My goals in life
- Help people. Whatever I’m mentally invested in, it should be something that either improves the situation on our planet earth or that advances science. Doing both would be nice.
- Meet interesting people that challenge my beliefs and from whom I can learn.
- Create interesting…things. Innovative would be great, but that’s not something you can force, now can’t you? Topics I’m most interested in are robotics, genetics, space travel, telepathy and artificial intelligence in general.
There are many inspirations and inspirational people in my life. A more or less random selection of the top of my head:
My favourite inspirational quote at the moment is from Aaron Swartz:
Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.
What I bring to the table
Excellence in software engineering. I’ve been doing this for the last 15 years and I’m obsessed with code quality and writing elegant, maintainable code. I am a regular open source contributor and maintainer of a couple of more or less popular gems. Most notably of the awesome Reek gem - check out my github profile for more. Additionally you can find quite a few mostly technical articles on my blog.
Building up teams by recruiting the best people. I’d go as far as to say that team play is 10 times more important than “being an expert” since it’s far easier to become good at something than transitioning from being a douche to somebody who can carry and motivate a team. You can read up on my recruiting philosophy here.
Motivation and the passion to motivate others: I believe that vision and purpose on the high level, clear responsibilities and maximum autonomy are the keys to high productivity and happiness.
The passion to create something that might change change the world. I don’t care much for money - my motivation lies elsewhere. This doesn’t mean that I work for free, just that I value other things more.
My leadership philosophy
When it comes to leadership I have 2 core beliefs:
What makes humans productive?
- Sharing a common vision that means something to you and others.
- Clearly defined responsibilities. Not in a limiting “you’re not allowed to do that” way but rather in a “I know who’s taking care of what” way
- Maximum autonomy. Most startups get this part right because it’s the easiest one. Unfortunately it’s also the one that can quickly make people unproductive and unhappy when you fuck up the first two items
What is leadership?
- Vision. At least a third of your time should only be invested in developing, nurturing and communicating the vision.
- Mission. That does not mean being involved in the details. That means roadmap and high level metrics.
- Team building