Coffee is an amazingly potent drink. Its caffeine keeps our mind alert and beats fatigue. Coffee is also always a great reason to meet up or take a break. However, overdoing it on your coffee may cause anxiety, disrupt sleep and decrease the effectiveness of another key component - rest.
The vast majority of offices offer coffee to their employees for free. As a result, we return to the coffee machine several times a day, consuming loads of caffeine, and a huge amount of sugar for those who choose to sweeten their beverage. Here’s a bizarre and fun animation of what can happen when you drink too much coffee:
Looks familiar? Let’s look at some alternatives to coffee that are a proven remedy to keep you awake during a busy day.
Cordyceps is one of the best energy boosters available among mushroom blends. It is a rare medicinal mushroom, with a wide range of therapeutic uses in traditional Chinese medicine and has been consumed for over 2,000 years. It has long been known that it has great anti-fatigue properties, but a recent study has found that Cordyceps “might become a new functional food for fatigue resistance”. It also improves cognitive function. Plus, cordyceps performs anti-inflammatory functions, is proven to cure neuron injuries, and acts as a powerful anti-depressant.
Maitake and shiitake mushrooms also have incredible health benefits and keep your energy levels high. Maitake grows in northeast Japan and in North America and is often cited as a medicinal mushroom with great antioxidative properties. The active compound in these mushrooms, a complex carbohydrate polysaccharide increases vital energy in humans. Maitake is often used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, and shiitake works as a great immune enhancer.
Green tea is excellent for your mental performance. Like coffee, it has caffeine that helps you focus and improves your alertness. Additionally, it contains l-theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in green tea that stimulates alpha-wave activity resulting in increased tranquility and slower caffeine release. A study by researcher Jane Bryan, at the University of South Australia, showed that this improves focus, accuracy and speed of mental processes.
Matcha, the stone-ground green tea powder, gives you a smooth alertness boost. Its effects can be compared to coffee, however there is much less caffeine in matcha. The active compound in matcha is called theophylline, which has been shown to lower stress and anxiety. Some people report that matcha green tea kept their energy levels up for up to 6 hours without any crashes, which they experienced with drinking coffee. A cup of matcha also provides 3.25mg of calcium, 1.75mg of vitamin C, 20.5mg of potassium and 274mg of protein per serving, amidst other vitamins and antioxidants that outnumber superfoods like goji and acai berries. Moreover, it is rich with EGCG, a phytochemical compound that acts as an antioxidant and is being researched for its potential capability fighting cancer, viruses and heart disease.
Pu-erh tea makes your brain work faster. It is a black tea with a rich taste. The caffeine in pu-erh stimulates the central nervous system while its gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content produces an anti-anxiety effect. Studies have shown that more than one third of our brain’s neurons use GABA for synaptic communication and the concentration of brain GABA regulates mental and the physical health. Moreover the metabolites of GABA are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
If you are tempted to some kitchen experiments and biohacking, try this awesome Tim Ferriss cocktail.
Yerba mate gives you higher energy levels. It is a medicinal plant from South America, which has been used for years to cure migraines, fatigue, obesity and stomach diseases. The stimulating compound in yerba mate is caffeine, however, caffeine-sensitive individuals do not experience the harsh side effects like jitters, upset stomach, headaches, or addiction. That might be due to the fact that yerba mate is also rich with vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, polyphenols, flavonoids and saponins, which creates a powerful nutrient composition.
Cacao for better cognition. In addition to its great taste, cacao is high in flavanol, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent with great benefits on human cognition, mood, and behavior. It also has a positive effect on memory and learning capacity. Lead scientist PhD Ian A. Macdonald, from the University of Nottingham Medical School in the UK, commented, “This raises the possibility that certain food components like cocoa flavanols may be beneficial in increasing brain blood flow and enhancing brain function among older adults or for others in situations where they may be cognitively impaired, such as fatigue or sleep deprivation.”
Guayusa tea for brain stimulation. Guayusa tree grows in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. The leaves of the guayusa tree are rich in caffeine, and once dried and brewed like a tea, will boost your brain work.
