5 (stolen) minutes with Gesche Haas

November 22, 2016

I'm having another 'I love my job'  day today, although it didn't start out like that. 

I'd actually just got in from touching all the clothes in Zara - the closest I can get to buying them right now - and had got back into bed, where I intended to stay and sulk all evening. I can barely afford to pay my rent *violins, please* and sometimes being an adult sucks - the temptation to fly back home and move back in with my parents, live rent-free and be cooked for every night was strong. Fleeting, but strong. 

Then I got an email from Gesche Haas, who I interviewed at the Web Summit last week, and I remembered just why I'm here. She said she loved the article I wrote about her - which was kind of a relief, given my relative inexperience with interview-style articles.

It was just the boost I needed in the midst of one of my quarter-life, existential moments. Taking a year out is the best thing I've ever done, but it's not always easy - so sometimes, it's nice to know I'm getting somewhere. With wherever it is I'm going.

Anyway, at the end of my interview with Gesche - who is, by the way, one of the most fabulous and inspiring women you'll ever meet - I stole another five minutes of her time to ask her some quick-fire questions for this post. 

Just to set the scene a little, Gesche is the founder of Trailblazer Ventures and its first project, Dreamers // Doers. D//D is, in its own words: 
A mix of female founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, individuals who work at startups, and various other types of female creators and change-makers. What we all have in common is a burning desire to create and make a dent in this universe. We share the belief that so much more is possible if we join forces on our journeys.
Cool, right? Just women being awesome.

This is also the woman who told me that "Tech is so frickin' fun!" with so much conviction that I almost - almost - quit my cushty writing job and started handing out my CV to every start-up at the Web Summit right there and then.

So, five quick questions. 

Q: Twitter or Instagram? 


*A moments pause* 

"Instagram."

Personally, I would have had a lot more trouble answering that one. Although I too might have gone with Instagram - big fan of the new 'stories' thing.

Q: Who was your role model as a kid?


 *A big pause* 

(This is a tricky one though, isn't it? I'm not sure who mine would be. Possibly Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada. Not sure what this says about me as a child. Especially when Gesche's choice is...)

"Pippi Longstockings? Yeah, Pippi Longstockings. Or a strong character in a children’s book."

Thinking about it, that makes sense. I did pick up sticks from the garden and pretend to be Hermione Granger - a lot. 

Q: Favourite city in the world?


*She sighs*. 

"New York. It's so diverse, there's so much opportunity... so much can happen so quickly." 

Gesche has lived in New York for 8 years but is, according to my pre-interview Google search, a truly international kid. She's half-German and half Chinese-Malaysian by birth, with German as her first language. 

Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life – 


"Chocolate." 

I don't even get to finish this sentence before she answers. Clearly a huge chocolate fan. 

OK, last one I promise - your guilty pleasure?


"Chocolate."

She laughs, and asks if that's allowed. I tell her it's definitely cheating.

"Okay. Social media."

Another answer I can 100 percent get behind. Social media is one (unhealthy?) addiction I definitely have.

Unfortunately I didn't get a pic with Gesche - although Saf did tell me that she saw us saying goodbye and nearly embarrassed me by coming up and asking to take a photo. She said she knew I would be mortified but secretly quite pleased (she knows me well).  So, here's a pic of me and Saf in the media lounge after the interview instead.