Daily

  • Artificial intelligence will determine whether companies and entire industries will fail or thrive. AI is moving so fast that even the people programming the models do not know what it will be able to do in six months. However, it is crystal clear that the impact of AI will be beyond anything we can imagine.

    In the past, the rise of the internet disrupted entire industries. The impact of AI will be much greater.

    The internet primarily affected how things were done by creating new channels and platforms. AI, however, goes deeper by influencing what is done and why. It analyzes data to uncover hidden patterns and will even make decisions traditionally reserved for humans. This fundamental shift will reshape entire industries from the ground up.

    While I’m currently looking for a new venture, I’m looking at different industries from a whole new perspective by asking myself how that industry will be disrupted by massive advances in AI. How quickly could it happen? What are the risks and opportunities of AI disrupting this industry?

    For example, I am currently looking at doing acquisitions and considering starting an M&A consultancy focussed on preparing businesses for a successful exit. The M&A process involves a lot of manual and repetitive tasks, including data extraction, data analysis, due diligence, valuation modeling, document generation and review. There is no future scenario in which the current landscape of M&A will not be completely disrupted by AI, performing close to all the work happening in the background to make M&A deals happen. There is a high chance AI will oust well paid jobs such as data analysts, research associates, paralegals, financial modelers, loan underwriters, accountants, auditors, and even lawyers. Hence, the only way to build a successful M&A advisory firm is to develop and leverage such AI tools while focusing on strategic advice and the human touch.

    There are many industries that will ultimately be disrupted by AI. In addition to the traditional financial industry, I would not get into industries such as insurance, education, advertising, and eventually even programming.

    Other industries may be less affected by AI, such as construction and food – we will still live in a physical home and eat real food.

    At the same time, I see a lot of potential and a lot of money to be made in industries that will benefit greatly from AI over the next 20 years – particularly healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing.

  • In 2020, I formed the Valenus Group with the intention to acquire and merge successful businesses in the healthcare industry in Germany. I recruited a small team of advisors and business partners, as well as external advisors who support me along this journey.

    Since then, I talked to hundreds of business owners, I submitted a dozen of LOIs, have looked at a handful of companies in the due diligence. I agreed to a binding LOI in late 2021 when suddenly mandatory vaccination for healthcare personnel was introduced in late 2021. Then, a first deal fell apart as key employees suddenly left the company. I paused the entire venture for over a year. In 2023, I continued pursing deals with Valenus Group and quickly found an excellent dental laboratory in South Germany. We agreed on fair terms, but the deal ultimately failed in late 2023 due to a huge delay in the financing, which ultimately came down to a high dependency on the current owner of the business.

    I learned a couple of things in this painful self-funded search and process:

    1. Most small businesses are unsellable as they are too dependent on the owner, which makes it either too risky for a buyer and/or too risky for the financing bank.
    2. Most small business owners have unrealistic asking prices, as they project most of the potential value of their business into the future.
    3. Many business brokers in Germany are unprofessional intermediaries which are great at talking and creatively adjusting the EBITDA but do too little to get the deal done.
    4. The tax code in Germany is preventing many successions and deals by making seller’s financing largely unattractive.
    5. The process to find a truly great business takes at least 10x longer than anticipated.

    As I self-funded this entire process, I unfortunately have to call 2023 a big failure for myself. Yet, I am not giving up. I have greatly enjoyed the process, and I find great joy in the deal-making process. I am more actively than ever looking for promising deals in very specific niches in the health/technology industry in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. Doing deals is certainly something I want to keep doing until I die.

    Yet, coming close to the depletion of my personal resources to self-fund my search any further, I realized that I can add a lot of value. By helping business owners optimize their business so that – instead of having an unsellable business – they have an attractive, growing, and future-proof asset they can sell at their desired price.

    That is why I am announcing the founding of ReadySell, a succession consultancy and agency focussed on maximizing company value for a successful and guaranteed exit within 3 years.

    I will bring in everything I have learned over the past 3 years, combine it with my unique know-how and skills when it comes to growth, innovation, recruiting, and sales to help business owners secure their succession.

