Alexander Thomas

About me (random facts edition)

Me in a nutshell

Inquisitive, interested, enthusiastic, responsible and committed.
A tech-interested, people-driven, web-savvy project initiator and caretaker, fascinated by music and art.

Married and living in Berlin.

I love complex technical problems and empowering other people

I've been in this industry for roughly 20 years now.

To this day I love the intellectual challenge of a complex technical problem and the struggle to find a good solution for it.

But it is the exchange with others and the empowerment of others that I get my kick from.

Not only does it scale significantly better than if I would feel obliged to do it all by myself, it's also one of my most satisfying and generally amazing experience seeing people gaining trust and starting to expose themselves in the process of collaboratively building great things!

And after so many years that's more interesting than simply building stuff myself.

I'm a music addict

I'm sorry, but having a conversation with me about movies or the latest series on Netflix will probably not result in a pleasurable experience. Most likely I haven't seen any of it.

But I promise to be ready for a profound music related discussion at any time of the day!

Recording techniques, performance, style, sound or energy – there is literally no aspect of music I'm not interested in. And even if a piece does not match my preferences I'm interested, because there is almost every time something to learn for me.

After being a pretty narrow-minded HipHop dogmatic in my younger age (the reason why people started calling me fanatique ), I would consider myself to be open to any musical genre. There is just too much great stuff out there to limit myself. And despite the grim cultural pessimism many people around me seem carry with them, I'm constantly blown away by all the amazing stuff that is being released.

It may have become harder to make a living as a musician these days, but digitization and the internet have definitely lowered the barriers for artists to find hearing. – And I'm here to listen!

Many moons ago, I was very much into producing music. I had to learn the hard way that the music business is a lot about the business and only partly about the music. Moving away from music as a career path has proved to be the right decision for me, but it certainly was also the most challenging and it has taken me roughly 10 years to make peace with it.

If you're interested in finding out more, I've compiled a list with music I've made and one with music I like.

I love diving into new things – and get easily bored by solved problems

Yes, I think, this is true for any geek. I'm super curious and eager to learn new things. It almost does not matter what exactly, but I feel, I can find something interesting in almost any area. Fortunately for me there's a gazillion areas I haven't put foot into, yet. So it will not get boring any time soon.

I'm driven by the will to understand and master a thing to a certain degree. Beyond this point, some things stick and these become permanent companions and areas of interest for me. But all others simply vanish. And I've decided that this is fine with me. I'm just like a kid in a candy store...

I'm a ridiculous compilation of privileges

Ok, I'm an educated white male, living in the capital of a western country, working in probably the most vibrant industry of our times, where it's easy for educated while males to make a good living. My person is an infinite concentration of all kinds of privileges and although I can tell you that life on my end also comes with its challenges I can absolutely see that my background is not making things harder.

I can call the police at any time and reasonably expect to be bailed out, I would find a new apartment, I have networks and strategies to solve any kind of problem and on top of everything our system is designed in a way that by being hardworking and committed you seem to unlock new privileges (based on the privileges you already have).

For me personally I don't see reason to feel bad about the fact itself (most of it I can't change anyway) but thinking about this has led me to realize that just because I don't have a problem doesn't necessarily mean there isn't one.

In fact it's even quite likely that for others there might indeed be a problem.

In view of this, I consider it to be my responsibility to continuously keep my privileged situation in mind, to challenge myself taking a clear stand in critical situations even if it makes me uncomfortable, and to use my resources wisely as much as I can.

I don't have kids

but since people keep on bringing it up, let me tell you that I wouldn't be too sad, if we could leave it at that.

I care a lot about the state of the world

Armed conflicts, climate change and pollution, diverging societies and eroding democracies – these are all topics that worry me a lot! I try to stay informed and to make my contribution, but in doing this, I am as inconsistent as any of us.

My personal actions will most likely not save the world, but I believe in people and our ability to solve complex problems. And I do see progress that is being made.

I am an optimistic person, but I'm certainly not naive. That's something I noticed lately when I was criticized about an optimistic outlook, but then being able to explain surprisingly clearly about how I came to that assessment.

My takeaway here is that it is worth it for me to elaborate on my positions in order to be able to bring them up. That's something I often don't do because I'm avoiding heated discussions.