Airlines and airports aren't especially loved for their cuisine. Long hours on planes, trains and airports are a grind on their own, but most of us have learned to make do with the subpar meals that all too often come with it.
Longer trips often mean that you'll need 500-1000 kcal to stay nourished. When flying, the cabin air pressure equals an elevation of roughly 6000 feet (2000 m). The low humidity means you're losing vital electrolytes fast, and need to replenish these to stay feeling well and focused. Ambronite contains plenty of electrolytes and frees you from the plane's meal schedule.
I've used Ambronite as a saviour on trains and busses on longer trips, but I've found that they are especially well suited for air travel.
Me rushing to a changed gate in HEL intl. en route to
LHR, in time and with a full stomach.
More freedom: You can shake one right after security and enjoy it on the way to the gate
A full meal on the plane: Unlike fresh, real meals, water is always readily available from the flight attendants. This will free you from the plane's lunch schedule and the often questionable meals that come with it
Travel faster, not while fasting: Real meals are often sparce at airports, which only have fast food and sandwiches as real ready to go options. Ambronite lets you skip the queues.
These tips proved their worth in Geneva last week, when any meal cost 16 CHF (20 USD) and required a queuing time of 30 minutes - while in the same time, my gate suddenly changed to the other side of the airport. The plane only had sandwiches on the menu for an extra fee, so an Ambronite meal mid-air was a no-brainer.
This blog post is written by Christian Mueller, Ambronite R&D advisor.
We're starting a series of expert blog posts covering core topics in nutritional science. Ambronite’s development is based on the latest scientific understanding of food and nutrients. The first blog post covers carbohydrates, what they are, how to evaluate them, and how to choose better carbs for your diet.
These blog posts are written by Ambronite's R&D advisor Christian Müller (University of Erlangen / Department of Medicine). Christian is finishing his PhD research in total food replacements and genetics. These expert blog posts dive in a bit deeper than conventional blog posts and might take a bit more time to take in. However, if you’d like to understand the basic building blocks of food and the current state of research regarding them, you should find this blog post to be a great summary with interesting insights.
The promotion of “low-fat” diets in the 80s and 90s led to an increased carbohydrate consumption in order to compensate for the “lost caloric-energy” from restricting fat. Despite that widespread shift in the daily diet of the population, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease (CHD) and obesity has significantly risen over the past decades . Due to the unsatisfactory outcome at the time with the commonly accepted “lowfat” diets, doctors raised serious concerns, as “high-carbohydrate” diets showed a reduction in highdensity lipoprotein (aka “The good cholesterol” ), had severe effects on glucose and insulin levels as wells as triglycerides and blood pressure . This contributed to the definition of a now wellrecognized metabolic profile called “The metabolic syndrome” or also known as the “Insulin resistance syndrome”.
What are carbohydrates exactly?
Today it is a proven fact that even when foods contain the same quantity of carbohydrate, there is a profound, up to a 10-fold difference in the immediate blood sugar effect. Carbohydrates are categorized as simple (mono- and disaccharides, eg. sugar/glucose) or complex (polysaccharides, eg. starch), based on the number of molecules in their chemical structure.
It was commonly believed that complex carbohydrates cause a smaller rise in blood sugar than simple carbohydrates. However, research in the 70 ́s demonstrated that various starch containing (complex carbohydrate) foods differ greatly in their ability to influence blood sugar levels and trigger insulin responses . Studies showed that the glycemic responses to potato or bread are similar as to pure glucose [7,8], which lead to the conclusion that complex carbohydrates may not be different from simple carbohydrates in their effect on blood glucose levels under all circumstances. These findings kickstarted a new chapter of research on the in vivo effects of different forms of carbohydrates and subsequently nutritional concepts like the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) were developed.
Glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL)
A particular food's GI is determined by evaluating the incremental rises of blood glucose after ingestion of a food that contains 50g of available carbohydrate compared with the same amount of carbohydrate from a reference food, usually white bread /glucose . A principal argument against the glycemic index (GI) concept is that it cannot capture the entire glucose raising potential of dietary carbohydrates because the blood glucose response is influenced by the quantity of carbohydrate consumed as well as the quality (the latter reflected in the GI). To address this concern, the concept of glycemic load (GL) was introduced. Defined as the product of the GI value of a food and its carbohydrate content, GL incorporates both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate consumed [35,36]
So, what is wrong with carbohydrates?
