Twelve months of product management at Ormsby Street

Twelve months ago I left the world of managing digital strategies for financial institutions to head up the product team at Ormsby Street, a newly formed startup, but with an inherited portfolio of products.

I went from reacting to the needs of others, to being the one who has the needs that others need to react to.

It’s been a real change, going from producer of the product to owner of the product, but a thoroughly enjoyable one, and the following things stand out from the past year:Product Screenshot

  • Deciding what you want your product to be is very exciting! From the features it has, to the language you use to talk about it, you’re there every step of the way, making the decisions and shaping the future.
  • Deciding what you want your product to be is very scary! People look to you for the answers to every question. Should this button be green or red? What’s more important, this new feature or that new data to track?
  • If in doubt, ask the customer.
  • Or ask the person who’s paying the bill if you’re working with a channel partner.
  • Working in 2 week sprints and planning in these cycles is great for focusing on the important.
  • Taking this agile approach into your home and trying to get your wife to only think about the important things in the next two weeks doesn’t work so well.
  • Being in a team that contains engineers, designers, marketers, and product people, means that you can get to solutions to problems in the time it takes to drink a coffee, without a million emails being sent.
  • If you’re in early you can switch on the office music and set the tone for at least the morning’s activities.
  • There are heaps of opportunities and directions you can go in, even when what you think you have is a simple product.

There are a hundred other things I could list here, because despite too many years working in the digital space, I am still learning.  And learning in a young company, with experienced people, in a growing market, is a great place to do it.

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