From outer space to office space – Workaround’s CTO Michael Roterman has done it all
Michael first began programming in 1995 and went to Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) where he studied a range of cutting edge thinking from robotics to astrophysics. Next, he was on to Stanford for his Master’s and while there he helped develop the next-generation gamma ray space telescope for NASA, which was launched into orbit in 2008.
After his academic work, Michael took no time to rest. He started his own consultancy in Stockholm. He worked as a senior developer in Silicon Valley at Everytrail as it scaled from 30,000 to nearly half a million users before acquisition by TripAdvisor. He even found time to optimize the surveillance on a rocket for the Swedish Space Agency. He also created projects based on personal interests: he built an online surfing community called The Glide and founded Zaplife, a photography based social network. Most recently, he founded Wingle, a cutting-edge, location-based social app.
While Workaround isn’t currently planning to expand into outer space, there are many exciting developments in the works here on Earth at the Workaround office:
What persuaded you to join the Workaround team?
– Workaround is at a really exciting stage where the business model has been proven and now there is a need to build out an entirely new platform to facilitate growth and scale. I’m excited to be able to make such an impact in a business I believe in, where the matchmaking services have a positive environmental impact by filling the excessive amount of unused office space. Workaround is the right idea at the right time.
How will the Workaround platform and service evolve?
– Much of the work will initially be behind the scenes work. Workaround will update our platform to make office space rentals even easier. We can use digital technology to make Workaround’s service more efficient and able to scale as the company grows and expands into more countries and becomes even more profitable. Workaround has been very successful up to now and we will make sure we keep those unique elements.
– Workaround’s model is about building relationships, in contrast to the old model where a lease may be for five years and the landlord often checks out as soon as the deal is done and the money is made. Now, everything is more dynamic and flexible with companies quickly evolving and moving in and out spaces more frequently. Since recurring transactions are more common now, Workaround nurtures the relationships between tenants and landlords.
What are some important considerations?
– Planning and design are incredibly important. As we build out the platform, I’m taking into account both short and long term planning so we are able to be flexible and scale as needed, but to also be as lean as we can so we can develop it as quickly as we can. It’s a balance. Whatever the approach, building the best platform is super important, and that is basically why I am here.
– Good design makes things easier and more pleasurable to use, even if users aren’t always conscious of it. Even though Workaround is a business product and the user’s goal is a signed lease, it’s important to create an experience where people find it enjoyable to use the platform. I would love to hear our users say, “it’s so nice and easy to communicate on Workaround.”