Various prospective studies and metaanalyses have examined possible associations between diets high in glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load (GL) and the risk of developing certain forms of chronic diseases. Significant positive associations were found for type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease (CHD)[9,10]. In general, available evidence clearly shows that high intake of sugarsweetened foods contributes to weight gain due to their relatively high energy density  and their high GL .
Diabetes and metabolic syndrome (Insulin resistance)
Two individual metaanalyses of prospective cohort studies showed that high GI/GL diets were associated with a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes [11,12]. Although the exact mechanisms for “insulin resistance” or the “pancreatic exhaustion phenomenon” are not fully understood yet, it has been clearly shown in animal models, that glucose toxicity contributes to insulin resistance and abnormal insulin secretion . Metabolic studies in humans indicate that longterm consumption of low GI carbohydrates and diets that minimize glycemic and insulinemic responses reduce the risk and may protect against the development of type 2 diabetes .
Multiple prospective cohort studies have indicated that high dietary GI and GL are associated with risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) [15-18]. Further diets based on low GI/GL show to have beneficial effects on CHD risk factors [19,20].
In a randomized trial of overweight men were participants followed a low GI diet, a significant improvement in blood lipid profile was observed .
High blood insulin (called Hyperinsulinemia) and/or insulin resistance may promote carcinogenesis, based on the fact that insulin and insulin-like growth factors promote cell proliferation . An increased risk for certain cancers has been associated with diabetes, mainly cancers of the liver, pancreas and the endometrium [25,26]. Although findings are still inconsistent throughout the medical literature.
Then why is the common diet so high in carbohydrates?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was not commercially available until the 60s. However today, in the standard western diet, 20% of the total daily carbohydrate intake and 10% of the daily total energy intake stems from HFCS. Collected data between 1909 and 1997 in the US showed that consumption of HFCS increased by 2100% however fiber intake decreased by 40%, paralleling the continued rise of diabetes and obesity prevalence in the US . The food industry has become dependent on highly refined carbohydrates as a significant source of energy since these carbohydrate-dense foods are economical and easily consumed. As an example, processing whole grains into white flour increases the caloric density by 10%, reduces the amount of dietary fiber by 80% and reduces the amount of dietary protein by almost 30%, leaving a dietary substance that is nearly pure starchy carbohydrate with far fewer nutrients .
Which carbs are good then?
To further underline the effects of refined carbohydrates large prospective studies in healthy individuals demonstrated that refined grains are associated with long-term weight gain, whereas whole-grains are associated with weight loss . This translates directly into health, as a 2014 metaanalysis of over 400,000 patients found that increased whole-grain consumption was associated with decreased risk for coronary heart disease . A subsequent prospective cohort study including over 117.000 individuals showed that higher wholegrain consumption was associated with lower cardiovascular mortality .
There are four proven steps regarding carbohydrates which show clear health benefits:
1) Replace excess carbohydrates with protein
2) Replace excess carbohydrates with fat
3) Replace a high-GI carbohydrate with a low-GI carbohydrate
4) Combine all three methods
The available evidence is in support of an overall low-GL diet where carbohydrate sources are mainly fruits, whole grains, vegetables and the consumption of flour-based products, such as white bread and other baked products is reduced. Sugar-sweetened beverages should be consumed only occasionally and 100% fruit juices should be limited to not more than one small glass per day if at all.
Findings show that very low-carbohydrate diets are safe with regard to blood lipids and are more effective for short-term weight loss than low-fat diets. [30,31]. Further the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendation for a healthy diet, emphasize limiting the intake of free sugars . A 2014 metaanalysis of 11 cohort studies in elderly adults in Europe and the US found that higher adherence to these WHO dietary guidelines were associated with increased life expectancy .
1) Gross LS, Li L, Ford ES, Liu S. Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79:774.
