Hi Jay, let’s start with your background before Signol.
I’m a passionate and curious generalist (or multi-specialist, as I prefer). The multi-specialisms I have picked up along my career have been born out of a desire to understand the business around me better and to always evolve with the world around me. To be better at marketing, I needed to understand the analytics, and to be a better analyst, I needed to know how the management of the business used the results, to be a better consultant, I needed to understand how technology was delivered, to deliver better technology to the customer I needed to draw back on my marketing knowledge.
So, how did you get involved in Signol?
Through a fortune of network. I had been looking to do something in the aviation sphere for a while and had pitched a few ideas to Signol backers at Founders Factory. Ultimately nothing came from those ideas, but I found Signol through them and I loved the idea and could immediately see the potential, so I was in.
How has your role at Signol evolved over the past 2 years?
When I joined there was a great idea and some really well built technology, but there was no product! By that, I mean there was nothing to sell, the technology itself went some way toward achieving the primary goal, but it was obvious to me that many of the hidden features, like customer support and “side quests” required to sell into big enterprise customers weren’t there, so my first job was to recognise and set up those functions. Covid helped, ironically, as it gifted us the time to get these bits done. Since then, we have grown and acquired customers, so the role is now highly focussed on delivering for them and listening to their feedback to develop the best product we can.
How does Signol compare to other companies you’ve worked with?
Signol is still small, but growing fast. There are very smart and enthusiastic people, which is exactly the atmosphere I thrive in, pretty similar to other start-ups I have worked with in the past. But I’ve also previously worked in big companies and in roles which required working closely with big enterprises so that gives me a really great perspective on the challenges and workings of our customers. At a start-up, it’s great to be able to move fast and get things done, but it’s incredibly important to understand the workings of your customer and understand that they will go at their own pace and be ready to move when they come knocking. It doesn’t matter if it’s an airline, a bank, a supermarket, or a shipping company (I’ve worked with them all).
Product management is a relatively new and loosely defined discipline. What does it mean to you?
Yeah, until a few years ago, I think a product manager was mainly a vertical owner in a company looking after a range of goods. Now, especially in technology, the role of the product manager exists to pull everything together with customer problem-focussed lenses. It's a generalist’s dream because you need to understand how everything knits together, how sales link to technology and how marketing links to operations. When you are delivering a product, you aren’t delivering one thing alone to your customers, you are delivering an experience that lasts from their first interaction to their last, and it needs to be an enjoyable and valuable experience. My job is to think about all these things, find that sweet spot, and deliver accordingly.
You say you are a generalist (or multi-specialist), but what is your strongest skill?
I am, at heart, a data person. I am happiest with screens full of tables and charts, and my ears full of loud repetitive music. Although it’s an overused phrase, I truly believe most businesses should be data-driven. Data doesn’t lie, and you can find out so much about what you’re doing well, and not so well, just from the data. From a product perspective, listening to users and customers is by far the best way to understand how to improve your product. But that doesn't mean spending all day tracking down people to have actual conversations with them. You can listen to your users by simply observing what they do, capturing that data and analysing it. Data is everywhere, and those who master it will be the most successful.
What is the best thing about working on Signol, the actual product?
What sets Signol apart from a lot of B2B SaaS platforms is that it has measurable value. We can point to the actual dollars we saved, and more importantly, to the demonstrable CO2 savings resulting from the use of Signol, and be unequivocal about it. Lots of other B2B service tools can’t do that, they can only refer to very vague increases in productivity. Having that type of feedback on a product is pure gold for a product manager. It means we can have the same meaningful product metrics as a consumer tool and point all our work in a direction designed to move that needle in whichever way we choose.
Finally, here's a little trivia with Jay:
Get a demonstration
Signol is a software platform that draws on insights from behavioral economics to encourage employees to make more efficient decisions. Signol provides personalized feedback through multiple communication channels, as well as data analysis for managers. In aviation, Signol aims to use behavioral "nudges" and incentives to reduce pollution and fuel waste and cut operating costs.