Technical product managers play a crucial role in an organization, helping with the development and marketing of a company’s products while also serving as the main point of contact between the product development team, the marketing team, and customers. Nick Brown recently joined Reciprocity as a Technical Product Manager for our ROAR platform, and is helping to ensure the continued success of our pioneering new approach to risk management.
It’s Never Boring
Nick has been a Technical Product Manager for the past 4 years, using his engineering background, technical expertise, and natural interest in all things technology-related, to help companies like Reciprocity develop, deliver, and scale their software-based solutions. In addition to working directly with our development team, he also represents the voice of our customers in the R&D process, ensuring we’re always aware of what people want, what they’re asking for, and how they are using our solutions.
“The interesting thing about the role is that it is always changing. Some days, you’ll be deeply involved in day-to-day R&D activities, for example, working with the development team on their daily stand-ups. On other days, you’ll be in front of customers a bit more, spending time speaking at conferences or assisting with sales calls. But whatever you’re doing, it’s never boring,” Nick explains.
A Non-Traditional Path
Nick didn’t follow the ‘traditional’ path to becoming a Technical Product Manager. He didn’t go to school to be a product manager. Instead, he got a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering. However, he had always been interested in the software side of things, spending some of his free time researching and working with different operating systems. This helped him get his first role as Tech Support for a software company. As he enjoyed learning about the product – and knew it so well – he also started doing some product training, then made the jump to Sales.
“When I transitioned from Tech Support to Sales Engineer, I went from supporting the product to selling the product – but success in either of these roles is based on the same concept. You have to understand every aspect of the product – front, back, inside and out. It’s only when you truly know how something works, as well as what people should do when it doesn’t work, that you can successfully start selling the product.”
It wasn’t a big step for Nick to then transition to Technical Product Manager, where his subject matter expertise could be applied to influencing the direction of the product.
“I really enjoy the strategic aspect of the role, helping to determine what comes next for the product, as well as for the business. Eventually, I’d like to be more involved in ‘greenfield’ projects, where we can see the direction the market is heading and come up with new approaches – and new products – that have never before been considered.”
Even though Nick doesn’t have a background in software, he is still having an impact on the software industry. As a subject matter expert on our pioneering new ROAR platform, he’s helping us change the way that businesses approach risk management by enabling them to avoid, control, and mitigate risk in business processes by providing clear, executive-level visibility into risk.
“If you don’t have a background in software (like me), then the best thing you can do is educate yourself. Work on it in your spare time. Computers have always been a hobby of mine, so working with weird, esoteric operating systems was just something I did – and that’s what got my foot in the door. It’s also important to be flexible. If you’re interested in Technical Product Management, you need an engineering mindset but you also need to be creative. While you need to be able to reason through things, you also need to be able to make leaps.”
The Next Challenge
Reciprocity continues to grow at an exponential rate, which is creating new career opportunities for people like Nick, who are always ready for the next challenge. We know there is much more to come from Nick, so definitely keep an eye on him – and his LinkedIn profile – to track his career!
Interested in a career at Reciprocity? Check out our current job openings.