Meet a Qubist
Martijn - mobile app wizard
Role: Product Owner
Working at Quby for: 2 years
I’m Martijn, Product Owner of the Mobile team at Quby. I live in Utrecht with my partner. I love making complex, beautiful, and cool technology that is meaningful to people. Preferably things that didn’t exist before. I like being an inventor.
In my spare time I like to go dancing. And I’m a ‘train-nerd’: the logistics of the complex public transport system and why it (doesn’t) work, fascinates me. I used to play all these transport tycoon games, even.
What do you do at Quby & how did you get this job?
As the team leader of the Mobile team, I decide what features and services end up in the Toon-app.
Because of my interest in complex technology and human thinking, I ended up studying Artificial Intelligence. It’s a cool way to look at all these different things like language and behaviour. From there, I rolled into product development.
It’s not the energy sector itself, but the radical change it is undergoing, that draws me in. These companies have to do something nifty to survive. And this has widespread implications. For society and technology, it even touches upon politics. It’s really something to be able to contribute to this.
And can you tell us about your team?
When we started on the app, our team really had to start from square one. We not only managed to design an app that works, but also found a way of working together where everyone can do something they like and carry their responsibilities. We are very open to each other about what we can improve, for example during retrospective sessions. We release an app update every other week, and that’s not as simple as it looks. It makes me very proud that we are able to do that, even without a clear hierarchical structure in the company. So every Thursday after our bi-weekly sprints, we go and have a drink to celebrate.
Your team works with the Agile/scrum method. What is the big advantage here?
When you build something complex, you have to organise. Otherwise it becomes chaotic, or you end up working on something useless. A project has a beginning and a goal, which is a great method. But, if you are making something that is continuously developing, scrum is better. It’s a way of working that allows us to learn and adapt. We haven’t found a way yet to integrate our commercial team into our method. When we make something, we need to know how it is received from the commercial perspective, in a similarly flexible way as we do with Agile.
should all be easy to use and be accessible for everyone. Easy, but cutting edge”
What excites you about your work?
It’s really cool to work somewhere, where we make and control every part of the product. From gluing sensors, to app development. You are free to take initiative in this process as well. And, it’s a very diverse company with people from many different cultures, of course. The atmosphere is really great.
What is your ideal future for Toon?
The most ideal case would be that Toon is a product and a brand that people use to get insights about their homes, when it comes to energy and climate. And then people could add more and more options for comfort, insight and control. For example, Toon could connect your electrical car to your home so you could use the car as a battery. Or you can store your energy and use it to sell or negotiate sharper tarifs. So, smart solutions for sustainability and comfort. In the end, it should all be easy to use and accessible for everyone. Easy, but cutting edge.
Any advice for new Qubists?
Go meet everyone! Start with your team, and really get to know them and what they need. Also, get Toon and use it every day, so you know your own product inside out. That’s a must - if you want to work here.
Many thanks to Martijn for a fun and interesting interview. Stay tuned for another ‘Meet a Qubist’ soon!