How does flexible thinking and building in modularity impact a company’s ability to survive? In this session, JOKR VP of Product Gabrielle Charnoff discusses how flexible thinking was a core part of how she was able to navigate JOKR amidst immense change and help build products that have attracted attention from third parties in Latin America. JOKR began operating in a booming post-COVID market, during which JOKR raised $450M in ~8mo and was one of the fastest growing quick commerce players in eight markets.
As the first full-time employee on the product and tech team, Gabrielle had to help quickly and effectively build a tech team to support that growth and build a consumer experience that could fit each local market. Fast forward, and the macro environment looks very different. The company now only operates in Brazil, but has extended its tech stack to be used by other companies in Latam. Product managing all of this with a background in investing, not tech or product, was a challenge but one where Gabrielle learned quickly that building in modularity is key to survive in volatile times – as a team, as products, and as a PM.
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- JOKR is a quick commerce company offering 15-minute grocery delivery.
- Gabrielle emphasizes the importance of flexibile thinking in team-building and product development.
- JOKR’s management made essential decisions, such as hiring a third-party development agency to create a throwaway app to meet initial demands.
- Later, the company established tech hubs in different countries to build diverse teams and maintain a close relationship with employees.
- This approach resulted in low churn and high retention rates.
- JOKR’s “Heart” feature utilizes data to offer personalized shopping experiences, leading to higher conversion rates.
- Gabrielle adopts a flexible approach to product management, adapting to engineering teams’ preferred methods and customizing interactions based on location.
- The tool “Heart” offers various recommendation models to improve user experience and conversion rates.
- This tool allows for different container types, content filling methods, and content scheduling.
- Local teams have the freedom to decide how to configure campaigns based on their markets and users’ preferences.
- The vision of the tool remains consistent, aiming to gather data on different content combinations for automation in the future.
- Gabrielle compares her current experience at JOKR with previous experiences in other companies, highlighting the benefits of a flexible approach.
- The ability to adapt quickly during business changes, such as closing markets or managing layoffs, has been critical for JOKR’s success.
- Allowing local teams to make decisions and collaborate with the product team has created a more friendly and effective work environment.
- Maintaining a clear vision while embracing change and letting go of control has driven success in product management.
- Gabrielle discusses the experience of launching a throwaway app and learning from the internal processes rather than the app itself.
- Building strong relationships with tech teams, especially VPs of engineering, is essential to foster open communication and trust.
- Seeking feedback from various stakeholders is crucial to ensure the right decisions are made.
- Balancing personal relationships, decision-making, and setting expectations are challenges faced in product management.
- Flexibility is vital for managing a rapidly growing and evolving company like JOKR in today’s volatile business environment.
About the speaker
Gabrielle Charnoff is the VP of Product Management at JOKR, a unicorn quick commerce company. Gabrielle was previously on the investing and operating teams at Softbank, where she held interim product positions at Softbank portfolio companies, WeWork and OYO. Prior to Softbank, Gabrielle was an investment analyst at a a women-led, emerging markets hedgefund, after starting her career as an investment banker at Citibank. Gabrielle loves painting, wakeboarding, yoga and making the most of work travel.
About the host
Brian is currently Senior Director of Product Management - Consumer Experience at Assurance IQ. Prior to that he was VP of Product & Design at Huckleberry, working on using data and automation to eliminate the complexity from small business insurance. Before that, Brian was Senior Director of Product Management at Fundera (acquired by NerdWallet), Walmart Labs and Amazon. Brian moved (back) to NYC in January 2020, and continues to experience everything this city has to offer.