The birth of the clueless

I have many friends who are millionaires, many who are geniuses with an over-160-IQ, and friends who are just super-successful in other ways.
You’d be surprised to know how many of those friends are unhappy.

Happiness has no objective measure of course. Nick Vujicic seems to be pretty happy with no limbs, though when you look at the facts, strictly in an objective manner, you should think that he wakes up every morning feeling miserable. Yet, he has no arms or legs and he seems to be totally fine with it. His wife is totally fine with it. His kid is.

Happiness doesn’t seem to have a reliable subjective measure either. Whatever you do today, there is at least one thing that you’re better at than any of your friends. You’re an amusing success story for your own 6-year-old self. Does it feel like it?

Of course it doesn’t.

Jim Jefferies says in one of his stand-ups:

“When I was a young comic all I wanted to do is to go on stage for 5 minutes and make people laugh. Then I thought: “they better pay me”, and then they started paying me and I went: “I’m better than these cunts, I’m going to be a headline act”. I became a headline act, and then I went to the annual festival, did that, and then I went: “Alright I better move to America to record my DVD”. So I recorded my DVD in America, and now I want to be a movie star and you know what, I’m not a movie star and I want to kill myself.

That’s retarded! I’ve gone further than a man of my looks or intellect should ever go. At this moment I’m in a sold out theatre in fucking West London, this would be a dream of mine as a child and do you know what I’m going to do tonight? Cry myself to sleep.”

We are told to find our true passion, our one-and-only calling, but that’s no easy task either. Is your true calling to draw? Are you more passionate about photography, sports or playing Monopoly with your friends? If you started a Youtube channel about playing Monopoly right now and a gazillion people followed you, would you be happy? Would you want another gazillion people to follow you the very next day? Or, would you feel like a scam, a nobody, a sellout, for settling with this one passion while leaving the rest to rot?

Passion is overrated.

When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook, he had two other projects he was working on. I’m sure that if you asked right now, he could tell which one he is more passionate about. I’m not so sure whether he knew it back then.

Waiting for passion to find you will never happen. It’s not about luck: if something doesn’t cost you anything, it is, per definition, worthless. You have to go out and hustle, keep bumping your head into hard things.

Our magazine, Yakuzuzu is with the ones who try and try, and try again once more even when everything seems to be against them. With the ones who are lost: the entrepreneurs, the artists, the wannabies who don’t think they know anything and aren’t afraid to learn. Yakuzuzu is with the clueless, who are ready to look beyond the surface.

If it sounds like you, you might enjoy reading The Clueless Manifesto.

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One system, many options

There was just one thing left for me to do on this tech meetup: I wanted to talk to the guys who made an open-source 3D printer that can be assembled at home by normal people, for buttons.

Tech meetups are events where geeks go to demo their products and inventions. These evenings offer an opportunity to discover new ideas and, right away, ask questions from the people who invented them or know the most about related technologies.

The 3D printer guys were nowhere to be found after the demo, but their table was open and full of 3D-printed objects. Those all looked cool, and I was wondering what kind of garbage I would manage to make if I had a 3D printer at home. Alex, the guy next to me was thinking the same, though he apparently knew his way around the technology.

He explained about accuracy levels and said that you don’t need to use this rigid plastic, you can print with all sorts of materials: you could create rubber-like stuff too. Wink. This was the first time I’ve ever talked to Alex, and I knew we will be friends.

Meetups are also a good way to mingle with the local startup community. We are in Berlin now, which is one of those large international cities where seemingly no one was actually born, but plenty people flocked to from all around the world. Every conversation starts with a good five minutes of the prison-talk: why are you here, how long are you staying, what do you normally do?

On startup events you constantly bump into those Zuckerberg-wannabes who either left their job to work on a side project, or are prepared to do so in the near future. Their most important task for the night is to approach every investor-looking person with a 3-minute elevator pitch, and try to say something that triggers their “I want to invest in this company with no delay” instinct.

This startup event was no different. I was rather suspicious when, to answer the “what do you normally do” question, Alex took out his phone and opened the Photos app.

“It’s going to be a PDF demo. Let’s run away!”, I thought.

