Buy Crypto
Pay with
Markets
NFT
Feed
Downloads
English
USD

CZ’s Principles

2022-10-13

This is a work-in-progress document that I try to note down some of the principles I follow. Not all principles have right or wrongs, most are just how I do/view things.

1. General Principles

1.1. Be Fair

This is a broad principle covering many aspects of life, from personal relationships, work colleagues, to business deals. I do believe in treating people fairly. Do not take advantage of others and do not let others take advantage of you. You won’t go very far in life if you cannot get this balance right. It’s easier said than done. Everyone is subjective and slightly skewed in favor of themselves. You need to resist that and be as objective as possible.

1.2. Build long term, win-win, relationships or deals

People overuse these words and give it a bad rep. But I believe it. Success is built over the long term, and to maintain healthy long term relationships, one has to create and engage in long term win-win relationships. For a deal to make sense, it has to benefit both parties. Always ask what the other party gets in return. 

One sided deals don’t last, and you always have to look for new (weak) partners to work with. The ROI is negative. Short term successes are small. I am against short term wins. They often have negative long term impacts. They distract you from focusing on the long term. The hidden opportunity costs are high.

Aim for the long term, bigger wins.

Play the infinite game (https://simonsinek.com/books/the-infinite-game/).

By “short term win” here, I am referring to one time short term wins. Not to be confused with incremental wins that build towards a larger long term goal. The latter is very much needed.

1.3. Avoid “bad” relationships

There are unethical/toxic people. People who don’t share your values or mission. And people that waste a lot of your time. Let them go. Move them out of your life. The last category of time wasters is often missed.

There are the “high maintenance” people, as in “high maintenance friends” types. They constantly need your attention, are upset with some minor thing, need to talk to you, or need you to repeat to them how important/good/etc they are. Nothing wrong with that, but I (CZ) can’t handle them. I only deal with low maintenance and confident people.

And there are the “chatty” types. Again, nothing wrong with that. But at this stage of my life, I don’t have time to chit chat. I avoid these types as well. More on chatting later.

1.4. Ethical

Never cross ethical boundaries. It always comes back and bites you.

In dealing with users, always do the right thing, not the easiest thing. 

1.5. Focused

Success does not come from how many things you do. It comes from how well you do on a very few selected things. Being focused allows you to work hard. Remove distractions from your life. 

For me, I don’t have many hobbies. I exercise for 30 min each day. I don’t have many physical possessions that need to be maintained. The time cost is high. 

The potential risk for this is too narrow a focus that you miss opportunities. But in today’s information overload world, that hardly happens.

1.6. Positive

We all face many challenges in life, be it relationships with family and friends, or work issues. Having a positive attitude usually produces positive outcomes. I am not sure exactly why, but the world just works that way.

One saying stuck in my head and has helped me tremendously over the years.

“What do you do when you walk to the bottom of a valley? Just keep walking, and you will get out of it.”

Also, if you know you are doing the ethical thing, all the negatives fade away. You will have positive energy. That’s one of the key benefits of being ethical.

1.7. Own It 

The right mentality is a prerequisite to success in life. Be responsible and be proud of what you do. 

Don’t just do tasks. Don’t just lay bricks on a wall. Be the guy building the cathedral. If you don’t think you are “building a cathedral”, you should look for a different job.

If you are going to do something, own it. Think about what else you need to do to make it better that others have not told you to do. Be responsible for the outcome, and be accountable for results, success or failures. If you adopt this mindset, your work results will magically improve, and you will progress faster on the way to success.

1.8. Learn Constantly

The world is evolving. You must learn constantly. Read books. Live in different cities. Have a worldview.

I don’t typically read the news. I find it is easy to agree with the contents of 10-minute articles, but they don’t go deep enough and nothing sticks after reading.

When I read books, it goes into details, reasons behind it, examples, and after 8 hours, some new concepts tend to stick. I find books have the highest ROI in terms of self-improvement. I buy a lot of books, 300 or so each year, but don’t finish all of them. I finish roughly 80 books per year.

