Featured on CNBC – Work from Anywhere

CNBC

This week was fun, I got featured in a CNBC article online. Check it out here or here on my LinkedIn if you want to follow the discussion.

CNBC Article
CNBC Article

The silver lining in this pandemic is that working from anywhere is a real possibility and allows us to explore new places, spend time with families and get out of the big cities and closer to nature.

I absolutely appreciate the hardship many are going through and see myself in a very lucky and privileged position compared to many others.

Making the most of what is a catastrophic 2020.

Work from anywhere

This pandemic is making it possible for workers in tech to work from anywhere. Big cities have lost their appeal. Since I moved to London, there was so much I learned, people I met and things I’ve experienced that now are not possible any longer. Musicals, concerts and even meeting friends is an endeavour.

As my wife and I both have office-type jobs where a stable internet connection and a laptop are the only hard requirements, we can pretty much work from anywhere. So we made some plans. After spending a few weeks at home with families in Switzerland during the summer we thought we should do this again.

Our plan is to visit our families again but this time we will leave our flat. We want to move to a bigger place anyways. So, in between flats in London, we will just spend a few months saving on rent and live with our in-laws in Switzerland.

If the situation in 2021 improves and we can travel again we might even get ourselves into a nice AirBnB in Spain and spend a few weeks there before returning to London to hunt for a new and bigger flat.

Why move flats?

Two people on Zoom calls all the time is hard if you’re bound to a 1-bedroom flat. A centrally located flat in London is a great thing if you can take advantage of the city. Sadly, that’s not been the case in the last six months and probably won’t for the foreseeable future.

We’ll move to a bigger place to be able to work alongside each other much better. Also, we’ll get ourselves closer to a large park just outside the very center.

Using the gap of a few months will be perfect to save some money too and get our finances on track for future projects. Hint: buying real estate.

“Work from anywhere” here to stay?

I changed jobs in January. I joined a startup, Clari, a team of five in Europe building the international expansion. No office. Few perks. Massive personal and professional growth opportunity.

When I was in the fancy Salesforce Tower in London, people would often ask but will you not miss the office?

Salesforce Tower London - Top Floor
Salesforce Tower London – Top Floor

Probably I will miss it a bit, is what I would say but I would not base a career decision on the office. What happened later in that year is something I could have not imagined. Most of my former colleagues would not enter the Salesforce Tower either for 6 months and counting.

Work from anywhere has made people appreciate simpler things, access to nature and shown that the important bit for productive work is not necessarily an office. A great culture outshines the great office and lives on remotely, in Zoom background, Slack channels and how you treat people.

Many companies and employees see the benefits of work from anywhere. Commuting to an office will become much less frequent in the coming months and years I believe.

 

What Data Does Facebook Collect? – What Big Tech Companies Really Know About Us and What To Do About It

Zuckerberg Facebook

Facebook, Google and other big tech companies have been under scrutiny more than ever in the past months. The tech giants have become so big and powerful that it’s reasonable to review their business practices in more detail. Everything that big tech companies know about their users could be used in harmful ways very easily.

A first step is to understand what Facebook and Google are doing and in light of the Cambridge Analytica, Brexit and Russian election-meddling scandals.

People had an opportunity to peek behind the scenes of big tech companies such as Facebook.

However, this unique opportunity was somewhat wasted. Listening to the elected representatives in the US and I have no doubt it’s similar in other countries, it’s incredible how tech un-savvy many are who are shaping our laws and regulations. Today, I want to focus and help every reader understand what it is that Facebook, Google and all tech big companies really know about us.

Data Is The New Oil

It’s an almost dusty catchphrase but it is true that data is the new oil. The metaphor is very accurate. If you take it one step further. Why is oil so valuable? Why do we value this black liquid that’s pumped out from the lower layers of the earth so much?

The answer to this is fairly simple. It’s what you can do with oil that makes it valuable.

Nobody cares about the black liquid, but people care about being able to stick a nozzle in the rear of their car, pump in some gas and ride to whatever place they please. That is freedom and that’s one thing that makes oil so valuable.

How about plastics, all the little toys, medical equipment and countless other things that we rely on. Plastics are in-part produced using oil. That’s what we need oil for. It delivers an outcome for us.

Now, how does that relate to data?

Why Data Is So Much Better Than Oil?

Data on its own is not really useful but it forms the basis of so many extremely useful things. Have you heard Mark Zuckerberg speak at the Senate meeting a few months ago? Have a look at this video and let that sink in exactly.

What I want to point out is how Zuckerberg very clearly frames the question about what data Facebook users can delete. It’s the data that they put on Facebook. It’s the pictures, check-ins, likes, shares and all of that. But there is so much more to it.

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