Welcome to Collabco's face behind the logo series, where we give you an insight into the people behind myday. This time, we sat down with our Product Owner, Ged. He spoke about his day-to-day role, past experiences and how washing plates helped him to develop products!
Q - How long have you worked at Collabco and what attracted you to the company?
A - I joined Collabco in October 2018, so I've been here for about 9 months. I was working in working in EdTech when the Product Owner role opportunity here became available. I wanted to stay in the same industry, rather than move into another area. When I saw what Collabco were doing with myday I was sold, almost instantly. I love great products and the opportunity to work on something as interesting as myday was too good to be true.
Q - What are some of your previous roles and how do they compare to your current one?
A - That is a big question how far do you want me to go back, compared to my first job as a kitchen porter!
Seriously though, I have worked in the various parts of the technology sector for about 16 years. I have had a range of roles ranging from running Vodafone retail stores, and working on the Genius Bar and hosting workshops in an Apple Store, to selling technology solutions to primary and secondary schools and working as a product and sales trainer. More recently I have been able to turn my passion for great products and design into a career by becoming a Product Owner. My last employer gave me the opportunity to move into product development and I haven't looked back, I don't think I ever will!
Q - When it comes to developing a product, how important is having the buy-in from customers?
A - If your users don't believe in your product or the product vision you are fighting an uphill battle. Customer buy-in is necessary to identify a need or a problem and if a customer doesn't believe there is a problem or need it makes things difficult, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible. A good product meets customers need or solves a particular problem. A great product exceeds expectations.
In most cases, customers are great at telling you what their needs or problems are, for instance, Henry Ford said: " If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Mr. Ford took that need and not only fulfilled it but exceeded it to develop one of the most iconic cars of all time, the Model T. Product development is about taking a customers problem and creatively solving it. The idea of a horseless carriage may have seemed ridiculous until the idea was realised.
Q - What excites you about working for Collabco and what are your favourite things about the job?
A - My favourite thing is being excited! Every day we look at ways to overcome the challenges that our customers and their users face. We collaborate and debate solutions to make sure that we are delivering the best solution in the available time frame. The fact that every one challenges each other and pushes each other to come up with better solutions is brilliant. This isn't just the development team that I am talking about, as I said before its everyone.
I'm a very creative person, being creative, for me, is exciting. The culture that we have here at Collabco is extremely creative, every day poses new challenges and conversations.
Q - Name your 3 favourite features within myday?
A - The CMS (Content Management System) - I love how creative you can be with it. Also, the targeted content and dashboards feature - this is such a powerful tool, to be able to create personalised experiences really makes a difference. And finally, the Identity Management App - You cannot create a fully personalised experience without being able to manage groups and users, I really like this part of myday as it completes the story of creating rich and user relevant content.
Q - What other products do you use every day? (apps on phone, e-tickets, other technology)
A - I am an absolute audiophile, I really love music. I cannot do anything without listening to music and when streaming services came about that changed my world! What would you have thought if someone said to you 10 years ago that you could listen to any song you want, anytime, anywhere? You would have said they were nuts. My mind is blown everyday.
Want to talk to Ged about your digital campus ideas?