2) Abbasi F, McLaughlin T, Lamendola C, et al. High carbohydrate diets, triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, and coronary heart disease risk. Am J Cardiol 2000; 85:45.
3) Crapo PA, Reaven G, Olefsky J. Plasma glucose and insulin responses to orally administered simple and complex carbohydrates. Diabetes 1976; 25:741.
4) Crapo PA, Reaven G, Olefsky J. Postprandial plasma-glucose and -insulin responses to different complex carbohydrates. Diabetes 1977; 26:1178.
5) Crapo PA, Kolterman OG, Waldeck N, et al. Postprandial hormonal responses to different types of complex carbohydrate in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. Am J Clin Nutr 1980; 33:1723.
6) Crapo PA, Insel J, Sperling M, Kolterman OG. Comparison of serum glucose, insulin, and glucagon responses to different types of complex carbohydrate in noninsulin-dependent diabetic patients. Am J Clin Nutr 1981; 34:184.
7) Wolever, TM, KatzmanRelle, L, Jenkins, AL, et al. Glycemic index of 102 complex carbohydrate foods in patients with diabetes. Nutr Res 1994; 14:651.
8) Bantle JP. Clinical aspects of sucrose and fructose metabolism. Diabetes Care 1989; 12:56.
9) Barclay AW, Petocz P, McMillanPrice J, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and chronic disease risk -- a meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87:627.
10) Liu S, Chou EL. Dietary glycemic load and type 2 diabetes: modeling the glucose-raising potential of carbohydrates for prevention. Am J Clin Nutr 2010; 92:675.
11) Livesey G, Taylor R, Livesey H, Liu S. Is there a dose-response relation of dietary glycemic load to risk of type 2 diabetes? Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2013; 97:584.
12) Bhupathiraju SN, Tobias DK, Malik VS, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from 3 large US cohorts and an updated meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 100:218.
13) DeFronzo RA, Bonadonna RC, Ferrannini E. Pathogenesis of NIDDM. A balanced overview. Diabetes Care 1992; 15:318.
14) Willett W, Manson J, Liu S. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 76:274S.
15) Liu S, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, et al. A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71:1455.
16) Halton TL, Willett WC, Liu S, et al. Low-carbohydrate-diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. N Engl J Med 2006; 355:1991.
17) Liu S, Manson JE, Buring JE, et al. Relation between a diet with a high glycemic load and plasma concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 75:492.
18) Shikany JM, Tinker LF, Neuhouser ML, et al. Association of glycemic load with cardiovascular disease risk factors: the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Nutrition 2010; 26:641.
19) Dumesnil JG, Turgeon J, Tremblay A, et al. Effect of a low-glycemic index -- low-fat-high-protein diet on the atherogenic metabolic risk profile of abdominally obese men. Br J Nutr 2001; 86:557.
20) Bouché C, Rizkalla SW, Luo J, et al. Fiveweek, low-glycemic index diet decreases total fat mass and improves plasma lipid profile in moderately overweight nondiabetic men. Diabetes Care 2002; 25:822.
21) Bouché C, Rizkalla SW, Luo J, et al. Fiveweek, low-glycemic index diet decreases total fat mass and improves plasma lipid profile in moderately overweight nondiabetic men. Diabetes Care 2002; 25:822.
22) Poppitt SD, Prentice AM. Energy density and its role in the control of food intake: evidence from metabolic and community studies. Appetite 1996; 26:153.
23) Liu S. Lowering dietary glycemic load for weight control and cardiovascular health: a matter of quality. Arch Intern Med 2006; 166:1438.
24) Giovannucci E. Insulin and colon cancer. Cancer Causes Control 1995; 6:164.
25) Giovannucci E, Harlan DM, Archer MC, et al. Diabetes and cancer: a consensus report. CA Cancer J Clin 2010; 60:207.
26) Vigneri P, Frasca F, Sciacca L, et al. Diabetes and cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer 2009; 16:1103.
27) Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:2392.
28) Tang G, Wang D, Long J, et al. Metaanalysis of the association between whole grain intake and coronary heart disease risk. Am J Cardiol 2015; 115:625.
