People have always been at the center of everything MatchCraft does – employees, clients, and merchants alike.
Over the next few weeks, we will reintroduce team MatchCraft to you all, one department at a time. And we are breaking the ground with our Product team.
What Does The Product Team Do?
Members of the Product team at MatchCraft expertly juggle product research, customer listening, prototyping, user testing, and demo strategizing.
This team is responsible for managing MatchCraft’s entire product portfolio – from strategically defining user requirements and managing feature sets to owning product lifecycles from inception to launch and beyond.
Members of the team will oftentimes interface directly with MatchCraft’s reseller and agency clients, not only to gather intel on how our existing features are performing, but also to get greater insight into how the platform can be enhanced to provide the maximum ROI to local merchants – an ongoing effort.
Getting To Know Them
We asked all the 5 members of our Product team to share some fun facts about themselves:
- Colin, the newest member of the team, believes he was a dog in his past life but is often mistaken for having been a cat and he is not pleased about that. Also, he enjoys the dangerous but thrilling sport of rock climbing.
- In elementary school, Charles tried to trick his teachers by completing a punishment assignment quickly by using his code writing skills. He then sold the technology he created to his fellow classmates – a budding entrepreneur until the teachers caught up with him. Charles is also a travel enthusiast who has been to Italy 8 times and has snowboarded in the Swiss Alps.
- Josh is a hopeful landscaper who can change his own car oil.
- Gabriela has a love/hate relationship with running. She enjoys the sport but cannot pursue it often as she gets very competitive with herself and other people.
- When Matt is not juggling all the tasks involved in managing a product, he works on honing his skills as a juggler. Don’t believe it? Ask him for a demo! He also enjoys baking.
What They Love About Their Roles
According to the team, there are many things that make being a Product Manager enjoyable, such as;
- Problem Solving – Product management involves complex problem solving. But there is room for flexibility in the way different problems can be approached and solved.
- Cross Functionality – Being a product manager at MatchCraft means being able to connect and work with different people in the company on every project.
- Product Development and Impact – The ability to work closely with developers and be on the front lines on product development is high on the list of pros for our product managers. They also enjoy the opportunity to have an impact on how well the advertisers’ campaigns perform.
- Never Boring – Because project management is ever changing and evolving, no two days are the same for our managers and they always seem to be learning and doing new things. Safe to say, there is never a dull moment.
- Growth Opportunity – As product management requires an eclectic mix of design, business and technological skills, there is much room for growth in this field.
“Product is like baking, you need the right ingredients, in the right amounts. And if you screw it up, you are going to have something that no one wants to use. But if you do it just right, everyone will want to use it.” said Colin.
Clearly the Product team enjoys their hubbub of daily tasks, such as analysis, testing, and developer meetings. But no job is without its challenges, and product management is no different.
So if you are considering going into the product management field, below are some challenges you may want to be ready for:
- Problem Solving – Sometimes having to spend more time on problem solving rather than on the fun stuff – usability testing, exploring new ways to design features, and talking to customers about their needs & wants.
- Task Prioritization – Having to prioritize multiple tasks, all while making oneself available for discussions with multiple stakeholders in the company.
If Not A Product Manager Then What
- Gabriela believes she would’ve, either been in the event management field or, done well as a manager for commercial construction projects.
- Matt says he still would’ve been in a product adjacent role – a software engineer.
- Charles, says he might’ve been a photojournalist for a travel magazine covering eco-tourism.
- In another life, Colin may have chosen to spend his time chilling with birds & nature, as a Park Ranger.
- And Josh, who enjoys building things, would’ve enjoyed being a landscaper.
Why Product Management?
Entrepreneurship, operations, user experience design, software engineering and account management – you name it and they’ve done it in their previous jobs. But what led them all down the path of product management was the drive to be more involved in the product design process.
Gabriela who completed 8 years at MatchCraft this month (woot woot!) used to be a part of our Client Engagement team which gives her the unique benefit of understanding the intricacies of product advocacy, development & adoption.
Evolution of Product Management
In the past, product management was largely considered an extension of engineering but over the years it has evolved into an essential & separate role in most companies focused on product development.
“This is a hard question to answer because of the variety, but the variety itself is one of the things that has evolved…” said Josh.
However, this evolution has also added some ambiguity to the role. The role of a product manager may shift depending on the industry, company or product in question. Some roles are more focused on managing product life cycles, while others may require a more design-based approach.
In a company like MatchCraft, where engineering and client service are the key functions, the Product team ends up working very closely with both those departments.