In civilian words, how would you describe your job?
My job as VP of Product is to take input from different sources to bubble up the best ideas that will decide what our product will be when it grows up. Because our product is quite technical, it means that all of my engineering skills from a past life have been put to good use here. Understanding technical and legal and business requirements, then translating them into product requirements, and then translating them back into technical/legal/business speak – it’s all part of the job.
Where do you source those ideas from?
Oh you know, just the always imminent privacy legislation that’s on the docket in a dozen or so states and countries, our competitors, other SaaS products, and obviously my own experience as a product manager for the last decade. But because I’ve worked in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, I think that a lot of my inspiration is drawn from how personal data is used in the consumer space, and how enterprises generally react to the types of privacy problems we see our customers have.
So why did you decide to become a product manager? What do you like or dislike most about the role?
In truth, I became a product manager because I personally did not like the rigidity and the frustration of software engineering. I like building software, but I love problem-solving even more. I didn’t want to step away from building software, so I decided that bossing engineers around was probably better suited for me (joking!). But seriously, I decided that solving sticky problems for not just one customer, but lots of people and businesses en masse, was the thing I wanted to dedicate my career to. And (for me) solving sticky problems means deciding what to build, not necessarily how to build it.
Well said! Switching gears a bit, what personal rituals are you serious about?
Skincare. Hydration, too. They definitely go hand in hand.
Beverage and skincare product of your choice?
Def a hot take: I’m of the opinion that K-Beauty has had its moment in the sun and they’re on their way out, but I’m still a big fan of Skinfood and Innisfree. Beverage: I am a HUGE fan of the Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher – hopped, non-alcoholic water by my FAVE macro-micro brewer!
If you could have a 30-minute Zoom call with anyone in the world, who would it be with?
Do they have to be living? If not, Hazel Ying Lee, the first Chinese-American female fighter pilot in the US military. If so, probably Stacey Abrams.
One last question from me: what advice do you have for other superwomen in training?
Every new notebook I start, I always write a quote on the first page, and I guess I’m gonna cop out and just use the one on the first page of the notebook I’m using right now:
You were born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection. (Drake)