This is the final episode in our five-part series introducing the categories for the Products That Count 2022 Product Awards. These episodes feature the five members making up the product-forward powerhouse team that is the 2022 Awards Advisory Board.

In the last episode, we heard from fmr Transformco Director of Product Management Maheep Bhalla on the Responsive Product Accountability category. This week we hand the mic to Award Advisory Board Product Leader Felipe Gasparino, who will be telling us about the category of “empowering the whole human” at the 2022 Product Awards.

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On empowering the whole human category

The idea behind this category is awarding tools that empower people in mind, body, and spirit. This has become even more important in a pandemic, with people facing myriad physical and mental health challenges. Beyond dealing with challenges, what products enable users to create beautiful, useful, and interesting things?

“It’s really taking a step back. It is really thinking, for us as humans, what are the tools and the products that are helping us to be better in general? With the whole pandemic, we can’t deny that it has affected many of us in some way. That goes for products as well. So when we think about that human empowerment, the way we are interacting with others, our health, the way we’re working, so much has been affected. So I think this is an exciting category for the Product Awards this year. We’re going to see a lot of interesting products and different ways that we’re just getting more enabled.

“I’m really hoping to have a good discussion about what are the great products that are helping us as humans. I want to really recognize those products, and hopefully help others find the tools that will enable them. So I think through that discussion, we can really inspire others and get people to feel more empowered.”

On the superpowers for this category

For the empowering the whole human category at the 2022 Product Awards, the superpowers are as follows: productivity booster, enable connection and communication, elevate mind/body health, and stimulate creativity.

“I think the productivity booster superpower has two parts to it. One is just time, right? Time is so valuable. We all have the same amount of time, and what are the products that are helping us to cut that? And also, what are the products that get us to enjoy doing more or doing different things, focusing on different things, and potentially going further. So those are the two points that I think are really important for that boost of productivity.

“With the enabling connection and communication superpower, I think it’s really, to me, that there’s a lot about that sense of a group, that sense of belonging when we think about communication. And I think there’s so much going on there with just the new ways that we’re communicating now.

“And that’s a good seque into elevating mind/body health. I think that one is really, when we think about humans, it’s about our state of mind, and that applies to our body too. And when we think about health, it’s important for us to be in a good state. That’s when we can be productive. It affects all the different areas of our lives when we’re healthy. So I think we’re seeing more and more products that are helping elevate our health. So I think that’s going to be an interesting category.

“For stimulating creativity, that one is really about the products that are helping to create original ideas and continue that artistic work, and celebrating them at the Product Awards.”

On what makes a great product and PM, and understanding the why

Each week on Product Talk, we ask guests what makes a great product, and what makes a great product manager. Each guest has a slightly different take on this question. For Felipe Gasparino, there needs to be a focus on iteration, listening well, and understanding the why.

“There’s so many aspects of a great product. One is iteration. We can get started on a product and all the iteration process is going to be key to make that great. That’s really thinking about what the adjustments are that we need to make. It’s really the whole iterative process.

“What is great product management? I think that ties in closely there. I think related to that is really listening and facilitating. We really need to listen not only to the users, but a lot to the team working on it. And oftentimes challenge our assumptions.

“I think it’s very important to understand the why and communicate that internally with your team. So that would be my advice. It’s really important, as leaders, that when you’re building something, you know why we’re building. And if you don’t know yet you focus on that. You try to understand, and communicating is key as you’re going to have your team doing different things to get you to that goal that you might not even think of. So it’s really important to get to the why of those features.” 

About the speaker
Felipe Gasparino Editorial Contributor Author

Product-driven, result-oriented tech director, committed to growth and passionate about building tech products that are impactful and amuse its users. Experienced in developing product strategy, leading development & product teams towards product vision, and in directing and managing project implementation.

About the host
Patrick Blute Transfix, Director of Brand and Sustainability

I am the Director of Brand & Sustainability for Transfix, a leading transportation solutions provider, combining tech and a best-in-class carrier network to reshape the future of freight. I am also a host for Product Talk helping bring product leaders together to answer the question: "What makes a great product?"

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