Life so far
When I finished school, I had no idea what to do with my life. To hedge my options by choosing a broad field, I started to study International Business Administration. But this choice didn’t ignite the expected spark. It made me even more aimless. Taking a break from my studies to reconsider, and because of love, I applied for internships in Brussels.
For the first time, I wanted something in my adult life.
I was surprised what you can achieve if you focus your energy on one idea.
Two months later, I started as an intern at the European Parliament in Brussels, funded by a scholarship. The change of location and entering working life in such a unique surrounding buzzing with all kinds of intentions provided clarity about my journey. Back in Vienna, I combined economics with political and communication sciences, the pillars that moved the world (at least that was what I thought at the time).
After graduating, I was drawn to the booming, colorful world of start-ups and became marketing manager of the internet platforms SMS.at, uboot.com, and handy.at. I received rapid all-around training in everything that working in a start-up means.
Three learnings are still vital to me:
‘Yes, you can’: The freedom to follow my ideas, create and implement everything that seems sensible to get the job done proved my preferred way of working. A start-up with a flat structure and short decision-making paths was the ideal place for this.
‘There is no free lunch’: Freedom also means bearing full responsibility, followed by self-chosen 15 hours of workdays and well-worked weekends. I had barely avoided burnout.
‘Everything changes’: I experienced the bursting of the first ‘dot-com bubble’ from the perspective of a start-up.
One of my next stations was working as mobile-business-development manager at www.bwin.com. I negotiated and drew up contracts with mobile phone operators throughout Europe. Improving business relationships meant extensive traveling, and airports became almost more home than my home for me.
When I became pregnant with our son, I settled down as a data protection and privacy officer at the people search engine www.123people.com and accompanied the start-up’s exit.
In 2011 my husband, Mike Weinzettl, physicist, and I founded www.taskfarm.com, a marketplace for distributing knowledge-based services and projects. Almost at the same time, our daughter was born. In addition to the familiar ‘start-up’ business of turning an idea sketched out on a ‘napkin’ into a marketable product, we secured funding and received a government grant. And finally realized that despite investments, awards, and implementation strength, the market was not yet ready for our concept.
We shifted our business to software development and innovation consulting, focusing on supporting start-ups, and I started the interview series Taskfarm – Future of Work.
I wanted to learn personally from people who are influencing our future how their projects, scientific findings and initiatives will shape our future.
This desire led to an extensive collection of interviews with world-renowned innovators and my work as an author, innovation journalist, and thought-leader in the field of future and innovation.
To balance the top-heavy work, I draw energy from practicing Shotokan Karate, the union of body, and remembrance in movement.