Bo-Peter Laanen has joined the WUA ranks since August 14. A Dutchman who spent most of his life in the United States, Bo will be starting up the WUA-business in the USA. In this short interview, we proudly introduce our newest team member.
It’s great you’ve joined our team since August 14, Bo-Peter. How did you end up at WUA and what will be your role within the company?
“I first saw WUA pitch in 2014 in San Francisco at an all Dutch startup event in San Francisco. That week Klaas and I met during his participation in a startup bootcamp, I was involved in the organization as well. The year after, in 2015 Klaas invited me and the bootcamp participants for a ride on the WUA boat in the Amsterdam Canals. Two years later I noticed WUA participated in the Tony Robbins Business Mastery Course. I reached out to Klaas to talk about this and…. now I’m here.”
“As Business Manager USA, it is my role to launch WUA in the United States. That means everything from incorporating, marketing and sales. Actually, tomorrow we will launch the first campaign in the US-market. It will be the orientation study for a private lease contract and I can already assure you there’s plenty more to come! The next campaign for example will be in the telecom market that will anticipate on the iPhone 8 launch. Within six months, we want to open up an office in the San Francisco Bay Area, that’s where I grew up. It feels like home to me. Also, the weather is nice ;)”
What is it that you like most working at WUA?
“I really like it that I have all the freedom to set up WUA in the USA. It’s a huge responsibility but I really love to grab all the opportunities that are out there. Also I love it that we have a talented young team of digital professionals here in Amsterdam, hugely skilled and highly motivated!”
What is your working experience, this is not your first job?
“Previously I worked at the Dutch Consulate General in San Francisco, helping all types of companies to set foot on the ground in the USA. That stopped at the end of 2014, since then I have been freelancing, doing the same thing for companies, while I was studying and completing my two Masters: International Relations and International Economics. And, most importantly, I was a lifeguard from age 15 to 19.”
What is your dream ambition?
“My long term goal has always been to help people. I want to do that via international relations. What I think now is cool and I would love to help NGO’s and inter-governmental organizations like the United Nations to improve their websites and digital touchpoints. I think in the future, I can help them together with WUA.”
You are now on board for 2.5 weeks. How would you describe your colleagues?
“I would describe them as lighthearted, they don’t take themselves too seriously while holding strong beliefs about business processes and how websites can be improved. I like the “Winner Takes All” mentality and all the crazy Tony Robbins stuff that is sometimes pulled off here. Plus, I really enjoy the daily team lunches and the Friday afternoon drinks.”
What is your life motto?
“It’s from Marc Andreessen: “Strong beliefs, held loosely”. It means you should be firm and strong in what you believe, but also be able to adapt and change, quickly if necessary.”
What business book is a mustread according to you. And why?
“Right now, I really enjoy reading chapters of Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans. I like the portfolio’s of influential business people but it also emphasizes not just business or wealth but also wisdom and health. It really shows there’s more in this world to strive than business success.”
Since October 1, 2015 Matthijs is active as Head of Thought Leadership at WUA. In that role he is responsible for the brand, social media, content marketing and a lot of other fun stuff!