Insights into the life of a Product Director
May 22, 2020
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing our Director of Products, Tyron Vardy
Tyron joined ENSEK in October 2019 and is responsible for driving the growth, innovation and product marketing of our software portfolio.
So, tell us about your career path prior to joining ENSEK. Is it true that you started out as a Software Developer?
It is. I started life working for a company of three people. That grew and was acquired by a larger international company (around 350 people, across multiple geographies), then finally I moved to Honeywell’s Advanced Solutions business, a global Fortune 100 company with a multi-billion-pound turnover. I’d got to the top of my particular mountain and needed a new challenge.
The aim, as you pointed out, at the start of my career, was to be a Software Developer. I did that for around 10 years but realised that I didn’t have the natural born skill to be the best developer in the world, so I started thinking about the transition to product management. I went from Developer to Engineering Manager, to Product Manager, Product Director, then finally Product Marketing Director before I spotted, what looked like, a brilliant opportunity at ENSEK.
How has ENSEK life been so far?
Exactly what I expected when I signed on the dotted line (do they still have dotted lines?). Mark Wright, who hired me, was clear from the start about the product led direction ENSEK wanted to move in, so nothing surprised me from day one in. Other than how to operate one of the swankiest coffee machines I’ve come across.
What’s your objective in your current role?
To continue to evolve our portfolio. To push product development and innovation to that next level, to take what we have today and make it the very best it can be. My goal is clear, to make ENSEK number one in every category, in every domain, in every segment of the market we play in. If you’re number one then you strive to stay there, if you’re number two then you have a target to chase down. No other numbers count.
What would you say to others about making a similar transition into the product world?
Experience as many different parts of a business that you can (within reason). My technical background helped for sure, but that alone would not have worked in isolation. I learned how to be sympathetic to clients from working as an account director and support lead; how to manage complex teams by working in engineering and operations; and then how to deliver what the market needed from product innovation by engaging with clients through product management and product marketing. For me it was the sum of many smaller parts coming together.
What do you believe makes a good Product Director?
Communication and transparency are up there for sure. You can’t do this job alone and so you need good people who believe in your vision and who want to work, versus having to work. And we certainly have an abundance of the latter here.
Any final thoughts?
Yes, show me how that coffee machine works again?
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