Lars von Thienen | Company Manager | Noggle AG

Lars von Thienen: Integrating Technology, Software and Business Skills

In this digital era there is an increasing problem of each user i.e. the retrieval of records and documents. While storage locations are proliferating and the cost of storing documents in the cloud is approaching zero, hardly anyone has thought about the retrieval of this information for individual users. What good is it if one can store one’s data and documents twice and three times for free in several places, but no one helps find them easily and efficiently? This is exactly the problem that Noggle AG solves as a company. It provides a local, confidential solution for retrieving private and personal documents – no matter where and how they were stored. This helps to reducing the stress out of searching documents.

“Engineering the Switch to Digital: Fail Fast, Start Knowing and Gain Insights. ‘‘Be Ahead. Repeat.”

An inceptive mind behind Noggle is a tech expert, Lars von Thienen. Through Noggle, Lars aims at taking the stress out of people and companies of searching.

Being Curious about Technology from Childhood

Lars started programming when he was 12 years old. Those were days of C64 and AMIGA. With a degree in industrial business engineering, his journey into business began in 1990s. During his studies, he programmed software for ordering pizza deliveries via push-button phone – way before time of internet and smartphones. The connections between technology, software and business have now occupied him in a professional business context for over 30 years. On one hand, he accompanies TOP 30 DAX companies in Germany in digitalization and use of software in business. On the other hand, he is serial founder, entrepreneur and have founded five companies in this context, and he is still part of them as owner.

A Take on Impactful Leadership

According to Lars, it is essential for business leaders to think differently and always be able to openly challenge existing processes completely. The exponential speed of change makes it possible, and leaders should always find new ways and transport them into the company. It is a job of a leader to think innovatively to set the right direction and strategy. Great leaders figure out the disruptive processes much earlier. Once leaders establish the processes then processes are defended and optimized by the responsible employees themselves.

Lars considers that as a company manager, with a view to digitization, it is essential to fundamentally question and reorganize these processes about the customers. Disruptive thinking with a simultaneous focus on customer adds value.

Digitally Transforming Established Companies

Lars states that transforming traditional and already successful companies on the path to digitization is a megatopic for business in the next five years. Therefore, he is prioritizing to increasingly use his experience and power to transform companies on their way to becoming “digital”. He says it is not about creating more and more small businesses and putting the selfish, individual view of maximizing personal income and freedom at the forefront of the gig economy. In the next five years, it will be about digitally transforming established companies while preserving jobs, social security systems and regional economic competencies. He adds that there are still many challenges in the EU in this regard.

Seeing Challenges as an Advantages

Especially in Germany, the corporate hurdles for new digital business models are very challenging. Regulations on data protection, co-determination and security require very thorough processes and often require lengthy coordination. The speed to implement new ideas also often fails due to these limits. And young talent in particular is frustrated and not infrequently seeks its path outside the EU and Germany. This is a core problem against the background of Noggle AG’s local location.

But Lars don’t see this as a disadvantage. Conversely, he considers that this challenge also offers an advantage. He says that once one has overcome these obstacles, one can look proudly at stable, secure, and employee-compliant digital landscapes. It’s just that the path to getting there always presents one with longer-than-planned timelines.

Trying Out Newer Technologies Consistently

Lars believes that the constant monitoring of the landscape is imperative to be updated with the latest technology. However, he is hardly able to keep track of the constantly growing options himself. That is why he says that Noggle has an innovation team that is constantly on the lookout for new solutions. Noggle pushes internal Agile sprints and has established a “fail fast” approach. This approach encourages early trial and failure of new technologies.

Noggle rather tries something two times or too many than losing out by missing an opportunity. As a company manager, however, Lars has learned that it is now important to recognize quickly when an idea is doomed to fail. He says that it should be established as a positive culture. This is how Noggle manages to try out new technologies.

Culture of Openness, Freedom and Trust

Besides, it is also essential to attract and retain tech talents. Lars consider that openness, a lot of freedom for the individual and trust are crucial to attract them. Today, talented people can largely choose their employers. Therefore, the most important thing is to create a space for freedom and trust. Lars has learned that traditional employment contracts with fixed working hours, working locations and a hierarchical reporting structure are rather deterrent for digital talents.