Born and raised in Orange County, I graduated from the University of California – Irvine in Information and Computer Science with a specialization in Networking. From there I went to work for a networking hardware manufacturer (surprised?) and thus my Product Management career was born.
I started with a managed switch product line, layer 2 up to layer 3. As I approached the knowledge cap for that product line, I took on more, adding VPN firewall routers and managed wireless controllers. Then an opportunity arose to be a Director managing a small team of PMs. It seemed like a natural evolution for my career so I jumped at the chance. At that time, I was the youngest director with the youngest PM team in the organization.
Ready, Set, Action!
In this new role, I had to navigate the intricacies of different (and young) personalities while promoting the best efficiency out of a new team. As we started to scale up to manage 200+ SKUs, I leaned more towards software programming for solutions. My goal was to introduce more automation and efficiency so the team could spend more time on execution. I researched ways I could use Google Script and Google Sheets to capture data automatically rather than having my team manually input the data every day. I was actually inspired by my mentor who implemented a much larger trending engine using AWS but it was more raw data than what I actually needed. In about a week of coding and testing, I came up with a way to scrape URLs and extract only the data I needed such as pricing, product rating, # of reviews and many others. With the sheer amount of SKUs we had to manage, this was a godsend.
How to collaborate efficiently.
Creating this central repository of data also allowed me to promote transparency to the organization. Data doesn’t lie, and by adding all the stakeholders including account managers and product marketing, we were able to have meaningful discussions about product strategy. To automate further, I added weekly summary emails powered by Google Script highlighting any outliers in the data so stakeholders could be better prepared before strategy meetings.
What comes next?
The PM team became a fairly well oiled machine after that and due to some circumstances, I decided to leave the company. Vacation was almost non-existent while I was working so I took time off to travel and spend time with family. I went on a backpacking trip to Japan, passing through Fiji on the way. I visited a friend who was on a project in Australia and swung by Melbourne and Sydney. I went to Taiwan and China to say hello to some friends and old colleagues. Suffice to say, I’ve had a multi-cultural adventure thus far.
The fire is re-lit.
It would be an understatement to say that I am well rested and ready to get back to work. I’m currently enjoying my studies in AI, Machine Learning and Business. I hope you enjoy my blog!