In our weekly series we speak to the people who make everything happen in our Product Division.
This week we were left shaken and stirred by Tim Dalton (Not the Timothy Dalton of James Bond fame!) as he took us back to school, told us what Ingeniously Simple meant to him and why its all about the people rather than the process.
Your name and role
I’m Tim, I’m part of the Product Management team at Redgate.
How long have you done this, what did you do before?
I joined Redgate at the start of this year, before that I’ve been PMing for about 7 years.
How did you become a product manager?
I finished Uni not sure what to do next, and through a series of fairly lucky breaks ended up founding a startup with two good friends.
Over a few years developing that business I discovered that the combination of things I enjoyed doing, and could do well had a job title! After our startup time finished I took my first official PM role and have continued to learn and enjoy it ever since.
What sort of things did you do to prepare you for the role?
I had a short break before starting at Redgate so I spent a bit of time getting to know the product set. I also read a couple of the books that the team recommended during interview (Accelerate / Good Strategy Bad Strategy). Since joining I’ve tried to keep up the reading rate, I’m at about a book / week since the start of the year.
Did you always know you wanted to become a product manager?
Once I realised what a product manager was, then yes! When I was much younger I wanted to be a bus driver. Not entirely sure when or if I’ll be able to make that career change now…
What’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
The people. I’m very lucky to be part of a couple of highly driven autonomous teams. They’re user-centric, have strong commercial understanding, and really care about what they build.
As a PM it’s a hugely rewarding experience to know your teams make great decisions, allowing my role to widen and think about longer term strategy.
What’s the thing that makes you want to put the alarm on snooze?
I have a 7 year old daughter so that is not possible in my house!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking to do your role?
Product management is all about the people. You don’t need to be super technical to do it, just technical enough to make the right conversations happen.
Best advice to give to someone looking to join Redgate?
Be a learner. I love meeting candidates who are curious, who are keen to improve themselves and their colleagues. My absolute favourite PM answer is ‘I don’t know, but I can find out’.
Well, probably my second favourite answer after the actual answer…
Where do you see Redgate in 5 years’ time?
We’re growing quickly, and there are so many new opportunities to explore in our current products and beyond. That makes it a very exciting time to be part of the product management team.
What’s the motto you live by?
Every day’s a school day.
Or, when I want to sound slightly more intelligent…
In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Describe what Ingeniously Simple means to you.
It’s those rare moments of brilliance — the perfect combination of lightweight simplicity and significant value.
It could be a feature, a piece of documentation, a thought in a meeting, or the combination of ingredients in the salads at lunch time!
These moments can come from anywhere, but you know it when you see it. Somebody showed me an example in a design review a couple of weeks ago, I can’t wait to get that shipped.