29) Wu H, Flint AJ, Qi Q, et al. Association between dietary whole grain intake and risk of mortality: two large prospective studies in US men and women. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175:373.
30) Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. Weight loss with a lowcarbohydrate, Mediterranean, or lowfat diet. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:229.
31) Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA 2007; 297:969.
32) Nishida C, Uauy R, Kumanyika S, Shetty P. The joint WHO/FAO expert consultation on diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: process, product and policy implications. Public Health Nutr 2004; 7:245.
33) Jankovic N, Geelen A, Streppel MT, et al. Adherence to a healthy diet according to the World Health Organization guidelines and allcause mortality in elderly adults from Europe and the United States. Am J Epidemiol 2014; 180:978.
34) Jenkins DJ, Wolever TM, Taylor RH, et al. Glycemic index of foods: a physiological basis for carbohydrate exchange. Am J Clin Nutr 1981; 34:362.
35) Liu, S. Insulin resistance, hyperglycemia and risk of major chronic diseases -- a dietary perspective. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia 1998; 22:140.
36) Liu S, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, et al. A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71:1455.
Ordering Ambronite is so last season. Instead, you can have an Ambronite box automatically to your doorstep every month. And even save 15%. That means we're introducing Ambronite subscriptions as of today!
As a subscriber, you'll get your Ambronite Supermeals to your doorstep every month with the following perks:
Many of you have shared tips on how you like to mix your Ambronite. Here’s a great one: Add very cold water into the shaker before AND after pouring in your Drinkable Supermeal for even faster mixing.
The newly-launched Ambronite version three mixes faster and produces a smoother texture than ever before. This is thanks to recipe improvements such as replacing walnuts with a fine, special flax seed quality.
After a few dozen vigorous shakes, let your Ambronite sit in the shaker for a minute or two for an even smoother texture. This allows the flax and pre-gelatinized oats to activate and bring the smoothness to your Supermeal.
Keep on shaking!
The Graffathon is a 3-day computer graphics event that targets people with basic math and programing skills. This one, was the second hackathon of this kind. Here, participants learnt to create a computer program that produces a non-interactive multimedia presentation, also known as a demo.
Supported by Futurice and Nvidia, the event was aimed at real beginners, who had no prior graphics coding or demoscene experience. The program included a number of useful presentations and workshops, such as 3D graphics with Processing - A gentle introduction to 3D rendering by Antti Hirvonen or Modeling and Texturing with Emil Lindfors. In addition, participants were exposed to the basics of demoscene and democulture.
To our pleasant surprise, almost everyone at the hackathon knew about Ambronite and has been following our progress on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Many people told us they’ve been waiting for the opportunity to try out the new v3. In fact, our first batch of 50 meals beetled off in the first half an hour.
“The taste has improved greatly. I’m going to get a few meals!” – commented one of the participants, while grabbing a meal for a teammate. “We’ll be working hard for the next couple of days, and will need some brain boosters”.
The atmosphere at the event was quite geeky, just as it should be at a hackathon. Graffathon participants spent 3 full days programming, almost non-stop, with occasional breaks - for beers and of course, Ambronite.
Attendees got first-hand access to thought provoking and inspirational talks from world-class thinkers and makers like Jane McGonigal, an American game designer, author and TED speaker, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Lebanese-American scholar and risk analyst. The event covered topics ranging from driving individual and societal change to managing uncertainty and reinventing leadership.
Jane McGonigal, gave a talk on the Benefits of Gameful Mindset. Jane believes that the use of gaming technology will channel positive attitudes and collaboration in a real world context. She wants to see a game developer get nominated for the Nobel Prize. Jane speaks about gamers, creativity, engagement and the feeling of empowerment, being able to take risks. Creativity, according to Jane, comes from emotions, not from natural endowment.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb gave a presentation he calls, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. He is a well-known Lebanese-American scholar and risk analyst, professor at several Universities including the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, author of The Black Swan, described by the Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II. “Probably the most fascinating element of Taleb’s way of thinking is the amount of hope he delivers.” – writes Elina Lepomäki, a Member of The Finnish Parliament about Taleb’s talk.
