If anyone has been with Rinkel from the very beginning, it’s Jeroen. The CEO, Chief Motivator, husband of colleague Mikaela and “Founding Father” (because it sounds nice and official).
In other words: there’s no way we could leave Jeroen out of "Meet the Team". Especially since he's everybody’s favourite person every Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. when we all pack up our things (reluctantly, of course!) and head for beers.
We won’t keep you waiting any longer. Meet Jeroen! ↓
So, what is the first thing people think of when they hear your name?
Woah, such a tough question to kick off with! Actually, I'm not the right person to ask that, but I hope when people hear my name people don’t look around in panic and think "WHERE IS HE??" (haha).
In my private life, I think people know me mainly as an entrepreneur, semi-Swedish, a techie, gadget-freak and eternal optimist.
And do you also have a nickname in the office?
Not really a nickname, but a creative person photoshopped my (and Jesper's) faces onto the iconic Mount Rushmore and created an emoticon for it in our internal chat tool (Slack)... So, I’m still sometimes referred to as the "Founding Father"!
So, Founding Father, what exactly do you do at Rinkel?
I think entrepreneurs are always a bit busy with everything they have to do. That can be a strength, but there are also downsides to it.
I like to help the teams come up with ideas and get involved where I think I can add something. But I do try and make sure that my spontaneous suggestions and ideas don’t create (too) much chaos for our teams in terms of planning. Whether it works, you’ll have to ask them ;-).
But in concrete terms, I’m mainly concerned with our growth. In the broadest sense. Sometimes this means making the organisation more efficient (by improving processes or tools, for example), and other times it means thinking about strategy, data or product improvement.
What’s your favourite office saying?
We try to base what we do on hard data, and if we catch each other throwing opinions around as if they’re facts, you’ll often hear "FACT CHECK!" echoing through the meeting room.
Another one of our mantras is "If it doesn't scale, don't bother” my personal favourite.
What do you like best about working at Rinkel?
The diversity and spontaneity. Of course we have plans, roadmaps and agendas, but there’s always room for improvisation and creativity.
Rinkel thrives on its culture of internal entrepreneurship. So the teams usually have a lot of responsibility... but at least as much freedom. We dare to make mistakes, learn, and do things differently, and that makes our work fun and challenging.
What’s the best thing about Rinkel?
The customers: there’s something special about being an entrepreneur and making a product or service for other entrepreneurs, especially those starting out.
Most of our customers have just registered with the Chamber of Commerce and are full of energy to start their business. Our customers’ creative ideas, passion and inspiring stories give me enormous energy to continue building Rinkel.
What frustrations faced by your customers do you want to solve?
I used to be self-employed myself (in the telecom industry) and it wasn’t all that easy back then to be reachable on the road on a nice landline number. If you wanted to be, you either had to have IT expertise or reach into your wallet. That was Rinkel's basic premise: to make the smaller entrepreneur more accessible, more professional, and their phone systems more affordable.
The things we now excel at come naturally, because we continue to do things the Rotterdam way. This is reflected in our customers’ experience with our helpdesk (with 97% satisfaction) and our overall customer rating: 9.2. Something I’m especially proud to have made possible with this team.
What keeps you busy outside of Rinkel?
My two kids of 2 and 4 keep me busy ;-).
But apart from that, I usually try to do something physical...to build something. I recently built a Swedish "stuga" (a kind of log cabin) in my garden and I mess around with new tech and gadgets. It makes a nice change from my mainly "digital" work at Rinkel.
Is there one place in the world that you can call your favourite holiday spot?
I don't know if it still qualifies as a holiday spot, or as a second home, but we mostly holiday in Dalarna Province in Sweden (a bit of a no-brainer with a Swedish wife ;-)).
I find the space, nature and long summer days a welcome change from working life in the city.
Visionary, Intellectual and Creative!
Just like all other colleagues in “Meet the Team”, Jeroen also took the archetype quiz. And: what archetype is he?
A mix of Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling. Although he’s slightly more of an Albert Einstein, it’s almost a completely even split between these three. He’s a curious creative innovator.
In other words: Jeroen can’t be pigeon-holed, he’s a real multi-tasker. A great quality for the CEO of a scale-up! In the short term, the long term, for buying new equipment and tooling to arranging a company trip. Our Jeroen can do it all.
Do you also want to learn how to build a Swedish stuga? Then check out our vacancies!