UX & Digital Product Designer at elbstack, Co-Founder of WeBurn.

Back in 2009, Lennart started a dual studies program in Business Informatics where he soon discovered his passion for creating products. After graduating and working as a Business Product Manager at a regional Internet Service Provider, he finally decided to create digital products he could identify with.

He co-founded two fitness products on the side between 2014 and 2016: a fitness coach via Facebook Messenger, which later turned into a simple chatbot for creating workout routines, and an app which helped people to buy flexible day and monthly passes for gyms anywhere in Germany.

Both products failed, but he learned how much fun designing is, and how positive an impact it can have on people’s lives. He started to teach himself UI and UX Design. In 2016, he made the leap from the corporate world to elbstack. In 2017, he co-founded WeBurn – women-focused high-intensity interval training app. He now works most of the time remotely and is getting into the fields of frontend development with React and React Native.

What does diversity mean to you?

As a gay guy, diversity for me personally means, I don’t have to worry about being rejected or even worse, offended when I talk about my private life at work: how I’ve spent the evening, where and with whom I was on vacation with and that I am married to a man.

Therefore, diversity for me means I can bring my whole self to work and don’t have to pretend to be “normal”. But it doesn’t stop there. Diversity isn’t bound to our working lives. And not restricted to a young, white male who could easily hide his private life at work because he doesn’t behave like the stereotypical gay man from television.

Diversity for me means everyone can be her- or himself. And that instead of pointing out the differences between us, we proactively embrace these.

What is one thing you wish you knew five years ago?

I wish I knew five years ago how valuable reading books is. I think books were the spark for my current journey. Especially through Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I realised working the rest of my life 9-5 in the corporate world and prioritising money above fulfilment wasn’t what I wanted to do.

What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?

Start reading daily – even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Read Eric Ries’ Lean Startup, and Ash Maurya’s Running Lean and Scaling Lean. They are so valuable for anyone who wants to build a great product or business. Also, Anything You Want by Derek Sievers is a very inspirational and short read which makes you realise you don’t have to build your business by someone else’s blueprint. And because you’ll probably end up saying yes and committing to too many ideas, projects and features too often, please take more than a look at Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.

To earn a lot of money when you’re young can be a trap. You’re misled to consume a lot. New clothes, new gadgets, new everything. In the worst case, you’re taking out a loan to pay for a brand new car or house. But maybe the job you’re doing is just a job – and not your calling. And before you can realise you want to change what you do for a living, maybe even found a startup, you’re trapped into the corporate squirrel cage.