I also try to write a little bit each day. It can be a blog post, or an article (like this one). Writing helps me to consolidate my thoughts, and organize them better.

2. Understand the World

Understanding how the world works is obviously important if one wishes to achieve any level of success.

How humans work, read the Sapiens book. We live in a human world. Everyone has a different version of the world in their head. Ie, everyone lives in a different world. Understand their world.

Don’t hold too many black-and-white views. The world is rarely binary. Many people take an over-simplistic view of the world. This will rarely get them to be successful. Look at things on a deeper level. In real life, most things are a balance.

For example, some people have naive notions that all rules are good. Rules are made by humans, and not always perfect. Read the books: The Law (1850), Economics in One Lesson, etc.

Also understand limitations in the world. We don’t live in a perfect world.

Don’t fight wars that you won’t win. Just avoid it. Go somewhere else. Do something else. There is plenty to do in this world. Focus on the positive contributions you can make.

3. Decision Making Framework

Making good decisions is a skill that can be practiced. I go through this mental decision framework, whether a fast decision or a more considered one.

3.1. First Principles

If the decision touches one of the core principles, then follow the principles. Easy. Otherwise, go through the decision framework.

3.2. Small vs Big

The first thing to determine is the size or impact of the decision. 

Small decision, make it quickly or delegate it, and move on. Things like where to go for dinner, or a small investment.

Big decisions, gather data, discuss in a group, and then sleep on it for 24 hours. Like big sponsorships, investments, etc.

3.3. Reversible vs Permanent

Some decisions are reversible, like developing a new product feature. You can always stop at any time and then working on something else or turn it off after it is complete. There will be some sunk cost on time and energy, but it’s limited.

Some decisions are not easy to reverse, like a big up front payment for a sponsorship deal, M&A of a large company that we plan to integrate with our team, etc.

3.4. Do I Have Expertise?

If it is something I know well, or have background information, things like tech, product, then I can make decisions more quickly. In areas I don’t know well, like marketing, I would either have to delegate or involve other experts or make the decisions more carefully.

3.5. Sufficient Information

The last thing to ask is, do I/we have sufficient information. For small decisions, I don’t need a lot of information. For large ones, we should try to get the necessary information we can. But at the end of the day, we often have to make decisions with limited information.

Lastly: it is usually much better to make a decision then execute than not making a decision.

4. Team and Organization

4.1. Team over self

Doing individually well on a team that’s doing poorly rarely produces satisfactory results for the individual. The reverse is often true. If a team is doing well, every member, including the struggling ones, are likely to be well off.

The team should usually come first, and that is also the best long term individual result for everyone on the team. Short term, you may have to “take one for the team” on various occasions, but long term you win.

4.2. Shuffle Teams Frequently

Don’t let the organization get stale. More opportunities for new leaders to grow. Fix “people in wrong seats” quickly (may also increase this problem, but…)

Team structure dictates system architecture. Read the book Team Topologies. We don’t want our software to go stale, we need to change team structures often.

4.3. Internal Competition is Fine

There will always be competition (external), some internal competition is good. Just be professional about it.

4.4. Controlled Chaos is a Type of Structure

This one is a little counterintuitive to explain. Let’s look at the two extreme ends of chaos vs structured. Total chaos is bad, this one is easy. 

Many people tend to think the more structured an organization is, the better. I disagree with this. A clear structure has many benefits, including clear delineation of power and responsibilities, less overlap or wasted energy, etc. It generally makes the organization more efficient. But what most people don’t think about is, it usually only makes the organization efficient in doing one thing. (In fact, the word “organization” implies structure and optimization for one thing.) The most extreme version of over-organization is bureaucracy. As we grow, we need to constantly remind ourselves not to get there.

When the world changes, a strongly structured organization will require more effort to adapt. And the world changes frequently, especially in a young industry like ours. In a strongly structured organization, there is less organic innovation, less internal competition (or pressure to improve constantly). At a certain size, top down decision making becomes less effective.

