Weekly Learnings Week 37

Quote of the week

It‘s ruinous for the soul to be anxious about the future and miserable in advance of misery, engulfed by anxiety that the things it desires might remain it‘s own until the very end. For such a soul will never be at rest – by longing for things to come it will lose the ability to enjoy present things. – Seneca

What I learned this week

This week I want to quickly elaborate on an idea, that came to my mind yesterday morning: What’s the best indicator how well you did in your last job?

Is it how far you climbed the corporate ladder? How much salary increase you had? Which projects you did successfully? This stuff might be indicative of your performance, but it could still be that people hated you.

Which brought me to the idea: The biggest indicator of well you did in your last job is the number of meaningful relationships you are able to sustain beyond the job.

Why? As a start I think that if you disappoint people, you probably won’t have very good relationships with them afterwards. However, in order to build meaningful relationships, you have to connect on a much deeper level. You have to learn who they really are. Not on a superficial level, but going much deeper and being sincere about it. And, you have to acknoledge their efforts, ideas and ethics.

Some of you might know, that I left my job at Runtastic a few weeks ago. And I really want to say thank you to all of those ex-colleagues, I‘m happy to call my friends now. I‘m deeply grateful. 

You made me realize that a job is more than just the things you do in the realm of your job.

Stay as you are

Certaintly we are all guilty of looking at our friends and peers and trying to adopt their most impressive traits. What we often don‘t see is, that those things also come with a major downside. Probably it would be better to stop mimicing those people and go our own way.

Read this thread (I couldn‘t say it better):

Investing into the unknown, unknowable and unique future

I think you can learn a lot from the world of investing and economics (understatement!). Strategies reach from simple “buy-and-hold” (buying a high quality stock and sitting on your hands for years) to super complicated factor investing strategies, that employ highly complex statistical models.

Those models aim to eliminate risk and low-quality businesses from their portfolios in order to gain a sustainable edge over the competition. However, those statistical approaches have difficulties factoring in the future. You can think about it the following way:

Imagine you looked at Amazon or Google stocks 10-15 years ago. If you had a pure statistical look at them, you probably would have concluded that those companies are no good investment (little profits, highly uncertain future,…). Probably no hedge fund in the world would have argued to buy those stocks.

However, if you anticipated the transformative power of the internet and (later) smartphones, you would have quickly realized the potential of those companies. And the return on those investments would have been immense.

I find this dichotomy of those strategies really interesting: risk vs. reward. It‘s purely psychological. Can you stand not being right all the time and think long-term? Temporary drawdowns indicate the multiple opinions about an investment and therefore make it valuable. If everyone had the same opinion, no one would make any profits.

More:

In Tennis height matters – or does it?

There are sports in which certain body features come with a major advantage. Micheal Phelps unusually long arms in swimming, Shaq O‘Neill‘s size in basketball, Usain Bolt‘s height in running.

For some other sports (like Tennis), there may still be an advantage for shorter players, although they lack the size to leverage their service in the best way. With their speed and agility they have the possiblilty to react on a much shorter time frame than larger players.

This is a really interesting idea: In many situtations we face a disadvatage in knowledge, skill or experience,… Usually we have a hard time making up for these, but who says, that this is always a disadvantage? Some pretty unique ideas have come from people who didn‘t operate in their major field of experience.

More:

Cool thing of the week

Going over the falls

In surfing there is a thing that is called “going over the falls”. What’s meant by that is, when a wave breaks and you are right behind it, you get sucked into the breaking wave. What comes next is usually described as a intense washing machine, where you loose your orientation and get out pretty exhausted.

This is one of those moments you learn that nature always wins.

Still it looks amazing when captured on video.

Benedict

VP @Mindbreeze, Ex-Product @Runtastic, addicted to #sports, #music, #tech and #economics (and #coffee)

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