Entrepreneur’s Diary #59 – Personal Setup

🙂 Nowadays, some people ask strange questions!

1st question: Who are you? What do you do?

Roland M. Dürre. Founder of “InterFace Connection GmbH”, today “InterFace AG”. Started with software development early in 1970. Third generation IT pioneer.

Private duerre. de Blog and IF-Blog.de. Company – www.InterFace-AG.de.

read&think – talk&blog – act&do

2nd question: What is the basic self-organisation concept you follow?

Well, to be perfectly honest: I do not know. But I have a few principles:

The most important things are done first. There is no such thing as urgent. Work away things as they come. Common sense. Ratio. Time for people Empathy as a quality a leaader should have. Intense consideration of the environment. No  information-evaluation-decision ideology!

3rd question: What does your self-organisational setup look like?

Hi – do I have one? But here is another attempt at telling you how I go about solving problems.

My tools:
First and foremost: to-do-lists. Both on paper and/or on the computer (with synchronization of paper and computer). If I had my way, I would still use paper calendars. The only reason for mine being electronical and public is the company. I am having a hard time with task tools. Even in times of the good old “income“ on paper, I found it hard.

I find fast laptops with a smart user interface important. For my bike tours, I use an Airbook, because it is small and light. At the office, I use the MacBook (18‘‘), in bed, the  MacBook 13‘‘ with illuminated keys. If possible, I avoid MS – I (currently) prefer Apple and Linux. They should be fast, but not for spread sheets, only for the network. Word and Open Office and the like are shunned by me, which functions better and better. No PowerPoint and similar applications. Whenever I need slides, our Johannes will produce them for me. He is our expert for communications and design.

Only in cases of emergency, I enter the network through the Smartphone (Android). Otherwise, the only things I use Smartphone for are Twitter, FB and the occasional email.

For collaboration, google will suffice (I have no fear as far as security is concerned, at least as far as my data are concerned). Paper books (both fun and technological) are more and more replaced by Kindle.

Whenever I come across critical data and ideas, I put them into the net (or sometimes send an email to myself). I do not synchronize my various laptops. But their organisational environment on data and browser tabs are all identical.

And I always delete a lot, so the brain remains free of junk… During a conversation,I like having my paper notebook on me, because it gives me the chance to visualize my ideas by drawing something that will remind me of what I think.

List of topics/comrades-in-arms
There are many issues I wish to promote. Some people say, I have “too many“ would-be projects. In order to still manage, I always look for comrades in arms who will – together with me – give my issues momentum. A list issues/comrades-in-arms helps me to structure, manage and “control“ them all a little (recurring events, results, progress…)

My offices:
Real Office – Unterhaching, InterFace AG, Leipziger Str. 16, 2nd floor on the right,  2nd left-hand office.    
City Office Munich – (Café) Atlas – behind the Gasteig building.    
Home Office – preferably in my bed or reclining on the sofa (Riemerling, Waldparkstr. 67c).
Mobile Office – all sorts of trains.

Disruptive occurances:
I try to protect myself against interruptions (self-preservation). Also, I try not to do several things at the same time, instead finishing one thing before I start the next. There is a general permission for people to call me at all times, both on the mobile and the office/home phone – but, please, only if it is really important. For instance, I favour thread dialogues, like in facebook, rather than long email dialogues.

Reducing waste, minimizing effort, both materially, immaterially and emotionally. I try a goal-oriented utilization of my strength. Also I try to reduce the burden for people around me and to be considerate with all kinds of resources. Time is essential. I only travel where it really makes sense, i.e. where I absolutely have to. I never go by car, because that is the ultimate waste of time.


Few meetings. Only short discussions, preferably standing up. Few telephone conversations. Once in a while, if a special occasion requires it, a video conversation (Skype), but only if the opposite party is someone I really know well.
Where possible, conflicts should be avoided. Accepting a conflict is the Ultima Ratio. A successful end should be possible. It is better to work together than against each other.

Creating a fear-free sphere. Promoting liberty with accepted rules understood by all parties. Maximizing joy and humour. “Prudent leadership” – the opponent is the problem that needs to be solved, not the team  member. There should be a common gain of kowledge during the dialectical process. Absolute transparence and clarity – no secrets.


It is better to share knowledge than to “keep it under lock and key“. Co-operation and collaboration. Thinking multi-dimensionally. Not accepting limits. Common sense beats numbers.

On the one hand: listening is better than talking. On the other hand: it is important to talk, since ideas have to be packed into storiers. No dogmatism. Accept uncertainty as a normal state of affairs.

Being open yet critical towards all that it new. Discovering what is relevant. Thinking in many dimensions. Balancing values in an ethically correct way. Being aware that you have to make decisions that will always have an underlying uncertainty factor. Acting in terms of “both”, instead of  “either-or”. Liberty beats security. No restrictions where thinking is concerned.

Of course, the answers to the three questions vary considerably according to how I feel on a specific  day.

(Translated by Evelyn)

Many thanks to Marcus, who, during an openpm gave me the idea to write my own setup. While I wrote it, I learned a lot!

For all the articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe

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