This is not to say “chaos” is better. There is a balance somewhere. We live and work in a changing world, a new industry. Our industry redefines many of the traditional concepts, such HQ, company, team, and even money. Given we work remotely, and globally, many of the traditional structures won’t fit us. 

At the same time, we do need strong controls in many areas. We handle users’ funds. Security, compliance, ethics, and neutrality must be strongly enforced. We operate in a regulated environment. Compliance is critical. A controlled chaos environment requires the best people, passionate and responsible people. How to find this balance is a constant challenge for us to improve ourselves. The point is, chaos is a feature, sometimes.

4.5. Do Local Team Building Often

Once a month should be the target, which usually ends up being once every 2 months in reality, due to schedule, etc.

Breaking bread is the best team building. Just get people together for a meal. It’s simple and effective.

Do it locally, cross team. I am generally against flying for team building. Too expensive, too much time cost. I don’t want to create the perception that we just fly people around for “vacations”. For really distributed small teams, once every 18 months may be ok as exceptional cases, ideally piggy back on some existing trip or event.

4.6. Give Feedback

I give direct feedback whenever and wherever the thought comes up, in 1:1 discussions or in large groups. Learned this from the Netflix book (No Rule Rules). I in fact prefer to give feedback in large groups, so that other people can learn too and I don’t have to repeat myself many times.

Many people told me they were shocked the first few times when receiving feedback like that, but got used to it eventually.

I want to build a candid feedback culture in Binance. I feel 99% of people don’t give enough feedback to others. Working remotely, we don’t get body language feedback in physical meetings. We must overcompensate for this by giving direct and candid feedback.

Bridgewater (Ray Dalio) has a DOT feedback system that I really like. We will find some way to adopt it in the future.

4.7. Not So Many Verbal Compliments

If you do something well, you may hear from others “good job, great work, etc”. Probably not so much from me. Conversely, when you do something badly, if I see it, you will most likely hear it.

My reasons are: 1. we hold high standards, we expect excellence, good results should be the norm. If we make a big deal out of each “little” accomplishment, it feels like we are setting a low bar. Not something we want to do.

2. Working remotely, I don’t see all the wins from all teams. I won’t be able to cover everything. If I congratulate some but not others, it creates psychological imbalances or perceptions of favoritism. This problem doesn’t happen for criticism, I give directly constructive feedback on the things I see. Others don’t complain about favoritism.

3. Satisfaction should come from within. When I do something well, my inner intrinsic rewards are sufficient.

4. It’s not time efficient. Once something is done well, we should be focusing on the next thing. 

I am not saying this is a good approach, it’s just how I operate. I actually think giving both carrots and not just sticks is probably a better approach, but I haven’t figured out how to do it efficiently, in a distributed manner.

Different cultures also have different expectations. The Culture Map book explains this well. Americans usually have a more “awesome job” culture, whereas Asians are more of the “sticks” culture.

What’s more efficient is to adjust their comp on the next review cycle. So I do give carrots, just not so much verbally.

4.8. Escalations vs Rumors

Escalations are part of normal business, and there is a right and wrong way to do it. 

Rumor is when you complain to me 1:1 about someone else, and have not told the other person about it. Rumors are bad. I don't manage rumors. I just ignore them. In fact, when you do this to me, I mark a negative point on you (not them).

Escalation is when you book a 3 way meeting with CZ, you, the guy you want to complain about and CZ. Now, I can hear both sides of the story in one go.

More importantly, it forces you to have a candid conversation with the other party before you talk to me.

I only need to have one meeting to handle an escalation. This compared to if I were to handle rumors, I need to have multiple 1:1 conversations back and forth. You know how I feel about time (later).

Use escalations, not rumors. It’s hard. But being able to articulate in a professional manner why you are unhappy about someone or something is one of the key skills for success. Don’t be too soft, don’t be too hard. Finding the right balance is key.

