Justas from Qoorio asks:
“How does the life of a founder differ from an engineer’s life?”
Given that my role was highly specialized at Facebook, I would say the biggest change is the range of responsibilities: as a founder you need to to wear multiple hats - coder, sales rep, content writer, recruiter. It is sometimes tricky to prioritize on what things will actually move a needle. My first focus is helping clients, improving product and collecting customer feedback.
One other practical aspect is motivation. At Facebook, It was healthy mix of internal and external motivation, such as salary. As a startup founder, you are mostly accountable to yourself for your decisions and results, while the rocket growth phase usually does not come in first few years of startup. Thus you need to find your way to feel motivated: whether its celebrating milestones, appreciating positive feedback from customers, inspirational podcasts or smth else - whatever works for you.
Finally, after getting used to cozy comfortable life at Facebook with all benefits, now I am back to making down to earth decisions - what do I eat today (no Facebook cafeteria)? Where is the closest gym? Where do I pay my phone utility bill? Can I drop off my laundry and pick up tomorrow? These small things add up and take my time, and I didn’t appreciate enough when I had this taken care of.
Justas of Qoorio asked me:
"Thomas, what's your story of becoming an angel tech investor ?"
"The totally different and new network of founders and co-investors and the continuous learnings and new insights that break you outside of your social bubble"
Very Qoorious ☝️😊🤗 of filosofy, (part) of the reasons I am on this network to have my daily Qoorious coffee/readings ..
Longer answer (and as a bonus I will let you know how I ended up as the only Belgian, so far😊, until this moment on Qoorio, at least to my knowledge.)
"As a Belgian living in Brazil where I set up my own real estate investing company from scratch (as foolish as this looks in hind sight when writing this down, in the beginning I couldn't speak even Brazilian Portuguese- but that's another story), I worked almost day and night while also had to give a lot of attention towards my family whom I had brought over from Belgium with me and they also faced the same problems (new school, new language, new house, totally new social environment etc).
"My work universe was (and still is) a network of trusted Brazilian real estate lawyers, brokers, real estate developers, my accountant a few free lancers (real estate scouts, architects). With this people I have worked very closely during a number of years."
"While doing so, after some years, some Belgians from my 'old' home country started to contact me and asked spontaneous help to introduce them to and help them with things like setting a local company themselves, referring to have a good accountant, commercial introductions, helped them to translate (meanwhile I became quite fluent in Portuguese) .... I started to realise I had something to offer...and the seed of becoming a business angel was planted."
"Also doing so, broke my old social network and I met totally new people from outside of my network with different/other views/insights/experiences....and that was the second seed of becoming a business angel"
"After a failed first investment in a start up, I realised I lacked training/education in the business angel world."
"After moving back from Brazil to Belgium I decided to follow a number of angel investment classes where at the same time I learned how syndicates were working"
"I couldn't find the specialised trainings in Belgium so I found a course in the Netherlands. I very much liked it and learned a lot. I asked the organizers how did they start. They learnt it them selves from other investors/copied the program from Estonia. So I took lessons online/offline from Estonia."
"In Estonia I asked the organizers from the Nordic Angel Program why/how they decided to launch an investor program...seemed they learnt it themselves/copied from Fiban (association of Finnish business angels) and some angels of FIBAN in Estonia invited me to Helsinki to "learn from the source"...
"And so I ended up in Helsinki...taking lessons and networking /investing together in one Finnish start up. (The idea/filosofy of those programs is not only learning in theory but also Do-ing it, making a real due diligence /vetting process)"
"In Helsinki I was approached by a Baltic VC who wanted to learn more from my Brazilian experiences as one of this start-up's started to get active over there and checked if I could help them potentially...Offcourse✌️😉..."
" I liked his investment approach and learned he was launching a new fund...the first investment turned out to be....,🙌🤗 Qoorio"
And so Justas that's how I became an angel investor and enthusiastic supporter of Qoorio 👌👍 and the first Belgian on your network.
Hereunder a picture of Brazilian art, it's a group of people going in group from one place to another and that's how I feel about life and angel investing.