Meet our SupaHero for September, Head of Product, Isaac. An avid rock climber and a self-proclaimed cheese and wine lover who often finds himself missing the ocean and the coastlines of Sydney too much.
Read on to find out more about his journey at Supahands and what it takes to be a good Product Manager!
Hey Isaac, what do you do at Supahands?
I’m responsible for making sure that our users’ needs, technology, data and design all come together to create a coherent and smooth experience for our users and also in ensuring that whatever we are doing creates value to the business. But, ultimately, my job is to serve the people in my company.
“I think that being a leader means that you are in charge of checking in with your team, in ensuring that they have an experience that is beneficial to their career.”
I’m here to help my team in making sure that whatever they are doing is in line with what they hope to achieve in life. So by the end of the day, I think my job is all about people.
How did your Supahands journey begin?
My journey started almost four years ago. I joined Supahands in January 2016. Though it feels a lot shorter than four years but it also feels a lot longer, looking at the number of things we have managed to achieve in such a short span of time.
I first saw Mark (CEO, Co-founder of Supahands) at a tech conference in Thailand. I was working for a Japanese start-up then and Supahands’ booth was right next to ours and I noticed Mark because he was wearing a pretty cool looking jacket and he was pitching so hard that it left a strong impression. After my stint ended with the Japanese start-up, I was looking for an early-stage start-up because I really wanted to build something from scratch, so I looked around Malaysia. Supahands came to my mind because of the impression that Mark had left on me.
At that point, Supahands had just closed their seed funding from 500 Startups, so I figured they must be doing something right. I emailed Mark (with the subject line “hiring a young hustler intern”) and told him I was interested in working for Supahands. He took me in as a marketing intern and that’s where it all started. I’ve never looked back since.
What is a typical day like for you at Supahands?
There are no two days that are the same, every day is so different. I usually have 4-6 meetings daily on average, so that takes up a lot of my time. Generally, the main goal of my day is to help unblock roadblocks that are stopping our amazing people from doing their great work.
“People are the most important part of my job, there isn’t a problem that’s too big or too small to reach out for help.”
Most of my workday entails helping my team in overcoming roadblocks that we may face. I would also help them in understanding the problem and to perform their best and in solving problems. In the evening, that’s where my real work starts! I look at scheduling road maps, product strategy and how can we bring the business to the next level. As during the day, I don’t have a lot of productive hours, to think and strategise. My most important job of the day — to help everyone else in the team and company.
Tell us three things that no one knows (you think people should know) about you?
- I love golden retrievers, it’s one of my motivators to wake up daily.
- I like taking things apart; objects, ideas and try to reassemble them, I enjoy the process and have been doing that since I was a kid.
- I love maths and science. I actually wanted to do a double degree in Maths and Physics.
Tell us more on how products are built over here at Supahands?
We try to base all our product features or product strategy on real users’ needs. At the end of the day, we want to build products that will solve users’ problems. Here at Supahands, our users are our SupaAgents and Business Operations Managers who handle the projects, and our clients.
“The main job that we are doing right here is to find ways to converge different users need to a cohesive product strategy that would bring value.”
What’s the approach of building products over here at Supahands?
The approach here is very user-centric, we start each problem by conducting in-depth research ─ to really get down into the first principle of each problem that our users faced. Understanding the problem on a fundamental level – why did it happen in the first place – so we can innovate a solution to address the root.
After understanding a problem really well, we will dive into a design process to brainstorm different solutions to the problem. There are many principles and methodology to facilitate this process. However, ultimately it’s about shipping (delivering a solution) quickly and iterating based on real feedback
Once everything is in plan, we work closely with the engineering team to deliver a solution that we have in mind. Once it’s done, we’ll test it and come up with a go-to market plan to help our users to adopt and create different metrics to track the performance of the product so that we can use the data which we’ve collected to improve the product over time.
What’s your main drive to work daily? especially in such a fast pace environment
“I’m happy to be part of the process, to help shape the future for all of us.”
Right now, my job is to help the company build products through the intertwined layers of artificial intelligence, to use the best of machine learning.
What do you enjoy most about working here at Supahands?
I’m happy that I can be part of the process to help shape the future knowing that my work impacts the lives of our SupaAgents (Supahands’ pool of trained workers). I see myself as a technologist, so I would like to try to contribute in any way to the status quo using technology. Knowing that I’m not only innovating in terms of building tech. With all that being said, at the end of the day,
“It’s about the people that I’m working with – we consistently challenge each other to be better every day. It’s inspiring and fun when you get to work with individuals like that.”
What was the moment you knew you’d made the right decision to work here?
Well, I think it goes back to the end of my internship as a marketing intern, I was doing a lot of analysis on marketing performance and numbers. I eventually learnt that Mark (Supahands, CEO/Co-founder) was open to my suggestions and advice even though I was an intern. The trust that he has in me made me realise that I’ve made a good choice.
What do you think makes a good product manager?
Being resourceful – the ability to work in a structured way and have a good learning framework. Knowing that you can learn anything and everything and having a method to break down how and what you need to learn. Empathy is required to be a good product manager, essentially you are the router between different departments. Knowing that your job here is to serve, from my experience that’s a hard skill to acquire. Lastly, being in the evolving tech industry requires a high level of adaptability as well.
With all that being said, what do you look for when it comes to hiring?
Personally, for me, I would want to know what they’ve learnt and side projects they’ve worked on by themselves. If you’re passionate about something, you should take ownership of it.
SupaHeroes is a series of monthly write-ups featuring the very people behind Supahands, giving you a glimpse of each unique individual, their stories, their SupaJourney and what they do.
We’re part of a constantly evolving ecosystem between human and machine. We build our products through intertwining layers of artificial and human intelligence.
If you are an Engineer, Product Manager, Designer, Machine Learning Engineer or Data Scientist, we’d love to have you!
Head on over to our Careers Page to find out more.