Why I believe that Estonia will surpass France and other countries in live quality?

There's no hurry in Southern Europe: It took me almost seven months to receive that diploma (from the time I made the exam). For easier levels such as A1 and A2 it probably takes less time to study for the exam than wait for the diploma..

There’s no hurry in Southern Europe: It took me almost seven months to receive that diploma (from the time I made the exam). For easier levels such as A1 and A2 it probably takes less time to study for the exam than wait for the diploma..

About a month ago, OECD released a report named Looking to 2060: Long-term growth prospects for the world. According to the report, by 2060 the living standard in Estonia will be higher of that in France, Spain, Greece and Portugal. The reactions in Estonia to the report were mixed. On one hand, the media was delighted, on the other hand, the new head of the Bank of Estonia called the report a “fantasy”.

Well, I totally agree with OECD. In fact, I would give Greece 10, Spain 20 and France 30 years before Estonia surpasses them in the living standard (measured by GDP per capita). However, there are of course a couple of presumptions for that to happen. And they are mostly connected with how people think and act.

Most importantly, Continue reading

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Why I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions

The principle "If something is worth doing, it is worth doing now" holds true everywhere. This summer when we thought that It'd be cool to bike the longest trail in Estonia, we immediately set the week to do that.

The principle “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing now” holds true everywhere. This summer when we thought that It’d be cool to bike the longest trail in Estonia, we immediately set the exact time to do that..

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is Now. Chinese Proverb.

A friend asked me a few days ago: So what are your New Years resolutions for this year. Well, I don’t have any. Why not? Because I’m already doing the things I want me to do.

This does not mean that I don’t have any vices. I do. For example, I eat large quantities of chocolate (dark, exclusively). I do have a few drinks every once in a while. And I skip stretching every fourth or fifth time I go skiing, cycling or running. I’m a coffee addict. But I’m fine with these habits. For now, at least.

The reason I don’t do New Years Resolutions is much more blunt: Continue reading

Why Play Games?

Avoiding Alzheimer’s

Half a year ago, when we were looking for investors for GameFounders, I met with a lot of people, introduced our concept and asked them to invest. When they heard that we would invest only into gaming (or gamification) startups, I would usually encounter one of the two very different reactions:

1) He (I can’t remember the ever was a ‘she’..) thought that it was amazing what we were doing, OR

2) He was appalled of what we were doing, because “games is a waste of time. The most stupid thing someone can voluntarily do is shooting birds at pigs”.

Over the time I could predict which one of those opinions the person had before even talking to him. How could I do that?

Continue reading

Big Apple tackling obesity

Would you EAT these sugar cubes? No? Then why on earth would you DRINK them?!

The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has imposed a very controversial legislation. Beginning March 12 next year, the city will prohibit restaurants, delis and other food serving places from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces (a bit less than half a litre). You could still drink more, but you’d have to order two drinks to do that. According to mr. Bloomberg, this legislation is the first serious step in fighting ever-increasing problem of obesity. Continue reading

How To Gamify Your Life

Cycling gamified

As a co-founder in the first gaming accelerator in Europe, I’m constantly looking for ways to apply the stuff I see and learn at GameFounders. One of the really cool things to do is to find ways to bring more meaning into my daily life and doings. How to do that? Gamify!

The thing is, nothing has to be boring. Everything you do can be turned into a game. The only question is how to do it.

Through trial and error I’ve made two main discoveries: Continue reading

Spanish, B2!

Actually, Alejandro’s mother does know some english.

Two and a half years ago, when I finally visited my friend Alejandro in Peru, I decided to travel around in the area and learn some spanish for that purpose. For three months I would study at least an hour a day and by the time I made it to Latin-America, my spanish skills were such that I could survive in Bolivia where almost nobody speaks any english. But I was far from being able to hold a conversation. In Peru, when Alejandro was working, his (non-english speaking) mother was showing me around in Lima and having long conversations with me. Then, realizing that I did not understand almost anything, she tried once again, more slowly this time. This did help a bit.:) Continue reading