Hitting the Right Note with Creativity
Laurynas embarked on his journey into IT immediately after completing his schooling, standing at the crossroads of choice. He grappled with the decision between IT and sound engineering, with destiny ultimately guiding him towards IT. His ascent through the ranks was rapid, progressing from a systems administrator and IT project manager to the helm of a German equipment distribution company. Throughout this journey, his creative spirit remained unwavering.
Throughout his studies and the intense years of his career, Laurynas has played in the music band Parklights, which has been an integral part of his life for almost 13 years.
"During these years, we changed the band's name and style, took part in concerts and festivals, shared the same stage with Lithuanian stars who were growing up at the time. Radio stations played our songs," Laurynas recalls. Yet, life's melodies changed, and as his family grew, Laurynas found himself at a crossroads: "Eventually, the band members started families, had high-profile careers, and had to choose between investing a lot of time and huge sums of money in keeping the band afloat or taking the safer route that the family needed. We chose what was right for the family at the time." Adding that creating a business also accompanied this phase.
"I'm a fan of design, home interiors, aesthetics - once I saw a Scandinavian company's home bags I really liked on the internet, which cost a lot of money, I decided to make one myself. It worked. And so began the evolution of my handmade bags and handbags called "Savi Tavi". I improved the product a lot, orders poured in, and it was doing very well - eventually, Savi Tavi became the reason I left the director's job and started my own business - and I spent an exciting 5 years of creative work on it. The brand was well known in LT, Latvia and Estonia, and a bit in Denmark and Sweden.
However, an attempt of business scaling became too difficult and too hard to carry on. This event and once again growing family was the beginning of Laurynas return to IT.
From Entrepreneurship to IT
According to Laurynas, the decision to return to IT came with a clear idea of what kind of experience he wanted.
"I created Savi Tavi knowing that I could return to a salaried position at any time, and the opportunity to create something from scratch with my hands has always been extremely exciting. In music, for example, a song's initial spark often occurs in the solitude of your room, and then, one day, you hear it playing on the radio. You can only feel this magic if you have created something".
After going through these experiences, he realized that these seemingly diverse disciplines share fundamental similarities when it comes to create something new: "My decision to return to IT was very clearly weighed and measured. I knew I wanted a similar experience to a creative job, so I looked for a product manager role. To prepare for this new chapter, I pursued additional training and courses to master the intricacies of effective product management. That's how my search led me to Adroiti, where I found a lot of support and space to create.
In many massive IT corporations, product managers are often constrained to well-established projects that have been in motion for years. The excitement of nurturing a product from its inception is a rare find. Adroiti, however, is the exception. It extends an invitation to explore the uncharted territories of product development, which is precisely why I am glad to be a part of this company", says Laurynas.
Fostering a Culture of Creativity
Today, Laurynas manages a team of eight people and says that "everyone is a creator; only creators allow themselves to be creators", which is why one of Laurynas's main tasks when working in a team is to encourage everyone to create.
"One of the biggest things that sets Adroiti apart is its unwavering commitment to thinking bigger, pushing boundaries, and encouraging a spirit of innovation. There is a lot of freedom in designing IT functionalities here. It's very much like working in a band. As in the band, someone needs to initiate the process of practice and initiate the ideas for the songs; I initiate product development processes, discussions, meetings, and specifications, bringing feedback and ideas from stakeholders.
As my colleague Darius says, writing code is like writing a book; everyone does this differently and with their own creative twist. Writing a book is the art; writing code – too. So, from my perspective, I'm working with creators, authors, designers, and players. For me, it's rock'n'roll from the beginning till the end of the day ".
Laurynas shared his insights on how working with a team on an IT product is similar to working in a music band and how creativity helps you to achieve the best results.
The Power of a Core Idea. In songwriting, the most important thing is the song's main idea; you need to work on that if you want to deliver a great experience to the listener. Same in product development, the main thing you want to provide to the customer is the perfectly working core functionality of the product.
The Rehearsals of Innovation. For me, every meeting with the team is like a rehearsal, a space where I employ techniques to ignite creativity, and the returns are palpable. Much like a band's practice session, team members bring forth their ideas, often in their nascent form, and collectively transform them into something remarkable. What sets this environment apart is the unshakable trust among team members, an absence of fear of constructive critique, and a culture where individuals are encouraged to voice their thoughts, regardless of their position or role. This unspoken chemistry keeps everyone engaged, propelling their ideas to gain momentum. I firmly believe this flat, open management style is the bedrock of effective teamwork.
Equality for everyone. Equality in creating is the foundation of a great band. It means that everyone needs to feel safe in the group to express themselves and be confident even in making mistakes if they want to write a great song. By the way, sometimes mistakes become the best thing that could ever happen. Accidentally hitting a wrong note gives a new perspective to the song, and perhaps accidentally understanding the functionality differently, the developer can write a code for an enhanced or new great feature.
I want to create the same experience in the dev team, to create an environment where every team member is equal, equal to create and participate in the development; in this case, everyone is more invested in the product and more engaged in the process. And the outcome of this is – a thriving product and satisfied users.
Equality in a team goes a long way. A great example is the band Metallica; when they were looking for a new bass player, during an audition, they chose to offer this place to Robert Trujillo, and one of the first things they wanted to do was to make him feel equal in the band. Lars Ulrich (drummer): "We want you to be a real band member, not just a hired hand. We want to offer you and show how serious we are about this, offer you 1 million dollars to join our band right now" (watch from 7:22).
It happened 20 years ago, and look at them now; the latest album was released last year, and they are still thriving!
Instead of the end
"Listeners applause if your song is good. Users applaud if your product is good" – says Laurynas.
We applaud Laurynas and invite you to listen to some of his songs!
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