Faruk Ateş is a comedian, story coach, and time traveler (in reverse). A recovering software engineer and product designer, he now helps people unlock the power of their story with Love First.
Love is at the heart of Faruk’s oldest story.
Born and raised in The Netherlands, Faruk attended a Waldorf primary school emphasizing creativity, innovative thinking, and putting the art back in heart. He left public high school early after the rollout of a new education system led to protests and even riots. (Surprise! It was rolled back.) On his 18th birthday Faruk closed the chapter of his childhood and education, and began another 18-year one as full-time web developer and designer.
After a few years of blogging about web standards & accessibility, Faruk was approached by Apple with an offer to spearhead the front-end development team for the famous Apple Online Store. It was his dreamiest of dream jobs, but required a year-long tour of duty at Apple UK in pre-Brexit London, England, before making his way to Cupertino, California.
Faruk spent three years at Apple during the peak of the iPod, the release of the iPhone, and the launch of MobileMe-which he worked on and, incidentally, got yelled at for by Steve Jobs in the infamous department-wide scolding over its problems.
Faruk’s public speaking work inspired him to fix problems endemic to that area: people’s fears of presenting, audience’s Death by PowerPoint experiences, and more. This led to the creation of Presentate, a future-oriented presentation tool and sharing platform that used psychology and design constructively to help users become confident speakers, and create better presenter and audience experiences. Presentate’s beta release showed that the vision was right, but the company joined Dropbox before ever launching the product fully (or finishing it).
Next, Faruk took a turn as Design Director on one of the world’s largest government software deployments, and one more stint as Product Designer at a company using quantum physics algorithms to help Fortune 500 companies understand customer needs and interests more honestly—like focus groups, but scaled to millions of individuals. In that role, Faruk designed applications that Fortune 500 CMO’s would sign 6- and 7-figure contracts for.
This story came to an end in 2017. The world at large took major turns into new directions that year, and Faruk’s personal life and career were no exception. After losing his long-term relationship, job, identity, and even his cat, Faruk sat himself down to figure out what he really wanted to do with the rest of his life. Looking back on his accomplishments, and best moments in life, Faruk realized that storytelling had always been his lifelong dream. But not just for entertainment or art-instead, Faruk saw storytelling as a vehicle to accomplish something much greater. On December 18, 2017, he had a vision for the third 18-year chapter of his life: Love First.
Love First combines personal development with storytelling, fostering healthier interpersonal relationships and building stronger social bonds within and across communities. It is part of a larger vision to write a better story of humanity’s future together, using the latest research in psychology, physiology, and neuroscience to help us understand how to lead more intentional and empowered lives, in charge of our emotions.
Here, on GoingLoveFirst.com, Faruk now chronicles his story of discovery into the principles that helped him be his best self (on those occasions that he was), create notable successes in his career, and do his most creative and innovative work. He believes Love First is a way of life which can help us overcome some of the greatest challenges we face: the social, digital, and ideological divides in our society. Storytelling is the heart of what brings humans together and helps us relate and understand each other; by connecting personal development to our stories of growth, Faruk hopes to help us move from an “us vs. them” mentality to “us all vs. the problems.”
It all starts small, with the story of an idea: we become our best selves, and enjoy our best outcomes, whenever we act through the lens of love, first.