It’s like playing in a rock band

When you go to work, does it feel you are heading to perform at a rock concert? That’s the way I feel.

I recently spoke at the largest Swedish Internet conference, “Webbdagarna” (“The Web Days”) on the topic of cool apps and being really passionate about what you do. The presentation was video recorded and you can view it below.

The background of my presentation was an interview I gave a couple of years ago. At one point in the interview, I had to ask the reporter:

Who asks the rock band about its next career move?

We had just spent an hour in an interview about working with customers and their app projects. I had tried to explain how passion is a core driver in most successful projects. Passion for doing the right things, driving tangible value, and love for gorgeous apps.

The reporter wanted to wrap up the interview and seemed to try to reach for the most key question. That question threw me off. He asked:

It all sounds great, Andreas, but how do you build a career?

At first I didn’t know what to say. It felt as if everything I just had said was shrugged off, that my passion-talk was irrelevant and all that mattered was the typical career ladder. I became quiet a few seconds and then I said:

No. You don’t understand. It’s like playing in a rock band! Who asks the rock band about its next career move? They are already living their dream! They are exploring their passion, improving their skills and delighting the crowd. This is how I feel about mobility and apps.

After more than 20 years in the software industry, my conclusion is that career is really important. Career means being able to do more, drive even more value for customers and even grow as a human being. But your career needs a relevant context, it needs that fertile soil of your interest and passion. By first asking yourself: “What makes me feel warm? What excites me? What skills do I really want to improve? How can I best delight my customers?”, you’ll find that the answers will put you right where your career will eventually move you into a great spot.

Today, I am managing Sogeti’s global app center and thus privileged to play in a really cool band. We “play” in the US, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and even India. Our music is the fastest growing in the company. No other business grows faster than Mobility in Sogeti.

Every time I meet customers, I am reminded by the theme of an essay I wrote in school at age 13. We had been given the assignment to write about happiness. My essay began:

Happiness is to write code that is valuable for other people.

I feel the same way today. Happiness is to create stunning apps that drives tangible value for our customers. Stunning apps means well designed, beautiful and feature rich, and in my presentation on the “The Web Days”-conference I went through several apps that rock the world and their common characteristics. The apps I went through includes: iKamasutra, Procedures, GuitarToolkit, Shazam, DancePad, Nike FuelBand, Notes app (iPhone), Carpenter, FlightRadar24, Life of George (Lego), Foodspotting, iZettle, (for iPad), JetSetter, and Tradera! Do check them out and also… check out my “Great App UI”-board on which I pin gorgeous apps and concepts.

When it comes to tangible value, it’s apparent that an increasing number of companies leverage the mobile channel to both generate revenue and implement cost savings. One example is the large European travel operator that revealed that they are generating 20 million Euros in ticket sales through their apps, every month. That is a type of solution that clearly demonstrate tangible value.

I can’t think of any other type of business that is more rock & roll than mobility. It fuels passion, enables companies to improve their operational skills and improves business’ ability to delight their crowd! It’s like playing in a rock band!

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