4.9. Bottom Out

I believe in the “bottom out” principle. I have read many arguments against stack ranking, not creating internal competition, etc. They have merits, but I don’t believe they achieve the best balance. 

In my experience, high performers like to work with high performers. When a team of high performers work well together, the work itself becomes addictive. When you have a low performer in the mix, everything gets destroyed. Move the bottom guys out.

I also believe in the “team, not family” principle described in the book “No Rules Rules”. It’s not pretty to hear, but an organization is a little bit different from a family. We care about each other, but we will not carry low performers with us. It’s irresponsible for the other members on the team.

5. Hiring

Hire the best people, always. You need to be part of a strong team to win. Hire below you, hire beside you, hire above you. Hiring your own boss is one of the best ways to progress in your career, and shows you are at a high maturity level.

5.1. Passion 

Passion is one of the most important factors I look for. We work remotely. We can’t (and shouldn’t) micro manage. Non passionate people will slack off, and get bottomed out. Hire the person building the Cathedral.

5.2. Hiring Hungry People

Hire people who will grow into the role, not someone who has “been-there, done-that”. While previous experience certainly helps in many situations, and a prerequisite in certain roles like compliance, the latter will be bored. It also often causes a “fixed mindset” thinking, as people are often overly-molded by their previous experiences.

5.3. Do-ers vs Talkers

Hire do-ers who can express themselves, not talkers who can’t do. Doers who can’t articulate are tricky. They may be ok in some narrow tech situations, but we can’t have too many of them on the team either.

5.4. Hire with a Goal

Each new person must have clear responsibilities, ideally with aggressive numerical targets with about a 70% chance of success.

5.5. No Titles

Don’t hire people who are worried about titles. It’s not a deal breaker, but definitely not a good sign.

5.6. Mission over Money

Don’t hire people who are overly fixated on salaries and comp. We should pay people fairly.

5.7. When in doubt, don’t hire.

If you have doubts during the hiring process, don’t hire. Small doubts in the interview stage always turn into a big problem in the future.

6. Leadership Style

6.1. Don’t try to motivate people who are not self motivated

It’s like dragging a dead horse. It’s impossible. It’s not worth it. It’s also impossible to motivate people who don’t share your mission or values, or don’t like you as a leader, or are just lazy. Let them work somewhere else. People are either motivated, or they are not. Only work with the self motivated ones.

We work remotely. It’s easy for lazy people to slack off given no one is watching them. But this is a blessing in disguise. People can slack off for a day, a week, or maybe even a month. But after a couple of months, they won’t have the results to show for it, and you will know. Remote work actually makes it easy for you to identify them over time. Let go of the unmotivated people on your team, as soon as you identify them.

6.2. Never micro-manage

It takes more time to micromanage than doing the work yourself. If you need to micromanage, you should let that person go.

6.3. Qualification for Interviews, Results Afterwards

Use “years of experience” only during the recruiting process. After a person is on the team, use results to measure performance.

6.4. Do: Work hard, stick to our values, and lead by example.

7. Targets, OKR/KPIs

Use output metrics (users, revenue, market share), not input metrics (tasks, features, meetings, hours worked).

7.1 Don’t take targets too seriously

There are many potential downsides with targets, or goal setting. Much has been written about this. I won’t go into the details. They include: a sense of failure when you can’t achieve them, not working hard after an easy goal is achieved, inflexible direction, etc.

My biggest issues with targets are: 1. they are never accurate, or scientific. It’s always some random guess. In our industry, market conditions change too quickly. 2. They take too much time (costly) to discuss.

For these reasons, set a goal, work towards it, set a new goal if you achieved it already. Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t get too fixated on it.

One example to close this topic off. When Binance started, we set a goal to become the world’s top 10 exchanges in 3 years. We became the world's NO. 1 exchange in 5 months. We didn’t stop.