    Going on, I focus on ReadySell while actively continuing the search for Valenus Group. To avoid any conflicts of interest, ReadySell will not accept clients from the healthcare industry, unless agreeing upfront on a potential exit to Valenus Group.

    If you want to learn more about the ReadySell Method I have developed or if you are interested in selling your business, please contact me personally.

  • A few days ago, I was in an interview with an experienced senior sales executive. For me, the key when it comes to qualifying leads and truly understanding their needs is to ask questions.

    He told me: “Never ask questions you don’t know the answer to!”

    I was caught off guard, because I didn’t expect to hear this from someone who was much more senior than me.

    I think it is bad advice.

    1. Why would I ask questions I know the answer to?
    2. How do I find out things I don’t know the answer to?

    For me, venturing into the unknown — asking questions you don’t know the answers to — is critical to finding new insights, innovative solutions, and even business opportunities that may not be obvious at first.

    By asking questions you don’t know the answers to, you expose yourself to new perspectives and encourage out-of-the-box thinking. You create a better understanding of customer needs, market trends, and competitive dynamics.

    We could improve the conventional advice to: “Never ask questions you can easily find the answers to.

    But even then, I truly believe that what’s publicly known is not necessarily factual truth. Public knowledge is often inchoate, embellished, and sometimes outright false.

    If you don’t ask questions you don’t know the answers to, you won’t gain a competitive advantage. You will not build deep trust with your counterparts. You will not learn and progress as quickly.

    I think you have to question everything. And asking questions that you know the answer to is like going in circles—it gives you the illusion of movement but takes you nowhere.

  • World Record Mindset + Meritocratic Basic Income + Invention Funding = Progress

    I truly believe that humanity will progress faster when individuals have the freedom to pursue risky and meaningful ideas.

    Today, the smartest people in the world work in professions which don’t build and invent things: finance, consulting, academia, SAAS software, etc.

    They do it, because that’s where they can earn the most, get VC funding the easiest, and enjoy the highest social reputation.

    A SAAS business – for example – can now easily have 10,000 employees providing a digital signature solution or just another productivity software.

    9,900 of these employees are not working on any meaningful ideas which significantly move humanity and our collective consciousness forward.

    We have to provide these individuals with the freedom to pursue risky ideas to invent new technologies, come up with groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs which refute current “impossibilities”, and set new world records in any fields – physics, longevity, etc.

    If you think about it, historically any inventor had to rely on the funding from their rulers. From religious leaders, governments, entrepreneurs, bankers, and nowadays venture capitalists

    Nikola Tesla – for example – relied heavily on J.P. Morgan which enabled him to invent, while at the same time thwarted him to invent even more.

    I don’t think of a universal basic income as a socialist idea – I see it much more libertarian and entrepreneurial as a way to give individuals the freedom to pursue meaningful risky endeavors.

    We must establish a libertarian meritocracy where doing nothing is despised – yet doing something meaningful is rewarded with the financial freedom to pursue it.

    The Thiel Fellowship is a great example where grants give smart individuals the freedom to pursue bold things. If these bold things turn out to work, the funding to realize these ideas and prototypes is available.

    Our task is to establish a libertarian meritocracy which supports go-getters in a free-market environment.

  • We are already 15 days into 2024. I feel it is time to reflect not so much on the past year, but on a chapter of my life that is coming to an end. A formative decade of self-exploration, learning, and experimentation.

    I traveled the world. Met and married the love of my life. I started my first business. I started meditating. I graduated from college. I accepted my first job. I rebelled against the crowd. Wrote my first book. I started dozens of business ideas. Failed at dozens of business ideas. I moved to a foreign country. I discovered myself spiritually. I took part in my first Ayahuasca ceremony. I became a father. I turned 30 years old.

    Late last year, I felt that this beautiful and exploratory chapter of my life was coming to an end. While 2023 was one of the best years of my life, it was my least financially successful year. I worked hard and put everything into acquiring a business—which ultimately failed.

    Good? Bad? Who knows!

    Life gave me a new lesson. A new perspective. And told me that change is necessary.

