Meet the Operators | Bird – Jacopo Magni and Jonas Lefebure.
Sofi Fridland, CEO at Just Arrived met up with Jacopo Magni, Expansion and Operations, Nordics, and Jonas Lefebure, Senior Public Policy Associate at Bird for a chat in order to get to know them better. Bird is part of Nordic Micromobility Association and Just Arrived are staffing Parking Patrols in several Swedish cities in order to solve the issues of missparked e-scooters.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up at Bird?
Jonas: The reason why I joined Bird was for two very specific reasons, the first one being a start-up. I wanted to be in an environment where, you know, you would have the opportunity to pitch ideas to the senior leadership and then those ideas will actually be implemented and considered.
The other reason is the role itself, which really allows me to combine my public policy skills with the technology and innovation part of the industry.
Jacopo: I was actually working for another scooter company before called Scoot, another California based start-up, and I was, you know, managing our operations in Chile. Scoot was then acquired by Bird a couple of years ago. That's when I joined Bird and I've always worked on the operations and expansion side.
Why the initiative with the Parking Patrol?
Jonas: I think everyone would agree that we, as operators, have the same goals with the cities we operate in. We have similar ambitions. We don't want to have parking problems, we don’t want to have bad behaviour from our users and I think every operator or anyone you ask, all agree that this initiative is something that can help solve that.
Jacobo: Ultimately the cities’ success is our success. We want to make sure that the cities are happy, because: if they are happy, we are happy. It's not a competition between the city and the operators. So, ultimately it makes a lot of sense to have an initiative with all the actors involved.
The collaboration with Just Arrived, what’s your experience so far?
Honestly, from our perspective, it's been great from the very beginning and still is. It’s fantastic. You are extremely open and collaborative and whenever we have any issues, you always solve them quickly and that's always appreciated. I think the collaboration is really one of the strongest faces, something that we want to nurture and that we want to continue for the long run. Internally, we all agree that it's great to have you as a partner who coordinates all the cooperation between the operators. Sometimes, because obviously we are still competitors, it's difficult to always agree and having this kind of neutral middle person really makes a huge difference. So this is a business model that we are definitely really happy with.
If we look at the micro-mobility industry as a whole, what's happening next you think and what's up next for Bird?
For the industry as a whole, we think there are three elements that really shape and determine the future of the industry or one of them is battery capacities, the other one is public partnerships, working with governments and cities to make sure that we bring a solution to the table. The third element is more about transportation, we are here to compliment and to help people who want to get from point A to point B.
Lastly, what is the best thing about working at Bird?
Jonas: The best thing about working for Bird is the learning opportunities that we have. There was a very steep learning curve and I think that the learning opportunities and the new skills that I've acquired is thanks to this job.
Jacopo: Yep. I will also add, one of the things that really gives me the most joy about my job is, and I've had the luck and the privilege to be in a lot of cities with Bird around Europe and one of the things that give you the most joy is when you see people really using your product and ride around the city, you know, with a smile on their face.
To read more about Bird, visit their website here.
3 Quick Questions with Jonas and Jacopo:
What was your first job?
Jonas: The first job in life was to work as a policy advisor for a member of parliament in the parliament of the United Kingdom.
Jacopo: Uhm, way less glamorous than Jonas. My actual, very first job was when I was a student and I was also part-time working in a clothing store.
If you would describe yourself as a person in one sentence, what would that be?
Jonas: I would say public policy enthusiasts with a passion for innovation and technology.
Jacopo: Looking from a scooter or work perspective, I think I combine very well the operational mindset and a very execution-oriented mindset with the ability to zoom out and see the big picture and the strategy.
What's your hidden talent?
Jonas: I make homemade beer.
Jacopo: I do get told that I have some cooking skills sometimes.