Product Manager, San Francisco, Europe discussed on Mission Daily

Mission Daily


Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. Today am in San Francisco today. Awesome so you are at the offices of Assume and I would love for you to tell listeners about a slight and your chair so calculates a company. That's using technology to help. People better navigate healthcare. The problem that we're trying to solve is just the fact that it's so difficult for people to make good healthcare decisions. We continue to hear how people struggle to figure out whether they're in the right plan. What care they actually need what their plan will cover whether they're going to a good doctor what it will cost so all of these things make it incredibly difficult for people to have comfort and confidence that they're doing the right things for their own health so what we're doing is applying machine learning to empower consumer with deeply personalized timely guidance to make better health decisions ultimately results at lower costs improved outcomes and a better experience. Yeah I think what's interesting is. Difficult is kind of an understatement when we start talking about navigating the healthcare space and as a consumer making the best choice. It always feels like no matter. How hard you try. You're always making a sub optimal choice right. The research has changing like this latest news on this and I think what school is with some of the machine learning and things that gas lights doing. It's a technology is going to be able to help inform you know all the independent research. That folks are always doing themselves. Absolutely I think that your comments nailed exactly we hear from our users which is really hitting upon the fact that so few people would share that they have confidence about seventy percent of as say that they don't understand their benefits and don't believe that they're making good health decisions so ultimately what we're working to do is bring together that data in the context of your personal health content challenges or opportunities but then applying that in the context of the plan design that you have either from Europe or directly from a health plan and one of the things. I was doing some prep for this interview. I think is fascinating and I really love is that you started at cast light as a product manager back in two thousand and ten or so dead at the end. What's awesome is I think so. Often people fall into the trap of thinking like. I have to be a CEO. I have to start a company or found a company in stead of just you know owning one of the most important roles in the early stages which is being a PM. How did you go about landing that Opportunity? And what was it like in the early days of cast light cash? Yes it's it's funny to have been somewhere ten years at this point so for me. You know what really attracted me to cast light was the mission so ultimately you know I just really believed in what the company was trying to do and because it was such a big problem I believe it would be a big market opportunity and then the team at that time the founder Giovanni Cala it was just a phenomenal group of people so when I joined it was about twenty five people and it's actually interesting you mention kind of coming in as a PM. I was very determined to join the company as because ultimately I believed that being a builder and being really close to our end user and to our customers would allow me to really both contribute to the company and grow overall. And so it's kind of an interesting story when I first applied to castle in the product management role. I was summarily rejected. Said didn't even get an interview because of you know not having yet really had a ton of experience in product management so persevered and managed to actually get into company but it is kind of A. I was very excited to work product and be a builder but it was rejected the first time around. I think yeah. That's the hallmark of all great stories right like multiple rejections at first. But it's still too I think. Push past that no drop the Ego and going again and make another ask so. I assume you did. And how did you get your door there as a PM? Eat Out. I think I just got a little bit lucky. In that. At that time the company was still so early stage so there were as I mentioned twenty to thirty people in the company and so there were a lot of changes happening there. And at the time I got connected to a classmate from Stanford who was working at the company who helps me talk to the right people and really explain my case for being a product manager. It's interesting because I've watched a lot of evolution. Just in the field of product management over ten years particularly as technology has become more and more important in every company and I think the role of product management has evolved from one that I was conceived of as Curly Technical. Probably ten to twenty years ago to one that is deeply rooted in strategy today. Couldn't agree more. Are there any favorite examples? You have a product management training programs you know is that the APM program at Google. You know what did you study kind of master that for stroll? Well I think that I just really benefited from some great mentors. There's been a lot of people at Catholic who had many more years of product experience than I did. I've done many of the the workshops and certainly benefited from those. But I don't think there's any real replacement for kind of on the job training and really finding those mentors. I think that you know the things that I think about just from a what did I learn over time in a product manager. You know early on particularly at an early digital health company. I had a hard time understanding. What's the difference between a feature versus a product? I accompany so understanding the scale of the problem. You're trying to solve some an example of that in it was probably around. Twenty fourteen. Two Thousand Fifteen. I was really passionate about behavioral health and it was becoming very clear that behavioral health has a significant impact on people's physical health. And you know. We saw a lot of opportunity to use our data to help people connect with primary care and better leverage three and in the course of that we invested quite a bit and building out a product which were really proud of that product. Bed over the course of the year plus that we were building it just became incredibly clear that this was actually a company and over time more and more companies have entered the space. You know certain late before that but you know as you probably know. It's a very important topic that many people are starting companies and but at that time calibrating on feature verse product. I company was something that I just really didn't have the experience and the second thing I would just comment. That has been interesting for me from a learning curve perspective. Is You know working at cast lights. A BBC to seek company in that we sell to employers or health plans and our ultimate user are people who are consuming healthcare. And it's an incredible challenge to balance the B. and the C. And very often your buyers voice can override the voice of the end user. So assertively been thinking a lot about. How do we always ensure that the voice of the consumer is represented? And I think you know over the years. I've gotten a little better at that. I wasn't great at the beginning and a huge amount of that. Is the data centrality of how you Orient Product Development? That's fascinating so yes speaking from a personal loan servicer. That's our structuring. A media company which is to be easy to see model and I think what's great about those companies is that while really tough to crack. Initially you know getting that balance right over time they become very defensible and you know obviously having a whole bunch of businesses clients is a great strategy. What led you. And the executive team to structure cast light in that beat the B deceit bottle. He had great questions so ten years ago. When we were first started in the company one of the most significant hurdles or challenges that we faced was access to data and we were really open to. We could work with health plans. We work with employers. What we saw is that there was a group of really innovative vanguard employers. Who are in many ways? You know some of the largest payers of health care in the country who really wanted to be able to provide these services to their employees and you know for. Us getting access to data and enough data at scale to be able to apply the machine learning to actually determine what a MRI or lab would cost was critical so there for it was necessary for us to partner either with employers or health.

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