Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Susan. At work I like to work with teams who solve complex problems for their customers. At home, I’m a mom of two boys so we primarily build forts and play with dinosaurs.
What drew you to work with product, and the product here at Hatch?
I started my career in Marketing and learned how impactful Product Managers can be in improving the lives of customers with how they learn and build products.
I thought it was fascinating that some of the customer pain points we were writing marketing materials about were actually the focus of others in the company.
It was the passion and energy that brought me to Hatch. The team here is hyper focused on their customers’ needs and how Hatch can work in their process, not the other way around.
As soon as I spent some time with the team, I immediately knew I wanted to be part of that excitement.
So, what is the role of a Director of Product? What does an average work day for you look like?
Well, Hatch is a startup so no day is the same 😜. I try to take on the larger problems facing our customers and internal teams while removing blockers for the development teams.
My job as Director is to help the product teams prioritize initiatives, talk with potential product partners and build out our roadmap for hitting our company goals.
I am also beginning to build out our product organization so I’m excited to bring on and grow new product leaders.
Where do you get inspiration? What inspires you? What makes you tick?
I like to look at what other companies are doing to solve customer problems. I read a lot of articles on Medium, LinkedIn and listen to Product podcasts.
But ultimately I love talking to customers about how our products can improve, that energy and feedback really makes me excited to get to work.
What do you like most about Hatch?
The people and the energy. The first time I walked into this office, it was apparent that there was a sense of urgency and excitement coming from all angles. It was an environment I wanted to be a part of.
What do you find to be challenging?
Challenging is just trying to wrap my brain around what will have the biggest impact for our customers while hitting our business goals. We have amazing customers who are excited to help us grow and provide us with a lot of great feedback everyday.
How do you feel about Hatch's diverse leadership team?
It’s great. I am a woman and a mother. Through my career I have been lucky to work with a lot of amazing women leaders and I’ve seen how they’ve achieved, and struggled, when it comes to growing their careers.
Not all businesses support women who are juggling family and career. I love that Hatch focuses on who can help us get to the next level, gender isn’t a factor here which is really refreshing.
After working in your previous position for seven years, how was your first day at Hatch?
I was nervous but excited. There’s that saying “If you’re in your comfort zone, you aren’t growing” and my nerves were telling me I was getting ready to expand my skills so that made me pumped to get here.
The team has been wonderful, I think I’ve shadowed half the office to understand their roles and how the ecosystem at Hatch works and everyone has been great at getting me up to speed.
What's your philosophy on personal growth?
I view life as a series of opportunities and it’s up to you on how you make the most of them.
Whether it’s meeting someone new at a networking event or grabbing coffee with the founder of a cool new startup in town. You never know what’s going to present itself but you have to be ready when it comes your way.
I want to continue to grow as a Product leader. I want to get more involved in the Product space here in Richmond and attend events across the country.
Product is still a relatively new field and there’s so much to learn from each other. I also want to build a great life for my boys and show them they have a badass working mom.
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