In this edition of Meet the Crew, get to know Felix and his journey with Blacklane.
What made you want to join Blacklane?
Wow, that is a tough question for me. I joined Blacklane more than 8 years ago. By that time I was still in an early stage of my career and also Blacklane was looking very different then compared to today.
Initially I joined as a Freelancer because a product manager with whom I worked before reached out to me. When I then took the first steps into the old Kreuzberg office I remember my hiring interview was a relaxed half-hour chat with our former CTO Frank on a beer bench. I remember that I immediately liked Frank’s motivation and attitude towards work and his company.
Also, the atmosphere in the office was really nice. I could already feel the vibrations of a very dedicated and motivated team that believed in the product but also in having fun at work.
Last but not least I really liked the product itself. I still remember my first day where I was being driven to the office with a chauffeur and a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
How has Blacklane helped you with your career?
When I started at Blacklane I did a bit of everything. Before, I worked as a freelance print designer and web developer for various clients. In the last company I then focused my attention towards user interface and visual design for digital web products in an online marketing agency.
I had knowledge and skills in a lot of different aspects but soon after I joined Blacklane I realized that I was not an expert in anything. At that time a new lead for the Design Team started at Blacklane and took me under his wing. His work process and way of communication was very inspiring for me and he helped me to identify my core strengths and passion for UI/UX design.
How has your experience with Blacklane evolved over time?
During my time at Blacklane I was able to grow a lot professionally. I gained very valuable insights into how to communicate with colleagues, how to deal with people that disagree with you, the importance of proactive alignment with stakeholders, how to give and receive constructive feedback, the design thinking process and I found my favorite area in the digital product development space: mobile apps.
Together with my focus on becoming a strong UI/UX designer I began to closely collaborate with the mobile team at Blacklane. And since 5 years now, I consider myself to be part of two teams at the same time: product design and the mobile team. To me, it is really exciting to work in the exciting and fast paced field of native apps.
Can you tell me about a project that you’ve been excited to work on?
The most fun and exciting project I had so far at Blacklane happened in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the company decided to become more locally relevant and tackle the inner-city on-demand ride hailing market by building a new product prototype with the iOS app that would allow our guests to book a chauffeured ride on-demand in a matter of minutes.
Together with the mobile, product, marketing and partner management teams I worked on all stages of the new product from its inception until the public launch.
We faced a lot of interesting challenges and for me it was the first time to plan and conduct a full beta test with our own crew, chauffeurs in Berlin and Blacklane customers.
What is the one thing you like most about working with your colleagues?
I really like the culture at Blacklane that puts the human first. Not the resource. In the teams we really care for each other and it is very inspiring and motivating to work with so many people from all over the world. I like how I can learn from the people around me every day. Since we have a lot of different nationalities represented at Blacklane, we work in a very diverse environment where different cultures and ways of working and communicating come together to work towards a common goal.
What would you like people to know about Blacklane?
I know this sounds like I was paid to say this and you will probably not believe me, but I think you will never be able to find a better place to work when it comes to the integrity and values and the way how employees are treated here.
What I love is how Blacklane supports you in whatever direction you want to develop. For example, just because you start in Customer Care doesn’t mean that you can’t switch to the Product Team and become a product manager.
Most of all, I admire how respectfully and responsible Blacklane is treating its employees even in a crisis like Covid-19. Not only did the company keep all its employees and didn’t lay off a single person, but in addition it ensured that everyone received 80% of their salary no matter how much their work time was affected. I think this is unique in the whole travel industry worldwide and speaks a lot about people are valued here.
Do you have any tips for someone applying to join the team?
Be yourself and be honest. Your attitude, communication style and motivation is more important than your background or skill set!