Lights and shades of life

Grey skyWater is pouring in a small human-constructed fountain in the middle of a square I traverse to go home. It feels relaxing to hear the clash of the water with the base; some water drops splash over the floor. The sun is hidden, the sky is grey, but the water is clear and energetic.

People say eyes are the door to our soul, but I think eyes are also the doors through which our soul nourishes itself. There are things we ought to see, like the water fountain on the street.

Sometimes it is easier to notice that the sky is grey, and that all is depressing, but if one were to look around, one would see the water flowing calmly following the laws of nature and the little white flowers that are growing on the paths of the streets.

My father, who is one of the most famous people in Bolivia, at least inside our family, often said that it is a Chinese thing to not think in extremes, to prefer moderation and to not see things in absolute. That reminds me of the Yin-Yang graph (with which people often confuse me). Where there is good, there is evil; and where is evil is also good.

I like to interpret it as: It’s never too bad nor too good. Read more →

Introduction to “Mr. Business”

Introduction to BusinessIt’s been three years from my sojourn near the blue coasts of the beautiful and warm French city of Nice. After my graduation from Master in Finance, I came to Germany and started officially what my parents would call the societal life.

According to my family, societal life only started when one had a full time job and had enough time to deal with serious problems. The mysterious veil with which they had covered work and business made me feel anxious and I had talked about it with a professor of mine. He said: “You shouldn’t worry. Working is not much different from college; you are not going to invent the wheel, even though you Chinese people actually did.” He had pacified the internal storm in me, and he was right in that no matter happened, there would be no tragedy: no blood and no corpses. I had promised myself to avoid them by abandoning the option of pursuing a medical career.

Still alive after my immersion in society, I have learnt several things about business; some which are well covered in business books and others from my personal experience. Three years into business can teach us a whole lot if we hold our eyes open; it is the same amount of time for pursuing a doctorate title, except that at the end of it, we end more humble.

Among other lessons I had, I experienced business live. It is like meeting your favourite author/idol face-to-face. You can see how she/he looks like, how she/he moves, and what he/she cares about. I have met “Mr. Business” and this is how he is: Read more →

How “it” is changing us

Technology changing our livesWho is responsible for the change in your habits and your way of life? If you say it is you, I want to congratulate you for being so responsible! You no longer need to read the hundreds of self-help books available to us nowadays. I definitely agree with you and all those authors! Yet we are also products of the external environment and there is one factor that we cannot ignore and face to which we cannot pretend blindness, unless, of course, someone pulled our eyes out of place, in which case, I would not be typing these words and you wouldn’t be reading these.

“It” is changing us, IT is changing us, Information Technology is changing us. Initially it might have only been a important breakthrough inside a “laboratory”; discoveries which were perhaps most useful during war or outer-space explorations, but now technology has been popularised and even commoditised. Generation Z does not even know life without “it”, and for the rest and older of us, our lives have been changed because of it.

You know an important change relates to social media (which is still in hype), yet is not limited to it. Technology has not only changed how we interact with each other, but is essentially changing how we manage ourselves.

“It” is changing… Read more →

The backstage of an investor presentation

Backstage start-up pitchIt was a sunny day and we just finished a one-hour meeting with a potential investor. We shake hands and everybody goes back home or back to business. One has the impression that the show started when the meeting room’s door was closed after coffee had been served and now that we reopened the door and the guests put a foot aside, it seemed as if the show has come to an end. Curtains close. Thank you for your attention.

Yet reality does not allow us to draw clear boundaries nor distinguish well defined beginnings and endings. You and I, as human beings, are great at creating all sorts of categories and we like to characterise things into black or white, good or bad, but in reality, an infinite range of options exist in between. The same happens with the beginning and the ending of an investor presentation. The start and the end of this exceptional show were never marked by the meeting room’s door, which by itself had never had anything special, except for the meaning we bestowed it.

Read more →