8. Business Deals

8.1. Keep deals simple

Complex deals with many variables often fail, even after they are signed. Complex deals are hard to understand. There is often confusion or misinterpretation. One party always feels screwed in some way and wants to change something. Keep the deals simple: party A provides this and gets that; party B provides this and gets that.

8.2. Say No Early 

Too many people waste too much time on useless “partnership” discussions. When your mind space is spent on these useless discussions, you won’t be thinking about useful partnerships.

8.3. No exclusivity

Long-term mutual win-win relationships don’t need exclusivity. People asking for exclusivity are typically insecure about competitiveness or the value they can provide, at least in the long term. In these cases, a short term (or one-time) compensation scheme may be a better fit. But you know my view, don’t spend too much time on short term deals. The world changes too quickly to be locked in, you can’t predict the future.

Don’t sign exclusive contracts. Don’t lock ourselves in. Don’t expect others to be locked in.

8.4. Termination

Always have a termination clause in the contract. Need a way to get out of non-win-win relationships. Always have choices. Many people think about average cases (usually optimistic) during a contract stage, that’s a mistake. Think about the worst case scenario. That’s what contracts are for.

8.5. Always have limited liability

Never sign contracts that could end up in a big or “unlimited” liability. Think about extreme worst case scenarios during the contract stage, not “normal/best cases”.

8.6. No special cases

Never give one client a private deal that others don’t have. Always treat all clients equally. 

9. Passive BD, Go for Low Hanging Fruits

I (CZ) usually adopt a passive approach to BD (Business Development), and in life generally speaking. People often don’t understand this aspect of me, or don’t know how it works. 

This is not to be confused with passion. I am very passionate about what I/we do, but passive in how I approach others, business partnerships, etc.

I don’t chase shiny objects. In BD, I usually don’t chase big clients or partners. It takes a lot of energy and time to teach them about crypto, hand hold them through their own internal legal, board processes to close a deal. Conversion time is too long. And they often demand unfair terms. The ROI is low.

Instead, I like to spend time working with the top firms that come to us. They would already have the intention to get into crypto, want to work with us, we just need to work out how and the deal terms. The ROI is much higher. Even though they may not be an Apple or Google, if we consistently build small wins, large partners will come to us sooner or later, mostly “on their own”.

Other examples include: I don’t waste time trying to convince people who have made up their mind that they don’t like crypto, like Warren Buffett. I talk to people who want to learn, even if they may not be as famous.

I don’t visit countries or governments who are negative on crypto, I visit the ones that want to adopt crypto, and help them, even if they are small countries.

In essence, work on deals we can close.

This is not to be confused with the “short term” mentality. Most of these low hanging fruit deals, even though may not be with the most famous 10 firms in the globe, are still long term.

A few caveats with this approach.

We need to be good enough for others to want to come to us. Luckily Binance is in this position. We need to maintain it. I had this mentality even before the success of Binance, but it obviously works better afterwards.

We need to select well. There are always many incoming requests, especially given Binance’s position today. Selecting the best incoming requests is not as easy as it seems. Again, getting to the core deal quickly tends to be my approach.

Having said all that, we still need to do outreach at times, just in case the other party also has a “passive” mentality. Make our outreach specific and clear, after that, if they don’t respond, then we know they are not interested.

In life too, I don’t try to meet with so and so famous people. I interact with people who come to us.

10. Work Style - Don’t Waste Time

Time is a more limited resource than money. Don’t waste it. When you start to value time, money will come.

10.1. Say No Early and Often

The most effective tool to save time is saying “No”. 

Someone wants to discuss an “important” but vague partnership, I say no. Someone invites me to meet some big shot, but with no clear purpose, I say no. Someone invites me to an art gallery show, I say no. Someone invites me to watch the F1, I say no. A football match, no… I do go to these events with friends. But the default answer is no. 

This way, I save time for more important things, even if it is just staying in a hotel room by myself. I get to think and focus my mind on more important things, like writing this article.

11. Communication

11.1. Be Concise and Direct 

Always make your intention or goal clear. What do you want? Say “I would like…” before starting to explain the background. The other party may agree with you, and you won’t have to explain.

