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Life lessons from 18 years in asia

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Some ideas on how to gain more courage, agency, and face turn randomness into serendipity.

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Life lessons from 18 years in asia

  1. 1. Benjamin Joffe HAX
  2. 2. Bonjour ! 你好!
  3. 3. Survey • Happiness level • Public speaking • Raising hands
  4. 4. Foreword Part 1: What I do Part 2: How I got there Part 3: What I wish I knew
  5. 5. Foreword
  6. 6. Unemployment Burn out Heart breaks Diseases
  7. 7. “Avoiding depression
 when you’re 41, single
 and living with your parents”
  8. 8. “Feel joy with what you do, who you are,
 who you are becoming”
  9. 9. Part 1: What I do
  10. 10. Partner, SOSV / HAX
  11. 11. #1 $300M Under Management 700+ Investments Hardware Life sciences Food Software IoT, Robotics, Medtech, Consumer CRISPR, Cellular agriculture… Clean proteins, Functional food, AgTech Bots, Blockchain, A.I., etc. #1
  12. 12. Writing
  13. 13. Speaking & Traveling • 200+ speeches • 20+ countries • 2018: Las Vegas, Paris, Toronto, London, Hong Kong, Shenzhen • Next in 2018: San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Copenhagen, …
  14. 14. Angel investing • 12 companies in 10 years • 4 dead • 4 ok • 4 doing well
  15. 15. CONSUMER HEALTH ENTERPRISE INDUSTRIAL 168 Startups Shenzhen & San Francisco
  16. 16. How do we select startups? • Why this? Why you? Why now? • Technology / Prototype / Team / Market • And: Timing / Grit / Resourcefulness
  17. 17. The reality • Ideas not unique • Ups and downs • It takes a village • Each phase is different • Skills & networks • It’s a career • Overnight success = 10 years
  18. 18. Learning Curves
  19. 19. Meeting interesting people
  20. 20. Part 2: How I got there
  21. 21. 18 years, 5 Jobs, 9 countries • 2000-2001 - Consultant • 2001-2003 - Market Researcher • 2003-2010 - CEO / Consultant • 2013 - Game Data Director • 2013-today - Investor Korea: Executive Training Program China: Language school Singapore + Germany : ‘digital nomad’ Malaysia + USA : startup founder
  22. 22. Remarkable? • No resume since 2001 (except for CCE) • No job hunting • Opportunities: reputation, interests, network
  23. 23. Eye Opening(s) • 2000 - Martial artist friend (IQ / EQ / SI / KI / etc.) • 2001 - Japanese entrepreneur girlfriend • 2003 - Rich Dad Poor Dad (Assets vs Liabilities) • 2003 - Income economics (earn/learn/skills/employ) • 2003 - Created own luck (ETP/Gaming) • 2005 - Network building (writing, events, karma) • 2007 - Be around & invest in capable people • Later - Decision Making / Energy / Emotions / Purpose / Thriving environment / Beginner’s Mind
  24. 24. Part 3: Looking back
  25. 25. Orbits & Trajectories
  26. 26. Orbits & Trajectories First world? Male? Caucasian? Wealthy? Supporting parents? Middle class? Bilingual?
  27. 27. Orbits & Trajectories First world? Male? Caucasian? Wealthy? Supporting parents? Middle class? Bilingual? Paradox: Struggle can help
  28. 28. Orbits & Trajectories
  29. 29. Orbits & Trajectories
  30. 30. How to thrive • Fixed mindset vs Growth mindset • Beginner’s mind • Guts vs. Brain & Heart • Shape your environment (willpower problem) • Books, people, experiences • Garbage in, garbage out • Learning style, method, and environment • Life is a package • You are in charge
  31. 31. Food People Media Ideas Behaviors
  32. 32. 2018 Challenge(s) 1. Fast for 24h 2. Go silent for 2 days 3. Meet 3 people 4. Write something & publish it 5. Organize an event 6. Travel alone 7. Give a talk 8. Run for 1 hour 9. Sell a service
  33. 33. Level up 1. Willpower doesn’t work - Benjamin Hardy 2. How to fail and still win big - Scott Adams 3. Persuasion (& Pre-suasion) — Robert Cialdini 4. Waking Up - Sam Harris (Podcast & Books) 5. The 4-hours Body - Tim Ferriss 6. Learned optimism - Martin Seligman
  34. 34. Bon courage ! ben@hax.co

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