Meet the Team at Gousto Tech — Barry Pace — Group Product Manager
This post is part of our series interviewing members of our GoustoTech team. In this post, we meet Barry Pace who is a Group Product Manager in our Discover Tribe.
What is your favourite food?
Tacos! What a concept.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Gousto.
Hi, I’m Barry (and my dog is Pixel). I’m a Group Product Manager in the Discover Tribe. I look after the area of the Gousto product where customers are browsing, choosing, and modifying recipes to add to their box on the menu. We also look after the recommendations engine which helps personalise the menu for each customer.
How long have you been at Gousto?
Can you tell us a little about your journey before arriving at Gousto?
I started working at digital creative agencies after university and realised I was a really horrible Flash designer, so I quickly gave it up and tried project management instead. I worked in project management for a few years and although I seemed okay at it, I didn’t find it particularly fulfilling. I then learnt that Product Management existed and thought it sounded like a really interesting role that would allow me to build on what I learnt in project management but also something that I would enjoy more.
I started working as a PM in early stage startups; it was a pretty scrappy environment and involved a lot of learning on the job. I had a brief foray into launching a new start up and realised that the early-stage CEO life wasn’t for me at that time.
I was looking for somewhere after that to hone my product craft and find a great environment to get better at what I did and learn from smart people. I ended up at Gousto where I could work on a fun product with an interesting mission. I always had a deep affinity for food so Gousto really stood out for me.
What made you decide to join Gousto?
The deciding factor for me was finding a group of people that I thought I could really learn from and would help me on my progression journey, I also needed somewhere with an interesting product space.
Of all the places I was assessing, I think Gousto presented the most interesting customer problem and one that speaks to a fundamental human need. I just don’t think that opportunities at a lot of other companies can be as impactful as helping people get food that they love to their homes.
What has been the most exciting thing you’ve worked on at Gousto since joining?
One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on is essentially the response of our teams to the pandemic breaking out. The solutions we built weren’t groundbreaking but we were solving the most important customer problems that Gousto has faced. We were in a position where we were having to manage the expectations of people that wanted food orders when we were struggling to keep up with demand. There were lots of interesting things happening within the business and our contribution was really meaningful.
Secondly, our new recommendation engine. It’s the first time I’ve worked really closely with data scientists and we’ve used some really cutting edge technology. It’s been really exciting and I’ve learnt loads. The product that we delivered led to a massive improvement in personalisation metrics. You can read more about Roux (our recommendations algorithm) here.
What’s in the pipeline that you’re excited about at Gousto?
Gousto is looking to massively increase the amount of choice on the menu and in the Discover tribe that provides a number of challenges. Predominantly, how do we get the right type of recipes in front of the right customers?
We need to have a deep understanding of what our customers individually like, and their unique taste preferences when it comes to them and their households’ eating habits. So, as we increase choice on the menu we have to work hard to ensure the most relevant options are put front and centre for the right customers.
How would you describe the culture at Gousto?
Our tribe model means culture is developed uniquely in each tribe, so you might get a slightly different answer on this based on which tribe you speak to.
The consistent things I observe are a genuine care for solving the problems we’re facing and an excellent learning culture. People are constantly learning, both collectively and individually, to get better at what they do. Gousto has an ownership principle of ‘1 + 1 = 3’ — working together to find solutions to very hard problems — and you really do feel that on a day-to-day basis, I think that’s the case across the company.
Why would you suggest that someone considers joining us at Gousto Tech?
Gousto is an excellent place to learn, so no matter your previous experience of seniority, everyone learns a lot at Gousto. We work on a genuinely meaningful and interesting set of problems.
Mainly, we have great people; I’ve built some of the most meaningful and fruitful working relationships of my career at Gousto which counts for so much.
If you’re interested in joining the team, we have Product Manager and other vacancies here!