Five years at IoT Venture: from one of the first employees to CIO – an interview with Felix Letkemann
As one of the company’s initial employees, Felix Letkemann has experienced and helped shape IoT Venture’s growth to the full. He recently celebrated five years at the company. He is now our Chief Information Officer and handles a whole range of tasks. He revealed to us in an interview how his tasks and responsibilities in the company have changed over the last five years.
What exactly are your duties at IoT Venture and how have they evolved over time?
I am currently mainly working on the backend. To begin with, however, I did all kinds of things as the first employee. I have been with the company since 15 May 2017 to be exact. I also handled the narrowband connection in the hardware’s prototype phase. Over time, however, I took on increasingly more tasks related to the backend. The bigger the company became, the more there was to do there. At some point, Moritz Mair and Clemens Chu joined the company. We already knew each other. I recommended them for their posts. From then on, Clemens took care of firmware while Moritz looked after hardware integration. As I said, I was on my own in the backend to start off with but more and more people gradually joined to help me there too.
How did you get to where you are today?
I learned through practical experience more than anything. After I finished school, I did a semester at university but that wasn’t really my thing. I then started working immediately and was employed in different companies until I met Thomas Ullmann (Co-Founder of IoT Venture GmbH and Chief Operating Officer) at some point. He said that if I knew anyone who would be interested in the project, I was welcome to recommend them to him. After brief consideration, I recommended myself (laughs).
What does your working day at IoT Venture consist of?
I spend half my day on the ‘phone or making digital calls. I’m the interface between our developers in Ukraine and the team in Darmstadt. I continue to program too and also deal with any problems that have been reported. I also look after our sprint planning, agreements with mobile network providers, and am generally on hand to help with technical problems. Technical support for some of our business clients also falls within my scope of duties.
Name a large or exciting project that you’re currently busy with.
There is no specific project at the moment. My current objective is to prepare the system for the next more than 100,000 trackers which will be activated this year. This work takes up around a third of my time at the moment.
What do you wish for your future at IoT Venture?
I want us all to become filthy rich (laughs). At the moment, we are in an extreme growth phase, which also presents its own challenges. On top of this, we’re having difficulties with supplies due to the current situation with coronavirus and the Ukraine war. Despite these problems, I’m convinced that we will continue to be successful.
If you were to give advice to someone who wants to pursue a similar career to yours, what would you say?
It’s always best to have an enquiring mind. We’re only able to use each technology that we currently have because I familiarised myself with them and took the time to look at the wide variety of different aspects they involve. Your goal should thus always be to understand the world. Moreover, you should always keep an eye out for problems for which you can provide a solution as all business models are created to solve a problem.