    So on the last day of November, I pulled the trigger. We gave our landlord notice that we would be moving out by the end of December. I wasn’t sure where we were going yet, but deep down I felt that change was necessary.

    While we were living our dream life in Tenerife, an island many people dream of retiring to, I felt an indescribable intuition and urge to step up my game, to surround myself with ambitious people, to create and build things.

    For me, 2024 is not just a new year. It is a new chapter in my life. I now know my strengths, I know my weaknesses, I know who I am, I know where I want to go, I know what kind of life I want to live and create for myself and my family.

    Now is the time to focus. To sit down, work, build and create.

    I am ready.

    Let’s go!

  • Politics and true democracy only works within the narrow confines of our local communities — our villages, towns, and neighborhoods. Beyond this local realm, we must minimize politics and advocate for pure libertarianism. This means a lean but robust state that guarantees our safety through relentless law enforcement and secure borders. In this minimalist but powerful state, politicians and parties are superfluous because the focus is solely on the freedom of the individual and the unassailable legal framework that protects it. This is the vision of a society that places the freedom of the individual above all else, a vision that I firmly support.

  • My major learning from 2023 can be found in Miyamoto Musashi’s “Dokkōdō”:

    Be indifferent to where you live.

    Miyamoto Musashi

    I shouldn’t allow myself to become overly attached to a specific location or let my happiness be dictated by my surroundings. If my home country treats me poorly, I shouldn’t feel obligated to stay. However, I also shouldn’t expect to find happiness by moving somewhere else in the world. I can find contentment wherever I choose to live. After all, living is living, regardless of the location.

  • Family

    Over the past 2 years, I have really come to understand what I believe to be the most important pillar of a functioning society:

    A large, harmonious, loving family.

    In the western world, we grow up and often have the urge to move out of our parents’ home as soon as possible. I think it is a natural and healthy urge.

    It reminds me of the story of Abraham (Genesis 12:1) where God says, “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s household for the land I will show you.

    It is something I did as soon as I graduated from high school, and it led me to Australia, on the other side of the planet. An urge that brought me to Tenerife, also thousands of kilometers away from my family. And I also believe that it is this natural urge that motivates us to travel the world.

    My life so far is a mirror of the story of the prodigal son told by Jesus in the book of Luke (Luke 15:11), where a son leaves his father’s house, squanders his inheritance in a distant land, and then decides to return home. Upon his return, he is warmly welcomed by his father.

    It is only by leaving our own country, our own family, that we can see our own country and our own family with much-needed clarity. It allows us to appreciate — and it allows us to criticize, to return and to improve.

    Distance brings that much-needed clarity. Clarity to honor your family and your homeland. Clarity to truly understand one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12): “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord, your God, is giving you”.

    Attending my best friend’s wedding and being generously hosted by his family introduced me to the concept of Silat Al-Rahm, an Islamic practice of maintaining strong family ties — similar to, but even deeper than, this commandment. My friend also left his native Uzbekistan to study and live in Germany, only to return to his family. Despite all the opportunities he could have had in Germany, he moved back. And when I visited him, I could feel how his noble personality really blossomed when he connected with his relatives, met them, and helped them.

    Silat Al-Rahm includes actions such as greeting, socializing, caring for relatives, providing financial and personal help, and upholding their honor.

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whoever wants to have more income (Rizq) and to leave a better legacy (or a better life), he must connect with his Rahm.

    Hinduism also views family life as a sacred activity and an important environment for passing on dharma (karma) from one generation to the next.

    As recently as two years ago, I felt that I needed some distance from my family to protect myself and especially my children from generational trauma and beliefs.

    But I learned that by seeking distance from our family, we create an even greater distance within ourselves. We cannot heal generational trauma by running away from it. No matter how great the physical distance, we are always connected to our family on a metaphysical level.

    We are one.

    There is an inherent unity, a deep connection between all beings – especially to our family.

    This unity and interconnectedness is found in many spiritual and philosophical traditions: the Buddhist teachings of interdependence, the Hindu concept of Brahman, the Christian idea that all believers are united in Christ, and the Islamic concept of Tawhid: the indivisible unity of God.

