As our host, Patrick Blute, succinctly puts it in his opener, “we love products for people who are building products”. This week on Product Talk we welcome to the mic Ramp Head of Product, Geoff Charles. Pulling from an extensive career that spans startups, consulting, and product management, he shares with listeners insights on building fintech in the Age of Product.
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On agile product management in fintech
Taking risks is the standard when it comes to product innovation. The trick is to manage that risk with bottom-to-top alignment and build with agility. Geoff begins by breaking down what an agile approach to product development looks like in the world of FinTech.
“What we did was essentially flipped things around and put all the stakeholders in the same room to kick things off. We hold people accountable to the right outcomes, and we take risks, You have to take risks with regards to product development, and you have to be aligned all the way up to the CEO around the risks that you’re taking. This lets you gain extreme velocity and agility with regards to how you build and answer your question more directly.”
“We structure our team as a tripod, bringing together product, design, and engineering. They’re all together ‘in the same van’, talking to customers and thinking about solutions. The Product Manager thinks about features and flows, the engineer thinks about systems and capabilities. and the designer thinks about user experience and its simplicity. And with these three types of minds together, you come up with sparks, solution, the right phase and scope, and you ship things very quickly.”
On Fintech trends, customer insights, and financial health
More than ever, interconnectivity is the name of the game. Host, Patrick Blute, puts it succinctly when he states “essentially, with products talking to products on their own, the sky’s the limit in the Age of Product”. With so much opportunity opening up for the consumer and product leaders in fintech, it’s important to first define what it means to be financially healthy.
“The challenge is knowing when to listen to the customer, and knowing when not to listen. This goes back to the Ford Model of when someone says ‘I want a faster horse’, how do you make sure you build a car.”
“FinTech is absolutely booming in so many different ways. With the motion of API driven products and services, products are spinning up that are thinking about the different pieces that actually fit into a product. Having services built as API’s, you’re enabling other services to build on top of that even more quickly.”
“The Fintech space is so vast and you have to focus on the pain points. The thing I’m most excited about is the ability to spin up these companies and build services that provides a ton of value.”
“The most important thing is, as a company, to define what financial health means to you. Define it and then measure it. Have a program to measure that impact, align with your board, and align with your investors around what your mission is”
About the speaker
I've worked for over 8 years in Financial Services ranging from management consulting at Oliver Wyman, to building financial products for national banks at Nomis Solutions and for underbanked consumers as a Product Manager for LendUp and Mission Lane. Now at Ramp I oversee our product team that is changing the way businesses manage their money.
About the host
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?"