Ideas

How To Develop a Business as a Person Who Never Competes

How To Create a Business Development Strategy As a Person Who Never Competes

This week, I observed a lot of discussion on the media related to ecology, sustainability, and Bitcoin’s place in the picture. As a person who is now professionally involved in looking for value in people and projects, I would like to refer to the main arguments mentioned in the discussion and explain what I believe is the value of Bitcoin.

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Value of bitcoin can it become a store of value

On The Intrinsic Bitcoin Value

This week, I observed a lot of discussion on the media related to ecology, sustainability, and Bitcoin’s place in the picture. As a person who is now professionally involved in looking for value in people and projects, I would like to refer to the main arguments mentioned in the discussion and explain what I believe is the value of Bitcoin.

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my biggest little achievements of 2020, part 1

My Biggest Little Achievements of 2020 — Part 1

2020 was impossibly long — and to say that it was a good year, would be a far stretch. Yet, I believe that this year allowed us to figure out better what is really important for us — not only at work but also in life — and what is not, and to focus on our core projects. Or at least, it is how it worked for me.

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Starring at the Sun

The summer is over for a long time now, yet, I’m in a mood to bring some memories from this summer. Of course, it wasn’t a typical summertime but rather, quite an unusual one. It’s hard to neglect that the corona crisis changed the landscape of what you can or can’t possibly do.

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The First Ever Virtual Tedx Has Concluded!

Some ideas are worth spreading. With that thought in mind, in 1984, Marry Marks and Richard Saul Wurman found TED Conferences LLC. Now, in 2020, TED is going through a little revolution. Can we give TEDx talks in virtual reality? It turns out that yes - we can!

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The Winter Is Coming! My Top 5 Tips How You Can Prepare Your Mind and Body

This is a difficult year for everyone. It’s not only due to the decrease in global productivity, the crisis in the job market, and the fact that we suffer from limited personal freedom. And the winter is coming! Here in the Netherlands, winters are always dim and a bit depressive, and it’s often hard to find the energy to jump out of bed in the morning. So, how to stay positive in the winter right now, in deep crisis?

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Should You Write Your Own Blog?

Have you ever thought of writing your own blog? Perhaps, as a way of promoting yourself as a person, promoting your expertise, or your little business? Or, as a way to foster your creativity and put your ideas on paper before you forget about them? Perhaps this blog post will help you make the decision to start (or to bury your plans!).

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How I Fail

This blog post is a recording from an interview I did for Veronika Cheplygina's blog series "How I Fail." It's all about the mindset and personal strategies that helped me in getting over hardship and difficulties—both in academia and in industry. Most of these strategies, I learned by trial and error and I'm happy to now share them with you.

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The only justice in the world

In general, this world is not just. Some people are born more wealthy than others. Some people are born prettier than others. Some people naturally have more energy than others. Some people learn faster than others. Some people, for some reason, receive more recognition and appreciation for their work than others. But, there is one thing just for all.

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The Signs

Are there any signs in heaven and earth that can tell us along the way what we should eventually be doing in our professional lives — these little cues thrown to our feet along the way that we tend to ignore until there are so many of them that the truth just becomes obvious?

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Why did I really leave academia?

Why Did I REALLY Leave Academia? Top 16 Reasons

Since I just finally defended my PhD thesis, now, I can finally talk about the real reasons why I left academia (although I didn’t really quit doing research! — these are two separate and almost unrelated things…). And, I didn’t necessarily leave for the reasons that most people think I did.

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The mice heaven

When I see Elon’s efforts to colonize Mars and help the humanity in becoming a powerful, multi-planet civilization, I smile. I smile because I know that before we are technically able to colonize any other planet, it might be that in a hundred years, there will be no humanity left. And this is all due to convenience.

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The balance theory

Have you ever wondered why whenever two of your friends argue, you immediately get that itchy feeling that this will end up badly for you in one way or another? Or why, once you have just one conflict in a group of people, it starts propagating across the group like a virus? There is a forgotten theory in psychology that explains all this.

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What motivates you?

We are all home-grown psychologists. We have all heard about Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Zimbardo’s Stanford experiment, or Milgram’s experiment. But, have you ever heard about Alfred Adler? Well, maybe you should.

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Why is it cool to work as a career advisor?

