Inside Crossover: a Q&A with Federico Mazzoli
Meet Federico. He’s a product manager at Crossover.
Federico has been with Crossover since the company’s early days. He was introduced to product management while studying for his master’s degree in engineering management from Dartmouth College. It was there that a classmate told him about Crossover and encouraged him to apply.
Federico was hired right after finishing grad school and spent his first year with Crossover embracing the digital nomad lifestyle: traveling, living, and working in more than 10 different countries, armed with just a backpack and his laptop. He’s currently based out of his hometown of Montevideo, Uruguay.
Here, he shares some of the perks and challenges of working remotely and explains the ins and outs of handling product management at a fast-growing tech company.
What was the Crossover application process like?
I joined in the early days of the company, so we didn’t have the awesome application process that we have today. I had to answer some very tough but fun questions, which took me a couple of days. After that, I got an interview over Skype, and then I flew to Texas to meet [Crossover CEO] Andy Tryba for the final round. The process was very challenging, but that’s was what I liked about it.
What are some of your day-to-day work activities or projects?
Every day is different for a product manager. Some of my usual tasks include talking to customers to understand their needs and defining the specifications of new features. I also plan the product roadmap and communicate with the engineering team to make sure we are building the right things at the right time. In addition to this, I try to research new technologies and product ideas and get insights from our own data.
What product or accomplishment are you most proud of?
I was involved in the development of most of the tools that partners and managers use on our platform. There, partners can see which applications they spent their time on, and insights like how focused they were throughout the day or how intense their work was.
What does your work setup look like?
I find changing workstations refreshing, and it helps me be creative. I work from my home office, a co-working space, or sometimes cafés. During my time at Crossover, I have worked from any place you can imagine: plazas, the beach, boats, planes, you name it.
What are some of the challenges of working remotely?
The biggest challenge of remote work is loneliness. You are talking to people constantly, be it over video calls or chat, but it’s not the same as face to face. I sometimes go to co-working spaces to meet new people, or cafés just to have people around. I find it really useful to have someone else working on their own thing in the same room with me.
Do you have any habits or tools that help you stay productive?
I listen to music all the time. Nothing with lyrics, though; I usually listen to jazz or classical music, and when I really need to focus, I use Brain.fm or others like it. Also, I try to work at least an hour a day standing up. Probably my favorite tool on my computer is Jumpshare. I constantly use it to send screencasts because I’m too lazy to type.
What advice would you give someone interested in applying for a remote job at Crossover?
Do it. Give all you can. It’s going to be very challenging, but once you land a job like this, it’s very hard to go back to a regular office.