People of OST: Adeola & Wouter

Meet the people behind the logo — Starting with OST’s brand new Marketing Team!


ADEOLA OGUNWOLE

Hi Addie! You started in April 2018 as Vice President of Global Marketing: How would you describe your role?

Well, my first role is to be an ambassador for OST and what we represent in the blockchain space and to our overall community. More functionally, my role is to help shape our overall brand, create and execute our communications strategy including building and maintaining our amazing community, and the drive our marketing execution plan to build new interest into OST.

Tell us a little more about yourself?
Oh dear. Not this question.Well, I used to say I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock and roll (I’m old so I can make this reference, but for you youngins, here you go: https://youtu.be/QMZCWGyk388?t=2m4s) but that seems trivial, no? I guess I can start with the basics — born in the States (North Carolina for those who care) to Nigerian immigrants (watch out for one of my cousin’s emails in your SPAM folder. We absolutely need your bank account details, it’s really rather urgent…) and have moved 9 times in the past 15 years, finally ending up in Berlin this year.

I’ve worked primarily in Marketing related roles but have dabbled in Sales, Finance, and as a founder for my own jam and preserves company in the Bay Area. Outside of work, I have a healthy passion for music both as a performer (I sang a capella in university and jazz most recently in London) and collector (outside of 1968, 1992 and 2007 were pretty good vintages too). 
I also like to keep active having run my last marathon in June 2017. I’m sure you have already fallen asleep so I will stop right about…here.

I think the concept of a decentralized, immutable ledger could help solve some of the more serious issues of transparency for countries like Nigeria, where most of my family still lives.

What made you interested in Blockchain?
I started getting interested in 2013 as I had a few friends who were starting to invest in cryptocurrencies then. We would discuss (heavily, usually over a glass of wine) the future of Bitcoin and also why blockchain was so revolutionary. Selfishly, I also thought the concept of a decentralized, immutable ledger could help solve some of the more serious issues of transparency for countries like Nigeria where most of my family still lives. This potential for democratization and a long term, technological solution to fiat currency could help remove the constant issue of bribery and fraud that plagues Nigeria and finally give freedom for everyone to have access to new opportunities.

You moved from the United States to London to Berlin: How’s that working out for you?
It’s a bear right now. I’m still living out of suitcases and travelling a lot. Does anyone know of a good flat opening up soon in Berlin?

Did you already have a chance to sample Käsekuchen and other 
German Köstlichkeiten?
Ah, you’ve hit a sore spot. I’m lactose intolerant so all Käse is off limits for me! It’s a tough one as I have a major sweet tooth (and no, vegana Kuchen is just not the same. Never.)

What do you value most in a company’s culture?
It’s a tie between transparency and productive conflict. Being transparent about your work, your mission, your companies overall outlook is table stakes to creating a well performing, high functioning team. The productive conflict piece is to acknowledge that sometimes you don’t always have the answer and you need to wrestle a bit with others to get to the best possible solution. Being able to productively disagree and still love each other afterwards is a great sign of not only a high intellect but also great empathy.

What can we expect from your department in the months to come?
A lot! We are just now starting to roll out a new communications strategy, new updates for our team and lots of announcements for our product updates. Additionally, we will be adding more features on who we are as OST (like these lovely employee profiles that I got suckered into) so you get to know more about the people running this crazy ship. Last, I’ll be looking at our overall marketing strategy for partnerships, advertising, and scaling as we build a more robust platform for our partners.

THANK YOU, ADEOLA!


WOUTER VERHOOG

You started in March 2018 as Director of Communications: Tell us more about your job?

I am here to get the word out: Partnerships, new products, events, early-access programmes like Alpha II, the wonderful people behind OST… Everything and the kitchen sink! A big part of my job is making our solutions attractive to those-in-the-know and understandable to people new to Blockchain.

What made you interested in Blockchain?
It wasn’t until I started investing in different cryptocurrencies, that I became interested in the actual technology and the promises it holds. The concept of immutable record-keeping truly excites me: If you can database it, you can blockchain it!

So, why Communications?
Publishing has always played a big part in my life. I was raised by my grandparents, two avid readers with a love for great authors like Jane Austen and Tolstoy. 
Sun or snow, my grandmother would always take me to the library on Wednesday. I think this love for literature encouraged me to try my hand at publishing. From printing my own, little newspaper when I was seven (which must’ve cost my grandparents a fortune on ink cartridges!) to founding my publishing house in Amsterdam, to working for a digital publishing startup here in Berlin. I enjoy the creative process, writing is a bit like sculpting: You start with 500 words and you keep chiseling until you have a concise piece of copy.

‘Stop promising, start delivering’ is something we all agree on, here at OST. That sane, no-nonsense mentality was one of the things that convinced me to join the team. It makes my work rewarding.

Berlin is a very international city, what’s it like living there?
The city has a bit of a rowdy reputation, but there’s more to Berlin than its vibrant nightlife: It’s surrounded by nature, and home to grand operas and museums. Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe, life is affordable, the streets are safe… I’m very happy here.

How do you like to spend your free time?
I spend a lot of quality time on my hobbies. Hiking, sports, exploring cities, playing the piano, painting and sculpting… It helps me to decompress and to put things in perspective. A healthy work-life balance is important to me.

What do you consider the biggest challenge in the world of Blockchain?
One word: Clarity. There’s too much hype, FUD, and confusion out there! “Stop promising, start delivering” is something we all agree on here at OST. That sane, no-nonsense mentality was one of the things that convinced me to join the team. It makes my work rewarding: I want to go home knowing we made something happen!

What can we expect from your department in the months to come?
2018 is all about putting OST on the map as the platform that makes Blockchain and tokenisation a real, game-changing solution for companies worldwide. We’re looking into attending and organising events to earn our position in the Blockchain community, media workshops and more POC programmes like OST KIT Alpha II. To go short, it’s going to be a very interesting year and I’m grateful to be part of it!

— End