Interview Julian Baumann, Photographer, Munich

Where are you living?
I am living in Munich.

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)
I am 33.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by the people I meet and all the mistakes that I make.

Tell me about what you do?
I am a portrait photographer and I work for different magazines and cultural institutions.

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
There is no typical day. But either I am on the road taking pictures or I spend my day in the office editing pictures. I share a beautiful office space with very good friends of mine, but unfortunately I only make it to the office on two or three days in the week.

What are some of your favorite source for information?
I have paper subscriptions for Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit and The New Yorker. I especially love reading long pieces, that’s why I prefer getting printed matter. Headline News I get from Spiegel online or Facebook.

How social media influence your life?
I only use Facebook and Instagram as a newsfeed and to inform people about my recent publications. I am happy that I have a couple of friends who share interesting links, but of course I spent most of the time scrolling through all the rest.


#Wolfgangtillmans #allesbeimalteninblaubeuren

A post shared by Julian Baumann (@baumann_julian) on

#neorauch @szmagazin

A post shared by Julian Baumann (@baumann_julian) on

Interview Florian Leibert, CEO & Founder Mesosphere Inc., San Francisco




Where do you live?
Mission, San Francisco
How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)
What inspires you?
Giving others a platform to excel. Building things (teams & products) and then optimizing them.

Tell me about what you do?
I’m an engineer, and have been building software for most of my life. Now I help building a software company that creates technology allowing others to build, deploy and manage software much easier. We are essentially treating an entire datacenter or cloud like one big computer – this allows programmers to write distributed applications much quicker and with a fraction of the amount of code. That way engineers can be much more innovative which is the foundation for technological breakthrough. Apache Spark for example is one of the most advanced data analytics framework out there, it was built as an example application showcasing our technology – it increases the speed and drastically reduces the cost of data processing such as whole genome sequencing. Spark is used to find a cure for cancer and develop new medicine but also in many other fields. It wouldn’t have been possible to build without our software as a platform.

Today’s software is mostly a distributed application – in this new “mobile/cloud” era, millions of devices are connected to thousands or tens of thousands of interconnected systems – an example for this is Twitter’s infrastructure. We manage this infrastructure and optimize it – because most of the time, most servers aren’t used – average utilization is around 10% – we drastically increase the utilization to 35%-40%.

I couldn’t be more excited about what our team is building – we’re redefining the way that software is written, deployed and managed. I am fortunate that I get to work with the best team in the industry.

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I get up at 5:45 am, head to the gym or go for a run. I try to be at work around 7:30am to go through emails, at 8am my meeting marathon begins. I do a 1:1 with each of my direct reports once a week. I hold the weekly estaff meeting, attend product, marketing/sales-interlock and our weekly all-hands meeting. I spend a few hours a week on product. Most of my weekdays end with a work dinner, either with a candidate, partner or customer. I also travel a lot between San Francisco, New York and our office in Hamburg, Germany.

What are some of your favourite source for information?
Twitter, Spiegel Online, Brand Eins (German business magazine), Economist, some glogs and Wall Street Journal. Most of them online. The most recent awesome blog-post I read was this one:

How social media influence your life?
I use Twitter a couple of times a day.@flo It’s a constant stream of news and inspiration.

Interview Marcela Sapone, Co-Founder and CEO of Hello Alfred, New York


Articles by Marcela Sapone

The on-demand economy doesn’t have to imitate Uber to win

About Hello Alfred

Meet Hello Alfred, A Single Portal For Your Home Service Needs

Hello Alfred Raises $10.5M To Automate Your Chores

Where do you live?
Brooklyn, NY

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)

What inspires you?
People. Life is with people, they are why I get up in the morning, they can challenge you and help you learn all of life’s lessons. In business and life it is all about – it’s only about – how you make people feel.

Tell me about what you do?
I am the co-founder and CEO of Hello Alfred, the home operating system that integrates diverse on-demand and local services and delivers them past your door at the hands of a trusted, dedicated home manager (Your Alfred).

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
We start as a team everyday at 9am and state our goals for the day. Then I am in and out of the office meeting people, going on Alfred runs, talking to partners, customers, working on the product, writing, and helping people get shit done.