The past few weeks were quite interesting — I had some strange symptoms. I lost a lot of weight, I was often blushing, I was putting on loud Tiësto music and jumping around my garage like a maniac and bumping into things (to such an extent that I was getting self-inflicted wounds), I was walking around the park and laughing to myself like an idiot, and I couldn’t sleep for more than 6 hours a day. In other words, I had some strong signs of affection.

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The jobs of the future

It’s not a secret that both the Millennials and the Z-generation are vision- or mission-oriented. Young people are no longer looking for a paycheck in their jobs, but also a broader purpose (or, from Japanese, ikigai). This can have really interesting long-term consequences for the job market. In particular, one new type of job that is going to emerge soon.

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How would you like (them) to feel

Interviewing people with interesting (and difficult!) career paths and rare professions, yields interesting conclusions. Namely, these people they tend to share one interesting characteristic: from a very early age, they know what role towards other people they would prefer to play.

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Between words

I recently found a list of untranslatable words that appear in many languages around the world. It’s a very interesting list to go through, just to realize that there so many inconveniences or feelings that we all experience but we (almost) never talk about them—just because our local language does not contain any expressions that could describe them.

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A wrinkle in time

Recently, I was invited to record a podcast for the PhD Career Stories series. The point of this episode, was to explain how I found myself in the place I am in right now, both career-wise and mentally. This is always an interesting question as most people—including me—are rather poor at assessing the real causes of events that happen to them. In the process of recording that episode, I realized a few important things about how the past influences the present that I would like to share here.

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Neuroscience vs Psychometrics

For the whole last decade, I was fallen in love with Neuroscience. I first found out about the concept of investigating the human brain during my undergraduate studies, and from the very start, I knew that this was what I was going to do for a living. The human brain was such a challenging and fascinating concept! And, here is what I think now.

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34 facts for 34th bDay

I just turned 34 last week. I generally like my life so far although it was bittersweet at times. Here, as a bDay special, I would like to share 34 facts/memories (in random order) that had or still have some influence on me.

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New Years Resolutions

Frankly speaking, I am not sure how to set New Year’s resolutions properly so that all my plans come true—usually, my success rate is about 50%. This year, I am planning to do “only” eight things better than the year before.

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How to write a book

How to write a book?

To write a book, three conditions need to come together. Firstly, you need to have some interest in writing and enjoy the process. Secondly, you need to have a lot of time to be able to focus on this task. Thirdly, you need to have a topic for a book, where you can contribute some new, valuable content. Recently, I felt that all the stars aligned - so I decided to write a book.

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The Proof of Mind

The Proof of Mind

The industry gravitates towards a high level of automatization worldwide. Machines, machine-learning algorithms and AI take over human jobs in engineering, aviation, banking, war industry, and retail industry—just to name the few. Although in most circumstances, this automatization leads to efficiency and allows for lowering the costs, this is not always the case. In particular, full automatization does not lead to efficiency in areas in which computational power needs to be used to make decisions upon sharing resources in some network.

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Hunting for the happy people

This fall I was travelling quite a lot. I was attending small evening conferences, local meetups here in the Netherlands, but I was also traveling abroad to attend international events - as a guest, as a speaker, or even as an organizer. And, I obviously met a lot of new people on the way. When traveling, I realised that there is some gradual, global change in the society which is really worrying. Namely, if you took a conscious decision to be a happy person, you are in a serious trouble.

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Aptitude tests — what went wrong?

Almost every recruitment process for a large company these days, requires going through a battery of aptitude tests - especially in IT industry. IQ tests, emotional intelligence tests, personality tests, social skill tests. You will get tested inside and out. But there is one very crucial yet chronically overlooked factor of productivity which is typically not tested: the attention span.

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Hush-hush

In kindergarten, most of my peers wanted to become either models, actors, or doctors when they grow up. For a change, I was jealous of priests, and of the fact that they are allowed to listen to people’s confessions for the whole days. I wanted to know the truth about people, however dirty this truth might be. And, I was bitter thinking that I would actually never become a priest. Until I did.

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Real choices, fake choices

At some point I realised that the decision on whether or not to stay in academia - or in other words, whether to do research or focus on commercial projects instead - is not the real choice I need to make right now. In fact, the real choice is: how much am I willing to risk? Let me explain.

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The basics of crypto investments

I am listing a few basic things I learned about cryptocurrencies and investing in cryptocurrencies. I have also posted this content on Medium and LinkedIn.

