The 11th episode of the 2022 Product Awards series features the CEO and co-founder of an innovative mental health app. Bloom CEO Leon Mueller spoke with Wayfair Product Leader Nacho Andrade about the founding and development of the app. Leon is not only the co-founder and CEO, but he is also one of the two product managers at Bloom. His insights include the impetus behind the app and how women users made a difference. He also shares what makes a good product manager. Just like Bloom, it requires a laser focus on the consumer.
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On mental health after the pandemic
“In general, I think the pandemic has helped people realize that we all have mental health problems of one sort or another. Everyone deals with some form of stress, anxiety, worry, grief. And so the pandemic has helped us realize, hey, we all have mental health problems every now and then and need to take care of them. We are also finally allowed to openly talk about it, right? And so there’s been a general awareness, a wake up call of, Hey, we can use products like this.
“Then obviously, there was the big shift towards digital in general. Everything went over Zoom, and teletherapy had a huge boom. And so, Bloom obviously benefited from that too. But it’s not like the post pandemic world would change things back. It’s more like, Aha, okay, we’re now allowed to openly talk about it. Same thing with work from home. It’s such a positive catalyst of new ideas that the pandemic has brought to us. As horrible as the pandemic obviously was for everyone.”
On how women kickstarted Bloom
“When we raised our first round, during the pandemic – first of all, we had started just before. One pattern that stood out pretty clearly was women would immediately get it and would understand it. Because they’re so much more attuned into their emotions, right? The classic sort of rich VC is like, Oh, yeah, but I can just pay for therapy. Since when is that a problem?
“But 80% of Americans can’t can’t afford therapy, and there aren’t enough therapists out there. So it was a very interesting experience. And now we have found a fantastic partner to build a company with. Interestingly enough, she was a user of the product. She immediately understood, Okay, this can be big. And she’s been a big supporter since day one.”
On what makes a great product manager
“I think someone who’s just obsessed about the user and the experience, and also is able to empower their team. I once heard a talk from a Product Manager from Google. And it was like, I don’t do design. I don’t code. Everyone’s like, Okay, what do you do?
“They lead the team on it. They turn ideas into reality, together with a team, right? So, bringing the passion for the user and that obsession. Focusing always on the user and the experience. And then being able to work well with the team, and have a strong, well articulated approach to talking with different different stakeholders.”
About the speaker
About the host
Big idea product leader specializing in the space between 0 to 1, digital transformation, and innovation.