After the inspiring and truly empowering presentations, we served the new Ambronite V3 during the after party. The attendees were truly amazed with the new taste. “It tastes really healthy” – comments Teemu, Helsinki-based fashion designer. “Finally tried all natural Ambronite, tastes very good” – writes Dana from Russia on her Instagram.
Thanks to everyone who visited our stand at the Tomorrow Conference, it was a pleasure to have you there!
The new Ambronite v3 includes a new recipe, new packaging and an Ambronite booklet!
We're excited to launch the newest, third version of the Drinkable Supermeal. Ambronite v3 tastes better than ever and has improved packaging. We've also included an Ambronite booklet packed with stuff to help you make the most of your Ambronite experience, like stories from our users and recipe ideas.
New recipe brings a new taste and better mixability
Ambronite tastes better than ever before. We've been able to remove the small bitterness from the aftertaste while bringing more healthy fatty acids into the recipe.
One of the major changes we made is changing one of our key fatty acid sources. By replacing walnuts with a fine quality of organic flaxseed, we've improved both taste, structure, mixability and the nutritional profile.
Great taste: The new recipe simply tastes better. The previous versions' slight bitterness in the aftertaste is gone, and replaced with a slightly sweeter, more fulfilling taste.
Even more healthy fatty acids: On the nutritional side, the omega 6 to 3 fatty acid ratio has been improved, thanks to the omega 3 content of flaxseed.
Smoother mouthfeel: Flax seed contains water-soluble fibers that have numerous benefits for digestion and satiety. We've cold-milled the seeds into a fine powder to keep their excellent properties intact. When mixed with water or any liquid, the flax in the new recipe gives Ambronite a smoother texture.
A bit of sweetness: With organic apple and organic lucuma fruit, the recipe is a bit sweeter, like you've wished for in our feedback rounds. This makes your Supermeals tastier and highlights the fresh flavours of the blackcurrants, wild bilberries and other ingredients, while only increasing the amount of fructose by 1 gram per meal.
Sturdy, water and scratch proof packs
The new 10-meal packs are more compact and sturdy. The new structure is more sustainable and takes up less space and material.
Also, the one-meal bag has been improved. The material is completely water and scratch proof, and will stay in great shape in your backpack. We've put the bags through some brutal wear and tear and haven't managed to break them.
The Ambronite versions so far
It's over two years now since we started to experiment with the first Ambronite recipes. We've rigorously created new versions with our network of experts and tested countless of iterations with our community, before producing each version to a wider audience. Here are the main recipes so far:
We've been fortunate to have a great community around us who've been able to develop the recipe with. We've organized bi-monthly tasting sessions with our fans to fine-tune the taste while always still sticking to our philosophy and helping busy people live life to the fullest with our real food Drinkable Supermeal. Thanks to all of you who have participated.
Update two-weeks after the launch: if you rather listen what's new in Ambronite v3, click above!
Take your life to the Ambronite level:
Grab your unfair advantage and order Ambronite v3 from our webshop now.
- Simo & Mikko & Arno
Silja and Valerie from our team paid a visit to Futurice, a company developing online and mobile software. On May 29, Futurice hosted the Data Science hackathon at their headquarters. The hackathon was a part of the Nordic Open Data Week, a joint Nordic effort to make open data more tangible to citizens, as well as private and public sectors.
The main goal of the event was to bring together researchers and programmers and enable them to find new ways of collaborating on data science. We were eager to serve our Ambronite supermeals to data scientists, helping them to reach optimal productivity at work and problem solving.
The dataset used in this hackathon included nearly the entire Suomi24 database. Suomi24 is an online forum that has run various discussions between 2001-2015 that hosts 1.9 million monthly visitors and is home to thousands of posts totaling over 120 million words. Studying this amount of data in a comprehensive way using traditional methods from social science or humanities is rather a cumbersome task!
Over the weekend, the teams worked on particular research problems, elaborating solutions and demos to crack them, to find out more about the Finnish society and human behavior online. The event also hosted lectures by researchers Krista Lagus, Mika Pantzar, Lauri Eloranta and more.
