Maurice has his own testing ground for product innovations Behind the Screens with Maurice Jongerius

In my day job, I’m responsible for the teams working on the app and the website that we all know and love. Thousands of customers use it every day. Searching for products, ordering and paying. I’m responsible for all that functionality.” As Head of Product, Maurice Jongerius manages 25 different teams. But I  also have another passion, which I call my night job. At, we’re in a transformation to a product-led way of working. And I think this is absolutely fascinating.”  

We talked to Maurice about riding in the front of the bus, having your own testing ground, and being the first on the dance floor. 

Maurice joined in 2010 in a rather unusual way. “I sent an open application describing what I thought my first week with them would be like. I mentioned themes such as mobile shopping, social shopping and APIs. Remember, this was 2010, the iPhone 3G era. Mobile traffic to the website was only 1%. And they didn’t have their own app yet. I was taken on based on that letter and my vision of how online retail would develop. But there wasn’t really a proper job for me. I went exploring to find out what opportunities there were for mobile shopping.” 

 “I think that’s typical for We don’t specify in detail what we all have to do. You get a warm welcome, and then together we set out to discover how we can best achieve our goals together. So, when you join in a certain position, that doesn’t mean you have to stay in that box.” 

Don't think in boxes, always try something new

Put yourself in your customers' shoes

That certainly applied to Maurice when he first joined He was out and about, chatting to everyone in his new job. Telling people about his vision, sharing knowledge, getting them on board. “They called me Mister Mobile. I never get tired of saying it: get away from your laptop, experience the world as your customers see it. That’s on their mobile. Figure it out for yourself. How do you actually use that little computer in your pocket? That mindset, that perception, it should be the starting point for everything we do at” 

 Fast forward to 2022. Maurice is now surrounded by a team of product managers and UX specialists. He explains: “The product managers are responsible for specific parts of the entire customer journey. Ordering a product in our app. Receiving suggestions for new products based on their customer profile. Our customers don’t do that on a desert island. All my teams work together closely, they jointly contribute to our business goals by solving customer problems. All in all, we’ve about 150 teams working on’s products.” 

 The teams are also responsible for product innovations at Maurice feels very at home with this. He gets restless from standing still. He prefers to see what’s on the horizon. Are there developments for to move towards? He’s the first to grasp an opportunity. “Do you remember that video from a few years back? The one where a guy is dancing on a hill all by himself? After a few minutes, everyone’s dancing together. That’s how I see myself. The lone nut. The first on the dance floor who just starts dancing and who loves to drag a few people along too. That’s how I work too. Whether it’s mobile, AI or any other topic, you always need that lone nut, someone who’ll stick their neck out. Someone to get started and get others on board too.”  

Testing ground for maximum customer value

“My teams are often a testing ground for new ways of working. Colleagues ask me if we’re going to be the first to test something. My answer is almost always yes. Someone has to do it, don’t they? And if we see that it catches on, we’ll scale it up to more places within” 

How do you know if something is catching on? “You look at people’s reactions, you ask them. And you see this in the questions you get back from the organisation. Other departments who see how enthusiastic we are and who want to adopt it too. In any case, it’s not a ready-made plan with each step defined in advance taking us to a pre-defined destination.” 

Transforming is like being on the product innovation dance floor

This brings us to Maurice’s other passion, the transformation of What does this actually mean to Maurice? “We’re migrating to a product-led organisation. That means that everything we do must deliver maximum value to our customers and partners. We’re doing this by developing and deploying our own technology. But we also think about how we should organise ourselves, which roles do we need, what development path can we offer our people. These are the kind of transformations I like to think about, discuss with others, and to which I want to contribute. In fact, I like to sit at the front of the bus for these kinds of transformations. Together with a group of people who want to get to the dot on the horizon.” 

 “Our ambition for growth and transformations has taken us to uncharted territory. Within my team, it’s mostly about customer-centric thinking and being able to work well together. Can you use data to help you make decisions? Do you know what’s involved in software development? And personal core qualities, such as giving your opinion and standing up for what you believe are also important. We have a wide range of courses and training to help our people develop in these areas.” 

Staying connected

Maurice joined in 2010 when there were just 300 people here. We’ve grown to more than 2,600 now. Maurice is also concerned about the continual development of the organisation. “We build for scale. Everything we do must be scalable and that presents new challenges. Because of our size, there’s the chance that some teams don’t know what others are working on. We have to make sure we build on what others create but still work independently. I focus on ensuring that our people will always have the confidence and sense of responsibility to do their jobs well. At the same time, that we move forward as a joint team to serve our customers and partners as best we can. All of us in that bus, moving forward into the future, towards that dot on the horizon!”  

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