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Passionate about cars and great conversations: meet Paul

November 10, 2021

After the official launch in early April 2021, the global community of conversationalists on Angle quickly started growing. And that’s where Paul comes in (literally): As the Head of Community, Paul Siermann is the main point of contact for our users. With his team, he is constantly looking for ways to improve the user experience in our apps, experimenting with new forms of audio (and recently also visual 👀) content, and connecting with our community.

The interview below will give you a lot of topics to bring up next time you meet Paul in an Angle conversation! ⬇️ 😊

Paul, what or who brought you to Angle?
Matu did! Have you ever worked on a project that was super boring, but it was still great fun, because of the person you worked with? I had that with both Matu and Matthias when working with them at Beekeeper. So when Matu reached out, it didn’t really matter to me what the position was, I just knew that I wanted to work with those two legends again.

What makes the (social) audio space so fascinating to you?
I’ve had some really good conversations on Angle so far. Conversations I thought were impossible to have with strangers, remotely, without a camera. But it works! Even if I can’t tell you what made it work and how to reproduce it. I just know that it did. And my job now is to identify all the factors that lead to a great conversation and come up with a repeatable formula that gets us there.

After two months at Angle, is there anything that completely surprised you?
Working in an early-stage startup is emotional! I’ve never had a job that has been such a rollercoaster. The fact that we’re all so invested in the success of Angle makes everything more intense. And I like it!

You studied architecture and industrial design. How did you move into community and customer success?
In the classical architecture and industrial design world, you need a decent amount of work experience before you are given real responsibilities. But I wanted to have responsibility now! So after my master studies, I joined a startup in Zurich that gave me the opportunity to come on board, see what everyone is doing, and then decide where I can add the most value. And that turned out to be customer success at that time. I was forced to take on responsibility from day one. And since then I’ve been lucky enough to change into other roles, whenever I could add more value there.

And now I’m here! 😊There’s a big need to enable our community to have great conversations, and that’s what I’m doing.

What does community success at Angle look like to you?
It’s fun! We are so lucky to have a community on Angle that not only likes the platform but has grown to also like the Angle team. That’s the beauty of social audio; You really get to know people. On the one hand, we’re working closely with our community to enhance their Angle experience. And on the other hand, we’re in contact with groups of people that aren’t yet on Angle to see if the platform could serve them as well.

What’s your dream feature for Angle?
A button that says “Join a great conversation now”, that selects a live conversation so tailored to me that it is guaranteed to be great. That, and a feature that automatically knows when to mute and unmute me, without me needing to push a button. 👀

What’s the biggest challenge working in a startup?
Focus. There are so many cool ideas to try out, and only so little time. Prioritizing and consciously saying “no” to ideas is tough. Especially when they all sound so promising. But focusing on a few of these great ideas and really putting everything in to make them work is always very rewarding.

Do you have a tool you really love using at work? If so, which one?
Miro! It’s a virtual whiteboard. I’m a visual person and bad at drawing (or too scared to draw...). But Miro makes it so easy to give structure to complex challenges and lets you effortlessly rearrange post-its, text blocks, and images until they make sense.

So, we heard you’re really into cars and motorcycles. Most amazing route for a road trip?
Sustenpass → Grimselpass → Nufenenpass → Tremola. Absolute heaven! And you can do it all in one morning from Zurich. Just make sure that you start early before the traffic comes. Not really a road trip, but the best tour I’ve ever driven.

What’s your favorite motorized vehicle of all time?
Lotus Elise SC

You speak Dutch, German, English and also some French and Italian. What’s your favorite word in Dutch?
Pijnboompitjes. In English “pine nuts”. It sounds funny, especially when my girlfriend Annina, who’s been picking up tons of Dutch words, says it.

If you could work remotely for 6 months (with an endless budget), what would be your dream remote office location?
Someplace with a workshop! I’d buy an old car and fix it up next to work. Maybe a first-gen Fiat Panda 4x4 to go skiing with, in winter.

Night owl or morning person?
I don’t enjoy getting up early, but do enjoy early mornings…

What’s the secret sauce to a really, really, REALLY good social audio conversation?
That’s what I’m trying to find out!

Who would you love to have a conversation with on Angle?
Any type of petrolhead!

Connect with Paul on LinkedIn or reach him at info@angle.audio

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