When we asked Futurice what they thought of our product, Olli Rissanen, software engineer at Futurice, told us: “Ambronite really does what it’s meant to – it keeps the hunger away and it’s full of nutrients that are essential for my work”
“It would be nice to have Ambronite at our office kitchen permanently” – adds his colleague Markus Berg, Design Director at Futurice.
Transforming ideas into action
At Ambronite, we're open to put great ideas into action. In addition to talking to experienced people, I read quite a lot of books. I feel that I can learn a lot from books when I read a right book at the right time. I measure the quality of business literature in the amount of “action points” it generates to my todo list. When fundraising, Venture Deals is great. To understand more about recruiting, I’ve got great ideas from Hiring for Attitude and How to Hire A-players. I usually finish a book in 2 days. That means I can spend a whole day reading one book. This usually happens during the weekend or when I’m travelling.
I recently read Delivering Happiness, a book by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It had a huge impact on me. Delivering Happiness is partly a personal biography of Tony Hsieh, a history of his first venture LinkExchange, and most importantly, it tells the story behind Zappos and its special company culture. Actually the book was so great that I ordered it to our new team members Valerie and Silja and encouraged them to use their working time to read it.
If you're a startup co-founder, Delivering Happiness should be next on your reading list. It definitely generated “actions point” to my todo list. I'll give you an example:
Discovering Ambronite company culture
Culture exists in every organization. The questions is whether it is recognized, nourished and cultivated to its ultimate potential. In the spirit of Tony Hsieh I sent out the following email to our Ambronite team:
As I mentioned yesterday in the weekly meeting, we’ll be putting together a small mini-book about Ambronite culture, which we can use internally and for e.g. in recruiting. Ambronite culture is the combination of all of the team members’ ideas about the culture, so we’d like to include everyone’s thoughts in this mini-book.
Please email me 100-500 words about what Ambronite culture means to you. (What is Ambronite culture? What’s different about it compared to other company cultures? What do you like about our culture?)
We will compile everyone’s contribution into the mini-book. The idea is that when I get all of your responses, I’ll simply put them together, and distribute the whole package back to you transparently.
Also, please don’t talk to anyone about what you will be writing or what anyone else wrote. We want to know what Ambronite culture means to you specifically, as it will be different for everyone. Remember, there are no wrong answers here.
Download Ambronite Culture Mini-Book
Sharing is caring - here's the Ambronite Culture Mini-Book for you to download (PDF). The answers are provide as is, without any rewriting. Only small spelling errors have been fixed.
There is a distinct Ambronite Culture:
A key finding for me was to realize that we had many same ideas in different wording. There is a distinct Ambronite culture. I got affirmation to some of my own thoughts when I compiled our team's writings on paper.
To sum it up, Ambronite is a way of life to its team members. We strive to make everyone’s lives healthier, happier and more enjoyable. Leading a healthy and adventurous lifestyle is part of the vibe at Ambronite. If you prefer weekly pizzas and Friday beers to team adventure days or a stand up paddling trip with the team, Ambronite probably wouldn’t be a great fit for you.
Trust and a getting-things-done mentality was another point that popped up on everybody’s answer. We trust in our team members’ decisions and evaluations. That means autonomy for everyone to find the best way to get work done. Whether it’s working from a cafeteria, having walking meeting or having a nap on the sofa, it’s up to you. That doesn't mean you'd need to work alone. Family spirit is part of our culture, and there is always somebody to get support from.
A small team needs many talents. This leaves room for professional growth and discovering and developing skills you didn’t know to had. I was glad to notice that even though things get pretty hectic sometimes, people feel that there’s a playground to try, experiment and make mistakes, too.
What did this lead to?
It’s only been a few days since we got it compiled together, so it’s still too early to say. However, the process already brought up some areas that need development, too. Having the culture book in front of you helps having an honest discussion.
I'm sure this won't be our last exercise related to nourishing Ambronite culture. If you're a startup founder and you'd like to learn more, I'm happy to help & give additional pointers. Just drop me an email at email@example.com.
PS. We’re recruiting full-time Full-Stack Online Marketer (San Francisco Bay Area, US).