Michiel van Rooijen - Product Owner
“We always want to deliver the magic.”
Before Ultimaker, I had no experience whatsoever with 3D-printing, a friend of mine actually worked here and he exposed me to them quite a bit over the years. I found it very interesting and that was the reason I applied. Now, I own a printer myself - just like all Ultimaker employees - and I use it to make all kinds of improvements around the house. It still amazes me what you can do with 3D printing.
The team is like a small business
I’ve been with Ultimaker for three years now. I started out as a UX and visual designer, but after six months they asked me if I wanted to be a product owner for the web development team. Since I have a background in entrepreneurship, I started using that same methodology and treated my team as if it was a small business. Together we create the toolbox for our website on which marketing can build their content. For example, we laid the fundamental infrastructure to manage our subscription model in which we offer package deals of hardware and software. I am proud of that because we decided to build this ourselves, step by step. That gave us the flexibility to make hard choices and really deliver a great result.
A fast-moving company
In my role, I see myself as a translator between what the team is capable of building and what the rest of the company wants from the team. Of course, everyone has their opinion and you can never satisfy everyone. That is why I always try to be as transparent as possible about the choices we make. Ultimaker is a fast-moving company, which means there is a lot of incoming and outgoing knowledge all the time. As a product owner you have to find that balance between exploring new ideas and sticking to old knowledge. But we get a lot of freedom and individuality to express ourselves. The company is still young, and we move quickly, so there is always room to explore new ideas. We always want to deliver the magic, one of Ultimakers core values. To me, this is the feeling you get when someone experiences the possibilities of 3D printing for the first time. Suddenly there is that click, when they understand how this technology can impact their own lives, that is a magical thing to watch.
Fun is key
It is a top priority within our team to have as much fun as possible. Every meeting, we try to take a few minutes to open and close by just chatting with each other. Ultimaker contributes to this as well by making everyone feel part of a 3D printing company. The fact that everyone gets to have a printer on their desk is amazing. Sometimes we feel like big children working at a tech company. It’s a dream come true.