AGP Ep 25: Arjen Lentz—Define success on your own terms: What does success look like for you?

by | Apr 4, 2017

Arjen Lentz has a long history in technology starting out in hands on technical roles and includes being employee #25 at MySQL. Arjen is now the founder of Upstarta and co-founder of OpenSTEM. Arjen focuses on quality of products and quality of life over and above money. These priorities also allow Arjen to ensure his companies make a positive social impact.


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“What is correct is very much dependent on one's perspective”—Arjen Lentz
"Define what success means for yourself"—Arjen Lentz
"Growth is not always the solution"—Arjen Lentz

Show notes



Topics discussed

  • Arjen Lentz, the Gentleman behind the Business.
  • How to run the business, develop the product, and find equilibrium
  • On Running a Company: Rule of the Economy of Scales
  • Arjen Lentz’s Definition of Success
  • On Measuring Business Metrics
  • Arjen Lentz’s Definition of Leadership
  • How to respond to failures?
  • On Life’s Lessons and Finding Balance to Success


  • “I’m more like a generalist and I think that’s a really really useful skill to have. I find that a major advantage in the world”—Arjen Lentz
  • “The fact that the product sells and gets used lots doesn’t mean it’s a perfect product”—Arjen Lentz
  • “There’s no such thing as bug free software”—Arjen Lentz
  • “You got to get money in the door but you also have to build good quality products”—Arjen Lentz
  • “When you do things at a higher scale, things get cheaper or things work better”—Arjen Lentz
  • “A key thing in running companies that you continuously find out how not to do things”—Arjen Lentz
  • “Growth is not always the solution”—Arjen Lentz
  • “Money tends to bring with it opinions”—Arjen Lentz
  • “What is correct is very much dependent on one’s perspective”—Arjen Lentz
  • “Change is annoying”—Arjen Lentz
  • “[In teams] it’s important to have similar values in terms of what’s relevant”—Arjen Lentz
  • “Define what success means for yourself”—Arjen Lentz
  • “The goal of a job is not just to acquire money to live, there are other aspects to it to provide me with some kind of interest and enjoyment”—Arjen Lentz
  • “Only I can make that change so I have to kind of step up and make it happen”—Andrew Ramsden
  • “Rather than focusing on what’s correct, it’s important to focus more on what’s useful in this moment and what’s useful to take us forward”—Andrew Ramsden

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