What I’ve been reading this year

I read a lot of books when I was a kid. Actually, scrap that. I read a lot of programming books when I was a kid, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Twice

So over the past few years, I’ve been catching up. I read on average two-three books per month, about 60% business books & biographies and 40% literature. I have 167 books on my Kindle, which has become sort of an addiction. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed the most this year:

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

The Snowball (Warren Buffett’s biographY), by Alice Schoreder

The Facebook Effect, by David Kirkpatrick

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

What books did you enjoy this year? 

2010

Every December, I look back at the the year that just passed and try to summarise it in a few words. If you feel confident about your Romanian, feel free to also have a look at 2008 and 2009.

Without further ado, here’s 2010:

London. Cirque du Soleil. One year. USA. 24. Fun. Prague. Problems. Friends. Enthusiasm. Patience. The Next Web. NOT Business as usual. Meetings. Pitches. Fund Raising. Romania. Words of Wisdom. Mistakes. Books. Funding. One year. Success. The question. Fashion. A story. Friendship. Headaches. Problems. Family. Enthusiasm. Work.

I got the best Christmas present in the world this year

For the past couple of months, 40-50 of my friends have been secretly “cooking” me a Christmas present, led by my best friend in the world, Sabina (which some of you might now as The Girl With Her Peals On). Yesterday evening Santa delivered the video below, which I think is absolutely brilliant, as it involves two of the things I care about the most in this world: friends & video. Enjoy:

Thank you SO much Mom & Dad, Claude London, Lil Bulgac, Lucian Tarnowski, Loredana Gal, Sorana Urdareanu, David Abelman, Victor Anastasiu, Oliver Shapleski, Jeh Kazimi, Joshua Green, Thomas Hoegh & Arts Alliance, Teodora Poptean, Cristian Manafu, Alena Dundas, Vladimir Oane, Nicoleta Dragan, Ciprian Mocanu, Andy Young, Iulia Poptean, Ciprian Morar, Dragos Bucurenci, Alex Van Someren, Cristi Lupsa, Alina Gal, Jason Goodman, Mihaela Dragus, Hanna Ruth Wallis, Doru Mitrana, Catalina Rusu, Lea Bajc, Vlad Stan, Lippe Oosterhof, Brainient & Mihai Sava, Mihai Iova, Cristina Pop, Andrei Blaj, Misha Plesco, Kolea Plesco, Andrei Baragan, Andrei Soporean and, of course, Sabina.

One year in, going on fifteen

Exactly one year ago, I was on the Jubilee line together with one of my best friends, carrying two suitcases, a backpack, a black laptop bag, many thoughts, many plans and a boatload of dreams. What I didn’t know then, though, was that I was about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of my life: moving to London.

In the past 365 days, I have met 732 people (according to my CRM, so I think the number is close to double). I have spoken to and/or attended 61 events. I’ve travelled to 6 countries. I’ve made at at least two dozen new friends. I’ve been in the air 32 times. I have won two awards, appeared in the press a dozen times and have been featured in Reuters & Financial Times as one of the most promising young Eastern European entrepreneurs. I have worked, on average, 15 hours per day and been to 4 parties / month. I’ve had, on average, 11 meetings per week. I’ve slept, on average, 5-6 hours / night. And for the past six months, I’ve been waking up at 6:30AM every single morning.

When I moved here, I expected London to be hard on me. And it has been, a few times. But it’s also been fun. It has treated me well despite the outrageous prices, the ridiculousness of the estate rental market and the fact that I only knew a handful of people when I moved here. After spending a year in London I feel smarter, better informed, more connected, even better groomed than I’ve ever felt before. And as I told the FT a few weeks ago, I feel that I’ve done more in London in a year than I’ve done in Romania in three.

Today, I was walking around Covent Garden together with one of my other best friends. Carrying a brown laptop bag, many thoughts, many plans and a boatload of dreams. And I suddenly realized that now I know: I’m in the place where all my thoughts, plans and dreams have a very good chance of becoming reality. And for that, London, I’m thankful.

Three things I learned in 2009

This year was one of the busiest but at the same time rewarding years of my life. I’ve achieved a lot but even more important, I’ve learned a lot.

And in good 2009 spirit, I twitted about the top 3 things I learned, of course. Without further ado:

Firstly: most important thing I’ve learned this year: if you’re crap at something, delegate it as soon as you can

For example, I’m a complete mess at administrative / finance stuff. It took me a few years to finally understand accept that and find someone to delegate it to. Now it’s done, and it’s sooo much better.

Secondly: second thing I learned this year: communication is key. And boy, I learned this the hard way! 🙂 #fb

For a long, long time I hoped that avoiding a problem will eventually make it vanish. And it happens. Sometimes. But in 90% of the cases, it doesn’t. Avoiding to communicate regarding a problem will only make it worse. But hey, better to learn later than never, no?

Last but not least: 3d thing I learned this year: always try to do the right thing, even tho it might be damn difficult. #fb

Doing the right thing is always more difficult. It takes guts and character to do it. But doing the right thing always makes you stronger.

That’s it for this year. Happy New Year and all that :).