Politics Privacy

Facebook. The End.

I was thinking about quitting Facebook already for a long time. But I didn’t have the guts to do so. But now I finally quit smoking Facebook.

I did it

Today I saw the Twitter thread (german) about our wonderful Minister of Justice Alma Zadić where Facebook provided the platform to threat her, harass her. It was the last straw that broke the camels back.
I spare you the details, but Business insider compiled a list of some other not so nice things.

I was friends with Facebook for 12.5 years. It was an easy way to connect with everybody (I could even poke people). By reading my timeline once a day I was able to stay up to date and receive all relevant (?) information.

My first two status updates

Digital Minimalism

Following the concept of “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport I’m striving to live my digital life according to my values. I only use things that provide a clear value add to me.

It’s also about how much time you spend. 60min of Facebook a day don’t provide 60x the value add of 1min.

Cal Newport recommends to do a “Digital Declutter“. A 30 day period where you avoid all digital activities that are not absolutely necessary.
In this period you start doing more and more other things that you like. That will be hard – because eating cake with your aunt doesn’t provide the same kick as a shot of heroin.
After that you carefully think about what digital tools you’re adding back to your life. What is the right ratio of effort and benefit.

In the case of Facebook it took me more that 30 days.
First I move the App from the Homescreen of my phone to the second page (I think already 2 years ago).
Then I removed the app and used only the browser version.
A couple of month i logged out on all devices (and only logged in a few times).

Now I’m going to delete my account. No I’m not going to suspend it first. Maybe I’ll miss messenger?

Bye bye!

Entrepreneurship Motivation

Liebe ist

(especially after being a long time outside in the cold)

Liebe ist, January 16th 2010, Berlin

What is love?

It’s easy to say: I love my wife, I love my job, I love Pizza or I love this music. How valid are the ancient, greek definitions family love (storge), platonic/friends love (philía), self love (philautia), romantic love (éros), guest love (xenia) and divine love (agápe) nowadays?

I recently came across the study of Tim Lomas “The flavours of love: A cross-cultural lexical analysis“. He was analyzing words for love in many different languages and based on this analysis describing different flavours (that can be combined). E.g. Koinonia – the feeling if you’re being taken away by the emotions in a group for a short time. Wikipedia has all the theory about love.

Business love

I’m not sure what category to use when I talk about what I love in business life. But sometimes it feels like taking a foam bath after an afternoon in the cold!

  • The feeling when puzzle pieces fall into place. You’ve started something hard, complex, distributed and you and the team have been working hard for a long time – and at some point things suddenly and quickly fit neatly together. I love that feeling.
  • The moment you’re exiting the “valley of tears”. You had a series of bad events/messages/pity. Like it won’t ever stop and everything is going to be over. And then something game-changing is on the horizon. You realize the streak of bad luck is over. BUT you stay just a bit longer in that bad state to extend the joy of getting out of this.
  • Giving trust ahead and empower people. Against all odds you decide to trust into the person – and then you’re rewarded for that decision later. Investing that social capital and earning it back later.
  • Having impact on people. The moments I get wet eyes in the office are rather rare. But thinking back it were the moments where people (or their spouse) said thank you for the changes/personal development I enabled or I nudged them into. I’m still touched.
  • Let other shine. Of course I love the moment I’m the winner and stand in the limelight in front of thousands of people. But the more longlasting and even better feeling is if other shine – not only, but also because you coached, enabled and empowered them.
  • Waking up early, full of energy and starting something new. Priceless!


I’ve got it! The happenings, situations, feelings in business live I really, really love are connected to my definition of entrepreneurship:

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled

Prof. Howard Stevenson, Harvard Business School

I love all the moments of it: Seeing an opportunity, pursuing it and seeing it working out – that’s where my inner Jodok is tipping his toes into the foambath after a long walk in the cold.


積ん読 – Tsundoku

Each language has some special words that can’t be translated to other languages. I think this expresses a lot the culture of these countries and people.

Japanese seems to be very powerful when it comes to describe things and situations. For example Haruki Murakami – one of my favorite authors – doesn‘t like to speak on stage in his mother tongue japanese. The reason? He needs to much brain power to think about the best/correct word among the different options to use in the sentences. This prevents him getting into the real flow of telling the story.

Long story short, I wanted to shares the books I‘m reading and even more plan to read. Then I remembered that there‘s a beautiful japanese word to describe books you‘ve bought, but not yet read:

Source: Open Culture

Books… written, condensed knowledge. We don’t read enough. We need to read more. Most of situations in life already happened once. And intelligent people focussed on describing these problems and solutions.

I plan to maintain the list and grow it – and as we move on also add more details/my review to the books.

If I’m linking to a book I’m not using affiliate links and I’ll link to my local books store or to the electronic version in the Apple ecosytem.

I’m reading/listening

  • What You Do Is Who You Are” by Ben Horowitz
    It’s a book about culture, using a couple successful examples from history and giving input on how to build your own company culture. So far I didn’t learn too many new things, but I’m only through by 1/4.

