Ambition and experience: does age matter?
Finn: I hope you forgive me this question: You are 26 now and I am really curious myself, since you described some of these very complex and challenging topics and a team of more than 20 people now at VARA: would you say being this young makes you more capable of doing your job or would it be better if you were, say 55, and had already built a couple of companies before? Is there a trade-off between being high-energy ambition and experience?
Jonas: That’s a very important question… Personally, it is a blessing to be so young. And it’s certainly been a blessing to be granted such a huge opportunity, considering all the trust that Adrian and Rasmus have put into me. And, of course, as a 26 year old, the learning curve is incredibly steep and I benefit from everything that has happened tremendously. But that is just my personal take.
Finn: And more generally?
Jonas: In general, as you have said, there are pros and cons. To be honest, in a lot of situations, more experience wouldn't hurt. Experience is an asset and that is also why I built an experienced team around me. And Merantix is very crucial, too, because the entire studio is not only an investor at our stage but still a coach, really.
But I am also deeply convinced that attitude beats experience. And with attitude I mean a couple of things: attitude to always want to learn more and to improve. And that is a buzzword of course, but I do think it makes a difference if you really live it. And one of the things I have seen a lot is that experience makes you a conventional thinker usually. You think about a certain problem in a predefined and preoccupied way. But if you are young and inexperienced you have the chance to redefine best practices.
And finally, discipline beats experience. When you are young, you are hungry, and you work hard and develop yourself. And with the amount of responsibility you take on, you also need to develop the right habits outside of work that help you to perform well on the job: keep doing one-on-ones, talk to your team, build relationships. And if you follow these principles you are likely to outperform people that are more experienced than you.
Finn: Thank you very much for joining me. Best of luck with Vara!