Insightful interviews with startup founders and product makers (product managers, designers, developers, marketing experts), sharing how they approach product growth and management at their organisations. Tactical tips and strategic advice from some of the best digital product minds in the startup world. For people interested in product management, user experience, and product-led growth. Hosted by Desi Velikova from Pony Studio.
Scaling High-Performing Engineering Teams - Alex Rashkov, Engineering Manager at Meta
No matter if you’re in web2 or web3 , as you scale your products to cater to thousands of users, you’re faced with one of the most common challenges for technology startups - how to scale your engineering team fast. Scaling is not just about rapidly hiring people, it’s about building resilient systems and effective team structures that will help the talent you hire thrive and deliver outstanding results. Put a brilliant person in the wrong environment and you can expect nothing but frustration and disappointment.
We discussed the topic with Alex Rashkov, Engineering Manager at Meta. Alex has also held senior engineering roles at HSBC, Moo,com and a few smaller startups. He spent years setting up and leading dev teams and he shared with us his vision on how to build a high performing engineering team. We also talked about effective team collaboration and building cross-functional teams, how to motivate your team to improve their performance, how to measure the results of their work and the key qualities that excellent engineers have in common.
The future of the Metaverse - Dr Mark van Rijmenam, International Speaker, Author and Strategist
Is “complete decentralisation” possible any time soon? Can human nature handle it? When are we going to have a really immersive, organic Metaverse experience (as opposed to just having fun with our lookalike avatars in a clumsy virtual environment)? What shall we do to avoid the mistakes we did with web2 and avoid tech giants swallowing us up again?
We discussed the future of the Metaverse with Dr Mark van Rijmenam, international speaker, strategist and book author on the future of tech, blockchain and the metaverse.
He’s recently finished his latest book “Step into the Metaverse” and as part of his writing journey he has discussed these topics with over 250 metaverse experts and tech visionaries, so he has a pretty good guess where space is heading. Enjoy our latest episode.
Follow Mark on Twitter and LinkedIn
Check out his website, TheDigitalSpeaker.com
You can also preorder his book, Step into the Metaverse.
How Brands Should Enter the Metaverse & NFT Space – Diego Borgo, Metaverse & NFT Strategist and Advisor
If you’ve been thinking how to bring your company into web3, this episode is for you! We’re back with a set of super interesting episodes dedicated to web3.
Diego Borgo is a Metaverse native, Web3 ambassador, NFT collector and advisor to global brands. Diego's mission is to help mainstream adoption of blockchain and NFT technology.
He does that by:
1. Advising major global brands on how to enter the space in the right way.
2. Consulting Metaverse & NFT projects, and acting as a member of advisory boards.
3. Offering education through conference keynotes, workshops and on-demand content.
As a brand & marketing strategist, Diego's last work was helping adidas bring "Into the Metaverse" to life.
In this episode we discussed:
Why every brand should be thinking about their presence in the Metaverse and how to approach the process;What’s in the NFTs’ DNA that makes them so powerful from a community building perspective;How to launch a successful NFT campaign (or what you should do instead!);Most important distributions channels;Many marketers think NFTs are a “pointless fad” - why this mindset is dangerous;The market is about to crash (and why this is good news!You can connect with Diego on LinkedIn and Twitter.
You can also meet him in June at the Met Ams event in Amsterdam.
Making Insurance Sexy - Martin Schwitzner, VP Product at Marshmallow
The car insurance provider Marshmallow went from an idea to one of the latest UK unicorns in just 4 years! Founded by twin-brothers Oliver and Alexander, and their friend David, the company is turning the centuries-old insurance industryon its head. We spoke to their VP of Product Martin Shwitzner to find out how they’re achieving this phenomenal growth. We discussed:
How did they do it? How is Marshmallow different from a traditional car insurance provider?The mechanic and approach to generating over 8,000 (mostly) positive online reviews (4.6 rating on Trustpilot). How can you deepen the relationship with your customer when in reality they don’t want to hear from you;How the role of the VP Product changes when the company moves from series A to series B;The product tweak that turned into a massive win (it involves the mobile app!);What roles the company is hiring for and how they’re assessing the right candidates.Marshmallow is actively hiring at the moment, so make sure you check their Careers page https://www.marshmallow.com/jobs - plenty of exciting opportunities in Product & Tech, Design, Operations, and more!
Full transcript and the video version of the episode here: https://pony.studio/design-for-growth/making-insurance-sexy-interview-with-martin-schwitzner-vp-product-marshmallow
How Your Role Changes Depending On the Size and Maturity Of the Company - Raluca Bujoreanu, Product Lead at Zalando
We spoke with Raluca Bujoreanu, Principle Product Manager at Zalando and instructor at Product School to discuss how the product needs change depending on the size and maturity of the company. Raluca shared with us:
Her favourite methods for evaluating product features and continuously uncovering user problems before they become major product issues;How to make sure we work on the “right” thing;What’s the ideal profile for a Head of Product at an early stage startup;The first actions she’d take to understand the customer needs and the opportunities on the market;The books that helped her grow in her careerVideo version and transcript: https://pony.studio/design-for-growth/how-to-become-a-successful-product-manager-raluca-bujoreanu
How to Build Your Personal Brand - Amelia Sordell, founder and CEO of Klowt
Personal branding expert Amelia Sordell started her personal branding agency Klowt last year and in just over a year they’re a team of 7, serving dozens of clients and growing. How come they’re growing so fast? Well, first - Amelia is absolutely amazing! She’s confident, authentic, interesting. She does what she preaches - she has built a strong personal brand. But also - personal branding has never been more important. Personal accounts on LinkedIn have 10x the reach of company pages. The growing number of people who built their companies on the back of their personal brands is the real proof of why personal branding is the future of branding, or some even say the future of marketing. People buy from people they trust, and having a strong personal brand allows you to have a connection with people you’ve never met before. It’s like networking on steroids.
Amelia’s playbook to building a successful personal brand;When and how to start if you’ve never invested any effort in building your personal brand;Amelia’s story of how she became a personal branding expert and created Klowt;Why personal branding is the future and why you should be building yours alongside your company brand (especially if you’re a founder or a CEO!)Don't forget to subscribe to our channel for more insightful and actionable content on branding, design, and product growth.
Sharp content from diverse range of speakers
Love this podcast. The content is sharp and on point. Great learning from brilliant minds, all experts in their field. These short episodes are indeed worth listening and will broaden your perspective on UX, product marketing and product growth.
Useful and tactical stuff for anyone interested in building digital products, always learning from the guest’s stories.
Interesting interviews with some of the best founders and product managers