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Oct 23, 2018 7:30:01 AM

Lauri Larjo joins Columbia Road

Patricia Åkerman

Head of Marketing & Communications

lauri-l-profileHi Lauri, how did you get good at what you do?

“I was interested in computers and games since I was a kid. We built our first awesome text adventure games in lower level comprehensive school using Q Basic. I started learning web technologies in upper level comprehensive school with our maths teacher, who also encouraged me to join a university programming course that I could complete alongside basic education. Me and two friends were the youngest people on that course :) During those years I realised I’m interested in tech, especially web services.

Life has then guided me to study computer science and software business, work in technology consulting, consumer services, ecommerce — in small and big teams. I’ve found out I enjoy working with people, working together with customers, helping my team and finding enjoyment when our team creates good results. So I’d say I’m a tech guy with a strong emphasis on teamwork.”

Where have you earned your spurs?

“My six years at Futurice gave me a strong tech consulting base, the last two years of which spent in London was the trial by fire with interesting, but challenging client cases. After London, I moved into product management and also physically to the other side of the world, New Zealand. Working for a SaaS ecommerce company taught me what it’s really like to make long-term tech decisions, how product changes really affect different parts of the company and customers in the form of training, sales materials, documentation, data collection etc.

After coming back to Finland I joined VR as a product owner to build their new digital channels. Our team released the first versions of beta.vr.fi and mobile apps in late 2016, and the prototypes of the new vending machine in early 2018. It was exciting to be a part of building a new digitally thinking organisation and transform the way software is built and rapidly iterated.”

Why Columbia Road?

“After getting some product house and corporation experience under my belt, I realised I miss consulting work. I get enjoyment out of being able to help clients in challenging situations and seeing them happy afterwards. I like the buzz of hearing and learning about new products, services and technologies that can be utilised to solve these situations, the feeling of uncertainty when going to a new client case and starting fresh again, and the fulfilment later when I’m able to use my past learnings and experiences to help the new client.”

Sampo, what will make our clients love Lauri?

“Lauri has strengths in many areas including tech, business, product management, and agile ways-of-working. He’s a strong believer in processes that enable efficiency for the team and the client while keeping it still lightweight and lean. He’s easily approachable and loved by all, simply just a very nice guy,” says Sampo Hämäläinen, Managing Partner at Columbia Road.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

“Outside of work I and my wife both do mountain biking and rock climbing during the summer (the reason we moved to NZ), and skiing and climbing during the winter. I’m also semi-actively investing in the stock market and thus following the trends in the financial world,” Lauri shares. As a rock climber, Lauri knows when to take it slow and stop to think about strategy, and how to calculate all possible scenarios before going for a stretch — and then nailing it.

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