Nov. 24, 2021

Cargo stream - the simple cloud-based workspace for overland logistics management

Leon has led H&M distribution centres in the Netherlands and Italy and served as the CFO of the company’s Logistics Centre for Eastern Europe. In April 2021, he joined Cargo stream as CEO. To Leon, this new challenge gives the opportunity to build the future of logistics, improving sustainability and bring well-being in the workplace as an exemplary (remote) company culture.

1:55 – movies Leon loved as a kid
3:20 – favorite book as a kid
5:50 – not a high school dropout, but…
8:30 – the future of work
12:00 – why customers get excited about Cargo Stream
14:50 – number of companies that are using Cargo Stream and projected revenue
15:35 – two habits that Leon does that makes him happier and more productive
19:00 – the kind of people he wants on his team
20:02 – favorite online tool that has helped Leon build his business

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Leon is a Dutchy living in the outskirts of Europe, called Lithuania. A lifelong learner who never went to University to get a degree, but instead put his sleeves up and build a career at a young age.  After almost 20 years he found that enough is enough, and unleashed the entrepreneur sleeping inside of him. He's also a speaker, a father and husband, a bio-hacker, a sporty guy and always up for something new.


You are listening to innovators collab with Eric Nocher where i dive into the interesting and fascinating stories that
Innovators from Europe. Hi, everyone. This is
The innovators can laugh podcast. I'm Eric Nocher and today we are joined with Leon. CEO of cargo stream which is a shared work space for logistics management
How are things in Lithuanian? Hi, Eric. Great to be here. Thanks for having me. A life from Lithuania.
Well, you know, the grape period started. It's here and it's way now right now. Which is basically all the way from October to March. It's like we have 50 tones of grey
And every single day will be like that for the next few months. So, yeah.
You guys don't have to get used to it yeah some people love it yeah you know I'm still the process of getting used to the color tones I must say
Yeah that's what I learned is like Lithuania or or maybe Norway and that region always rinks high
For like best places to live but you ask anybody who lives there. They're like, hey, for 5 or 6 months at a year, it's like total gray
Cuz winter sucks and so it's like how can you be happy when the weather is like that for so many months it's kind of our sunset there
You kind of get used to it and just take a lot of vitamin D that you will make it
Okay. So, we're gonna get into cargo stream in a minute. One of the things that interest me on your LinkedIn profile in your title, you have the word futurist
And so when I saw that I immediately think of science fiction so I'm wondering when you were a child were you really excited
Movies as a child at and I still do and I
Hey always as a child was fantasizing about the future really like day dreaming about future it just comes natural to me I don't know how I do it and it
Add in my adult life it's basically to say somehow when
Someday happens in my environment or a new opportunity pops up or it change in the business.
I bought people have some damn struggles following me because I'm living somewhere in a future already with my mind and so what are you talking about?
And I just, you know, I can't stop this visions and thoughts that are coming about how it would look like in the future. So,
Yeah it's great to have it but also kind of a curse sometimes. Well my my kids before and I don't know when's a good day.
I was playing the X-wing fighter, you know, outside with my friends like mimicking, I look Skywalker.
Yeah Star Wars is definitely one of my go to sci-fi movies for sure. I remember going to library
School, you know? We were, you know, we were going like a what? Once every 2 weeks or something, the library.
I always pick the sci-fi books. Which which books like do you recall? Yeah. Yeah. I don't record the author but
There was a book about travel to Mercury like Mercury is like the hottest planet in the solar system right so
And it was called I think 375° in the shade or something there was the name of the book something like that and it's like 35 years ago right 30 years ago so I still remember
And it was about how humanity established a
Colony on mercury in this extreme temperatures like and I'm fascinated still about the when it comes to sci-fi you know the actual fires and the different solar systems.
System is I all very cool but it's more fantasy what what intrigues me the most is like
You know, SpaceX, I follow really because the idea that 1 day, we will be living on Mars
Fascinating me like I always say to my wife like if I wouldn't have a wife and children and I would be kind of you know.
Loner in this world I would probably go for a the mice mission actually yeah you would be sitting next to you know
Jeff Bezos or Elon Masquez you know this past year and went up to Spain. Okay. So as a kid were you a good student? Or.
Would your parents say different? I definitely was a good student. Yeah.
But I also was a good student because it was kind of expected for me to be the good students. Alright, so
As a child that was kind of fitting in like I wasn't the Maverick or something during childhood. I tried to fit in when I was a child.
I'm also the oldest sibling. So, yeah, already from eight seven onwards. I was like,
Example, I, you know, I must be the role model for how you do it well. So, yeah, I was a good student but
But I also realized that Natural in my teenage life when you know a high school that
Actually I also had a rebellious side that I didn't want to be a good student anymore so I kind of screwed up my last years in school I can say we got a bit of
Eating in
I know I would have been capable of doing like better when it comes to degrees because I don't have a degree actually.
I wouldn't have got myself a school drop out but I'm not that difficult I could ever get sample let's say so.
Well, that's okay. The best entrepreneurs are are those that either dropped out or were actually is that really, you know,
I'm quite of intrigued by the hub spot model you know those were four NBA and NBA graduates that came together
All four of their head like NBA and Hobsport is of course like successful company. So, I'm not sure, you know, I think when
It's not about what you learn in a in any like business study or something. I believe. It's about
How your mindset gets primed to look at things which will help you in later life.