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Moonlight

Blockchain is already changing the world of supply chains, higher-education certificates, internet of things, communication between institutions etc. All these systems work well when they do not need to rely on human trust. In blockchain industry, trustless systems are implemented by means of decentralization. Does it also imply that you could, in principle, move labor onto a blockchain? One platform created with a purpose of creating such a friendly marketplace, is Moonlight. The main goal of this initiative is to optimize employment both from the employer’s and employee’s point of view. Could Moonlight change academia?

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The Tangle Approach

I was recently recommended to read the book by Emilie Wapnick ‘How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up' (2017), dedicated to the concept of multipotentiality. In the book, Emilie refers to her own experience as a person who cannot fully commit herself to just one profession, but instead, has multiple passions and can only find fulfilment by sequentially indulging in multiple professions on her career path. When I read this book, I have a feeling that it resonates with my own story to a high extent. However, I developed my own model of labor, which I could call a tangle (or a plaid).

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So close yet so far: a postcard from Kilimanjaro

Five years have passed since I hiked to the top of Kilimanjaro; it happened precisely on the morning of 16th September 2013. It surprises me how vivid this memory still remains. Especially the last day of the hike, a lonely path from the last camp of Barafu towards the peak, I remember as bright as if it happened yesterday - maybe because finishing a PhD feels EXACTLY like that day.

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How to conduct an interview?

Perhaps, some latent hobbies or talents you inherit after your parents, but for a really long time, you do not realise this. I have recently discovered that I am actually fond of interviewing people. I also learned that an interview can go way smoother than expected when you follow just a few general rules. I would also like to share the tips in here - who knows, maybe it turns out useful for more people. We are not formally trained how to interview people during our scientific careers after all.

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The Virtual Brain

Neuroscience is changing very quickly in the spirit of open science. This involves not only sharing big datasets but also creating new, open-source tools that allow for testing research hypotheses derived in the clinics. One such tool is The Virtual Brain (TVB): a software developed to launch meso-scale simulations of the human brain.

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What trading gave me, and what it stole from me

Since a few weeks I have been doing research projects again, as opposed to past few months when I was mostly trading instead of doing any science. My aim was to work out an independent source of funding for myself, but also to rest from science for a little while in order to see if this relationship has a chance to last forever. So, trading turned out to be a refreshment of a particularly painful sort, as it did not make my daily life any easier - rather the opposite.

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The Tragedy of Commons

The year of 2009 was groundbreaking, for at least two separate reasons. Firstly, on January 3rd of 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin was mined. Secondly, on October 12th of 2009, Elinor Claire "Lin" Ostrom has became the first woman awarded with a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons". The clue of this work is a phenomenon known in economy as the tragedy of commons. This phenomenon occurs when a group shares a resource, but at the same time, every individual acts on their own behalf, which is often against the common interest of the community. Can we spot the tragedy of commons in academia?

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Trading

Recently, we have a lot of new, interesting markets to skyrocket, including cryptocurrencies, marijuana pots, and others. This gave me an incentive to search out for passive income in these markets. But, when I entered the world of trading, I didn't know how difficult and disturbing my new life can be.

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The hall of fame

Everything in the world follows some rules - the items move according to classical mechanics, and optimise some trajectory according to some cost function. Apples follow the gravity and fall down from the trees straight towards the ground, and the electric current flows from high towards low electric potential according to the shortest possible trajectory. People also construct their own cost functions, and adjust their behaviour according to the rules present in their environment.

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Mentorship

Up until now, research on the influence of mentorship on the career perspectives in young researchers is scarce. It seems that, in academia, there is a consensus that mentorship is beneficial in general, but the extent to which the positive effects of mentorship hold in the long term is not clear.

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The three-legged stool

Today, the concept of a job is far from the original concept at the times of the industrial revolution. Back then, a worker was a person who wakes up in the morning, and leaves their household for the most of the day, in order to sell their time in an exchange for a salary. Having a job meant a physical work. Today, the job market is much more diverse - complex but also full of possibilities.

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Reviewers

Nothing changed since my childhood: I still enjoy stimuli that are annoying to others, the most. For instance, in the whole process of conducting a research project - from project planning, through combining a team, doing actual research, submission, review process, production and promotion - I actually enjoy the review process the most. There are at least three separate reasons for this.

