#277 Steve Szaronos - Co-Founder at Bespoke Post
Play • 54 min

Today we are talking to Steve, the Co-Founder of Bespoke Post. And we discuss their journey from startup accelerator to a successful subscription service, overcoming technological challenges as an organization scales and how to process feedback and advice while moving the business forward.


All of this, right here, right now on the Modern CTO Podcast!


Product Thinking
Product Thinking
Melissa Perri
Dear Melissa - Answering Questions About Starting a Career in Product Management
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about transitioning into product management. Q: What can I do to prove to potential employers that I have what it takes to be successful as a product manager, even though I don’t have experience? How do I write my resume? A: Right now, companies are looking for senior product managers to balance out their teams, since they have mostly trained juniors. You should look for a company on LinkedIn that will invest time and resources into training you. Investigate their product leader: if they are very experienced, they will likely know how to train people and be more willing to find people to work with. For resumes, I recommend highlighting your achievements in previous jobs that are affiliated with product management, such as doing customer interviews and creating personas. Pull out what’s relevant and tell the story the way you want to tell it. Q: Do you need an MBA to become a product manager? A: MBA’s typically help product managers in leadership positions, but it’s not a requirement for transitioning into the field.  Q: What steps should a senior product manager take to move into a director role if he or she has not had the opportunity to manage people? A: What I’ve seen that helps people move into that role is showing that you can be strategic and think outside the box. Additionally, you have to be more business-focused; while we want to ruthlessly prioritize the user and their needs, you also have to figure out how to prioritize that within the frame of your company strategy. Think about what the company strategy is and then take every chance you get to explain to the leaders how your product can help achieve those goals. Q: How do I evaluate a company's maturity and practice in modern product management? What should I look for before and during the interview process? A: Here are some questions I ask product management leaders to gauge the company’s maturity, and what the responses indicate. What are your most important business goals? What are your most important product goals? What are you working on now and why? If they can't tell me the story behind that, it means that there's no strategy in the organization or that there's misalignment. If you get to meet the head of sales or the head of engineering, ask them about product management to see if they have a good understanding of it. If the rest of the organization doesn't know what you do, you're probably gonna have a hard time executing and doing your job there. Resources Melissa Perri on LinkedIn | Twitter MelissaPerri.com
26 min
Code Story
Code Story
Noah Labhart
S4 Bonus: Richard Mensah, EllisX
Originally from Ghana, Richard Mensah was born into an IT family. From an early age, Richard was the one fixing all of the family tech problems. He could see the potential in technology, to help aid in solving the problems his community was experiencing in Ghana. He loves his country, but he also realized that the US has more resources for innovation than his home country. He is a huge music fan - and is a guitar player and singer. He sees the correlation between tech and music, and describes them both as understanding the rules but being able to bend them in your own way to make a product, service, or song. He also loves to dance. In fact, he recently tried to learn Salsa, which he mentions didn't go super great. Previously, he founded a few startups and one thing he found was it was hard to scale startups past early adopters. When he met his co-founder, they immediately saw a gap in connecting startups, startup ideas and those that are looking for interesting stories. They decided to build a better way to do this. This is the creation story of EllisX. Links * Website: https://www.ellisx.com/ * LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-okyere-mensah/ Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts ( https://ratethispodcast.com/codestory ) Amazing tools we use: * This podcast is hosted on RedCircle ( https://redcircle.com/ ) , a FREE platform for podcasts and brands to scale their message. * Want to record your remote interviews with class? Then, you need to use Squadcast ( https://squadcast.fm/?ref=noahlabhart ). * Code Story uses the 1-click product ClipGain ( https://clipgain.io/?utm_campaign=clipgain&utm_medium=episode&utm_source=codestory ) , sign up now to get 3hrs of podcast processing time FREE * If you want an amazing publishing platform for your podcast, with amazing support & people – use Transistor.fm ( https://transistor.fm/?via=code-story ) Credits: Code Story is hosted and produced by Noah Labhart. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts ( https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/code-story/id1466861744 ) , Spotify ( https://open.spotify.com/show/0f5HGQ2EPd63H83gqAifXp ) , Pocket Casts ( https://pca.st/Z1k7 ) , Google Play ( https://play.google.com/music/listen?pcampaignid=MKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16&t=Code_Story&view=%2Fps%2FIcdmshauh7jgmkjmh6iu3wd4oya ) , Breaker ( https://www.breaker.audio/code-story ) , Youtube ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgjZsiUDp-oKY_ffHc5AUpQ ) , or the podcasting app of your choice. Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/code-story/donations Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
25 min
Design Better Podcast
Design Better Podcast
InVisionApp, Inc
Netflix's Steve Johnson and Rochelle King: Making great stories accessible
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been watching more than your fair share of Netflix this past year. And with such great original content, from The Queen’s Gambit to more obscure shows like Midnight Diner, we were curious what it takes from a product design perspective to create and deliver these shows to a massive audience, in a way that’s accessible not only to audiences here in the US, but all around the world. So we sat down to chat with Steve Johnson, Vice President of Design, and Rochelle King, Vice President of Creative Production at Netflix, to talk about how they approach inclusive design for a global audience, how they use a data-informed rather than data-driven product strategy, and why looking for passion rather than for credentials might be the key to your next great hire. This is the last episode of Season Five of the Design Better Podcast. But don’t worry, Season Six is just around the corner, where we’ll be sharing interviews with guests like bestselling author Dan Pink, who will teach us how to use persuasion to be better at our jobs, and Professor Sara Seager, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist whose research on exoplanets can shed light on how we can be better collaborators here on Earth. Also, in-between seasons we’re going to do a bonus Q&A show, where you’ll have a chance to record your questions about design, creativity, leadership, or any of the topics we cover here on the show and we’ll do our best to answer them. Just head over to http://dbtr.co/ama and fill out the short survey there to submit your question. Takeaways: * Learn about the ROI for inclusive design * Hear how the design team at Netflix approaches the power dynamics between product and design * Understand how to prioritize and say no to work that won’t impact the business
52 min
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