Today we have the pleasure of interviewing the Chief Product Officer of WeOwn, a blockchain startup that is revolutionizing the way we think about ownership and asset management. In this interview, Florian, the Chief Product Officer of WeOwn, shares insights into his professional background and leadership approach that have led him to his current. He delves into his philosophy on fostering innovation and creativity within the team, discussing the challenges he’s faced and how he overcame them. Florian also shares how he stays informed about industry advancements and integrates them into the company’s strategy. He highlights notable accomplishments and milestones achieved during his tenure as CPO at WeOwn. In this talk, we explore the exciting world of blockchain innovation with Florian and learn about the strategies WeOwn is taking to push boundaries and foster innovation in the industry.
Could you elaborate on your professional background and experiences that have led you to your current role as CPO at WeOwn, and how have they prepared you for this position?
Since I started my professional life, I have been managing infrastructure and development teams. I also hold formal certifications as a Scrum Master, as well as various project and product management training. My experience working with diverse technical and product teams has prepared me for the role of CPO, where I adapt my toolbox to the unique needs of the WeOwn, and drive the company’s technology strategy and vision.
How have your experiences in different leadership roles, particularly your tenure as Head of IT Continental Europe at Computershare, influenced your current approach as CPO at WeOwn?
In day-to-day business, the difference between a small company like WeOwn and a larger one is not significant. Our focus at WeOwn is on tailoring processes to our team size and striking a balance between formality and flexibility. As we are soon to attain ISAE and ISO2007 certifications, our processes are comparable to those of larger companies.
Could you explain your philosophy on innovation and how you foster a culture of creativity and experimentation within the team at WeOwn?
In the area of financial applications, the expectations for innovation are different from those in the consumer area. For us as provider of enterprise applications, the expectations from our customers are higher in the areas of security and scalability. At WeOwn, the innovation is certainly strongest in the actual business model. When we started 5.5 years ago, there were only very vague signs of what is now reality as tokenization.
Could you elaborate on the most significant challenges you have faced in your role as CPO and describe the steps you took to address and overcome them?
One of the main challenges in product management is managing the diverse expectations and characteristics of stakeholders. Approaching and communicating with individuals in leadership positions, sales, or marketing requires a different approach than working with the implementation teams. Navigating these different cultures and effectively communicating across various levels is a challenging and rewarding aspect of product management. The key is finding the most efficient and forward-thinking approach that benefits all stakeholders involved.
How do you keep yourself informed about advancements and trends in the industry and how do you integrate them into the strategy and decision-making process at WeOwn?
Being a smaller company, we don’t have a dedicated innovation department, but we still find ways to drive innovation through various methods. We keep an eye on market trends and observe what other companies are doing, I, personally, have a keen interest in new technologies and always like to explore new approaches. One example is using ChatGPT to generate flowcharts for use in requirements engineering and workflow designs. Another important aspect is to provide team members with time to experiment with new ideas through planned free time. Imposing innovation on a team is not effective, it is more important to foster an environment that encourages and incentivizes innovation.
Could you highlight some notable accomplishments or milestones you have achieved in your role as CPO at WeOwn?
One of the initial challenges we faced was designing and developing the various components of our own blockchain, as well as creating the front-ends and workflows. At the time, there were few established standards or best practices to follow. Another significant challenge was making our platform multi-blockchain capable last year. This required finding solutions to accommodate the differing workflows of private and public blockchains, while minimizing adjustments to the front-end. I am proud of the outcome we achieved.
What challenges do you see for the adoption of blockchain and tokenization technology and how does WeOwn plan to overcome these barriers? Furthermore, what do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for WeOwn in the near future and how is the company positioning itself to navigate them?
When we started the company, we recognized that most of our customers would have limited experience with cryptocurrency, particularly within the financial institutions and service providers market. In light of this, we designed our platform and blockchain infrastructure to minimize customer interactions with wallets and other components. This approach has been well received by clients, and I expect that our multi-asset and multi-blockchain strategy will position us well to benefit from it.