Q&A Video: How To Decide Which Startup To Invest In

In this episode, I answer some of your questions from previous posts. You’ll find out how I decide which startup to invest in, my tips for sticking to your daily routine and more. Hope you enjoy and looking forward to your comments!

Video Transcript

Back at the airport, getting ready to go through security and catch my flight back to Frankfurt. I’m using the time here to go through some of the comments that you guys have left in previous videos.

Question: How do you stick to your daily routine?

One question I was asked is how do I stick to my daily routine.

1. Number one is: I try to be really diligent the first 21 days. For some reason, the three weeks seems to be like a magical number. After that, it becomes a lot easier for me to follow any routine.

2. Number two: I have this rule – never skip twice. So even if I break a streak sometimes, I just make sure the day after I become extra diligent and I go back to my routine. Doesn’t feel like I’ve wasted all this time that I was working on this routine. I just accept that every now and then I will probably not stick to it 100% so I make sure I get back to it the next day.

3. And then third is if I see that something really doesn’t work out, I try to adapt it and still get to the same result. Whatever experiment I want to do, I find different metrics to test it.

Question: How do you spend your time on flights?

Another question was how do I spend my time on flights.

The answer to that – it’s pretty much the way I spend my time when I’m not on an airplane. So during day flights or when I’m up, I’m usually working or reading or thinking. Other times, when I’m relaxing or sleeping, I try to do the same on planes.

Question: Do you use personality tests when hiring a new employee?

Another question someone asked in regards to the hiring video – if we use any kind of personality tests or other data-driven techniques to assess candidates.

We do use one personality test from 16personalities.com. It’s quite playful and doesn’t take too long. And we mainly use it to understand how to best communicate with someone but it doesn’t have an influence on whether we hire someone or not.

I think overall we care more about the actual work that we see a candidate doing than what they’ve done in the past. For example, we also don’t look at CVs beyond the point of are they well formatted, well-structured and did the candidate put in the time required to give full and motivated answers.


Time to head back on the airplane. Another 747 – 400 from Toronto to Frankfurt in about eight hours. Here’s a gorgeous shot of it. So this is gonna be my home for the next seven to eight hours on the way to Frankfurt.

Question: How do you decide which startup to invest in?

I just landed in Frankfurt, got to the lounge. And before I get my shower, I wanted to answer one more question which was how do I invest in startups. How do I decide which ones to invest in?

At the moment, I’m not actively looking for investments anymore but I used to with Tenderloin Ventures. Mainly between 2014 and 2016 is when we invested a lot. We invested in two buckets:

1. Swiss e-commerce companies in high-margin niche markets

Bucket number one is Swiss e-commerce. The thesis there being that Amazon is not a strong player in Switzerland. There’s room for high margin niche markets. Some of the startups I’m invested in – Amorana or Farmy. Amorana is the largest e-commerce site for adult toys or sex toys in Switzerland. Farmy is an online site for food. They bring food directly from the farmer to the end consumer.

2. Companies that scale really well

The second category of companies I’m invested in are companies that scale really well. The requirement is that at scale, when the company is grown out, it requires less than one staff for an additional thousand to ten thousand users. Examples of companies we’ve invested in include Zenjob, Jodel (which is a social network) or Clark (which is an insurance manager).

And with that, I’m gonna finish this trip, freshen up and then jump on the train back to Zurich. And I’ll see you tomorrow!

You can listen to the audio version here: