After a long blog hiatus, it’s time to get active again. I’m kicking things off with a traditional look back at how I did on my 2018 goals.

Overall I can write that the novelty of publicly posting goals as a mechanism to increase the likelihood of achieving them has, unfortunately, worn off. I can’t really recall ever looking back on the goals in any detail over the course of the year.

Anyway, let’s see how I did, scoring each on a 1 (not at all) to 10 (perfect) scale.


  1. Keep up my exercise regime. Here I feel comfortable giving myself a 8 or 9 out of 10. I slacked off a bit in the summer as I was traveling, but otherwise I have been very diligent, especially in the last few months. At my gym there are two great trainers, and it is part of my everyday routine now. I feel great.

  2. Go swimming at least once per week. 3/10. I didn’t find a low-cost, low-effort way to work swimming into my routine. Sadly.

  3. Less, but better, alcohol. 4/10. One to keep working on.


  1. More outdoor adventures with the kids. I would say 5/10, though much of the credit goes to the great summer we had in Germany and on Lake Michigan.

New skills

  1. Master emacs. 6/10. My emacs is definitely better than it was, but I would hesitate to use the word master.

  2. Improve my Spanish. 2/10. Frankly I gave up on this one very early in the year, and the situation wasn’t helped by being away for 10 weeks in the summer. Partially I turned my attention more to professional matters and I can think of only a handful of situations in which it would have been advantageous professionally to speak Spanish. Everything I do is in English or German. I definitely have not picked up any Spanish by osmosis. One big challenge is my hearing loss, I just can not “catch” the words in Spanish. Even in English or German this is challenging in many situations, but the foreignness of the words just makes it impossible to hear what people have said.
    I’ve now lived in Spain for more than three years and speak not much better than when I arrived, which is terrible. But I’m not really sure how to improve things short of investing a lot of time and effort (or cost for one on one instruction), which frankly I’d rather spend on other things.
    I’m not really sure how to go forward on this.


  1. Pushing my SaaS business, OpenCage. 8/10. This has gone well. We have a nice, stable lifestyle business with satisfied customers and from which I learn a lot.

  2. Angel investing. 7/10. Only one new investment in 2018: Nisgo, though I did follow on in later rounds in several I had previously invested in. One company (Showroom) died, but many are thriving (several exciting announcements should be coming next few weeks), and a few are doing phenomenally (Perkbox, Overleaf). I’ll have a post up later this week about all the companies that are hiring.


  1. Visit more new places. 7/10. The train trip was the obvious highlight, as was the rest of the summer. Also good was making it back to the Basque country and a brief visit to Tuscany.


  1. Set up book club. 0/10. No progress unfortunately. Did read the entire Horatio Hornblower series and am now deep into Elias Canetti.

There we have it, that was 2018, for better or worse. The 2019 goals will be up later this week.