11.2. Write Concisely 

Read the book On Writing Well. I hate it when I see people either don’t write, or write too long. It means they either haven’t spent the time to, or can’t, organize their thoughts.

You need to write it down, but write less (not long), and write well.

For me, I don’t want to see more than:

  • 3-5 bullet points for a 15 min meeting

  • Half to 1 pager for a 30-60 min group meeting

  • 5 pages (max) for an MBR or QBR (quarterly business reviews) 

    • NO POWERPOINT. No fancy slides. Just text and simple bar charts.

  • For blogs, articles or books, you can write longer.

Learn to write well. I am still practicing…

11.3. Use the most efficient method/tool possible. 

There is an old saying that I don’t agree with: “Don’t use email if you can call the person; Don’t call if you can meet in person.” I preach the reverse: “Don’t meet if a call is sufficient; Don’t call if an IM is sufficient.” Both ways are not wrong. For difficult conversations, meeting in person is better. But for most common communications, I prefer efficiency over formality. You need to have strong enough relationships (or reputation) with people you communicate with frequently to understand each other, no 2nd guessing, and always give the benefit of doubt. We do most of our work remotely, hence my approach.

11.4. Avoid Communication Chains

Don’t talk to a person who talked to a person who said something. Your information is guaranteed to be wrong. Talk to the source directly.

At work, we often have project managers or other leaders as middle man. We need to avoid long chains of communication. Put the source into one group/meeting, while not making the meeting too big.

11.5. Use IM for synchronization, or work coordination.

11.6. Use one message instead of many.

This makes 5 notifications on the receiving end, and likely make me wait longer to read the responses. Instead, do this:

One notification, done.

Yes, I try to optimize my time like this. I don’t like to chat with people who have the “bad” style. They have lots of time, I don’t.

11.7. Don’t use IM for arguments

Don’t text chats for debates/arguments. Pick up the phone, do a video or voice call for debates.

11.8. Too Much Communication is Bad

Too little communication is bad; Too much communication is also bad. If you have to constantly over-communicate to make something work, there is something wrong. You need to fix the underlying problem.

11.9. Ask Questions With Context

We work in a remote environment. We don’t get to see many colleagues. Questions can be easily misunderstood. Always give the background of why you are asking your questions.

12. Meetings

12.1. Keep it Short

Keep them as short as possible. 5 minutes is best. If you can’t do 5 min meetings with your close colleagues, you haven’t gone into a groove with them yet. Figure out how to do it.

12.2. Start On Time

Join the meeting 1 minute early. Set your alarm to 3:59 instead of 4:00. So that the meeting can start at 4:00:00 sharp.

12.3. Don’t

  • Don’t do the old style “here is what I will tell you, tell you, and what I just told you.”

    • Just do the “tell you” part.

  • Don’t start with “here is the agenda…”

    • Go straight into the meeting. 

  • Don’t do “can you guys hear me? Can you see my screen?” 

    • Test your equipment beforehand, and go straight into the meeting.

  • Don’t do “thank you for joining…”

    • Go straight into the meeting.

12.4. Discuss with Less than 10 People

A discussion should only involve 5-10 people that know the subject well. Having more than that slows things down.

A call with more than 10 people should be a quick synchronization call.

12.5. Remove People who Don’t Talk

If you are in a discussion meeting and didn’t need to say anything, you probably should not have joined that meeting. You probably could just get meeting notes.

12.6. Written bullets

Have written bullet points BEFORE the meeting. Writing things down clears thinking. I (CZ) am a visual person. I retain much less of the things that are only verbally explained to me. Written docs are easier to forward too. Verbal is impossible. Google “game of telephone”.

Don’t make the written doc too long. 1 pager for a 30 minute meeting should be enough.

12.7. NO PPTs 

They are a waste of time. Use bullet points and bar charts to show history and trend.

