I have always been interested in making, building, or fixing something. This interest led to a variety of summer jobs as I was working through school — from bartending to renovating houses. Each experience served me later on as a product manager. My favorite though, was my summer job working as a ferryman on the Helford River in Cornwall, England. It turned out this role had many parallels to product management.
Being in charge of the ship, guiding customers, assessing risks, arriving safely and on time — quite a bit like a product manager.
I started working for software companies after college — initially in support roles, then as a consultant. I worked for several large companies, but my most challenging and enjoyable time was when I joined a smaller firm in 2010.
I was the fourth employee at Alemba, an enterprise service software firm. As a product manager, I helped develop the product and build out the team during a huge period of growth for the company. During that time, my responsibilities grew as well, and I became vice president of product management. I presented at industry conferences and loved guiding the team and customers as we rapidly grew the product and company.
My attention was always focused on how I could be a better product steward and deepen my product management expertise.
I found Aha! in my search for product roadmapping software that could help me and my team. We signed up and began using the product. The speedy responses from the Customer Success team were stunning. My first reply back simply read: “Quickest reply ever! Awesome customer service.” I was impressed by the framework behind the interaction engine — The Responsive Method.
I caught myself using Aha! as a point of reference in product conversations. “You should see what they have done in Aha!” Then I read a few of the Aha! blog posts. And then I read a lot more posts. When I read Justin Woods’ story about joining the team from the U.K., I realised for the first time that working for Aha! might be something I would really like to do. It felt like the Aha! tractor beam was calling me in.
I wanted to learn from other product managers in order to keep growing. What better way than working with product managers in a company founded by product managers?
Since joining the Aha! Customer Success team, I have been infused with energy and positivity every day. Across the company, I just revel in how smart everyone is. It is an honour and somewhat humbling to find myself in such company.
Engaging with our customers, I also get to work with product leaders across fascinating, diverse, and market-leading companies. All the while, I get to spend more time with my wife and children than ever before. It makes the whole family happy.
There is also total transparency at Aha! — a clear framework for achieving our goals. Seeing the team take a goal-first approach is phenomenal. This is the first company where every person is genuinely pulling in the same direction.
It is a bit like the short ferry journey I used to pilot. We all know where we are headed and why.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.