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About

Bastiaan Terhorst, 13/10 '19

Hi, I’m Bastiaan. I’m into baking, climbing, and helping teams build beautiful software with passion and compassion – currently as CTO at WeTransfer.

From a background in product design, product management and software engineering to being a founder and leader of teams, my professional experience spans the full breadth of making digital products.

In 2015 I joined WeTransfer (and I’m still there!) as VP Engineering. I led a small team of engineers through the delicious chaos of scaling a start-up, ending up as CTO in the process. I then intiated and led the introduction of Product Management, taking on the CPTO role. After almost 2 years as CPTO and with product management an established part of the company, I reverted back to my CTO role in August 2019 to focus engineering.

Speaking at the 2018 AWS Benelux Summit Keynote

During my time at WeTransfer I have helped shift the product strategy from being focused on file transfer to being behind every great idea. We are building the best set of productivity tools for creatives, enabling them to get their ideas out. In support of that strategy we acquired Paper and Paste from FiftyThree in 2018 and raised a Series B round in 2019. If all of this sounds interesting, we are hiring ;)

While I love technology and the magical feeling of making something, my true passion is to bring people together in ways that lets them do their best work. Engineering as a field is not particularly known for empathy or compassion, yet I believe these qualities to be crucial to building cohesive, high-performing teams. I am fascinated by organisational design and the future of work. I love coaching people and helping them find confidence and purpose. I enjoy writing and speaking about my work.

I hold a Bachelor of Design in Animation from the Willem de Kooning Academy and a Master of Science in Media Technology from Leiden University. Between my graduation and joining WeTransfer, I co-founded Perceptor in 2008 - a design studio where we integrated strategy, design and code to create compelling experiences. Besides work for clients like Wacom, Apple, Shell and World Press Photo, we did a lot of self-initiated projects. I am most proud of Perloo, an excruciatingly hard iPhone puzzle game we created in 2014 that achieved over 1M downloads in its first week. The old Perceptor website is still available and a continuing source of personal nostalgia. After 7 years I needed a change and we closed Perceptor’s doors in 2015.

Climbing a ridge near Mt. Pilatus, Swiss

I also love not working. For some time now I’ve been baking the bread we eat at home, and it has become a (usually) fulfilling routine. Mastering the complexity and depth of sourdough bread will surely keep me entertained for the rest of my life. I am also an avid rock climber of over 20 years. I’ve been mostly into bouldering but have recently gotten back into lead and top-roping. There is nothing more flow-inducing for me than doing a long multi-pitch route. But all of this would not be worth antyhing without the woman of my dreams, and my two sons. She helps me cut through the bullshit life can sometimes be riddled with, and reminds me of what really matters. Together, they are the center of my universe.

You can find me on LinkedIn, and send me email.