At AutoUncle we're committed to creating The Most Human Company. And that starts with one person at a time.
We think there’s no better way to learn about who we are and how we work than to hear directly from our team members.
So we asked some of our awesome colleagues like Lars to share some of their thoughts and impressions so far in their journey with Autouncle, and what being part of The Most Human Company means to them. These are their words.
Lars Vinter Clausen is a Product Owner based in AutoUncle’s Aarhus, Denmark office. Since 2019, Lars has focused on developing products for car dealers and manufacturers. The profile below is compiled from an interview and has been edited and condensed for clarity.
If you're interested in working with great humans like Lars, check out our openings.
Last updated January 2021.
Lars with the family dog, Mynte.
From competition to collaboration
I worked as a product owner before, and I knew about AutoUncle from a distance, just from working in the tech industry. It’s a company I actually used for inspiration in my previous job because they’ve been on the forefront of using data to create value and to cut away pains within the user journey for car buyers. We wanted to do the same thing for our customers so we looked to AutoUncle for inspiration on using data and making predictions on pricing.
At the time I didn’t know anything about AutoUncle as a workplace. I only knew the product. But then I started to hear some stories about AutoUncle being an extremely agile company. I heard how it was heavily data-driven and worked very methodically to improve its product. And that was very interesting to me.
“We know how humans work.”
It’s kind of funny because I was actually speaking with two different companies at the time. I was offered another position — also very interesting — but I was stalling a bit so I could continue talking with AutoUncle. Because from a company and a product point of view, it just seemed to me that AutoUncle was way more visionary. And I really felt that my opportunities to learn and grow would be bigger in AutoUncle.
So I wrote to Johan and he invited me in to have a chat. I presented some of the work I’d done with product development so they could get a sense of how I work, and it seemed like there was a good fit. I also got a really good feeling based on the questions they were asking me about my work process and what they felt was important.
On top of that, you know, there’s the human side of things. I live a bit far from the office and so I have a commute. I have kids. I have a wife who also has a career and works a lot. And so I needed to make sure that I wasn’t expected to work 70 hours a week, because that wouldn’t work for me.
And I remember Johan saying, “Well, Lars, we know how humans work. And I know myself. I know that there are a good six or seven hours in me a day, and whatever I put in after that is not the important stuff. So there’s no expectation for you to work crazy hours. But we expect, of course, that you show up and are present when you work.”
For me the focus on the human side and the flexibility that AutoUncle provided was so important. I trusted them on that, and I have to say that they have delivered.
Feeling the startup spirit
I’m personally very motivated by having a vision — a big dream, making an impact, something like that. It’s not that I’m super into cars, and it’s not so that we can make a huge amount of money. It’s because we want to make the world a better place in the space that we’re in. That’s what motivates me.
I also have to mention that I think Johan and Jonas are extremely inspiring to work with and I learn a lot by working with them. We get to have that vibe, that startup spirit, where you still have the founders who are a part of the company and want to make things happen. That energy is so important, and it really drives that vision.
Finding balance and creating clarity
So I know that what happens at home also influences what happens at work — and the other way around. And I’d say that working with AutoUncle, doing the check-ins, and having really good to one-to-ones with your manager — all of that really develops you as a person. I personally do feel that I am growing.
I feel it when focusing on “mental hygiene.” Things like meditation, exercising — in general just focusing more on myself as a whole human than I was before. It’s taking that approach to life where things need to be in balance. And AutoUncle has introduced me to certain techniques for creating clarity and developing good working habits.
So for example, we’re very methodical about meetings. We always want to have an agenda. We want to follow up afterwards on what worked well, what we’ve learned, and what we want to do moving forward. And that’s so we get the most out of the time that we spend with each other.
Creating freedom through structure
We do a check-in on my team every day during our daily stand up. It’s the first thing we do in the morning. And normally, you know, I’m a bit allergic to stuff like that. At first I thought it was just something we had to do for a couple of weeks and then we’d forget about it. But we actually did get into the habit of doing it.
And now, if I think about the time before we started doing that, I remember how unclear we were with each other. Maybe I could pick up on certain things — oh, this guy is not doing too well — but I didn’t know anything about it, and I didn’t know how to approach it. This gives us a structured way to bring those things forward, and makes it ok to share.
Staying present and staying productive
After starting at AutoUncle, I reread Getting Things Done. And digging into that I realized I had been slacking off a bit in my personal routines. So I started trying to work more methodically with the Getting Things Done principles again. Jonas also introduced me to something called Mindcamp where it gives you reminders about how things are affecting your brain and how you think. So, for example, if you are feeling anxious, you can’t be creative. So how can you better compartmentalize your thoughts to create that clear headspace before meetings?
That journey has been really inspiring for me. I haven’t done work like that in the past. And I can see it’s really beneficial for me. I see the effects in my work, and also outside of work. I’m much more conscious now about what projects I start and how many things I’m involved in at one time. Instead of spreading myself too thin, I try to limit myself so I can stay productive. And that has definitely helped me in my personal life.
AutoUncle is the international standard for car valuations and price comparisons in Europe. Each month millions of consumers use AutoUncle to find the best deals and shop with confidence.
Founded in 2010 by brothers Johan Frederik Schjødt and Niels Kristian Schjødt together with Jonas Bylov, AutoUncle came out of the Startupbootcamp Copenhagen accelerator. Since then, AutoUncle has expanded into 14 different consumer markets. You'll find Uncles and Aunts in the cities like; Aarhus (HQ), Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden, Recklinghausen, Karlsruhe, Dublin, Milano, and Cluj.
Today, AutoUncle is most known for its consumer-facing search engine and price comparison tool for used cars, but developers will tell you that the technology behind the platform packs a punch: generating car valuations based on advanced statistics, indexing and processing millions of cars each day, automating marketing platforms and billing systems, and much more.
As a leader of innovation in Europe, AutoUncle’s vision is to become the most-used platform for making hassle-free deals happen globally. In combination with the company vision, AutoUncle works methodically to build The Most Human Company – a place where employees can be ambitious, have a big international impact, and bring their full humanity to work.
Triple digit annual growth rates; operating with healthy finances
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