Meet the man who created Zammad

Zammad Diary | Martin Edenhofer: Growth, Remote Work, and MacGyver

He is the inventor of both Zammad and OTRS and the brain that drives our software forward. Martin Edenhofer has made a name for himself in the Open Source community. Meet our Founder and CEO in this interview and catch a rare glimpse behind the scenes.

Welcome to the Zammad Diary! What is your name and position at Zammad?
Martin Edenhofer, Finder of Solutions & Creator of Zammad

What are you known for?
Finding a different or better solution

What are you working on right now?
I'm currently working on a concept for managing the growth of Zammad over the coming years. We have grown by more than 80% every year for the past five years, and we are expecting more than 100% in 2021. The main challenge is finding great new team members who are excited to go through this dynamic process with us.

What new things have you learned on the job lately?
How to grasp problems and challenges quickly and objectively, how to find the right solution, and how to make the best decision.

What motivates you every morning?
Our daily Standup Meeting (every day at 9:00), where I can say „Good Morning“ to my team and chat with them about the day ahead. You won't believe how amazing remote work or home office can be if you have the right atmosphere and tools.

What do you love most about remote work? (And what's tough?)
Working remotely is most fun when you don't notice whether you're working from the office or from somewhere else. It's important not to neglect human interaction though.

What do you chat about with your team?
Obviously about Zammad. What else! :) And about lots of other topics. :)

Which industry or brand should really start using Zammad?
There's a lot of potential in supermarkets and with parking tickets.

How do you manage to break out of your daily routine?
I don't have to. I like my routine!

What does your desk look like?

Do you have a passion that wouldn't be obvious from your resume?
Daring to have flaws. There is "power" in just giving things a go.

What inspires you?
People who create "a lot" from little or nothing.

What is good teamwork for you?
Being able to trust each other blindly.

What would you do if money was no problem?
So far I've been lucky enough to have sufficient money to do all the things I wanted. One outcome is Zammad. :)
But remember: It's one thing to finance a product. But it's so much more amazing to see how the product finances itself. A great feeling. I can only encourage everyone to give their own ideas a go.

You have 1.000 unread messages and only time to reply to 50 of them. How do you decide?
That seems futile. :)

How do you evaluate your personal success?
I base it on the state or condition of my environment.

What two career tips do you have?

  • No risk, no payoff.
  • Be different from the rest.

And another important point (even though it's not by me):

  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge - because knowledge is limited."

How do you explain to your parents where you work and what your job is?
Something about "helping people". And if the neighbors come asking, the reply is definitely always: "Sorry, I don't know much about IT". :)

What would you like to have known prior to joining Zammad?
That's a tough one. But one thing is certain: If I had known how much work it would be, I might have reconsidered it. :-D

What do you miss from your previous job?
Holding the product in my hands.

What feature do you find coolest about Zammad?
The text modules, macros, and triggers.

What makes you get up every morning and not just work in bed?
Three kids and five pets.

What's your favorite Zammad anecdote?
„It wasn't me.“

Which famous person would you like to have on the Zammad team and why?
MacGyver; he has a solution for everything.

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