Thoughts

  • With disquiet, I saw a video in my X feed recorded on Sylt, where young German people are singing and dancing “Ausländer raus, Deutschland den Deutschen, Ausländer raus” which translates to “Foreigners out, Germany to the Germans, foreigners out“.

    The next video in my feed is a video of illegal immigrants behaving in an equally disgusting and disrespectful behavior against their hosts and asylum providers.

    In the Canary Islands, where I lived for 2 years, the sentiment against foreigners and tourists is becoming more toxic every day. Why? Because housing became unaffordable and the larger islands (Tenerife and Gran Canaria) are reaching the limits of their infrastructure.

    If you don’t close your eyes, it is easy to understand where the growing nationalist and right sentiment is coming from. Not only in Europe but also in North America, including Mexico. Over the past decade, politicians failed to provide the necessities of a functioning society. They failed to enforce the rule of law, and they failed to provide policies that increase the wealth and ensure the safety of their citizens.

    Xenophobia is something I don’t like and don’t want to see in the world. The majority of my friends and business partners come from nations all over the world. This has enriched my life tremendously.

    How should we move forward?

    I believe the only effective way to make a multicultural society work is through the vigorous enforcement of law. This implies an enforced suppression of illegal immigration, the deportation of illegal and – above all – criminal immigrants. The creation of an incentive and high-skilled based immigration system. Examples to watch are the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, or – quite frankly – China.

    Libertarian policies, by dumping bureaucracy and encouraging investments and buildings, will furthermore solve high housing prices. The curbing of social security payments to citizens and long-term residents will prevent wrong incentives.

    In addition, laws should be introduced that protect citizens and residents from foreign influence. In the case of the Canary Islands, I believe Spain would benefit greatly by copying Denmark’s example. It would let only residents buy property who lived and paid taxes in Spain for a minimum of 5 years, or EU/EEA citizens who use the home as their primary residence.

    The answer is not right nationalism – neither is it a left open-arm welcome culture. It is a minimal state, a libertarian society, and a rigorous enforcement of the rule of law.

  • Our purpose?

    We are living on a beautiful planet among billions of stars.

    This makes us often philosophize about the purpose of life.

    Are we here solely to be?

    Or are we here with a greater purpose?

    Maybe, there is no grand purpose.

    Our purpose is to be a human.

    Being a human on planet earth.

    Experiencing love, sadness, joy, and despair.

    Tasting tropical fruits, and Greek food and wine.

    Living life is fulfilling in itself.

    Still, we are questioning whether there is a greater purpose.

    We ask ourselves: Why are we here on this planet?

    Human curiosity itself is proof that our purpose is greater.

    Coincidentally, we have an intelligence great enough to go after our curiosities.

    We possess intellect and creativity to solve seemingly impossible problems.

    Curiosity, creativity, and intelligence brought us god-like powers.

    We learned to fuse nuclei.

    We discovered the double helix.

    We can re-create a process that happens inside the sun.

    We can rewrite cells.

    Someone gave us the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence for these discoveries.

    To solely exist? To be? To live?

    Yes, be! Yes, truly live!

    But our curiosity, creativity and intelligence are too high to limit our potential to it.

    Why do we need an IQ of 120? Sometimes of 140? Sometimes 180?

    Why do we have this extreme curiosity about nature and the universe?

    Were our purpose to only live – our creator would’ve given us an IQ of 80 and no curiosity.

    Because our curiosity, creativity, and intelligence are so great – so is our purpose.

    Our purpose is to use our curiosity, creativity, and intelligence to its fullest.

    Our purpose is to be all we can be.

    We don’t know the limits.

    Let’s go and find out.

    Our purpose.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Does that sound interesting and would you use such a citizen journalist platform?

    I’d love to hear from you!

  • 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.

  • 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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  • Dear readers, today I unlocked my phone and started typing words which came straight from my heart. This is not the usual “blog post”. I’d love to hear, what you think.


    It is unbelievable how much fun we had and how worry-free we were living between 2009 and 2020.

    I’ll never forget the worryless nights and parties as a teenager. I’ll never forget the limitless travels between 2013 and 2016.

    The good old days.

    Now we have some hideous years ahead…

    To evolve better into the 2030s and to create a beautiful free world, we want to live, and we can proudly hand over to our children, we need to raise our human consciousness.

    We’ve lost our connection to our inner selves, we’ve lost our connection to mother nature.

    Full of generational trauma, it seems we’re destroying not only everything that makes us human, but as the last >20 years have spoiled us with an abundance of wealth, we’re also negligently destroying our liberty.

    Where are the ethics, the discipline, the family values of our grandparents and great-grandparents – all gone?

    While we are dancing with our rose-colored glasses on, we don’t see the tsunami coming.

    Today, it is more important than ever to focus on yourself. Forget the news, forget what is happening around you, even forget your friends and your family.

    Focus on yourself. Focus on healing the wounds of your and your generational trauma. Please take the time you need. Only this way, we’ll stop passing on everything that is wrong with our world.

    Heal yourself from all the trauma. Free yourself from all the bullshit that filled up your mind. By doing so, you do yourself and your (future) children the biggest favor you can imagine.

    If you are unsure where to start, I, personally, believe an Ayahuasca ceremony is the best first step. Or Yoga. Just promise to do something.

  • If there is one thing the corona virus taught me so far, it is that time is an extremely precious asset. Unlike money, you cannot make more time. Wasting time simultaneously means wasting life. And the corona virus pandemic taught me greatly how much life time we are carelessly wasting.

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  • It’s photos like this – images of the venus’ surface – which make me realize that we live in a super pessimistic time.

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  • If there is one thing which is slowing down our human progress what would it be? I propose that human greed is a significant obstacle to innovation and human progress.

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