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Get to Know the Amium Team: Product

By John Gabaix on May 19, 2017

What do you do at Amium?

I work on everything having to do with our product. This means listening to our users, interpreting data, prioritizing features, designing new experiences, writing requirements, setting timelines, removing roadblocks, identifying new bugs, and getting feedback.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done at Amium?

I ran usability-testing sessions by inviting people to the office and watching them use Amium. The experience is illuminating, because consumers experience products in very different ways than their creators do. For us who create, there is never a ‘first time.’ As we build the product incrementally, we become more and more familiar with every corner, we know what all elements do, and we put up with bugs. But when someone that knows nothing about your product looks at it, does not click where you want them to click, wanders around without purpose, and tells you ‘I don’t understand how this works,’ your reality shifts. You start thinking the way an outsider thinks. These sessions were so insightful that we repeated them over and over. We also invited everyone from the company to observe.

What kinds of challenges have you faced at Amium? How does the team support you when working through a challenge?

Coordination is always hard, especially in multidisciplinary teams. Every department approaches new features in a certain way:
• Business—will it grow usage or revenue?
• Design—is this helping our users?
• Marketing—will this differentiate us?
• Engineering—is this easy to build with our model?
In product management, you want to orchestrate every approach into a coherent whole that makes sense for the business.

Fortunately, the Amium team is extremely supportive, thanks to good communication skills and a clear sense of purpose. Everyone understands the other departments’ concerns, and we can make decisions quickly.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Amium?

I love the team dynamics. It feels like everyone is working towards the same goal. Everyone is doing their best towards achieving our goals. The lunches and offsite are fun too.

How do you use Amium and what makes it different from other tools you use?

I use Amium to chat with my coworkers and collaborate on product designs. Amium is different, because this is where I spend my entire day. Before we built Amium, I had to switch between email, a chat client, and a file sync and share solution. Now everything is in one place. On my desktop I have only Chrome and Amium open! It’s refreshing.

What excites you the most about new Amium features/what is your favorite feature?

I love the fact I can open a file in Amium without having to download it first, as would be the case for other chat tools.

What do you like to do in your time away from work?

I am a passionate runner. I began sailing a year ago. It’s a great feeling and I think I’ll start racing very soon.

If you could do anything you wanted (not for a job), what would it be?

I would go travel the world. There is so much to see! Things on my bucket list: taking the Trans-Siberian train, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and sailing around the Marquesas Islands.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I survived a minor plane crash! Since then, I am reminded how great life is! 🙂


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