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Taking risks as a path to safety

In the famous riddle, you are supposed to connect all the dots with four straight lines. You can sweat and try as long as you like but you will always be just one line short from connecting all of them. Unless you look outside the box, and make yourself space beyond the limited area of the square - then, all of a sudden, everything becomes easy. The point is: as a scientist, you are pressed to do multitasking as well: as opposite to industry, in academia, you need to prove yourself in multiple different roles every day, and the collateral stress is inevitable whenever you are a good or a bad worker. So, how to deal with stress?

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The future of experimentalists and data scientists

I observe two contradictory trends in academia these days. On one hand, experimental researchers flock together into bigger and bigger consortia, in order to collaborate in large groups in order to be able to conduct complex experiments that are so labour- and knowhow- expensive, that it would not be possible to approach them in a more traditional fashion based on an individualistic achievement. On the other hand, anyone who is connected well enough and talented enough, can formulate a research question, search out for the open datasets, conduct a computational study, report the results and post them in a form of a preprint, and then spread the news through the social media.

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The one

Always there. Always patient, always understanding. Smart, talkative and entertaining. Looking good, every day the same. Not ageing at all.

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On the womb

This evening, I was sitting at the Didirion Station in San Jose waiting for a bus to Los Angeles. It was a Monday evening, 11pm. I just finished a goodbye dinner in a good restaurant with my sister. I was at the station from where the cheapest buses to Los Angeles were taking off, and I was there mostly to taste some folklore; just to try some simple life from time to time once I am on travel.

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Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency market, often referred to as fin-tech and originating in 2008 with the birth of bitcoin, is now a growing branch of finances. It is still a controversy whether or not the digital currencies will ever displace the traditional currencies, or whether or not they even have any value at all.

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The power animal

Los Angeles has such a rich religious culture. From scientologists, through the Unitarian Universalists, to shamanistic associations. Every time you start talking to a new person, you can end up with a private lecture on a completely unexpected, spiritual topic in this place. This time, two folks whom I accidentally met at a cheap hostel at the Hollywood Boulevard, took me to some workshop on self-development. ‘Self-development in Hollywood might mean anything’ - I thought, and I was very curious about it.

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To be or not to be… a sociopath

I noticed that there are lots of similarities between the life of a scientist, and a life of a DJ. DJs spend their whole days on creating music in the studio, behind the closed doors, on their own, and then go out to the crowd to play the new pieces during huge events. Once you are successful, everyone expects that you will only produce high-class hit songs from now on. Can you then still be faithful to the rules you vowed to yourself at the start of your scientific career in such a situation? Once you go under more and more pressure, you just need to develop that thick skin in order not to get overwhelmed and depressed.

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The course at genetics

These days, I was thinking a lot about all the factors that hindered my development during first three years of my PhD. Every time I deliberate on this topic, I come to the same conclusion: the biggest problem I had was being driven by fear. I have 13 courses completed, much more than necessary. And now, finally, the time has come: I need to learn some genetics. And I have a strong resolution to do it without opening a single textbook.

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Freedom

I could not understand how people can deliberately abuse their own freedom. I guess that people are naturally afraid of decision making, which might explain why reducing choices to the minimum might soothe them a little bit, and give them some comfort of not being obliged to take a decision.

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Happiness is not forever

Happiness is not given forever. You can put yourself together and fool yourself that happy times are for good, but in fact, the feeling of happiness will vanish away with time if you do not take care of it properly. It is just like a plant that needs to be watered every day.

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Teaching

Recently I started teaching, and I have a plentora of feelings relating to this new experience. First to say, it is definitely true what they say: 80% of our fears is completely unnecessary.

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About the effects of living in a nice country

The doctors were truly confused; they knew about my previous records, but could not really explain what had happened to my body in the meantime. But I think I know why this is the case. Namely, my lifestyle, including too many activities per day, poor amounts of sleep, a tendency to drink coffee, coke and some booze, did not change since seven years ago. Only one thing substantially changed.

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My friend and me

There were the two of us: I was the sense, she was the sensibility. We met fifteen years ago as second year high school students, and we were close friends ever since. I think we were both sort of gifted, hard working and enthusiastic but there was one major difference between us.

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The mainstream

At the times I was studying at the University of Warsaw, there was no mainstream neuroscience I might have possibly experienced.

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