People of Evermade – part 5
Say hi to Otto, Iina and Sami!
…also known as Evermade’s Admin Team. These guys are most likely in the office at 9 AM on Monday mornings, or even earlier when all the other Evermadeans are still crawling to work from their caves, craving for coffee and breakfast.
As you can see from above, they all play for the same team. The rules are pretty different though since we’re talking about a marketing coordinator, office assistant, and CEO.
Without further ado:
Otto is the leading voice behind #evermadelife. Find him on Instagram @ottoaa.
HOW DID YOU END UP HERE AND WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN FOCUS AREAS AT EVERMADE?
I started here as a marketing coordinator in the beginning of February. The job just felt like it was made for me, and from first contact, Evermade seemed like a special place to work. I do marketing and communications, spending most of my time maintaining our social media presence and blogging activity. At the same time, I try to get other marketing related stuff forward and come up with new ideas. Basically, my aim is to create value internally and externally, by being an ambassador of #evermadelife.
HOW DID YOU END UP WORKING IN MARKETING?
You could say I’m one of those people who never knew what they want to become when they grow up. I guess what drew me to marketing was the amount of possibilities (and the acceptance that photography wasn’t going to be a real profession for me). Marketing is something where I’m able to express myself creatively, but at the same time get to use other parts of the brain. That’s what I like the most: the ability to combine creative and analytical thinking in several ways depending on the context and channel.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND MOST CHALLENGING PARTS OF YOUR WORK?
Being the first ever dedicated marketing person at Evermade. That means a lot of freedom to define and affect what Evermade looks, sounds and feels like. It’s awesome to be shaping a brand I believe in. On the other hand, there’s so much to do but it’s not possible to do everything, at least if you want to do it properly. You have to keep everything together and in line, and find the things that have an actual effect on our success.
But about the best part: ever since I got here, I admired the atmosphere and feeling Evermade has to it. My favorite part is communicating that feeling forward and strengthening our brand by telling what kind of people we are and what kind of things we do.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL OUTSIDE OFFICE HOURS?
It has to be Instagram. For the visual nature and the inspiration. An honorary mention to Strava, though, which I just recently picked up.
IF NOT MARKETING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
Nature photography or cosmology. Partly realistically.
IMAGINE THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO SLEEP. WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH ALL THAT EXTRA TIME?
I would do the things I always promise to if I had more time. Exercise more, educate myself, and enjoy life. Since I wouldn’t be sleeping, I would rest by staring at the sea. At least in the summertime.
IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR ULTIMATE TRAVEL DREAM COME TRUE, WHAT WOULD THE TRIP BE LIKE?
My ultimate trip would contain a ‘lagom’ amount of getting out of my comfort zone, amazing views and nature experiences, and some good city vibes. One of my favorite places is Turku archipelago, so that’s one destination for sure, then some superb national park in the US or Canada, and the city visit could be in a place like London or NYC.
YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER?
Yoda. He talks funny. And he’s tiny and ugly but still so awesome.
Iina’s desk is our front desk. Talk to her if you want to know what an ordinary day at the office looks like!
HOW DID YOU END UP HERE AND WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN FOCUS AREAS AT EVERMADE?
Evermade’s job ad caught my eye – this seemed like a company that invests in employees and their personal growth and education. I also didn’t mind changing from catering business to a digital agency since I had worked in restaurants and as a barista for the last 5 years.
I’ve worked here as an office assistant for about 6 months now and I’ve loved every bit of it! I do all the background work that people might not see but still can’t live without. I make sure everything is in place and that everyone has what they need for working, as well as handle our benefits, healthcare, holidays and so on. My work consists of thousands of tasks, and as Evermade’s first office assistant ever, I’ve had a rare opportunity to actually affect my work description.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WORKING AT EVERMADE?
Many things. I like the fact that everyone has actual responsibility here and we can be sure that things get done. Our amazing team makes every day at work just feel great, I love to work with friends. In my own work, I enjoy organizing events and seeing how people have a good time. And okay, I also love the fact that a big part of my job is about keeping things in order.
YOUR DESK IS IN OUR LOBBY, SO YOU MUST SEE EVERYTHING. ARE THERE SOME WEIRD HABITS OR ROUTINES YOU HAVE NOTICED OTHER PEOPLE HAVE?
I don’t know, let me think about it… Well, the cyclists are always the hungriest people – they are in line for the breakfast before it’s even ready and on the table. Pekka has a funny wave he does every time he gets to work. And another thing I’ve noticed is that some people like to work outside their desks. Tuomas Velling is often working at the dining table and Krista lies on the couch and is somehow still able to work. And actually, there’s a clear sofa gang that likes to work around it every now and then.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Sunshine and outdoor activities, good books, TED talks, and podcasts.
WHAT SKILL WOULD YOU LIKE TO MASTER?
I would like to be an epic capoeirista.
WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER DO YOU ADMIRE?
Taikaviitta (Duck Avenger). He’s a savior when the world needs one, but really he’s just plain old Donald Duck.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO START THE DAY?
Slow breakfast, with a smoothie and croissants. If it’s a brunch, even better.
WHICH FAD OR TREND DO YOU HOPE COMES BACK?
Some 90s music styles, meaning dance and disco. And maybe the colorful clothes from the 80s… Well, I enjoy looking at them, but they don’t need to come back.
Sami’s 20 years of experience in the digital media business really show in the way we do things today.
HOW DID YOU END UP AS THE CEO OF EVERMADE?
I’ve spent pretty much my whole career in the digital media business, with a few different companies. I got started being the CEO, about 20 years ago, because I was the only one with a business degree. I always felt that taking care of people and helping them to develop is my thing, which usually is the responsibility of the CEO. Now I’m the CEO of Evermade, which has been a real pleasure and honor over the past 9 months. We’re all really excited about taking the company to new heights over the next few years.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN LEADING CREATIVE PEOPLE?
One of the biggest management challenges in digital agencies is that there are so many different competencies, and that affects internal communication. There are these hardcore backend developers and then these artsy designers and everything in between. There are logical and rational guys and then there are people who go with the feeling. It’s not easy to choose your words so that everyone understands them the same way. And then there is the language no one finds interesting: the language of finance.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT FINNISH WORKING CULTURE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
People should concentrate on output variables. We shouldn’t place that much emphasis on input variables – age, sex, education, background etc. – only results matter. And that is what business should be based on. You are only evaluated by the results you make. I think that’s a liberating concept.
DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO OR SOME GUIDELINES WHAT COMES TO LEADING?
Not really. Leadership is about being able to digest information from thousands of different variables at the same time, and based on that sense what to do next. So, in addition to all the rational components, it’s based on some subjective feeling that I also need to communicate to the whole team. For that you need experience, which comes with time. Maybe one thing: since I’ve achieved a career and position I really enjoy, it’s my time to help others to achieve theirs. I want to help others to grow and develop on their own path.
HOW DO WE DO WEBSITES IN 10 YEARS?
There’s a big change coming over the next years. The business will move on from service design to simulation-based design. Computer models are going to simulate user personas and paths and create user interfaces based on conversion points. For the last 15 years service design got us to design services the right way based on research, data etc. The third wave is simulation-based design, and it’s going to change the world quite a bit.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE STRESS?
I don’t stress. I work the right amount, do outdoor exercise, spend time with family and free time activities, eat healthy food… I’ve learned to take care of things properly with no need to stress out.
FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH?
A SKILL YOU WOULD LIKE TO MASTER:
I would like to play tennis and the drums better.
WHAT SONGS HAVE YOU COMPLETELY MEMORIZED?
Sometimes it’s impossible to forget the lyrics my children make up… But let’s not write those down.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD DO AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIVES?
Everyone should study or work abroad for a short while. I bet that would make us all more humane towards each other.