It has been rather quiet holidays for me and my family with the usual great food, over eating and crazy new year fireworks in Iceland. I took a break from writing for 2 weeks, but have been catching up on my reading. This is the first post by me in the New Year, I have been thinking a lot about the year to come and what I feel is a New Hope, yes, like the title of the original Star Wars movie. I don’t know why I feel this way. There is a round-up of blog posts about reflections and what to expect in the coming year by my favorite bloggers, Mentors and VCs. Go and read their posts here, here and here, I will wait.
I have been spending more time on Twitter (Yes, you should follow me on Twitter, I am @balainiceland) and I really enjoy the instant conversations that I have with almost anyone if the person I follow engages in the conversation. I think that is one of the killer apps of Twitter. In addition to that it is by far the best way to get a synopsis of what those you follow are reading, writing and thinking. It behooves you to do your own thinking. As Peter Thiel would say the most contrarian thing to do is to think for yourself.
I have gotten the reading bug, thanks to Brad Feld and Marc Andreessen to get me hooked in Good Reads. I have been updating all the books I have read and since I never kept track of it, it has been a manual process and with all manual processes it is going slow. I am in no hurry. I love books and reading, so if there is one thing I would encourage you to do is get into the habit of reading books. My goal this year is to read 50 books. Lets see how that goes. I have a lot of books, I mean physical books but it becomes difficult with shelf space as the collection grows, but I plan to create a reference library for myself this year.
2015 will be the 4th year that I will be hosting the Startup Iceland conference (have you bought your ticket yet? I promise it is going to be an awesome event, cozy, effective and personal). We have a stellar speaker/mentors participating this year, we will be sharing those details in the blog as the days progress. I will continue on this journey of build a sustainable/antifragile startup ecosystem in Iceland. I gave myself 10 years and this year I am making the radical leap to start communicating in Icelandic, yes, you heard it first here. I have always felt vulnerable and not very comfortable speaking in Icelandic but my wife keeps reminding me that I understand a lot of Icelandic. If only she knew how I struggle with languages. I was never good with languages, I barely got by in school in languages, the emphasis was always on Math and Science so I never took language learning seriously and now I realize how big of a mistake that is. I am going to fix it now in 2015. I will learn Icelandic to become conversational this year.
On the investing front, I will continue to work with Entrepreneurs and act as a Mentor, Angel Investor and Venture Investor. We will launch Founders Institute Reykjavik Chapter end of this month. Watch out for the notices and a call for action. I have also been working with Reykjavik University to offer a course on How to Start a Startup modelled after what Sam Altman and Stanford University did last year. We are still working out the details on the logistics etc. Again watch out for the call to action there as well. I am really excited and looking forward to the hustle of 2015.
I would like to end this blog post with a thought, we all wish each other a Happy New Year. However, happiness is different for each and everyone of us and even different from one moment to another. We are wired to fool ourselves about what makes us Happy. I wish we all spend more time to become self aware so we can realize what is true happiness for each of us. It has to start from within. Take the time to become self aware.