Building a Brand I Believe In
August 2, 2018
Last November I was introduced to Connected CEO Mike Stern through a mutual friend. He and his team were looking for someone to lead a brand transformation project to bring their company vision to life. When Mike shared that vision with me, I was hooked. Not just as a brand strategist, but as a product owner. Allow me to explain…
I had recently left a role where I was the product owner for a large-scale digital transformation project. Working with a world-class design thinking partner, I helped reimagine the banking experience to create a desirable product. We spent hours, days, and months leading human-centred design research sprints and iterating on a prototype. The day the product was awarded funding after an onerous viability audit by a leading management consultancy remains a career highlight for me.
However, things quickly took a downturn once we went from strategy to execution: we learned that the product that we knew was both desirable to users and had a viable business model was not feasible on our current tech stack.
Ok, you might ask, but what does this story have to do with the Connected mission and vision? As Mike explained when we first sat down, he and Co-Founder Damian McCabe founded Connected Lab in 2014 because they were tired of watching so many products die in execution. They were tired of the handoffs and broken telephone that happened between management consultants (who were focused on viability), design researchers (who were focused on desirability), and developers (who were focused on feasibility). Their vision for a new kind of consultancy — an integrated product development firm — was one that promised to avoid these kinds of disconnects and helps ambitious product builders make real progress.
The Connected vision was something that instantly resonated with me given that it would have solved the number one problem I had in my previous role, a problem I’m passionate about solving. I learned first-hand that products can’t succeed and certainly can’t be developed at the pace required in today’s world without bringing strategy and execution closer together.
Mike and Damian knew this too. That’s why they decided to build a different type of firm: not a dev shop, or a design studio, or a management consultancy, but an end-to-end product development firm — one focused on driving impact for their clients.
Products can’t succeed and certainly can’t be developed at the pace required in today’s world without bringing strategy and execution closer together.
I would have been Connected’s number one customer in my last role, but instead I had the privilege of building a brand that lives up to the work that is being done here (we will be launching next week). I’m really proud of the work and of my marketing team who hustled to bring the brand to life, and I can’t wait for you all to see it.
Fri Jun 2
Thoughtworker Spotlight: Priscila Araújo
Priscila Araújo has worn many hats across multiple countries, and we’re lucky to have her at Thoughtworks Canada. With over 10 years of experience from Brazil to Canada, she has engineering, delivery and product experience, just to name a few. Currently, as a Lead Product Manager, she works collaboratively with Thoughtworkers to build great software, driving impact by helping clients scale and grow. Priscila also shares her thought leadership by speaking at conferences and providing mentorship at Thoughtworks. As a strong believer in taking risks and trusting the process, find out in her Thoughtworker Spotlight how visiting Toronto on a scholarship and doing a Thoughtworks internship ten years ago influenced her trajectory from software engineering into the realm of product. When she’s not helping clients scale and grow or sharing tasty Brazilian treats with the office (the bolo de rolo she brought back from her recent Brazil trip was devoured in minutes), you can find her playing basketball, taking her dog out to play in the sun, biking by the lake and doing stand up paddleboarding in Toronto. If the weather calls for the indoors, she is a passionate plant parent and a coffee aficionado. With all of these interests, can you guess what her favourite product is? Hint: It definitely works as a great pair with any of these hobbies! Find out more in this week’s Thoughtworker Spotlight.
Fri May 26
Thoughtworker Spotlight: Jagbir Lehl Singh
Some may know him as Canada’s Head of Delivery, but Jagbir Lehl Singh is also a writer (check out some of his articles!), a foodie and a runner. His team would add aspiring rapper to the many hats he wears – you’ll have to join the team to see why! As a builder of high performance teams, he is laser-focused on driving his teams to deliver impact to clients by achieving their business goals. When it comes to scaling agility in organizations and creating structures where teams thrive, Jagbir uses his 18+ years of experience to support the growth of Thoughtworkers, developing them into leaders through his mentorship. If he’s not exploring Toronto’s latest gems for unique cuisine and beverages, you can find him outdoors, taking long weekend walks with his family. As a continuous learner who enjoys staying on his toes, can you guess what his favourite product is? Hint: It has been a constant companion of his for the last five years.