What are so me of your favourite source for information?
Twitter, JasonHirschhorn REDEF, linkedin pulse, Pocket, the New Yorker, a curated group of friends

How social media influence your life?
I like to live in the present and sometimes share the experience and things I’ve learned – twitter is my preferred medium to do that @mssapone


Interview Marie Pohl, Actress, Writer, Singer, New York/ Berlin/ Vienna

Where do you live?
I spend a lot of time in New York and in Berlin and more recently in Vienna.

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)

I do mind. Actresses should never talk about their age. We are as old as our roles need us to be.

What inspires you?
Inspiration is so very versatile. The ocean inspires me – it gives me a sense of belonging. A salsa dance with a great partner inspires me – it frees me from the necessity of words. Being on stage inspires me. Always. John Steinbeck inspires me. And Kafka and Karl Valentin. I love the quiet and unimposing moments. A rainy day with nothing to do. Loneliness. Empty bars. The night. The early morning hours. Boxing inspires me. Working hard. Starting from zero and finding myself at the very bottom and working my way up. Nina Simone. Langston Hughes. Cuba… inspiration often comes when I get up from what I am doing and take a break…

Tell me about what you do?

I am an actress for film and theater. I sing Italian love songs from the 50ties. And I write travel novels — like my books “Maries Reise” (Marie’s trip) and Geisterreise (ghost trip) — travel stories based on true experiences from countries such as Cuba, Ghana, Mexico, Indonesia, Georgia, Finland, Ireland etc…

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
It all depends on what I am doing, traveling or researching, writing or learning lines for a part. I can be an early riser and/or a late night lover. I have one ritual that I do every day: Before I speak to anyone after I wake up (whatever time that may be) I give thanks to whoever is out there protecting me. I drink a lot of coffee, also in the morning and I have recently started to box and am usually at the gym in the evening until 9/10pm. Then I eat.

What are some of your favourite source for information?
Books. Good books. Conversations with people on the street. Personal experiences (mine and others).

How social media influence your life?

I use Wikipedia a lot. And I keep in touch with people from all over the world. I can call and send messages for free to friends in Rome or in Berlin or in New York, Africa, Latin America, Asia, anywhere! I appreciate that. A lot. I also like reading what people I know are up to – keeping in touch – seeing what people are interested in and last but certainly not least, announcing my readings and shows and books, I find social media very helpful for that.


Interview Alexa Karolinski, Filmmaker, Los Angeles/ Berlin

Karolinski's first major film was Oma & Bella, a documentary about her grandmother and her grandmother's friend and roommate. 
Both women were Holocaust survivors. The film features the two women cooking and discussing their lives

Support her new film project:

Where do you live?
I share my time between LA and Berlin

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)

What inspires you?
everything around me

Tell me about what you do?
I’m a filmmaker

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
coffee, emails, walk the dog, emails, writing or shooting, watch videos, maybe a movie … it depends!

What are some of your favourite source for information?
the internet.

How social media influence your life?
It’s part of my life in a natural way. something I just do, like speak

gnarly LA sky. Poor forests.

A post shared by alexakarolinski (@alexakarolinski) on



Interview Danielle Geva, Startup Consultant, Toronto

Pink Patio

A post shared by Danielle Geva (@daniellegeva) on

Where are you living?
Downtown Toronto.

How old are you? (if you don’t mind answering)
Older than I look.

What inspires you?
Books and movies with unexpected endings.

Tell me about what you do.
During the first half of the day I write and help startups.
In the late afternoon and evening, I listen to podcasts and create show notes for them on

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
See above. Add yoga before lunch, experimenting with vegan recipes for dinner, and reading before bed time.

What are some of your favourite sources for information?
Podcasts (esp. ), Twitter (esp. @francoismat and @hunterwalk), and Snapchat Stories.

How has social media influenced your life?
My first gig as a freelancer was managing social media accounts, most of my closest friends were first social media connections, and I met my fiancé on Twitter.


Interview Daniela Schiffer, Co-Founder, Berlin



Where are you living?

How old you are?

What inspires you?
That’s not an easy one. What drives me is that I really want to change and improve things. That’s like the baseline. For my work I take inspirations from everywhere, things I read in articles and books, things I see in daily life or things I learn when talking with friends.

