Employee Spotlight: Kevin Tobiassen, Senior Product Manager

On a regular basis, we talk with our team members about their experience working at Canoe, and their future goals and aspirations. This week, we spoke with Kevin Tobiassen, Senior Product Manager.

Tell us about your background. What inspired you to pursue a career in fintech at Canoe?

I originally got my degree in computer engineering, thinking I wanted to become a software developer. When I started my career at a different startup, I was told more about Product so I started there and haven’t looked back! I was actually introduced to Canoe’s CEO and CTO by my old boss. I had very little background in alternative investments, but when they described the problem to me it made total sense immediately. Once they showed me the platform, I was blown away by the technology and knew I wanted to be a part of Canoe.

Walk us through your typical workday. How do you balance the various tasks and responsibilities that come with the product management role?

In the fast-paced environment of product management at a startup, there is no such thing as a typical workday. Each day brings a diverse range of responsibilities, including client meetings for idea generation, collaborating with other product managers on design work for upcoming features, and working closely with engineering and QA teams on ongoing development. To maintain balance amidst these tasks, I set three key “must-do” tasks at the beginning of the week. As the week progresses, I prioritize these tasks while also addressing ad hoc responsibilities that arise, ensuring that I remain focused on accomplishing my objectives.

Can you share with us any exciting developments or initiatives that you’re working on?

At the moment, I am involved in several exciting initiatives at Canoe. One area I’m particularly thrilled about is spearheading the development of enhanced enterprise capabilities. This involves not only bolstering our platform to cater to the evolving needs of our larger enterprise clients but also implementing internal tools to ensure Canoe can effectively scale as our team and operations expand.

How would you describe Canoe’s culture? And, can you share some examples of how you and your team members contribute to it?

Canoe’s culture thrives on collaboration, with team members always ready to lend a hand whenever needed. My primary contribution to this culture is leveraging my domain knowledge to facilitate decision-making and promote understanding of the platform. Whether it’s providing guidance and support to newer product and engineering members or assisting our client success team in designing an optimal API workflow for a client, I actively engage in sharing insights and explanations to support the collective success of the team and foster a collaborative environment at Canoe.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in product management?

There is no silver bullet on how to do product management effectively. There are many approaches, so do your research and find the one that works best for you. It may even be a variation of many approaches. Also, work on having a diverse yet balanced skill set. Depending on the day, you may need to be technical, analytical, or interpersonal. Most importantly, find a product that solves a problem that you can connect to. It makes the job that much easier and more fulfilling.