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Philosophy of essentialism and how to become an entrepreneur at the age of 14
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Cédric Waldburger

31 years old, hometown — Kilchberg, Switzerland, Investor & CEO of Tenderloin Ventures, cedricwaldburger.com

01.11.2019

Philosophy of essentialism and how to become an entrepreneur at the age of 14


About himself


I'm very passionate about solving hard problems. Even as a kid I was always fascinated by riddles and hard puzzles. At the age of 14, I started my first company, and I realized that starting a company and entrepreneurship offers an almost unlimited supply of hard problems to solve. Since then, I have been involved in the start of the community as a founder and an investor. I built companies in New York, London, Berlin. My companies also were in the US, in Germany and Switzerland, some in Hong Kong. I was going constantly around the globe.

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About lifestyle


At some point, I started collecting a list of everything that I own. The idea of not knowing how much stuff I own fascinated me. I started the spreadsheet with everything I owned. And it was seven hundred items, but it all fit into two bags. Then I was fascinated by the idea of how small I can get until I picked it all down to just one backpack. Now I travel with just one backpack all the time. I've digitized everything important and always have it in the storage of my phone. In my backpack 64 things and about 35-40 of them are clothing. What I've learned is that freedom from clutter has made me liberated and much happier overall. I like the term essentialist. Essentialism is a big part of my life, becoming conscious of what is important and then being very consequential.

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About work


I've started several companies over the last 17 years. Now I focus on investing in companies and helping them grow. My company invests between a quarter-million and 1 million US dollars in other companies. We help them grow by investing, and also with my experience and introducing them to people. So for the most part, it's business to business software as a service. In the past, we have also invested in the business to consumer companies. But I feel it's good to have a niche where I can provide a lot of value as an investor.


About family


My wife was originally born in Kazakhstan, and she moved away in 1998, more than 20 years ago. I don't think she's as extreme as me. But we only have black things to wash once a week. And we got our rings tattooed. I also like the idea of it being permanent. We value experiences a lot more than possessions. And we'd much rather spend money on doing things and taking friends out than buying stuff. Sometimes she travels with me. So, sometimes when I go somewhere for like a week or two, she would usually come with me.

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About Kazakhstan


So I haven't been here before, but because my wife is from Kazakhstan, she does tell me a lot about Kazakhstan and how it was back then. She's been back a few times, and we want to come and travel the country a bit.

I heard about the digital bridge and thought it was a great conference. I think it's promoting entrepreneurship in the country, which is a mission that I share personally. And when my friend Egor mentioned it to me, I said I'd be very happy to come and share my ideas and experience of self-building companies in Astana.

I love the escape rooms. I love doing them everywhere. That's one of my big hobbies, like all these games where you get locked in a room and then you need to figure out riddles and break out. I got to see if I can play one here over the weekend.

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The current state of mind


I want people to live a more conscious life, to think about their decisions more, where they spend their time, how they spend it, how they interact with others. Think big, think bold and try your best. Now I'm excited. There are lots of people that I don't know. But I’ve already met a few cool startups. I'm generally very excited about the Kazakh startup ecosystem.