The “Wise Up!" Q+A series features insightful interviews with innovators, disruptors, game-changers and leaders across industries that we work with here at Wise Public Relations, could be a client, reporter, influencers, vendor, partner, etc. We'll ask some questions as it pertains to the individual's line of work, and then a few 'softball' questions on the individual's interest outside of work, like travel, food, music, books, etc.
Check out Pieter’s responses and enjoy!
What are your current day to day responsibilities
In the end I'm responsible for everything! Luckily I have a kick ass team to delegate a lot of these responsibilities to. So a big part of my job is making sure I clear the way for them doing what they do best. The things that do really fall on my plate are never day to day. They are the longer term components of a business: the ecosystem, investors, strategic partnerships, planning etc. It's actually extremely varied, which I find exciting. I love being challenged every day. I guess that's required to do this job.
What does success look like for what you do?
Success is every step forward to realizing our mission to make all videos actionable. We help you buy, follow, learn more, engage, sign up etc all within the story. This comes in many forms: excitement in the team, amazing results for our clients, flabbergasted looks when people realize the potential of our technology, smiling faces. It's sometimes hard not to forget that success is a fluid concept. You can shape it. It's also common for workaholics like myself to raise the bar a little whenever you come close to it, which makes success a challenge ;)
What tool or utility helps you do your job more efficiently?
I'm becoming a fan of Google Inbox. Email is a huge distraction of my time. It's a necessary evil, but nobody likes spending time in it. But with a geographically distributed team in different time zones and lots of outside communication, it's still a critical productivity tool. Google Inbox has been able to add some structure for me but I notice I'm still learning a few of its tricks every week.
What was the inflection point in your career that led you to your current role?
Meeting one of my co-founders, Pieter Delbeke - yes another Pieter -, at summer camp when I was young. I had a passion for technology and computers since as young as I can remember, I'd been dabbling with DOS since the age of 7, programmed my first line of code when I was 10, was writing larger pieces of software by the time I was 12. By the time I was 14 I was getting pretty good at this stuff, but I'd never really met anyone like me, anyone as passionate about tech. I had friends in a ton of other hobbies, just not this one ;)
Then I met other Pieter at a summer camp from a youth movement we were both part of somewhere during a sunny summer in Belgium. A few years older, but as passionate about tech. It was professional love at first sight. We spent the next few days talking for hours about computers and all the cool things we could do with them.
We were doing a long day hike through the woods with the whole group and we were both immersed in conversation when a beautiful castle with a large moat around it suddenly appeared out of the forest. We looked at each other and immediately agreed that we'd build a business together in tech and that one day we'd own that castle together.
Since then, for the last 15 years, we've been close friends and having a great time playing with technology and building businesses together.
We don't own that castle yet, but there is still time ;)
What is the most interesting thing about your job?
What I absolutely love is the opportunity to travel the world and meet so many talented, interesting individuals. Without this job, I would never have met so many people that I've been able to learn so much from, that I respect so much. As a young professional, it's truly a gift to be able to receive so much knowledge, experience and talent from others that "did it" before me.
What is the last book you read?
For business? I'm reading The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. For leisure? I'm re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I love that book!
Where is your next big adventure?
I'm heading to Namibia in December with family. We're still in planning stages, but it's going to be awesome! Although it's impossible right now, I'd also like to go on a 6-month world trip somewhere in the future. Hope I'll one day be in a position where I'll be able to do that :)