    In the face of deep – possibly generational– trauma or intense conflict within the family, love and unity for one’s family may seem impossibly difficult.

    Gaining some distance – as in the story of Abraham or Luke – gives us the ability to uplift ourselves, to gain the much-needed clarity and strength to return to and unite with our family.

    A story found in both the Bible and the Quran is that of Joseph or Yusuf. Joseph’s/Yusuf’s brothers sell him into slavery out of jealousy. He later rises to a position of power and is able to forgive his brothers and provide for them during a famine, demonstrating the power of forgiveness and reconciliation within families.

    The Tao concept of Wu Wei (non-action) can help to forgive and achieve family reconciliation. We leave behind the big list of how our family “should be” and accept them as they are.

    By practicing loving kindness to everyone around us, we will eventually find ourselves in a paradise of unconditional love.

    We are all one.

  • From its inception, everything we could browse on the Web — text, images, video — was created by human creativity and thought. Anything written or created had to pass a quality standard test we might call proof-of-work: you had to do the work (think, write, publish) to put content on the web.

    In the last 12 months, that proof-of-work has been broken. You can now write entire blog posts and books with LLM like ChatGPT. Not surprisingly, an increasing amount of content on the web is now written by LLM — not by humans.

    There is nothing wrong with AI content per se, the question is whether we want to know if an article was written by AI without being labeled as such. I prefer to know.

    There’s a difference between someone who sits down for many hours and does the hard work of carefully crafting an article using their own thinking and creativity, and an article that’s automatically generated by an AI tool.

    We are at a crossroads where it makes sense to think about how we can design a web for the AI age. How can we redesign the web to distinguish between authentic human-generated content and machine-generated content? I am against regulation, and creating a separate web just for humans sounds promising but impractical.

    Perhaps we could use the proof-of-work required for human-created content to create an algorithm that confirms the authenticity of human-created content. Authors who created content using such software could then use a label that identifies their work as authentically human. Think of it like an organic food label.

    I’m sure that closed publishing networks or sites will emerge that will place a unique label on authentically human content. It is time to design and launch them.

  • For over one and a half years did I now live in a very sunny but very unambitious place. Over the past six to nine months, I complained a lot about the latter. When I did, many people claimed a correlation to the weather:

    Ambitious regions are not sunny – and sunny places are not ambitious.

    At first, I was convinced. Spain, Italy, and Greece are all countries not blessed with ambition.

    But I quickly realized that this is a flaw.

    Firstly, some of today’s most ambitious regions are located in fairly sunny places: Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, Amaravati, and many more are upcoming.

    Secondly, historically we saw the most advanced societies and many inventions coming out of very sunny regions:

    1. The Mesopotamian Empire, located in the sunny region of the Middle East, is often credited as the cradle of civilization. It was here that many fundamental elements of modern society, such as written language and agriculture, were first developed.
    2. The Egyptian Empire, situated in the sunny and arid region of North Africa, was a hub of innovation and wealth. It was known for its advancements in architecture, mathematics, and medicine.
    3. The Persian Empire, another sunny region in the Middle East, was known for its wealth and cultural advancements. It was a center for the arts, technology, and science.
    4. The Roman Empire, which spanned across sunny regions in Europe and the Mediterranean, was known for its engineering marvels, legal system, and advancements in arts and literature.
    5. The Byzantine Empire, headquartered in modern-day Turkey, a region with a sunny climate, was known for its wealth derived from its strategic location controlling trade routes between Europe and Asia. It was also a center for arts, technology, and science.

    Long story short, there is no correlation between ambition and weather. Rather, I assume it is a phenomenon of the rise and fall of nations. Today’s unambitious regions have all once been powerful empires. At their height, the mentality of the people changed from ambitious to comfortable. And with comfort came the decline. This comfort ingrained itself heavily into their culture, which now obstructs these regions to rise into ambitious and prospering regions. It seems hard to switch from comfort to ambition – yet with enough hardship and the right leadership it seems possible.

    In a globalized world, we can luckily choose where we want to be. We can decide to move to more ambitious regions. By doing so, the ambitious atmosphere in these regions will infect us as individuals and allow us to become the best version of ourselves.