Tell me about what you do?
I have founded a startup,

together with my partner Markus.
With Changers we bring people onto their bikes and into using public transport. We have build an app, that measures the kilometers you traveled and calculates your individual CO2 balance. Every sustainably traveled km earns you a bonus point, our so called Recoins.
We license this app to companies, to help them motivate and reward their workforce for doing something good for themselves and the environment. Thus building a sustainable bonus system in which users, companies and cities can be integrated.

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
First – I try to sleep as long as I can, so my mornings are stripped down to the essential smile emoticon
If I can make it, I am out of the door in 15 minutes, no breakfast no nothing (I know, bad habit). Fist coffee is in the office. Sometimes I put a little yoga in between and if I am in super hero mode, I go running for like 45 min.
Then off to the office. Coffee. Being a founder means, you have at least 5 different jobs, and that’s what structures my day. So I start writing our monthly financial report to the investors, than am off to a product meeting discussing some feature, than I contact a couple of journalists, talk to clients, do some sales calls, clear some things with our hardware manufacturer, next meeting regarding some UX decisions, that have to be made – and then it’s lunch time wink emoticon Well, you get the idea.
That’s what I truly love, that my work is so incredibly divers and that I have the opportunity to learn on so many levels.

What are some of your favourite source for information?
My main information source is the internet of course. Then it depends, what kind of info I am looking for. Sometimes I am looking for news or articles on a certain topic, sometimes I have to dig deeper and look for research papers on that particular topic. It really depends, what you are looking for.
If I have questions regarding management or some typical founders issues, I also like to talk to other entrepreneurs. Having a network of people whom you can talk and ask any kind of questions, is super valuable for me. It’s like a support group and believe me, sometimes, when it gets tough it’s good to get all the support you can get.

How social media influence your life?
Well – again, I think I use social media most for information purposes and sharing stuff I am interest in. I am rather reserved when it comes down to posting private things, but of course use it quite extensively for our company.

I think, the biggest influence on my life is, that I can keep in touch with friends, who are living all over the world, so much easier than before. And you get back in touch with people whom you haven’t seen in a long time. This is really beautiful.
Other than that I try to keep the chatter out of my life as much as possible and be very selective about the channels I use


Interview Fluorescent Hill,art collective, Montreal

Fluorescent Hill is an art collective comprised of Mark Lomond and Johanne Ste-Marie.

They are based in Montreal but try and kick cinematic ass all over the world.
They direct music videos, commercials, short films and traffic. When not making things move they make comics, posters, and design everything from your grandmothers apron to the deck she rides on the weekends.


Where are you living?
We are living in Montreal, Canada. Johanne is originally from here and Mark is
from Nova Scotia, which is further east on the coast.

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)
Mark is 37 and Johanne is 35. Both of our birthdays are in December.

What inspires you?
That’s a tough question… Because there is a lot that inspires us. Music
is a big one. We listen to music all day at the studio. We watch a lot of
films. We’re big fans of independently published comics and illustration.
Photography. All art forms inspire us really.
Recent obsessions:


Jon Hopkins

Just about anything on the Numero Group Label

Film = Shane Carruth’s Upstream Colour


Steve “ESPO” Powers,

Femke Hiemstra,

Tell me about what you do?
We are an art duo called Fluorescent Hill. We’ve been collaborating on a
variety of projects for almost 13 years now. We began as Music Video
Directors, and did exclusively that for almost 7-8 years. We branched out
into advertising a few years ago and have recently just published a comic
book. We do illustration and design on the side. We’re currently in pre
production on two short films and we’re finishing up a script for a long
format story that will hopefully go into pre production soon.

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
A typical day starts with coffee. Then we head out to the studio around 10
or 11am. Get as much of the business side of the work out of the way such
as emails, phone calls, updating social media sites etc…
Grab some lunch and if all goes well it’s time to get to making some art,
whether that’s writing or designing for our current projects. We typically
work a 10 hour day, a lot more if we’re in production on a commercial.
After all that, we probably hit the gym to clear our heads, make dinner,
watch a movie or read. It’s not very eventful.

What are some of your favourite source for information?
There’s a few sites we like to visit to see what our favourite artists are
up to, seems everyone out there has a blog or tumblr so there is always a
fresh list of incoming art. Instagram feeds from our art friends are
always fun. Stash Magazine, Cartoon Brew, The Playlist, Vimeo, Twitter

How social media influence your life?
When we first started directing, youtube didn’t even exist yet, sharing a
music video or film was far more difficult, and took a lot longer. Now
it’s just so easy and the amount of information and work out there is mind
boggling. So your work gets out there quickly, but can disappear just as
easily. Twitter, instagram, facebook, vimeo and our blog, that’s a bout
all you need and I’m sure over time that list will be different, either
shorter or longer. These sites come and go so quickly losing fashion with
the populous. We try not to join every site that starts up and just focus
on the ones that fit into our day to day life. So when we update with new
work or what we’re up to such as film fests or behind the scenes stuff, it
fits seamlessly into our life and doesn’t distract from the purpose of
creating art.

Keep it clean kids!

A post shared by Fluorescent Hill (@fluorescenthill) on


Interview Philipp Berner, Co-Founder and CTO at KeepSafe, San Francisco


“I came to the Silicon Valley from Germany because I had the desire to build something that could last. I headed my own company in Europe called ViCommerce that had reputable clients in the fashion industry, including Hugo Boss and Marco Polo, but I wanted to build something bigger.
When I met my cofounder Zouhair, it was apparent that KeepSafe would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something that appealed to the universal need to have access to control.

Today, KeepSafe has over 20M users and is rapidly growing.”

Where are you living?
I’m living in San Francisco.

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)
I’m 32 years old.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by building things that change some part of people’s live and has a seguidilla the enough impact in the world to make it worth while.

Tell me about what you do?
I’m a programmer by trade. I’ve been working on mobile app development on a day to day base. Spend 3 years doing android, been working on iOS for the last 8 month.
Think my highest value in the organization it to have a overview on how things work and be able to jump into any code base to fix problems. Besides that I’ve been focusing a lot on internal tools that make the organization more efficient.

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
Usually I come in I the morning and check what’s up for the day. Having a coffee with my people to get mindshare on what’s happening and where we are going.
Trying to make sure to spend the morning on doing the right thing that make a difference for the org.
Afternoon often working on things that just need to get done.
What are some of your favourite source for information?
Fav sources of information are Reading up on topics I don’t know about to broaden my knowledge. For getting more depth, I thru to meet relevant people who can guide me in the right direction and then I try to read relevant things. Most of the time I read blogs from people who have domain expertise or meet them in person. When possible.
How social media influence your life?
Social media influences my life in most ways of having a channel to broadcast things
I’m rather private and don’t publish to much private information. I don’t have Facebook installed on my phone as i think it waste to much time.


View profile at


Interview Lea zeichnet, Artist, Berlin

Where are you living?
in Berlin and sometimes in my dreams

How old you are? (if you don’t mind answering)
twentysomething ( I absolutely don´t mind getting old)

What inspires you?
People. Mostly strangers, weirdos, inconsistent and heart-warming human beings.

Tell me about what you do?
Don´t we all hate this question? I´m an illustrator, that´s how it´s called, but I see myself more as a silent observer. Drawing is my way to cope with all the stories I hear and the characters I meet. Maybe I would have been a good psychologist, too..

What’s the structure of a typical day like for you?
I´m an earlybird. And I love rituals. So there´s a standard breakfast ritual really early in the morning. After that I work till late afternoon and then have some time to meet friends, relax .. whatsoever. I don´t have an office or separate work-space, so I am always surrounded by my illustrations, pens, paper. Sometimes it´s hard, to relax, but it´s still more a passi

on than work.

What are some of your favourite source for information?
Of course the world wide web is an endless source of inspiration. But I´m not a digital native, so I sometimes get lost and still appreciate the „offline-way“: sitting in the train or bus and watching people.

How social media influence your life?
Oh it has become a real big thing in my life. But I guess I still swim on the surface, just using Facebook and Instagram. I am really working on my social media skills…

uff #fashionillustration #berlin #drawing #ink #pew #pew #pew

A post shared by Leazeichnet (@leazeichnet) on