The Dirt

This week our product hero is Ben Ho, Senior Engineering Manager, Mobile at Everbridge. Ben and I covered a lot of ground in our discussion, so we've split the interview into two parts.

In Part 2, we dove into Ben's past as a chef and how that informs everything he does as an engineering leader today. Ben started in tech but eventually became disheartened with it. So he just decided to leave the industry behind to become a chef working in some of the best restaurants in the country for almost a decade! Ben rediscovered his passion for technology when the first mobile OS was released. Although it's been awhile since he's "done the chef thing," Ben feels it's something that never really leaves you, and he feels that chef perspective pervades everything he does, every single day. It's still about passion, craftsmanship, and figuring out how to build and deliver something really cool.

Direct download: Product_Hero_Ben_Ho_Part_2.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 9:45am EDT

This week our product hero is Ben Ho, Senior Engineering Manager, Mobile at Everbridge. Ben and I covered a lot of ground in our discussion, so we've split the interview into two parts.

In Part 1, Ben and I focus on everyone's favorite topic - Agile. Agile's not new - a lot of people and teams know what it is and have moved in that direction. But many are finding it harder to fully embrace. Typically when we talk to teams, there are still some lingering habits of the old waterfall method or whatever used to be the way of life. Everyone defines agile differently, so Ben and I talked about his definition of Agile and how, if at all, it differs at Everbridge.

Direct download: Product_Hero_Ben_Ho_Part_1.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 9:43am EDT

The statistics for minorities in technology and entrepreneurship are underwhelming to put it mildly.

  • 9.2% of tech industry employees are Latinx and African Americans
  • 0.2% of venture funding goes to black females
  • 20% of firms with paid employees are owned by minorities
  • The average net worth of blacks in Boston is $8

Enter Smarter in the City, which was created as a way to diversify Boston's tech sector by reaching out to entrepreneurs with less traditional backgrounds from less traditional neighborhoods in Boston. The organization believes that supporting a diverse ecosystem of entrepreneurs makes the startup community better while also allowing mentors to go back into their communities and improve the diversity in their own organizations. Since their founding in 2014, they have helped launch 20 startups led by underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Direct download: Smarter_in_the_City.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 11:30am EDT

Product Innovation is a subject on everyone’s minds so we’ve been digging deeper into what that actually means. Who is responsible for product innovation? What does it look like in growth companies vs. enterprises? How do you make innovation part of the culture of an organization?

My guest today is Deanna Aho. Deanna has over 22 years of design and innovation leadership experience at organizations like Northeastern University, Cengage Learning, and most recently Quick Base.

Direct download: Deanna_Brown_Aho_FINAL.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

This week our product hero is Emera Trujillo, Senior Product Manager at MediaMath. Emera started her career in customer services at but eventually found herself seeking to satisfy her growing customer-centric mindset through product management.

Along with former Product Heroes Vanessa Ferranto, Cait Porte, she is an organizer for Boston Women in Product, whose mission is to inspire, equip and help advance women in product. Part of the larger Boston Product Management Association, the group organizes events for local female product leaders to learn and affect one another in an open, casual setting.

Direct download: Poduct_Hero_-_Emera_Truijilo_FINAL.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 9:24am EDT

Our guest this week is Mike Brown, Head of Product at GenePeeks. Mike has the unique distinction of being named our very first Product Hero. And he’s also the first one to return as a guest on our podcast. The GenePeeks platform has expanded a few times over the years, something that Mike and I talked about in our interview. What were the signs pointing to this expansion, and how did they know that the time was right?

Direct download: Mike_Brown_-_GenePeaks_FINAL.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 5:53am EDT

This week we sat down with Brian Lindauer, EVP Product and Engineering at Mavrck. Brian runs both engineering and product at Mavrck, which he says some find controversial but he finds interesting and important to satisfying his organizations "need for speed." Leading both groups allows the product team to move very fast and resolve conflicts across those two groups efficiently.

Direct download: Brian_Lindauer_FINAL.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 6:22am EDT

This week we sat down with José Manuel dos Santos, Head of Design and User Experience at Philips Lighting. José joined Philips during an interesting time in the company’s history as they are currently in the process of splitting from Royal Philips to become a standalone lighting company, which is interesting given Philips started out in lighting 129 years ago. José understandably views this as both a challenge and an opportunity to find out what makes sense for the future of the company as it relates to design and innovation.

Direct download: Product_Innovation_-_Jose_dos_Santos.mp3
Category:tech -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT