This series takes a peek into what each of our team does and how they work with the other teams towards our mission of inspiring every person in the world to start selling and buying to make more possible for one another.
Julia has been a Product Manager in four different countries and secondhand marketplaces before coming to Singapore with her partner and joining Carousell in 2019. It had been her secret wish to work at Carousell for a number of years. She shared, “I was always excited about the progressive product concept at Carousell when working in other marketplaces.”
She describes the Product Manager (PM) role as being a spider in a web. “While you don’t catch flies, you catch ideas and insights. Your job is basically to connect the dots between various user needs, stakeholder needs, the market environment, tech trends and many more. From there, you need to crystallise features out of the insights you gain. As a PM spider, you need quite a bit of creativity, strategic thinking and empathy to create the perfect net,” she explains. She supports both the External Advertising team and User Acquisition team at Carousell.
Like most Product Managers, the toughest challenge for Julia is saying “no”. She shares, “As a PM, you have hundreds of ideas on what to do next week, next months and next year. These ideas come from various stakeholders and your team. With empathy being a core part of a product manager’s role, rigorous prioritisation is equally important. Every idea needs to be assessed and impact sized. After this process, there are just two possible answers: yes or no. At Carousell, we embrace a culture of openness, so that saying ‘no’ with a good reasoning isn’t too hard. :)”
Variety is what Julia loves about the job. Apart from the daily standup meeting, the rest of the work day varies from day to day. “It is a good mix of everything. There could be some strategy discussions, some A/B test analysis, some discovery and user interviews, some design reviews, some post-launch analysis, some roadmapping, some testing, writing a new PRD, talking to Marketing & Sales teams, and so on. As you can see, the spectrum of tasks is really broad, ranging from strategy to pure operations.
It is this amount of team work that led to the successful launch of Julia’s proudest project — interstitial ads. “Be it from user interviews to designs or from functionalities to targeting abilities, nothing has been left unplanned. As a team, we have perfected the development of ad formats over time which gave us the confidence to create a high impact ad format. We A/B tested and tweaked the implementation for almost 1.5 months, while we had rich discussions with various stakeholders about its potential risks. The final outcome to launch was a well-aligned and aware decision which I am most proud of,” says Julia.