12.8. No “intro” meetings. 

I don’t do meet-and-greets, get-to-know-you, discovery meetings, etc. I am not a hub and not good at maintaining many relationships. I prefer meetings with specific purposes. Some may say this is too “materialistic,” but it is efficient. It may offend some people. But my goal is not to be friends with everyone, it is to get shit done

13. Products & Delivery

13.1. Scalable Products Only

Work on scalable products only. MVP, then shutdown, pivot, or scale (push all in). If it can’t scale, don’t work on it.

13.2. Focus on Users

Having users is key. Everything else is less important. No user equals no value. Treat them well.

14. PR

14.1. No Big-Bang launches

Don’t do big PR on the first day of launch. Something always goes wrong. Give the system/product a week or so to settle in and stabilize first before we do big PR.

14.2. Don’t PR empty MOUs or LOIs.

Only PR results. Unless the PR helps us in a meaningful way. Watch out for smaller partners that just want to use our brand to boost their credibility.

14.3. No delayed PRs, announce when ready.

What I don’t agree with: sometimes, PR teams will advise to wait till a certain date or time to announce something that’s ready. Reasons may include, but not limited to: it is a Friday evening, the PR will have less pick up, let’s wait till Monday morning; we just announced something else, we want to space PRs out a bit; let’s save this one for a week later during Xmas because we will have less news then. This just creates unnecessary delays that pushes all future work streams further down, the efficiency lost far outweighs the minor optimizations in “better pick up” of the news. Delays in what we do are extremely expensive. Holding off a PR just holds that in people's heads for a longer period of time, unnecessarily. 

Announce when ready, and move on to the next item.

Tweets. Many social media experts advise a best-time-of-day to tweet. This may work if your job is specialized for social media. I just tweet when I have something in my head. Otherwise, the mental cost of carrying that in my head is not worth the benefits I can achieve for tweeting it a few hours later. After tweeting, I move on to something else.

14.4. Respond to Journalists

If you don’t respond, they will just write the worst versions of their story. Respond, record it, and publish it if you have to later.

14.5. Respond To Negative News, Quickly 

Otherwise, it will just spread. Unless you are certain it’s a small news outlet and won’t get any pickup.

15. Rest, Stay Calm & Relax

I was asked about how much I sleep, dealing with jet lag, etc. So I added this section.

15.1. Sleep

I recommend finding your own sleep pattern that will give you the maximum amount of energy.

For me, I sleep 5-6 hours at night, and then usually take a 30-45 min nap in the afternoon. I am usually most alert after the nap. The second most alert time would be in the morning, an hour after I wake up. So, I do my hard thinking or tough decisions during that period of time. And use the rest of the day to deal with more “mundane” tasks.

A little secret. The nap is also my way to deal with jet lag. When I am jet lagged, the nap will be a bit longer. Having two chances to sleep helps.

Also, when I am tired, I either just relax or take a nap.

15.2. Calm

I have a calm personality. If others feel a certain amplitude in their emotions, my amplitude is probably smaller. I still have acute emotions, but I don’t get overly excited or overly sad. Having this calm personality helps in high-pressure situations, which we often find ourselves in, as a startup in a new fast-moving industry.

Part of this personality is born. Parts of it are trained. I believe in simulation theory, which helps a lot in keeping my emotions calm.

Holding oneself to high ethical standards helps. Knowing we are doing the right things, there is not a lot to worry about. This makes me mentally strong. Knowing we are making a positive impact in the world also helps.

15.3. Relax & Fun

I chill just like most other people. I exercise a bit each day. I play some sports. I love snowboarding. I watch some movies (usually after someone else recommends it). I do a little bit of touristy stuff when I visit new cities. And I chill with friends, dinners, drinks, etc.

I am not into luxury, cars, jewelry, etc, although my lifestyle is probably already considered high by most people. I travel a lot. I stay in nice hotels. I get invited to fancy parties (I actually usually don’t enjoy those).

I am into gadgets, phones, cameras, drones, and even digital watches with all the features I never use.