Q -Which values are important to you and drive you?
GJ -Integrity, loyalty, authenticity/keeping it real, fairness.
Q -Which SciFi "technology" are you missing in the real world?
GJ -Matrix-style instant learning, the babel fish - we’re getting there - and (duh! :) ) flying cars.
Q -What surprised you when you started working in venture capital?
GJ -That everything good that happens to you in VC is a mix between skill, hard work and luck. Most non-VCs think that they would just have to read up on a topic, identify trends, pick great teams with ideas which address these trends, et voilá - a unicorn is born. Sadly reality is much more complex and frustrating - even the best companies usually aren’t a consistent success story, but the result of fast pivots, tough negotiations, and an ability to fundraise that may be largely dependent on things like momentum, competition and the overall economy. Note that these complexities aren’t exhaustive, and only address the remaining uncertainty when you’re already invested. Getting allocation, convincing your partners of the opportunity and retaining an attractive shareholding are a few of the extra complexicites VCs face. VC can be a rewarding job, but it’s very rarely glamorous and never trivial.
Q -What did you want to be when you were little?
Q -What are you particularly good at, what is your "superpower"?
GJ -Stoic resilience and the ability to crack a joke or mediocre pun at any given time, no matter how stressed, moody, disappointed or tired I am.
Q -What are indispensable tools in your everyday life?
GJ -My oldschool notepad for to do’s and the alarm function on my iPhone (for Pomodoroing), and some six to eight cups of coffee a day.
Q -What are your top 3 favourite podcasts/books?
GJ -Seneca - On the Shortness of Life;
Tim Ferris - The 4-Hour Work Week (Yes, seriously. :) the Eliminate chapters should be mandatory for all office workers period.)
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Skin in the Game
Honorary mention: Hans Rosling - Factfulness. Its basic ideas are very simple yet super powerful.
Q -What are you currently studying, what are you learning now?
GJ -I’m currently learning to play the piano and refreshing my Spanish, plus I’m trying hard to keep a growing (no pun intended) number of houseplants alive. All very humbling experiences.
Q -Which person would you most like to work with?
GJ -Jürgen Klopp. He embodies everything that you want in a leader: Vision, drive, integrity, authenticity, humbleness - you name it. Also, he revolutionized my favourite sport, created some of my best memories as a BvB supporter and he’s by far the funniest German person on TV (the latter not being *that* hard, admittedly).