He then proceeded to show a bunch of pictures, high-quality 3D renders of his furniture line. “Cool designs though.”, I thought then.


“I designed this Kivo system,” Alex started to explain, “where you can create any sort of environment out of triangles. If you want a silent room to make phone calls, make a booth. Or, create separators between different areas in the office. A meeting room. Individual work stations. A tent.”

I wanted to say something smart, so I went on: “triangle was my sign in kindergarten”. Luckily, Alex didn’t take my clever remark as smugness.

“That’s exactly where the inspiration comes from! When I was a child, I’ve been using a towel, carpet and other daily necessities to build special spaces for myself. Now, I wanted to create something that looks nice but is also very useful. We made these triangular modules durable but very lightweight, and chose the materials so that they are environmentally friendly.”


At this point I’ve only seen the designs, and I’m just about to learn how successful of a business this is: Kivo is part of the global Herman Miller brand now, used in offices all over the world, from London to Hong Kong.

[My interview with Alex continues on Yakuzuzu.]

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Rapid sightseeing: Amsterdam, Prague

Flying is terrible. It’s not the part when you’re actually in the air, that’s fine. Terrible is getting to and from the airport, staying in endless queues, drinking overpriced coffee in shopping-mall-like terminals with nervous people around.

Whenever I can therefore, I choose the train. And trains in Europe are awesome! They are fast, comfortable, rather spacious, have onboard wifi and power plugs. Even when the ride is 8-10 hours long, I consider it being a rather nice workday: get on board, work a good few hours, find the restaurant car, and continue after lunch. Most trains serve coffee at your seat.

Rapid Sightseeing in Prague

The best days are when I can find a ride with a connection at an unknown city. Amsterdam, Cologne, Prague, Vienna, Milan – you can actually discover quite a bit of a lot of towns in 1-2 hours, starting from (and returning to) the main train station.

My latest series in Yakuzuzu Magazine is a rapid tour guide. I write about the cities you can discover in 60 minutes: what to see? Which route to cover to see the best sights? Is it even a smart idea to try?

  • In Prague, chances are that you will get terribly lost without a good map and good sense of directions. If you succeed though, you will take amazing photos in one of the best looking medieval cities in Eeastern Europe.
  • In Amsterdam, you can get a good glimpse of the city, seeing almost all important tourist sights. Get a flat white, and have a fantastic walk around the canals and beautiful buildings!


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Let’s create something impossible

Flipped through this hip ebook, listing 100 startup people from Berlin in 2014. Hundred people, that’s a lot. Hundred startups, that’s, yeah, a lot.

A lot of ideas a hundred, not a surprise therefore that most of the ideas are very similar. “Disrupting the e-commerce scene of blablabi”. (Call it a webshop, shall we?) A new social network platform (for some boring niche). A cutting edge (recipe book) app.

I’m excited about tackling this problem. Let’s make life better together.

Is the new off-license around the corner a startup as well then? Well it kind of should count, though they are making money. Because, as it seems, most of the upstarts will never, ever going to make any money (apart from the amount raised from angel investors).

But then, if all these startups are going to fail, or at least the better part of them, why are the ideas so similar and mundane? Why not starting something actually exciting, that makes you want to wake up every day?

Create something impossible. Try stuff out. Make mistakes. Learn from them.

Well, I have the answer actually. I’m in the same shoes.

We start mundane startups, because we don’t know any better. We are blind to difficult problems, and let’s face it: it’s ways easier to just start an Airbnb for dogs, than finding out what we really want.
What we really-really want.

Having recently turned 30 and having spent my twenties learning, travelling and experimenting, I only know a few parameters. I want to help people. Want to do something new. Want to learn more.

(And I’ve already started four companies, so ’just a startup’ is not that exciting.)

As for the purpose of life, I have no idea just yet. I have met people who can surf every day while running an Airbnb spot next to the ocean. And a painter guy living on a house boat in London. They inspire me very much.

As a tool to find out what to do next, we are starting this magazine and community of creative thinkers: Yakuzuzu. Maybe, if we interview enough smart people, we can find the best life for ourselves.

Guys, come with me. Let’s write, take photos, travel and find the most inspiring people out there. Let’s make Yakuzuzu together.

Let’s s find the purpose of our lives.

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