Earlier this week I looked at my progress on my 2018 goals. Upon reflection I think some of last year’s goals were a bit too vague, so this year I’ll try to sharpen things up.

I’ll keep the format of a few different categories.

So, diving right in:


  • Keep up my exercise regime from last year. No reason to touch a working system.

  • Go swimming (by which I mean at least 30 laps in a single go) at least 25 times.

  • Less alcohol, less meat (to be honest not very difficult as I’ve reduced meat to 1-2 nights/week. Less wine is hard though).

General lifestyle goals:

  • Buy nothing new. Use the things I have, only buy used things, repair things I already have. I did this in 2012 or so, and it was a fantastic decluttering tool. Having actually managed to go three years without moving home (first time since 2002), the clutter piles up, so this is my method to help clear things out. I may need to buy a new pair of shoes, but otherwise the goal is nothing new.

  • July and August back in Berlin. Had phenomenal summers there in 2014 (in Moabit) and 2017 (in Prenzlauer Berg), no reason not to keep the tradition going. So let me know if you need us to watch your Traumwohnung this Sommer.

  • Get more active here on the blog. Will restart “week notes”, but also many more general posts. Off to a decent start with this being my third post of the year. My goal will be to publich week notes every week at least until the summer.


  • Same as last year - more outdoor adventures with my kids

  • Help my daughter learn to read


  • Create a meetup for bootstrap SaaS founders here in Barcelona. First event will probably be late Feb. Ping me if you want to join. Will probably take the form of a dinner every two months or so.

  • Create a meetup for expats in the digital scene here in Barcelona. First event will be an invite only dinner end of Jan.

  • Organize at least two BCN #geomobs. I’m actually hoping the first can be on Wednesday, 30th Jan. Depends on finding a venue. More on that next week, I hope.
  • We obviously have our own internal goals with OpenCage, that I won’t delve into deeply here, and they are ambitious. The main goal with the project though, remains to keep learning and growing. In 2018 we benefited quite a bit from Google (the giant in the space) unexpectedly raising their prices. That was fantastic, and I am happy we were well positioned in the right place at the right time to benefit, but a focus this year will be to continuee creating sustainable and affordable growth from our own efforts.

  • On the angel investing front, last year I did only one new investment, as most of the available funds were spent following on with existing investments. My most recent post on hiring basically serves as a “state of the portfolio”. I’m not sure really what 2019 will hold. I get a lot of high quality leads from the UK, but frankly I have no desire to put more money in GBP until there is clarity on brexit (when or if such clarity is possible is the subject of a much longer discussion). Meanwhile here in Barcelona I do not come across many start-ups that are relevant to me and at the right stage for me to invest. No doubt I could if I did more searching, but some aspects of Spanish start-up/business culture are a bit off-putting. That’s probably the subject of a lengthy post in its own right. Finally, I would love to find more companies in Berlin (or elsewhere in Germany) to engage with. A goal for this summer. Anyway, I think one of the great advantages an angel investor has is they are investing their own funds, and thus have no pressure to “have to” invest. Nevertheless, I’ll keep my eyes open, but am delighted to not commit to any specific goal beyond continuing to work hard to help all the companies I am an investor it.

New Skills:

  • Though I’ve had a valid US driving license for over 20 years I need to get a European license, which is unfortunately a fairly involved (in both cost and time) process in Spain that basically means starting over from the very beginning. Will consider the year a success in this category if I can cross this off the list.


  • One big trip to a never before visited destination (Canada/Alaska) planned this summer, but also hoping to explore a bit more of Catalonia/Spain.

  • I’m hoping to make it to several conferences this year including State of the Map in Heidelberg, and MicroConf EU. Perhaps one or two others as well. Last year I went to several IoT conferences for OpenCage, one in Berlin and one in Brussels (at which I spoke), it was interesting to dip my toes in a new industry, but not sure I will make trips like that again this year. Happily there are always such conferences in Barcelona that are easy enough to attend.


  • My goal is to record everything I read so I can do a “what I read in 2019” post at the end of the year

Ok. I think that’s enough. If I can accomplish all that I’ll consider the year a success.