Chris has been defining and designing digital solutions for more than 15 years, which is 3 times the number of kids he has. The older darlings often remind him that in high school not only was he a marching band geek but also co-captain of the math team. He later went for a trifecta in nerdery by getting an MFA in poetry. Alas, he hasn't written a single poem since John Berryman told him he had no inner resources. After grad school, Chris found his inner resources at the intersection of design, strategy, and systems-thinking.
Read on to learn more about Chris!
1. Where’d you get educated and/or what jobs led you to your new job at MojoTech?
I got my BA in English at UMass/Boston and an MFA in poetry at George Mason University. All my jobs led me to MojoTech.
2. Before your life at MojoTech, what was the most interesting project you ever worked on?
Redesigning the e-commerce site for InsureMyTrip, because I pitched the project, built the team, defended it against nutty politics, designed useful features for customers, and in the end increased sales by 15%. And I learned a ton along the way.
3. What do you enjoy most/least about Product Management?
I love understanding and solving problems, so I ask lots of questions. It can be a challenge when you’re on a project or in an environment that doesn’t welcome questions.
4. What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful PM?
Have an open and opposable mind, ask questions, immerse yourself, ask more questions, think vertically and horizontally, and be patient and impatient at the same time.
5. What do you get out of being a PM that you couldn’t get from any other kind of work?
A slightly bigger opportunity to make a difference.
6. Describe a time when you confronted a problem that really tested your know-how.
Recently I served as the product manager for the Office of Risk Management at MIT. They were a fairly new office, so their processes were evolving rapidly. We had to design for current and potential states even more so than most times.
7. Now that you’re at MojoTech, what are you most excited about?
Getting past the new hire hump and diving deeper.
8. Which professionals do you turn to or what blogs do you read for inspiration?
9. You’ve been banished to a deserted island with—gasp—no wifi, but lots of power outlets. What one piece of technology would you bring?
A ham radio. That’s assuming conch shells are available already around the island.
10. What technology is going to take over the world next?
11. If you weren’t a Product Manager, what occupation would you choose?
12. What is your idea of happiness?
I and thou.
— Martin Buber
13. The red pill or the blue pill?
Depends on context: If I have to leave my family to go to from blue to red, I’ll stick to the world of make-believe. If I can take them, I’d rather explore the real.