Building a business is like building a settlement in the wild. The founders are the settlers. There’s a risk to be eaten, but they’re driven by the mission. Only after you have cleared some initial bushes, the migration of additional people will start and building will continue. We founded our business with 3 settlers of which 2 started full-time in 2017. By the end of 2021 we’ll be with a 24 headcount – our village was born.Continue reading “Start with a good foundation for your business – there’s time to build a fancy city”
The pain and power of being challenged by peers
I just returned from one of the most exciting business events I ever attended. I will explain what made this event so unique and impactful, and what I learned after interacting with 20 driven and passioned entrepreneurs for over two days. The group of entrepreneurs spanned founders with businesses between 500k and 25 mio EUR annual revenue and teams between 5 and >200 people.Continue reading “The pain and power of being challenged by peers”
Covid makes it again painfully visible. So many people have simple opinions about complex issues. Everyone has the right to have an opinion. But the question is: can’t we be more thoughtful and respectful when discussing matters? You can’t actually blame the people who are using the left scale. They are actually completely right, according to their norms. And that’s what makes arguing with them an impossible quest. it wouldn’t be such a problem if it wouldn’t impact democracies. The fact that we accept it is why radicalism can win, and can be judged as being completely right.
#judgement #radicalopinions #opinions
Why it’s better to underestimate yourself
Yes, the ideal is to have an accurate self-judgement. But let’s be honest: how many people have it? If you don’t have it, it’s probably wiser to slighly underestimate yourself. If you overestimate yourself you will tend to:
A lesson for PhDs
The biggest mistake 👨🎓PhDs👩🎓can make is to confuse 📚expertise with 💪 experience. Many do. When they do, they expect too much when making a career switch, leading to disappointments at many fronts. Why is that a threat? Because there are too many essential skills you did not learn or cultivate during your PhD study. Continue reading “A lesson for PhDs”
Corona: a blog from a Belgian that was naive 3 weeks ago
Many people are currently facing pain, or will face pain in the near future. You can interpret pain here as physical pain (sickness due to the Corona virus), emotional pain (e.g. losing a beloved one due to the Corona virus, or worrying about it), economic pain (your business or job being impacted by the Corona virus), etc etc. Continue reading “Corona: a blog from a Belgian that was naive 3 weeks ago”
Managing your time and energy: an engineering approach
One of the biggest drivers of happiness is a well managed life. Very surprisingly, it almost gets no attention in education and on work floors. Probably you now start thinking about ‘time-management’, a term everyone is familiar with. However, what is most often neglected and equally important is ‘energy management’. Continue reading “Managing your time and energy: an engineering approach”
The 9 lessons I learned during my first two years as business founder
Let’s start with this: 1) I cannot at all claim that I am a succesful entrepreneur. It’s way too early for that, and I don’t have any credibility to claim this. I just like talking, recording videos and blogging. 2) All that we have reached so far with our business AM-TEAM is due to great teamwork, and my co-founders, that helped me to control my dangerous Continue reading “The 9 lessons I learned during my first two years as business founder”
Love is a marathon, not a sprint
Exactly 10 years ago, I married my wife. We were only 23 and 24 years old, and together for 3 years. Now, we have three lovely kids together. Love and kids is something beautiful, but we Continue reading “Love is a marathon, not a sprint”
Lessons from a top chef – my brother :-)
I’m so proud of my brother Jan and his wife Ann. They started their restaurant ‘D’Oude Pastorie‘ almost 15 years ago. They received a Michelin star in 2014. I shouldn’t explain you that this type of job is extremely challenging: quality, speed, pressure, … every day. Continue reading “Lessons from a top chef – my brother :-)”
A brief history of the toilet
What is better on a Saturday evening than watching a documentary about toilet history. Being a wiping father of 3 kids, it is in my interest field. I know some Continue reading “A brief history of the toilet”
How to make academic research more impactful
I have worked in ‘both worlds’ and all I can say is that they are very different. My current job as a startup co-founder/CEO differs so much from my former academic jobs. These are some of my reflections Continue reading “How to make academic research more impactful”
Weekly quote #5: Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
Continue reading “Weekly quote #5: Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”
Weekly quote #3 – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
We are so bad at prevention, simply because few direct reward acts on it. We only do it when our modern human brain can overrule the often stronger prehistorical brain mass🧠. Jonathan Haidt calls it ‘the rider and the elephant’ (just read his fantastic book ‘The happiness hypothesis’. A lack of training of that animal is dangerous.
There are many examples of an ounce of prevention:
- We all know we need to plan,
- sport regularly, eat healthy,
- put a lot of quality energy in our kids,
- start our day with the hardest tasks,
- finish that one chronic task,
- use sunscreen, stop smoking, etc etc.
It is only when you understand how humans act and become an observer of society, rather than a participant only, that you start preventing more than average, because you see other people’s elephants going wild. (for example yelling in traffic is a very good example of what I call a ‘lose-lose’ strategy).
The biggest problem with the climate change issue is that feedback is too slow and hence, rewards are too little. If you ask me, this big planet problem is a psychology issue, not a technology issue. There’s a lack of immediate gratification, which makes the problem so hard to solve. Can anybody come with an example of a problem of global scale that was solved with global teamwork effectively?
Preventing problems with a small, continuous effort is a very smart strategy, yet the vast minority of people understand this concept and act accordingly.
How proactive are you? Are you a preventer or a drowner? Let me know what your thougths are on Weekly Quote 3! Wim
The interview with my 93y old grandma
My grandma turned 93 this weekend. I thought ‘time for an interview’. She said ‘wtf! I’m not the kind of person giving interviews, no spotlights for me’. Wrong approach… But as she’s not surfing (I guess), nevertheless I post some of her lessons 🙂 Continue reading “The interview with my 93y old grandma”