Samet Özkale is the quintessential multi-hyphenate, toggling between professional and passionate pursuits as a product manager, Figma wizard, startup enthusiast, and self-proclaimed "Tweeter".
These days, however, Samet spends a majority of his time as co-founder of product management platform Producter. Samet was kind enough to answer a few questions on his entrepreneurial journey, why he decided to pursue the founder life, and how he stands out in a competitive tech landscape.
Can you tell us a bit about the path that brought you to Producter?
SO: Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working in diverse roles, ranging from product design to product management.
These experiences have allowed me to gain invaluable insights into the various aspects of product development and the dynamics of working in a startup environment. One key lesson that has shaped my approach to product management is the importance of empathy for the end user.
By placing the user at the center of the decision-making process, I have found that it becomes easier to prioritize features, make informed trade-offs, and create products that genuinely solve customer pain points.
Additionally, I have learned that effective communication and cross-functional collaboration are crucial in driving success for any product or startup.
How has your career arc shaped the way you think about product management/what it takes to be successful?
SO: Producter was founded out of a personal passion for empowering product teams and the desire to address the challenges faced by professionals in the field.
Over the years, I observed that many product managers struggled with managing their workflows, prioritizing features, and aligning with cross-functional teams.
My co-founder and I realized that there was a need for a dedicated platform that could streamline these processes in our previous job, and that's when the idea of Producter was born. Our goal with Producter is to provide product teams with a customer-centric product hub and help for scaling daily activities with whole teams to build better products, faster.
By creating a platform tailored to the unique needs of product management, we aim to reach maximum efficiency and decentralized product success across the entire team.
I believe that a combination of technical expertise, business acumen, and soft skills has been instrumental in setting my resume apart from the crowd.
Why did you start Producter?
SO: Throughout my career, I have focused on continuous learning and skill development. This has allowed me to adapt to the changing demands of the tech industry and contribute to various aspects of product management.
I believe that a combination of technical expertise, business acumen, and soft skills has been instrumental in setting my resume apart from the crowd. To further enhance my resume, I have sought out opportunities to contribute to open-source projects, participate in hackathons, and attend industry conferences.
These experiences have not only allowed me to hone my skills but have also helped me expand my professional network and gain exposure to new ideas and perspectives.
How have you looked to stand out in a crowded tech industry?
SO: The tech industry is highly competitive, making it challenging for individuals to stand out among their peers. Second, the ever-evolving nature of the tech landscape means that professionals must continuously update their skills and knowledge to stay relevant.
...the ever-evolving nature of the tech landscape means that professionals must continuously update their skills and knowledge to stay relevant.
Furthermore, product managers, in particular, may face challenges in demonstrating their value, as their role often requires a mix of technical, business, and people skills that can be difficult to quantify on a resume or in an interview.
To overcome these challenges, product managers should focus on developing a strong personal brand, showcasing their unique strengths, and actively engaging with the tech community through events, conferences, and online forums.
By doing so, they can increase their visibility, demonstrate their expertise, and foster valuable connections that can help propel their careers forward.