Yanda's Personal User Manual


This concept is modeled on Urs Hölzle's Personal User Manual, a document written by Urs himself where he explains to others how to best work with & interact with him. Unfortunately the original document is not public.


  1. I like improving things. As a result, I tend to focus on what’s "broken" (because that’s where I see room for improvement) vs. what works well. This can come off as critical, but my intention is to identify what can be improved & work together to make it better (vs. criticizing you for how it is in its current state.)
  2. I don’t want to be (thoughtlessly) followed or agreed with. I do want to be heard, and have trouble fully listening until I feel like my perspective has also been actively listened to.
  3. I have the utmost respect for folks with hustle who get shit done. I think perfect is the enemy of done, and as a result of good. I believe all great things got great through iteration (done → improve → improve → improve) vs. seeking the perfect solution from the get go.
  4. Related to point #3, I like works in progress. I do my best work in conversations with others, sharing "half-baked" thoughts. I like listening to other’s half-baked thoughts and like sharing my own.
  5. Converse to point #3, I get really frustrated by situations where I perceive either (1) A lack of hustle = considering obstacles as blockers vs. things to be surmounted or (2) Excessive talking and/or searching for a perfect solution vs. getting shit done. In those situations, I have a tendency to want to take matters into my own hands (eg. do it myself). This isn’t great for anyone. Help me avoid this situation.
  6. I start by trusting that everyone knows & can do their job to the best of their ability, but hold everyone to a high bar. If you lose that trust, it can be difficult to regain.
  7. I feel an extreme sense of urgency in anything I do. I was the kid who did his homework on the day it was assigned (vs. the day it was due) and had trouble focusing on other things till it was done. This may appear as anxiousness (I guess it is in some respect). The lack of (perceived) sense of urgency in others bothers me.
  8. I don’t mind negative news (it’s the nature of startups) but really despise bad surprises. I’d prefer to know that something may go wrong early (so we can fix it together) rather than find out something did go wrong after the fact.
  9. I consider myself the “last sieve” in the company, which means if no one is worried or taking care of some task, then I assume it’s my responsibility to take care of it. This can get overwhelming.
  10. I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I’m getting better at it. I almost never ask for help twice for the same thing. I greatly appreciate those who offer help without my asking, or take my first request seriously.
  11. I prefer in-person conversations > video calls > phone calls > emails & texts. This is true in almost every situation.
  12. When tackling a problem, I tend to focus on the problem (vs. the people involved). This may seem cold. What may not be obvious is that I love collaborating with people (see #4), but also like getting that problem solved (see #1 and #3).
  13. I consider myself fairly introspective, and driven to continuously improve myself. As such, I appreciate constructive criticism. I also have utmost respect for folks who take feedback well & strive to improve themselves.
  14. I don’t consider myself a good manager. I’m good at many things, but management isn’t a self-perceived strong suit. If you need me to manage you, I ask that you help me do it.
  15. I'm an introvert and a large amount of context-switching or back-to-back meetings drain my energy. If you catch me at the end of a long meeting day, I may sound frazzled and tired. It's not at you, but apologies in advance.