Meet Jannik - 28 - Co-Founder & MD - The Optimizer
Hi there! Today we would like to introduce you to another member of our founding team: Jannik Weichert. Next to David, Jan and Marius he has been part of edyoucated since the very beginning.
*You would love to get to know more about him? We got the chance to ask him a couple of questions about his role at edyoucated and his personal life including his passion for programming as well as flying. 🛩 And we also asked for some advice for people that are thinking about starting the founding path themselves. *
Curious what he had to say? Just keep on reading!
Seems like today’s our lucky day because we finally found a time slot in your calendar to have a chat with you for our little “Meet the team” series! 🎉
So - what should people know about you Jannik?
Hi, glad to be here today!
Most of the other guys started to describe their personality types and, surprise, I’m also an introvert. 😉 My fascination for computers started very early, as you can see here:
Jannik in 1997 “working” on a notebook
I started to learn programming in school at the age of 17 and it was the first time, that I could spend nights and complete weekends with something school-related: coding. In the upcoming summer vacation I completely finished all the programming exercises, that were meant to least for two school years, just to be able to learn more challenging and exciting stuff.
In my spare time I used to play the saxophone for more than 18 years, of which I spent 11 years playing in a band. The genre might surprise you, but I was really deep into reggae music 🇯🇲 and slightly shifted to a Pop-Funk-Reggae band. Unfortunately, the band has split up a few months ago. So if you know a band in Münster looking for a saxophonist, let me know 🎷
Another thing I’m really passionate about is flying - like coding, it can be really challenging and there are always new things to learn. 🛩
I got my license just 2 years ago and I never expected this to have such a great impact on my daily life - as you can imagine our weekend trips changed a bit. But there are also some aspects of being a pilot, that improved my way of thinking in other areas of life. One saying expresses that quite well: ”Be ahead of your plane”
With some tailwind and in a descend you are easily reaching ground speeds of 300 km/h. There’s often no time to study the charts on demand when things get busy or to grab the checklist in case of an emergency. You simply have to prepare and always ask yourself: what comes next, can I do something in advance. After departure comes the climb, after climb comes the cruise, after cruise the descend - you get the point. I learned to not get overwhelmed and keep a fresh head when things get tight. After each flight, there is always something that I missed, something that could be improved. To rethink one’s own actions mentally is called a debriefing, and I actually found this quite helpful in a lot of day-to-day situations as well.
Flying above the clouds
Did you always know that you would found your own company one day? When talking to someone that is currently thinking about taking that step him-/herself, what would be your first advice?
Always might be too long, but there definitively have been some signs. I always loved to do things differently and asked the question: “wouldn’t it be much better to simply do it this or that way?”, no matter what. I think, founding a company is therefore just an expression of my curiosity as it was the easiest way to do things differently.
I find it quite hard to give general advice, but I’d likely recommend to rethink your own motivation and to pay extra attention on finding the right co-founders.
A solid motivation based on something bigger is key to get through tough and less joyful times, to do work that has to be done, and to make the right decisions even if they are not the easiest.
Next to your own motivation, a great founding team is key. I am definitely not the first one to highlight the importance of that. Working in a team where everyone has not only core-responsibilities but also core-capabilities complementing each other nicely is only one part - the other part is having a shared understanding of values and goals, especially for the long run. You really want to be sure that it’s meant to last for years before putting your time and effort into it.
By the way: Thanks to my amazing co-founders, you guys are awesome 🚀
So what exactly do you do at edyoucated? Are there topics that you deal with on a day to day basis?
At edyoucated I alternate between tech and operations. On the tech side, I discuss rather long-term technical topics like hiring or improvement of our software architecture with Jan. I also try to develop as much as possible together with the development team in our weekly sprints, but the available time varies a lot.
The operations side is mainly filled with accounting, legal, data privacy and human resources topics. Most of these topics do not pop up on a day to day basis but only once or twice a month. And although there are some long-term topics like rewriting standard terms and conditions or financial planning, most of the tasks are kind of supportive to another initiative, such as setting up contracts for the sales department or for investors, onboarding of new team members or doing some research regarding legal / privacy regulations and therefore pop up pretty spontaneously.
I really like the versatility of my work, although I try to not switch between both sides too often. Therefore there is no typical day, as I focus my day either on tech or operations and slide. I often use the time after lunch to slide in some off-topic tasks and then move back to my focus topic.
Looking back on the last 13 months of building edyoucated, is there something you would do different in case you could do it all over again?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I’m really happy about the last year. On a personal level, there has been a steep learning curve that is not even close to flattening, so of course, there are some situations I would approach differently now. In retrospect, it’s easy to find things I would do different - mainly because many uncertainties of the past have been removed. Given the fact, that while doing it all over again I would be confronted with different challenges than those I already solved in the past, in my opinion, it only makes sense to rethink one’s approaches on a meta-level, and not based on specific situations.
To give you at least one more concrete example: We just aligned the company with goals and initiatives and I found it extremely valuable not only for us as a team but also for me personally. I’d definitively try to zoom out more frequently and align my actions with personal and corporate goals. Knowing that one’s effort creates impact makes it much more rewarding than just being busy.
Why do you love getting up every single day to build edyoucated?
That is relatively easy. It’s mainly due to two reasons:
First of all, our mission of reinventing the way we learn. I like the idea of working on something bigger, that has a lasting impact on other people’s life. And secondly, to be able to do that with such an amazing and inspirational team makes me get up every day with ease.
Jan told us, that he would love to learn how to play the piano - what would be the one thing you would start to learn in case you had some free time to spend?
End of last year, my girlfriend and I bought a 28 year old camper-van. Due to Covid-19 we had a lot of time to renovate the complete interior. Unfortunately, we didn’t put much effort on the exterior, the motor, or the under bottom as we are completely lacking basic car screw skills there. I’d really love to learn how to weld, to paint a car, to work with GFRK and to fix it in case we break down 😎
And that’s a wrap - thanks Jannik!
You would like to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions!