„How to work tomorrow?“ – Kurzinterview mit Peter Sorgenfrei, CEO Somewhere

ist ein Social Network, das sich wie LinkedIn oder Xing auf die Vermittlung von Arbeit konzentriert – das dabei aber einen anderen Ansatz verfolgt. Ich habe Peter Sorgenfrei, CEO von Somewhere, interviewt. Viel Vergnügen mit seinen Einsichten!

Q: Let’s start with a simple question you can answer best: What is Somewhere? 

A: Somewhere is a platform for individuals to share their work. A place to talk about the what, how and why of the thing we do that is called work. People do that by answering questions (we call them Provocations) about work or by just sharing freely when inspiration hits. Companies use Somewhere to illustrate their culture through their people and thereby attracting new talent and new business. 

Q: When did you start, what did you accomplish since – and where’s still work to do? 

A: We have been going since the beginning of 2014 and like many startups have gone through a number of iterations of the service. We have managed to find a way to engage thousands of people daily and we are getting pretty good at understanding our community and what they need from us. There is still a lot of work to do. A lot! We want to be better on mobile, we want video and audio integrated, we want more companies to use our tools and we want to grow the community to be more diverse. 

Q: What’s going to come next – will you feature preview pics for shared content or something similar? 

A: We are constantly building new features, we recently launched visual emails with Sparks in them and soon we will have better weekly updates ready. Then – there is a lot of stuff behind the scenes we are not yet ready to talk about. 

Q: In all honesty: What is the success rate for bringing seekers of work and seekers of workers? And do you have some stories to illustrate? 

A: We’ve found all our team on Somewhere as an example. We are just starting to allow companies to seek employees – it seems to be working, numbers wise it is too early to tell. 

Q: What is wrong in the way we work today? Can Somewhere improve the situation?

A: I’m not sure something is wrong per se – but the way companies organize work seem to fit less and less with the way people live. 

Most companies want you to work in one location, at certain hours, with one team and with one boss. 

Most people these days can (and want to) work from different locations, at hours that might not be standard, with multiple people and teams and reporting to themselves and to different people pending the situation. I’ve long believed that work is a series of projects. It used to be that you would work for one company for 10-15 years and then maybe another one for that long too. Now we work on a project e.g. you work in marketing for Siemens for two years and then you leave and you work for Henkel for a few years and then you end up with say VW for a few years and so on. And within those jobs you probably have sub projects. 

Somewhere makes it easier to find people that work like that, companies that work like that and thus enables and accommodates this new style of working. 

Q: For our readers, it might be interesting how you plan to expand to other markets like Germany. You’ve already got quite a lot international users – but do you plan a Berlin office for example? 

A: We actually started in Berlin and just recently decided to close that office and move the business to London. Germany is still in our top 5 markets actually. I think our first international office will be in the US. Where we go after that, I do not know at this point. 

Q: Where can new users best get started on Somewhere? 

A: As part of the onboarding process when you sign up we ask you to answer three Provocations. The best way to get started is there, then keep exploring the Provocations and perhaps search for people and companies that share your interest. We have found that when users engage each other they are much more likely to find new Opportunities. Not really that surprising since that is what happens in the offline world as well. 

A: either email hello@somewhere.com or contact any of us on Somewhere

Thanks again for your time!