Mentoring @A Hack

1400171_778462712169750_1371700295_oThe weekend was started with two parties in Tartu: two startups – Fortumo and Fraktal – both celebrated their 6th birthday and threw a party at their respective offices. Since these are only a couple of hundred meters away from each other there was quite a lot of traffic between the offices.

The parties were nice, I met a lot of people that I hadn’t seen for a while and so it happened that I got back home around half past 2 and got to sleep 3 hours before I started going towards Helsinki, to mentor in A Hack. Continue reading

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Canoeing River Võhandu

It’s 1:30am and I should be sleeping. Well, unfortunately, I’m not. For some strange reason, I had decided that today had to be the first day this year I made two training sessions. The first one was 8am cycling and the other one 8pm running, both an hour long endeavours with easy pace and low heart rate (<140). I believed my overall physical condition be good enough to recover for tomorrow’s canoeing the Võhandu river, but apparently I was wrong. The devil is often in the details and the detail seems to be the fact that this was the first time of cycling for me this year (on 5th of July!) and I did not have time to stretch after either of the today’s session. And now my thighs are hurting and do not let me sleep. Continue reading

A Day

I open my eyes. Sun is already shining outside and the room is bright. I reach for my phone. It is 5:42 am, 29th of May, 2013. I slowly stand up, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and get back to the room. I make my bed, take my iPad, open the app “Seconds” and activate my “Morning exercises” loop. Four minutes of dynamic stretching, followed by 6 minutes of strength exercises. Room is warm, by the end of the pushups I’ve breaken the sweat.

I put on my running gear and do not bother to check out what the temperature in San Francisco is at the moment. It would not make any difference. I only have the short outfit with me. As I take the elevator down, I turn on Audible (this time Jackie Chan is reading me his autobiography) and as I exit the Rincon Center I push “Play” in Endomondo.

I run along San Francisco Bay, from Embarcadero towards Golden Gate Bridge. Like expected, Continue reading

New life

This Tuesday I sold my remaining 50% stake in Advisio.

I founded the company in 2004 and was the sole owner for two years. Only in 2006 when Advisio (back then Funding OÜ) had already 6 employees did I take a business partner, Ander, on board. Together we grew the company to 20+ full-timers by the time I stepped down as a CEO in 2010. Ander has been running the company since.

It is hard to overestimate the meaning of this sale to me. Advisio has been my only source of income from the very beginning in 2004. Thanks to Advisio the last time I worked for someone else was when I was 23 years old. Advisio has enabled me to keep up the lifestyle I’ve had even as I’ve been active with new challenges in the last couple of years. It has enabled me to start Gamefounders.

But just like in a startup, in a consultancy, the time you can be a passive owner, just collecting your yearly dividends, is rather limited. Now as I’ve sold my shares, that time is over for me. It was a very awkward feeling to sign the contract in the notary, selling  the company I built. Yet I’m extremely happy that Advisio continues to exist and the people continue working and creating value for estonian companies and other organisations.

My new life begins now. Not having significant passive income I could count on, it is even more important for me to “go all in” with the things I’m currently involved in professionally (i.e. Gamefounders). The new life means more focus. It means more depth and less breadth. I make a constant decision to drop some activities I do that do not contribute directly to achieving my goals. This includes writing this blog.

Yes, I quit regular blogging.

And a few other habits/activities as well. I’ll probably return to them once I feel that the time is right. But from now on all you could find from this page is perhaps an occasional story or picture. Should you feel the need to find out more about what I’m doing, ask me to a lunch. I’ll always have time for my friends.

Cheers,

Lauri

My first game – Nuvelato – published!

IMG_0058I’m happy to announce that this morning the first game I designed was published in iStore. The name of the game is Nuvelato. It’s a game designed to bring meanful enjoyment even in short stretches of playing.

Nuvelato is a simple yet elegant game that uses Tic-Tac-Toe mechanics on a more sophisticated level. In current version the player plays against the AI (artificial intelligence) – the iPhone. While in TTT it is very easy to play optimally and all the games tend to end in tie, in Nuvelato the strategy is much more sophisticated and a simple mistake would end in a loss to the AI. Yet, the game and main mechanics are easily learned in a minute or two.

IMG_0059The reason I designed the game especially for phone is that I couldn’t find a short yet entertaining game to be played on phone from iStore. The only games I had on my iPhone are Bejewelled-type games that take ages to finish. Well, now I have also Nuvelato – a great little tactics/puzzle game to play in short breaks.

The AI is designed so that it plays well, but not optimally. You are virtually certain to lose the first game, but will probably pick up the strategy pretty quickly. But can you get to the level where you beat the AI on constant basis?

Nuvelato is a premium game and if you have an iPhone, you can buy it here (only €0.89). Let me know how you like it!