☕️ Coffee with (interesting people)

☕️ Coffee with …

“Coffee with…” is a collection of interesting people and the links that they think the readers of my newsletter should know about. I love it because it gets me exposed to different and new ideas. Check it out by yourself!

The entries are sorted from the oldest to the newest chronologically.


Nicolas Bouliane (#85)

You know him even if you think you don’t. Nico is the creator of All About Berlin, one of the cleanest, no-bullshit websites you’ll ever see. Sort of a Wikipedia for Berlin. This is what he has for you:

  1. A brief history & ethos of the digital garden – I long-form for a cosy, personal, imperfect, work-in-progress web. I also love Maggie Appleton’s illustrations.
  2. How to do nothing – A quirky, meandering ode to experiencing the world at a slower pace.
  3. An app can be a home-cooked meal – It’s damn fun to build software when you eschew growth and scale. Software can be a love letter to a very small crowd.

Eva Stark (#84)

Eva works as a general legal counsel at Cavalry Ventures and founded Venture Ladies, a network of women working in the field of VC. Here are her links for you:

  1. Weird Crimes – Podcast by Ines Anioli and Visa Vie. The funniest, thrilling and informative true crime podcast with a sweet foot fetish twist and two brilliant and hilarious hosts. It’s an absolute must-hear experience.
  2. MUYA Chocolates – Literally the BEST pralines invented on earth, hand-made by the Berlin-based Pastry Chef Marie, who learned and trained with the best Chocolatiers in Paris (available also at KaDeWe and some selected Walter-Stores).
  3. VIVA Yoga Studio in Charlottenburg – The perfect after-work calming down and relaxing experience is to join Jennifer’s YIN YOGA & SOUND class. You will feel relaxed, re-balanced and grateful after her class – I guarantee it!

Steve Ewin (#83)

I found Steve based on a recommendation from a friend. He does great videos (Insta) about Cold War Berlin/DDR. I love his style, the content and, of course, his football shirts. This is what he recommended:

  1. Behind the Bastards (podcast) – I would recommend this entire podcast, but the six-part series on Henry Kissinger is a must-listen to understand not just whyKissinger is derided, but what he influenced. And if you disagree, it is a delightful avenue to pick apart that viewpoint.
  2. Brewing Socialism (book) – What can coffee tell us about East Germany, and what can this tell us about our current world? One of the most important beans in world history, it helped to both build and bring down the East German state. Kloiber goes into how both were possible.
  3. Did the Japanese offer to surrender before Hiroshima? (article) – Alex Wellerstein illustrates with this two-part article what the average person doesn’t always see: how do historians engage and evaluate the past? And further, how do historians engage with work that disagrees with their conclusion?

Mikel Mangold (#75)

This week my guest is Mikel! He, among other things, is a published author and an admin of a Whatsapp group with tech events in Berlin. Here is what he suggests:

  1. What do startup accelerators really do? (read) — People are confused with the definition of a startup accelerator, and it is being misused in the industry: a reminder of what an accelerator is and what it’s not.
  2. The Leadership Odyssey (read) — what skills do executives struggle to learn, and what learning strategies pay off? 
  3. CEO decision-making in the age of AI (read) — IBM’s Institute for Business Value has identified five key areas that CEOs and executives must actively address in the era of AI. A report is a summary of interviews with 3,000 CEOs from 30+ countries.

Christian Näthler, lol/sos (#74)

Christian, a freelance writer, is one of the subscribers with his own Substack. I have previously promoted him and asked him to share three links with you this time. Gorgeous long reads; read them yourself:

  • Quitting the Paint Factory by Mark Slouka: The author laments our rapidly diminishing belief in the value of unstructured time and criticizes the pervasive culture of relentless work. In his canny takedown of the “grindset,” – from 2004! – Slouka extols idleness for its power to inspire contemplation, joy, play, renewal, and presence. 
  • Stone Skipping is a Lost Art. Kurt Steiner Wants the World to Find It by Sean Williams: You’re not supposed to read about a man who exiled himself from society to spend his entire adult life skipping rocks and think, I could see myself doing that. And yet…
  • The Art of Dying by Peter Schjeldahl: Whenever someone asks me what they should read, I immediately recommend this article. It’s a moving meditation on a remarkable life, written in short, witty bursts, by the New Yorker‘s long-time art critic after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  

