soon you challenge your perception, your understanding of reality becomes much more loose.