To people always say like I wasted my time in university because the things that I learn don't apply to my life right now but I think it's not about that it's about
Putting yourself through this 4 years of 6 years of hard work to go for your masters
Dad bails a certain discipline and mindset and that benefits yourself. You are later life. So just say.
That's i think what yeah. Is this one of the topics that you you speak about because I also notice your note speaker. Yeah, I was wondering what topics or speeches
That you've given that you're really passionate about like what is one of the the favorite talks that you've given in the past it was
I'm super passionate about. Which is where we're living in right now.
I mean, we're living in in the future right now. So, what is it that you had to say about well remote workers? So, thankfully it's changing right now but remote work was seen as
Decision between officers or like you know it's a remote work or seen as like a
Deciding whether you send your people away from the office and let them work from the kitchen table or actually have everybody in one office but that's not at all the remote work is about
Remote work is a symptom remote work is a symptom of a transformation in organizations
That focus more on what people really intrinsically need in the workplace.
And remove work reflects the best in what people need and that is freedom
Being trusted that they can work from anywhere not having to be under the umbrella of a management in the office that
Autonomy because it requires, you know, a big level of autonomy in in a person to work effectively remotely. So,
Hey people were not used to it but the future of remote work is
It the future of the workplace is in organization is a culture where the focus is on getting the best out of people
By giving them what they need in the workplace and one of the best ways to do that is to allow people to work remotely
So what happens when you know we are able to just increase the well being of employees in the workplace?
By just 10% worldwide right just 10% worldwide
What would happen like the amount of increased output at the global workforce would have would like
Change all the problems that we have right now in the world. Climate, you know, whatever you name it.
Hey things will be soft because we can get the maximum out of people by creating this organizations that give people what they need in the workplace
Yeah and I think because of that flexibility people have and that freedom like you said they're happier
Futuristic mind right?
In the future we will not pick a company anymore to work for.
It it just doesn't work like that anymore in the future in my views like in the future we will have hops you know like you're a marketing specialist
So you well connect yourself to let's say a marketing hub in I don't know what city you are from in US
Houston okay so this marketing hub Houston you know you connect yourself let's say do that hop remotely
And companies use the services of the marketing hub.
Not by competing with each other for talent but sharing talent with each other. Like why would you
For somebody to 100% commits to you while we already see that you know as freelancers are a great example
Freelance is now are seeing like you know people they are not entrepreneurs and they are not employees. I think freelancers are the future. That's the model.
Which works best use the only the things which you're good at and add that as value to several companies where
Where are them to taking a job where you do maybe 20% in the job you do the things you're really good at and 80% you do because you must feel your time in order to earn your salary
Like I think we will be a more specialistic society where people do what they really good at and really love
And spread that value to several companies
Rather than why as a company would you have one word force right why would you not have a shared workforce
This is way more efficient than more inspiring and purposeful to people. That's how I see the future of the workplace. Yeah,
Never I like that idea you get a collective group of specialist together and maybe it's just like a project yes or something
Like that. They know they're gonna be in it for a short term. But you're getting the best out of what they do. And it's something that they're written or longer project. They do or not. They can move on to some.
The yellow is the interest down and that they know that they're gonna what they bring to the table. Yeah. Is what they're really good at. That's a really good model. Tell me about
Cargo stream what is it about the tour that customers get excited about yes
With cargo stream we are digitalizing collaboration in logistics you know
In logistics is for like 80% of companies still use email. Like email was great when we swift shifters from the Taylor facts. You know and
You know, and we suddenly had emailed was like, you know, wow, it was magical, you know, but if you really look at it,
Email us nothing more than digital paper actually. It's just digital paper. So, whole
The whole future of logistics both from like profitability and development perspective as for when sustainability perspective
Is build on this foundation of email which is by definition inefficient.
And actually studies have shown that people who are working a lot with immuno day to day basis are more overwhelmed
I'm more stressed out and they have a lower score of well being assessments within the company.
And when they do the same scored people that have digitalized tools right like easy couple of click work process
And I never behind in emails you know like 400 emails on average one logistic empowering gets on a day to day basis 400
Like how can we build a future of a whole sector?
Based on those outdated 1990 processes. It's impossible really. So we cannot reach the sustainability targets.
Only by, you know, new few walls, electrical vehicles.
Because by the time we are fully electrical, we are also 50 years ahead in time. No, we need to have solutions on the practical level in companies.
Digitalized easy to use collaboration platforms in real time where everybody comes together without having to
Send back and forth emails and then you know come in the morning open up your inboxes 400 emails like
This is not how it works in 2021 anymore and we are very excited that gargastry that we provide customers a solution which solve their problems in terms of
Empower your engagement lost an opportunity lacking sustainable approach to the logistics
We our customers told us that we have sold those problems for them with our solution and that's just super exciting.
I'd fantastic. Where where are you now in terms of like total customers? In total customers in terms of companies
