Today was my last day at XING before taking time off for parental leave and some remaining vacation days.
It not only marks the end of working on the probably biggest Freemium product within the DACH region but also the end of (at least daily) seeing a ton of awesome colleagues I’m privileged to call friends by now.
But let me walk you through this.
The decision to leave the place which truly helped me to get to my next professional level as a product person over the last 2,5 years, hasn’t been an easy one.
When I started at XING, my clear goal was to work among with high level domain professionals which would help me to grow within my own domain as well.
Looking back at what I’ve achieved, learned and failed at during my time at XING, I couldn’t be more certain about the fact that I made significant progress towards the goal which made me pick this company in the first place.
Despite the many intense discussions around our ‘craft’ itself – like features, design decisions, team constellations, roadmaps and cross-Business Unit projects – there was always an incredible human and friendly atmosphere around the office which made me appreciate every moment there.
Very special thanks goes out at this point to Moritz and Patrick for hiring me in the first place and being incredible leaders and mentors throughout the years. I’d also like to thank Jennifer for being probably the best colleague you could wish for to get onboarded into the XING product universe.
Last but not least, Nico did not only become an incredible valuable colleague for accelerating Freemium thinking throughout the whole company, but also a friend very close to my heart (I hope the exchange of inappropriate jokes won’t slow down over iMessage).
I won’t list everybody else working in XING’s product environment and which matters to me but rather want to say thanks to all of you for all the discussions, the fun, the fights, the parties, the failure, the openness, the successes, the fury, the support, the findings and of course… all the friendship I have found in these past years.
But I want to pick some very exceptional domain experts which I had the chance to work with and which will be missed not only on a professional, but also a personal level:
- Matthias who turned every even so crazy product idea into something visually appealing
- Madeleine who was the rock in the surf during a bunch of rather tight and…interesting projects
- Nikkel & Anne which brought the impact of prototypes and user research to a whole other level for my understanding
- Guido for creating product copy I actually wanted to leave my own ideas in the dust for
- The Premium Web and Premium Mobile Development teams I had the incredible chance to work with as their PO
Joining a new Venture
I can’t go into too many details what my next gig will be right now. No, it’s not because of some ‘crazy-idea-stealth-mode’ BS, but rather that some parts of are just not yet ready to be discussed publicly.
But be sure that I’ll stay focussed on the mobile aspects of building products – Just don’t wait for that high glossy dribbble shot of the next ‘Uber for X’.
But when future bosses and myself started talking a couple of weeks ago about me joining their latest venture, I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to jump onboard to help build something up from scratch.
It will definitely be a change in structure, pace and team size for me. But it’s such a positive change that I couldn’t be more thrilled about what we can achieve together as a team and the opportunities this unlocks for me personally.
Narrowing down my side projects
In consideration of a very special (and cute) private project which was shipped earlier this year and the upcoming challenge of being part of building a company, I also made a judicious decision regarding my side projects.
I currently just can’t provide enough flexible free time to be en par with the enthusiasm Piet and Ludwig pour into Git2Go or respectively Timelog. This is why I agreed with both of them to exit our joined projects to not be a bottleneck when it comes to scale those even further.
On the one hand I made this decision with a heavy heart, as I started both apps from the very ground up and have been able to learn a ton from accompanying them through out the first months and (paying) users.
On the other hand it’s definitely the best for both projects and I can’t wait to observe as a user how Git2Go and Timelog will evolve over time. In addition, I also wanted to reduce the chance of distraction while joining this new and exciting venture from September on.
What I’ll definitely keep is the content part of my side projects and the co-organization of Product Tank Hamburg. So be sure to get regular new content on this blog and monthly episodes of the Productish Podcast.
I might even dip into new content projects and ideas over time – As long as I can drive them mostly on my own and with assessing my own capacities.
If you want to talk about any of the above mentioned in person, I’m sure we’ll find a way to chat over coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I can’t wait for this new chapter of my professional career to begin and what it might bring!