Building·The·Dream noun: The collective passion, ethic, vision, and set of values channeled by a group to achieve a common goal of being extraordinary.
Name: Floran Felen
Title: Business Consultant
Where did you grow up? In a small town of 12,000 people called Grave, the Netherlands. Fun fact: it’s widely considered the most beleaguered city in Holland.
Two truths & a lie:
1. Went cage diving in Australia and saw a 15 ft. Great White Shark
2. Broke my back snowboarding (without knowing it)
3. Fell 400 feet into a canyon
Lie: I did go cage diving but never saw a shark!
What have you learned in your time at BlueConic – about startups, about your role, about your team, about yourself?
A: Over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of working with different teams, from Sales to R&D to Marketing, so no team specifically stands out. The common denominator however has been that at BlueConic the individuals truly go out of their way to help their teams. Over this course I learned to do many different things, but the one thing that stands out is that working for a startup has taught me how to handle and embrace change.
One of the bigger changes as the company grew was our culture. Even though growth has been rapid over the last few months, I love to see that the teams have always remained tightly-knit, an accomplishment in itself I think.
What has challenged you the most? How did you deal (or are you dealing) with that challenge?
A: Finding the best format and language to convey our story. It’s my belief that storytelling is a critical component to separate our message from our competitors’. I often see overlap in the messages, because a specific term is ‘hot’ at that time (I’m talking to you ‘Customer Journey’). That’s not to say all messaging out there is bad, but a lot of companies are parroting container terms without having the product or service to truly back up their promises. So to keep cutting through all the noise requires that our story needs continuous finessing.
Also, the market is evolving fast and at times can seem to be in an entropic state. So another challenge is to keep up-to-date with other players out there and their offerings.
I deal with all this, by experimenting with different stories I tell, and applying small incremental changes.
Also, finding new ways to show customers how BlueConic solves their current problems and then get them to the next level. For that I try to keep informed on all vendors and systems out there and what both their strengths as well as shortcomings are.
If you could change one thing about your time here so far, what would it be?
A: I’d probably go back in time and erase our Spotify country playlist.
What’s your advice to the newest members of the Crew (if you’ve been here) OR what was your acclimation to BlueConic like (for the newer folks)?
A: We’re in a constant state of flux, so anyone working here needs to be able to cope and adapt to both a changing organization and market conditions. We’re growing fast, but have ambitious goals, so it’s really all hands on deck.
But in short: work hard, embrace change and have fun doing it.
Why are you at BlueConic – what was it about your interview that you remember and made you want to be here? What keeps you here?
A: I’ve been at BlueConic pretty much since its inception. I was drawn by the smart and passionate people that work here and the beautiful product with cutting edge tech that was being used. That’s also what still keeps me here.
In the near and middle term, what are you focused on? What would you like to do that you aren’t or haven’t been able to do?
A: I’m very much focused on the product, so there are a few things on my wish list to make it even better. Also, I hope to keep training the team over here in delivering our story and making sure our message as well as our product demo’s keep closely aligned with our customers’ challenges.
What is your favorite BlueConic product feature?
A: This is a very hard question! I choose Segment discovery and our Connections (yes that’s 2, but rules are made to be broken).
What is your proudest moment at BlueConic?
A: When The Boston Globe chose BlueConic.
What would others be surprised to learn about BC/your job?
A: I love running Windows 10 (on a 2560×1600 resolution) on my Mac a lot more than I do OSX *ducks*
If you could switch roles with anyone else in the company for a day, whose job would you choose and why?
A: That would be Todd: I’d love to see up close how our customers use BlueConic on a daily basis and what they love about it. Also I’d like to know how he combines being a father to 4(!) kids with a demanding job. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why he’s one of the guys behind pushing usability and self-service capabilities in BlueConic to the next level. So there’s that, plus I’d also like to have a higher tolerance to Kraken.
A: I don’t eat fish anymore, but it used to be the Amazing Tuna, because, well, what’s in a name.
A: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
Favorite sports team:
A: Team Jones in the UFC. And I must admit though that since moving to the US, the Pats are a very close 2nd (and beat soccer by a long shot). Plus, since last Sunday of course: Team “Max Verstappen” in Formula 1.
A: Chance favors the prepared mind – Louis Pasteur
Favored piece of furniture in the office:
A: Very boring, but: my own table. Just because it’s so multi-functional: a work space, meeting place, lunch table, storage cabinet. I’m also fully aware my clean desk policy still needs some work.
What is something on your bucket list?
A: Cage dive with Great White Sharks
Who is your biggest hero?
A: Don’t really have one
Favorite Spotify playlist at work:
A: Pretty much any non-country playlist
What did you want to grow up to be when you were younger?
A: I was devouring dinosaur books, so an archeologist…I guess I imagined it’d be work like Indiana Jones’. Luckily I had dug up the truth (pun intended) before I chose that path.