typical-24
Human Resources

Typical 24: Markus Ament, Taulia Inc.

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…

04-05-2015-markus-ament-taulia-inc
  Name:
Markus Ament

  Job title: Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

  Company: Taulia Inc.

  Location: San Francisco, California, United States


 

1.             What time do you reach the office each day?
It really depends on whether I’m in San Francisco (where Taulia is headquartered), or if I’m traveling around the world trying to spread the word about Taulia. If I’m in San Francisco, I try to have my first calls and meetings while I’m still at home, so I can see my family in the morning. So my workday starts at 7:30 or 8 a.m., but I’m usually not at the office until 9 a.m.

 

 

2.             Is your job varied?
I think my role is as varied as a job can be. As a co-founder, my core tasks are being responsible for our product, supporting the sales of our solution, and spreading the word about Taulia around the world. The mix of being in the office and traveling is attractive: I love being able to meet customers and prospects, and getting to know their ideas and their challenges. And I enjoy being able to return to the office and help address those problems with solutions within our products—that’s as good as it gets, in my opinion.

 

3.             Is your job creative?
I feel it is, although as the company has grown, some tasks are more on the process side of things, which I probably wouldn’t describe as creative (I know folks disagree on this). At Taulia, we’re building, inventing, and designing products that totally change the way that companies worldwide do business with each other, and that makes for very creative tasks.

4.             What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
Travel is a big portion. I’m constantly on the road, seeing customers, prospects, and visiting industry conferences. Back in the office, it’s a good mix of meeting with our teams—from product, sales, delivery, marketing and more and brainstorming ideas to best serve our customers. And yes, there’s email as well, obviously!

5.             Do you personalise your desk?
Only a bit. I have two young daughters, so having them “close” is the first thing.
Other than that I collect the most ridiculous tweets of our competitors on my office door…

 

6.             Would you describe yourself as creative?
That’s hard to assess. I do help come up with creative ideas and products to solve problems. But there are much more creative folks at Taulia than me!

 

7.             Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
I drink too many Coke Zeroes. I have to sit on an aisle seat when I’m flying. I also spend way too much time on Twitter.

 

8.             Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
At this stage at Taulia, the vast majority of my time I spend with my colleagues. That wasn’t the case in our early days, where we had to wear many hats and were spread very thin. Now I’m almost always with colleagues, except when I’m sitting on planes and when I’m answering emails.

 

9.             How many hours on average do you work a day?
When you work in something you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work. Taulia is a huge part of my life so it’s hard for me to calculate that—though I do know it takes up a lot of my time.

 

10.        Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
I would say that email, calls, and meetings each take up about one-third of my time. I have more personal meetings with customers and prospective clients, though, when I travel.

 

11.        Do you use social media much for work?
I do. I use Twitter to stay on top of our market and what partners, customers, and competitors do, and I use LinkedIn to connect and to research as well. We also use Yammer internally, as a way for our employees to connect and interact.

12.        What do you enjoy most about your work?
I have two favorites: I completely enjoy talking to customers, partners and competitors, getting ideas from that and translating them into products. And secondly, I love
presenting our Taulia product to a prospect and seeing that the person understood and will soon join the Taulia family. That’s the most rewarding moment in business for me.

13.        What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
Electro and Gothic.

14.        What do you do for lunch?
I try to get out if possible, but the reality is unfortunately most of the time I have a working lunch over meetings. I’m trying to improve on that though!

15.        Do you socialise with work colleagues?
I do, as much as possible. When I travel to conferences and events, I really enjoy getting to know my colleagues. Being on the road create a kind of bond, and you can get to know a person better when you’re with them outside of the office setting.

 

16.        Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
I’ve never been able to get very excited about finance-related tasks, so I’ve been glad to hand those tasks off to people who are much more capable and more interested in doing that important work.

 

17.        What is your last task of your day?
Checking email, Twitter and looking at my schedule for the next day.

18.        How do you like to relax after work?
Most importantly, I try to be home for dinner with my wife and the kids. That helps more than anything. A beer never hurts, either.

19.        Do you keep checking email through the evening?
Yes. I try hard to have a break when coming home, focusing on the family. After the kids are in bed, I normally get back to finish some urgent emails that haven’t got done over the day.

 

20.        Do you take work projects home with you?
Yes, at night, or on weekends. I find it very useful when there is no interruption; it’s a great time to get things done.

 

21.        What would you say to your 20-year old self?
I’m originally from a small town in Germany, so my advice would be to get out of your hometown faster! Go to a college out of town, even better, go to college in another country. You’ll become stronger and smarter from new experiences in unfamiliar places.

22.        If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
I would love to be a game designer for a virtual reality game.

23.        What device did you use to answer these questions?
A MacBook Air.

 

24.        Do you use your own personal device for work?
Most of the time I use my MacBook, but yes, sometimes I use an iPad as well.

 

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