Tino Schmutzler, Startups for Tomorrow (#72)

We are back this week with Tino—he is a well-known name in the Berlin startup scene and is the founder of Berlin Startup School, currently also active at Startups for Tomorrow. Here is what he thinks you should check out:

  • Learn from a Milk Shake (YT, watch) – This is the only video you need to watch as an entrepreneur. In less than 5 minutes, you will understand how to develop your products to become successful. 
  • Drop your product! (read) – Honestly, I have never read the book, but I know the essence of it REALLY well. So make sure you know it, too (or read the book). I have seen quite a few entrepreneurs fail because they didn’t talk about their product until it was ready. You will understand why this is the biggest mistake you can make. 
  • More focus for you (Spotify, listen) – What helps me the most to get into deep work is music. Here is an inspiration for you to get more things done.

Louis Pereira, Audiopen (#70)

I met Louis around two years ago. He builds online and is one of those who always reply immediately to emails. Impressive! Check out his Audiopen: a fantastic voice notes to clear text tool. Here is what Louis prepared for you:

  1. Understanding Abundance: We live in a world of abundance, and this essay (part 1 of a fascinating series) by Alex Danco explains some interesting implications.
  2. Familiarity and Belonging: A piece that goes against a lot of today’s ‘Instagram wisdom’, and hits home.
  3. Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule: An essay that helped me understand a problem I faced but couldn’t articulate – namely, why did I get frustrated for when I was asked to do seemingly trivial tasks by someone else?

Jaskaran Singh, The Social Juice (#69)

Jaskaran loves marketing and provides a weekly digest of the most important things related to social media and marketing. Here are his picks for you:

  • Attention (article) – This comes from my favourite substack newsletter. It tells a lot about how our attention span changes rather than declines.
  • 5-pager template for freelancers (template & podcast) – The best template to never lose a project by Jonathan Stark. He is one of the best freelance work-life educators, running the “Ditching Hourly” podcast.
  • Mel Robbins on Influence Building (podcast) – The episode finishes, and you start experimenting with what you learned from it—plenty of practical hacks for corporate workers of today. 

Darshan Gajara, Product Disrupt (#68)

Darshan does a great newsletter and resource page, Product Disrupt, which you should definitely follow if you are into product and design! Here are his suggestions for you:

  • Yo! Podcast by Rob Hope – Rob interviews prolific creators on his show. He does a great job of bringing out authentic stories & practical insights from his guests with excellent sound mixing.
  • Hard Truths about Life (Twitter) –  Sahil Bloom’s visual thread about hard truths he has learned through personal experiences. This is like a cheat code for getting better at life without enormous suffering.
  • Toxic Behaviors & their Remedies (Twitter) – This short thread is about how toxic behaviours can kill a partnership or a team. Matt breaks it down piece by piece and provides suggestions to avoid them.

John Ismailoglu, INSRD (#67)

This week I am hosting John, a bekannte from Linkedin with a good dry sense of humour and good content. He thinks you will like these:


Mirela Mus, Product People (#66)

We continue with Mirela, a founder of Product People. You should give her a follow for good quality takes on Product Management. I love her choices:

  1. 500 Million, But Not A Single One More (article) – I tear up whenever I reread this; it helps me regain faith in humanity.
  2. Romanian language songs (Spotify Playlist) for when I miss hearing my native language. I also have one I listen to ironically.
  3. The Player Of Games (bookaudiobook) is an amazing introduction to Iain M. Banks’ utopian post-scarcity society. You can also start with Use of Weapons, which gets even better on the 2nd reading. I suggest skipping Consider Phlebas, The State of the Art until there’s nothing left to read but The Hydrogen Sonata as they’re less “Culture-y” than the rest.

Amir Azimi, Pursuit (#65)

This is a new place—for people who deserve your attention. We start with Amir. He curates a fantastic newsletter you should subscribe to, and these are his three recommendations for you:

  1. The hidden cost of success (read) — One of the most powerful questions I use before committing to a new project or opportunity is: Do I want the successful version of this? What does the day-to-day reality of success look like?
  2. Shadows of your superpowers (listen) — Whether you’re a senior leader or an individual contributor, it is important to recognize the shadows of your superpowers and listen to contradictory feedback to rebuild the tools you need to succeed.
  3. Everything is practice (read) — Practicing and forgetting are all part of the process of being human, and we don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You can just be you, now.

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