I (recently) read/listened to

  • Handbüchlein der stoischen Moral” by Epiktet (german e-book)
    After listening to “The Manual” (below) I wanted to have the written, german version of Epictetus (Epiktet). It’s a bit harder to read in the original translation, but I really like it.
  • The Manual” by Epictetus, Ancient Renewal and Sam Torode (Audiobook)
    Sam Torode did a great job to translate/transform the teachings of Epictetus into contemporary english. I out myself that like the concept of stoicism and try to live by it. Even if you say: “Oh, he’s now a philosopher” (Hint: read the book). I purchased the audio book – but I recommend the printed version as it’s really condensed information.
  • Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss (Audiobook)
    I love negotiations and to learn more and more about it. For a long time I thought that the Harvard negotiation technique is the best way. But unfortunately not all negotiations are based on win-win situations. That’s where this book comes in. I know for sure I’ll enroll in Chris’ online class asap!
  • Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works” by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin (Hardcover)
    After reading that book I decided to use the tools within as well. It totally makes sense. Highly recommended. You can also buy the tooling around it (video material, Powerpoint slides). We bought the whole package.
  • Verhandeln im Grenzbereich” by Matthias Schranner
    10 years ago I had the opportunity to be part of a negotiation training with Matthias. Unfortunately I had to cancel it in the last second. Since that time I wanted to learn more about his approach. Finally I saw Matthias Schranner on stage/in a workshop at bits&pretzels in Munich and decided to listen to his book afterwards.
  • Hit Refresh” by Satya Nadella
    Earlier this year I had the opportunity for a meeting with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. And I wanted to be prepared and understand how he thinks. The book explains a lot about the “new” Microsoft.
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running“ by Haruki Murakami
    1.5 years ago I started to run. My sister gave me the book as she knew my love for Haruki Murakami. It’s really great to see how he’s connected to running.

I’ve purchased/got, but not yet read/listened to

My current Tsundoku – next to my bed.
  • The Most Important Point“ by Edward Espe Brown (Hardcover)
    Unfortunately I missed the cooking and meditation sessions with Edward at my sisters place so far. But his book is #1 on this list.
  • Die Spionin” by Paulo Coelho (german, Hardcover)
    Christmas present
  • A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoicism” by William B. Irvine (Audiobook)
    Nomen est omen.
  • Thanks For The Feedback“ by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
    I’m half way through – but other books took over. I should urgently finish it.
  • Growth“ by Vaclav Smil (Hardcover)
    present of Joe, advisor. seems like a pile of work 🙂
  • Hiring For Attitude” by Mark Murphy
  • “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux
  • „Hippie“ by Paulo Coelho
  • „Der unbewußte Gott“ by Viktor Frankl
  • „Gewinnen um zu Siegen“ by Franz Vonier
  • „Together is better“ by Simon Sinek
  • „Tesla“ by Bernard Carlson

I consider to read/listen

Please let me know if you suggest a book by tweeting a reply!

Privacy Weblog

All Beginnings

…are hard.
But if you don’t begin, you’ll never end up somewhere. This the first post on my shiny new blog. huzzah!

I’ll write down what moves me, what I’m thinking about, what I want to share, what I want to remember and what I want to say.


This is also an important step on my move to more privacy, less tracking and towards independence of the dominating privacy-killers Google, Facebook or how you name them. I’m convinced that – apart from climate related issues – privacy is one of the most important topics in the upcoming decade.

Exactly 10 years ago I was living in Berlin and working as CTO of VZ Netzwerke. We were running Europe’s most trafficked websites – the Social Networks StudiVZ, MeinVZ and SchülerVZ with 16M active users.
At this time Facebook started to grow really fast and overtake VZnet which had no chance to compete. Facebook had way more engineering resources, but a main reason for growing faster their disrespect of german/european privacy laws.

Privatsphäre visual notes, by Anna Lena Schiller, February 2010

We did our best to be fully compliant with the privacy laws and spent a lot to educate society about it. It did not help. People didn’t seem to care about it. Not at all.

10 years later we’re at a point where I can feel a change in trend. More and more people are aware that the (mainly) US tech giants like Google and Facebook are building millions and millions of user profiles and abuse them.
I’ve made the decision to avoid feeding them and will carefully think about the online services I use.

Here’s a selection of what I’ve done so far:

  • Switch to Firefox as default browser on all devices. Turn enhanced privacy protection / strict mode on. I strongly suggest you download it and do the first step to protect your privacy now.
  • Using DuckDuckGo as default search engine. It has vastly improved over the last years – and I only rarely need to add !g to my query to fall back to Google search.
  • I’m logged out of Facebook and leave it dormant right now.

I’ll keep using Twitter (even use it more) and also keep somewhat trust that Apple will keep the personal data I store with them safe and private.

Let’s see how it goes with comments – Right now I’m using Nick Grossmans Discuss on Twitter plugin. You can also subscribe via E-Mail on the About page.