This month, we are excited to discuss with Marcus Wiberg, Senior Product Manager at Matmatch, who collaborates with engineers, designers, scientists and business developers to build a successful product for the materials industry. Marcus has more than ten years of experience running businesses, leading people and building intuitive applications for iOS, Android and the web. Passionate about startups, leadership, lean startup methodology, design and data.
What attracted you to Matmatch?
I ran my own startups for 10+ years before joining Matmatch, so joining a startup was a necessity from my side. I was offered the chance to join Matmatch at an early stage and collaborate with exceptional people from all over the world. Besides working for a well-funded startup with exceptional talents, we are introducing a brand new experience for a traditional trillion dollar industry. This makes me very excited.
From CEO to Senior Product Manager, what made you take this step?
I come from an entrepreneurial family so founding my own startups came naturally. My first startup was acquired at the age of 15 and from there I just kept launching all kinds of ventures. The most successful startup I’ve launched (Socialmist) raised $2 million in funding and attracted 27 investors internationally. However, after 10 years of running my own startups, I was excited to try something new and spend more time focusing on product management. I have also got to say that working for a company is a luxury after years running my own; being able to relax on weekends or on evenings after work is a real blessing.
How do you efficiently go from concept to product?
The best minimum viable products (MVPs) I defined were created in collaboration with experienced engineers. Engineers know how simple it is to build features nobody is going to use. It’s important to focus on the core, cut waste, reduce risk, and use data-driven, evidence-based decisions to build a successful product. The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.
How do you develop user stories?
The best stories are written in collaboration with our engineers and in some cases talents from other departments such as material scientists or business developers. We have templates and guidelines for user stories and bug reports. Our stories are primarily for our engineers and designers to understand the description of a feature, acceptance criteria, risks, behaviour from the user’s perspective and what values the story will build for our company, suppliers and customers.
The stories are meant to convince our employees and our engineers will take care of how to implement the story.
How do you know what to build?
It’s fundamental to align our product strategy with our company strategy, so we focus on the right challenges and guide our ship in the right direction together. Whether we are developing new features or maintaining current functionality there are many different techniques product managers use to determine the best initiatives. I extract a lot of feedback from all departments, external stakeholders and of course the use of data is important to understand our users and suppliers. My personal favourite is to use weighted scoring, which allows us to rank strategic initiatives and facilitate a more productive discussion about what to include on our product roadmap.
What new projects are you most excited about at Matmatch?
I’m responsible for the supplier hub and content hub. The supplier hub is a powerful tool for material suppliers to gain market insight, explore trends and attract valuable leads. The content hub is an internal and external tool to create, edit, publish and promote educational content. The hubs will accelerate organic growth, increase engagement with educational content and will deliver more value to our users and suppliers.
What else do you look forward to this year?
The power and rapidity of the execution distinguish the companies that succeed from those that don’t. In 2018, I want to see how all departments align together to achieve our common goals. Execution is key to our success. I also greatly look forward to rolling out my projects, the supplier hub and content hub.
Besides the projects I’m responsible for internally, I enjoy understanding how we can operate more efficiently and what’s keeping us from doing so. I absolutely love the email Elon Musk sent to the employees at Tesla regarding the chain of command. Or the meeting rules Elon supports that allow people who aren’t contributing or gaining experience in a meeting to just leave the meeting. It says so much about how crucial efficiency is to the success of a company and how the pursuit of more prestige and higher status often leads to failure.
If you haven’t yet read previous interviews, you can find them here: an interview with our CEO Melissa Albeck and an interview with our Head of Engineering Christian Uhl.