We are like we are in a growth place right so we're like in a flower
15 companies that I really actively use again but due to the nature of the set because it's a collaboration platform they drag in
They are network which is in total like a 1000 companies who are in one way or the other already connected to the platform as a collaboration platform
Okay and for 2021 you're projected revenue preserve the revenue for 2021 we're gonna we're gonna hit the six figures
Yep okay okay finally can you tell me two or three habits
That have served you well in terms of being happier and more productive? Yes. What are two or three habits that you do in your life? Yes, okay.
The absolute number one habit that everyone must apply today is
Never look at what you didn't do today but look at what you did today.
Because we are beating ourselves up by shit I didn't take off this thing or shit I didn't do that thing or
You know I I didn't have the time I we always focusing and it's probably out of whole society because you know we're always focused on about what we didn't do
Or we didn't accomplish what we didn't go for the rules we didn't comply to
No change that around and look back to your day and look at what you did. And more often than not, you actually realize that you did a lot and that is enough.
Because productivity to me is not about whether you have a
Fast computer or you have tools like whatever, you know, work so I manage your tools or working 12 hours for date.
Those things help but number one productivity comes from mindset. It's a mental thing
It's your attitude to what you work which makes you most productive. So, that's like, I really remind myself every day to to practice that habit and to look at
What did I do and be happy with what I did?
Do I want to do more? Yes, I want to do more but for today, this is what I did and that's it's good enough. And then really helps and actually increase. I'm gonna do that.
Yeah, no, I'm gonna do that because every morning, I write down like maybe the top, five to 10 things that I wanna accomplish
Throughout the day, I cross each one out as they get done but at the end of the day, I'm looking at like the two or three things that I didn't get finished and I did to dwell on those things
Right? Instead of looking at the ones that I crossed out and I have a feeling now as you said this
If I look at what I accomplish I probably have a smile on my face yes you know knowing that hey yes and the same goes for your month you know
And we are always over plan nowadays. Like we always do. And that's fine.
Long as you're mindful about that you focus on what you did. And if you know that you know you did that
Because you did your best and you were not sitting the whole day watching Netflix for example then it's absolutely okay what you did so yes have them mentality to show up
But don't destruct yourself about what you didn't do. That's really powerful.
Yeah okay and when you're I'm very curious about your recruiting methods because it seems to me that you really want people
For at least one to collaborate and work with people that are in the right space in terms of maybe their mid to a streamed or you know, I'm just wondering
Would you try to recruit somebody for you to join your team? What are you looking for? You know, is there some sort of process or maybe experiment that you kind of
Random threw to figure out hey is this somebody that's in it that's got a good mindset
But I wouldn't have on for me but like mindset and attitudes. Mentality is an attitudes are. By everything. Higher.
Higher for mentalities and attitudes. Skills everybody can learn. But I want to have people in the team that
No how to take care of themselves
About themselves i listen how to how I ask them about the habits for example like what do you do I'm looking for
Why there any habits like meditation for is there anything related to sports is there something like hobbies
Competitive maybe some competitive aspects of their private life you know because people who realize
That hobbies and social connections and take a care of your health and sleep well you know like up
I would doubt if I would hire a person that sits everyday until two three in the night because it's simply doesn't work.
You you cannot get the maximum amount of your brain when you don't sleep. So I'm looking for that next golf course, all the regular things. Okay. Okay, then.
Okay, last question for you. Is there an online tool that you like that has helped you build your business?
Before. I'm just looking for a wine shear like what is one essential tool that you've used to help build your union in terms of like like a technical software tool yeah
Yeah it could be you know for some good sales like marketing something that used like a CRF or what changed my life is Asana is so much more as a project management too. If you
Realize that Asala is your external brain and you really put
Everything that comes up in your mind into a sana you organize that into different projects you know
Like waiting for or future goals or right now focus right now or urgent even you know when you use sama as your
External brain repository you never miss a thing AF so much peace of mind because
You know that it's stored somewhere so you're not stressing over oh I maybe I won't forget it or you know write it on post it's everywhere so I I make a habit
And everything that comes up to mind like I I put in a sauna even if I go wake up in three in the night
I go to the toilet. Something pops up. I talked to Siri in the middle of the night with my eyes closed because the blue light is not so good.
My eyes closed and I make a note for myself for the morning after and sometimes I'm really surprised like oh did I tell that to my asana last night
But it's so powerful because we often forget to catch those magical moments that our brain gives us and
And we lose it so when you put everything in a tool like a sauna you can get it into your workflow and you get it done
Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure having you on this show for everybody listening.
Hey Facebook cheers. Alright. Alright. Cheers everyone.
Thanks for listening to the show if you enjoyed it I'd really appreciate it
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Leon van der LaanProfile Photo

Leon van der Laan


Leon is a Dutchy living in the outskirts of Europe, called Lithuania.
A lifelong learner who never went to University to get a degree, but instead put his sleeves up and build a career at a young age.
After almost 20 years he found that enough is enough, and unleashed the entrepreneur sleeping inside of him. He's also a speaker, a father and husband, a bio-hacker, a sporty guy and always up for something new.