Through our Reflections series we share nuggets of wisdom from our ongoing research for the Holstee Membership as well as personal experiences that have changed how we see the world.
August 18, 2017

Why are you here?

Are you here to learn something or prove something?

I just read an article by Jason Fried. Jason is a remarkable thinker, author (Getting Real, Remote, REWORK) and entrepreneur — and he often drops deep nuggets of wisdom.

In the article, Jason vulnerably shares how he would often be quick to respond to things he didn’t agree with.

"I used to be a hothead. Whenever anyone said anything, I’d think of a way to disagree. I’d push back hard if something didn’t fit my world-view.

It’s like I had to be first with an opinion — as if being first meant something."

Jason shares that the reflex to disagree came to a head in 2007 when Richard Saul Wurman (creator of the TED conference) called him out.

"He said 'Man, give it five minutes.' I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them.

'Five minutes' represented 'think', not react.

He was totally right.

I came into the discussion looking to prove something, not learn something."

That last sentence really stood out to me, and I immediately added this line to my journal:

Are you here to learn something or prove something?

I realized how guilty I was of trying to push my own ideas onto others before fully understanding their perspective.

If you are familiar with Stephen Covey, this learning may ring a bell. It’s similar to Habit 5 in Stephen’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — a classic I like to come back to every few years.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, but being able to deeply listen — withholding judgment, analysis, and my own projections from past experience — is something I have found to be deeply important.

The Holstee Membership helps you keep front-of-mind important (but often not urgent) ideas. Join the thousands of people who have become members →

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

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January 07, 2018

Life goals.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for having them. But it's possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that's really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” - Seth Godin I was recently reflecting on what success looks like in my life. If I were to die in a week, a year, or a few decades, what would it take for me to be able to say, “Well, I did it — I accomplished everything I wanted. I lived a...


October 17, 2017


These days, I am finding myself wrapped up in the news — devastating tragedies, one after another.

My mind is filled with questions. Why would someone do this? How could it be possible? Why does it keep happening? What can be done now? The questions don’t seem to end.

I recently reached a point at which I was



October 03, 2017

Sandwich of the future.

I love sandwiches — both making and eating them. So when I heard that there was a famous man in Syracuse, Sicily, who makes just a few dozen sandwiches a day and has a constant line out the door, my interest peaked.

Turns out he doesn’t just make sandwiches but he



September 28, 2017

Wait till you see the flowers by the pool.

September 2015 was a big month for us.

I was about to get married, Dave was turning 30, and our third co-founder, Fabian, was about to start a new project after eight years of working with us on Holstee.

So at the very last minute, we decided to go on a combo bachelor-birthday-send-off weekend trip. We booked the only place we could find that was near nature and had availability that night. We borrowed a car and made our way north up Route 28 out of New York City.

When we arrived at the bungalow we’d booked, we looked around. Without saying anything, we knew exactly what one another was thinking



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