My career so far has been primarily in product management for tech startups. I moved into the role ‘by accident’ – as is the case for many PMs – at Quill Content, where we produced editorial content at scale for clients in retail and travel. I moved to SuperCarers, where we connected self-employed carers and people seeking care, and then had a brief stint at TalentPool, before joining Notbinary as a delivery manager. Having worked in the startup world, I’m comfortable wearing many hats, and love roles that enable me to bring my skills as a generalist to the table, rather than requiring me to specialise.
Before work, I studied French & Russian and spent my year abroad shivering in Siberia and pastrying in Paris. I maintain that coxing at uni was the best preparation for product management – providing direction and motivation to enable a team of skilled individuals to align themselves towards a goal. Outside work, I do calligraphy for weddings and gifts, and will be running a lot in September having signed up for Miles for Refugees.
What’s something you’re really into right now?
I live next to the canal in Islington and I’m super interested in the traditional painting on the boats (please let me know if you know the proper word for this). I have a more general interest in sign painting and am starting to practise my own after lurking as an Instagram follower to some of the pros.
What book/podcast would you recommend?
I’m currently listening to Sara Pascoe’s book Sex Power Money. She artfully dissects the constructs surrounding these concepts, tying in evolutionary theories as well as historical narratives, and all with her comedic style of silly metaphors and imagined conversations thrown in. I loved her first book, Animal, for the same reasons, and would highly recommend both.
Podcast-wise, my current favourite is Ear Hustle. The series is recorded in San Quentin State Prison and picks up on the oddities of incarcerated life as well as a little of the near-impossibility of a ‘normal’ existence upon release. It’s hosted by an inmate and soundtracked by his peers with some serious musical talent (including a well-known Swedish DJ now housed there).
What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
Embarrassingly, a sweaty selfie. My siblings and I have renamed our WhatsApp group to S3 (Sibs Sweaty Selfies) after the increase of relevant content. My sister is doing the couch to 5k, while I’m preparing for 108 miles over September. I’m considering purchasing some novelty caps to add some entertainment value to the photo series.
What’s your favourite word?
Apparently I used to purposefully choose an option I didn’t want, just so that I could say “actually” when changing my mind, and that word remains one of my favourites. I also used to respond “smoked salmon, please” when asked what I’d like in a sandwich at my friends’ houses. Together, that tells you a lot of what you need to know about me as a child.
What cheers you up?
Chats with my youngest nephew. He’s just hit one and is the ideal conversation partner – he lets me waffle on uninterrupted for minutes and all he wants in return is a cupboard full of tupperware, some jangly keys and an iPhone 7. I’m an auntie to nine so far and they all bring a little more joy into my life.
The Joy of Missing Out… on building things
We talk a lot about prioritisation within product – which feature or project is higher value, which is more effort. We adjust our roadmaps – and communicate the change as features slip up or down a place in priority order. However something I don’t see people doing is saying what they’re not going to do.
Making digital content even more accessible
Recently I wanted to share an English podcast with my mother. She doesn’t speak fluent English, so I started looking into ways of translating it into French for her. During my search I found an old article that that highlighted my challenge, “72% of (non-English speaking) consumers spend most of their time on a very, very small fraction of the web”
Matt Jukes started the year closing some of those open tabs in Chrome and shares some of his 2019 best reads.