Chief Product Officer
2021 — Present • Delray Beach, Florida.
This is a working page — I'm still deep into Corellium work right now so I'll update this page whenever I get a chance. It's a good way for me to keep track of all the things I've had the opportunity to work on so far. Watch this space 👀
I’ve joined Corellium, pioneers of an incredible Arm-virtualisation platform, to shape the direction of our digital experiences and blur the line between real and virtual. To help achieve this, I've been working across a lot of areas, such as Product Design, Branding, Product Management and Frontend Engineering.
Here's a few things I've worked on since I started...
I originally started at Corellium as the Chief Design Officer and quickly got to work laying the foundations for strong and coherent visual languages for our product design and brand.
So far, I have created a new design system and component library, as well as a range of supporting digital experiences that run on it such as our website, trial request flow and a handful of internal and customer applications, such as our cloud administration platform. The design system is a functionally perfect Figma implementation, with everything built on autolayout and variants with full text, colour and effect styles. I've also improved the general experience and interface of our existing product in some areas as we work towards a broader design refresh.
There’s still a lot to do on the Product Design part of things — obviously ensuring maximum visual appeal of our experiences, but I'm also working on creating a process of learning-based, iterative and scalable design, as well as a general sense of design culture and appreciation throughout the company.
While still focusing on the design and experience side of things, I started a new Frontend team for the Engineering department who could take on the important work of delivering stellar experiences to our customers. After bringing on board Bam, Mark, Vasyl and another Hayden, we set to work building the future of Corellium's digital experiences on a super modern tech stack.
We built out the new Storybook-based design system on React (Next), Typescript, Vercel, CSS Modules (w/ PostCSS) and Tailwind. It's incredibly comprehensive and contains a full build process in GitHub actions which creates releases, automates package deployment with GitHub Packages and builds the static version on Vercel. It, like many of our other apps, has automated Dependabot updates and relies on Harmony, a unified, strict editor configuration I wrote for modern React apps.
We combined the design system with the same stack to create new, more beautiful microservices experiences for our customers and internal team. Beyond the visual style, the improved tech stack also paved the way for enhancements in security, reliability and developer experience. Our revised trial request flow for example resulted in more proactive measures for fraud prevention (powered by elements of the Stripe API and some custom logic), lowered the barrier to entry for new customers, automatically reported runtime exceptions and collected more analytics for our Marketing and Product teams.
One of the first implementations of the new design system was our website, which (with a new design) we brought heaps of new content to life for our visitors — better pricing information and brand new pages for solutions, audiences, features, devices and integrations. In an effort to empower other teams and showcase the great content they're producing, we powered our new Careers page with the Greenhouse API, Guides page with the Intercom API and Blog and Contact forms with the HubSpot API. I also brought our platform updates and press material in-house, as well as set up a small Open Source fund and improved our technical SEO to achieve a score of 99 in ahrefs.
We then moved on to our flagship app currently in production, where we wiped out the backlog of outstanding frontend bugs in a few sprints before moving on to optimisation work and active regression prevention. I took on a bunch of IC work during this time to get acquainted with our tech stack and product. Additionally, we set yearly OKRs for a frontend-team level which included goals such as improving the overall developer experience, empowering other teams through custom tooling and implementing measuring tools for our efforts.
Beyond the code itself, we strived to streamline the approval process for the Frontend team with a round-robin assigning system, reduce bottlenecks in code merging and releasing, promote cross-department transparency and enhance the overall experience for our team and customers through the power of great code.
The Engineering team leads and I recently hired Allan to take over my lead role on the Frontend team full-time to allow me to focus on Product (more on this to come!).
Tangential to the work in Frontend Engineering and leading into the wider Product role was data and analytics - essentially wiring up the different tools and data streams we required from Product, Business and Marketing perspectives to make decisions based on evidence, whether that's growth trends, aggregated user behavioural metrics, funnels and more.
To achieve this in a scalable way, I designed a simple (albeit increasingly intricate over time) architecture diagram that found the most reliable and straightforward way of capturing the required data from various systems. With an ambitious end goal of ensuring that every event can be tied back to a customer, as well as being able to track a single customer's entire journey from website to app through multiple channels and experiences, I started by replacing our homegrown analytics event database with Segment as a central customer data platform.
From here, I worked with some of the frontend team to build out a series of Node-based analytics utilities and wired them into our website, trial request flow, backend and more. We chose Node over client-side JS and built our own ID provider to create a cookie-less system that respected user privacy and wasn't subject to adblockers so they could be a reliable source of truth. I'll probably write an article on this later.
We wired all these up to Segment and sent the events and personas out to our new tools, which included things like Google Analytics and HubSpot on the Marketing side, Amplitude on the Product side, Sentry on the Engineering side (to hydrate user info in automated exception capturing) and Zapier to handle some other bits and pieces. To capture and report events from Stripe, I created a little webhook handler API called Nexus.
Additionally, I drive a lot of the metrics for board reporting, collaborating with the Finance team on high-level financial metrics; and the Engineering team on visualising historical data through backup transformation, ETL pipelines and BI tools.
Next up is the overall brand itself. We performed an initial brand refresh for Corellium back at Jellypepper, where we focused on the idea of the "magic" behind our product. Since then, the team continues to grow at a rapid pace, we're taking on new segments and broadening our horizons. All this change provided reason to stop and reflect on our current brand and the message it was conveying to our customers and to ourselves.
I hired Alex to help out with the brand and visual side of things. We're currently exploring a thoughtful, meaningful brand refresh from which we can create stronger brand guidelines to drive visual cohesiveness amongst our internal team and partner agencies.
Beyond this, we've also spent some time working with the Marketing team on campaign visuals, auditing and assisting with the creative work coming from our agencies and producing visuals for our social profiles.
Now that I'm settling in to my Product role, I'm working on all sorts of fun stuff — formalizing releases, driving initiatives, triaging and decomping new feature requests against strategic driver alignment, encouraging a seamless product to engineering workflow, assisting with partnership discussions, hiring product managers (come see!), assisting with board reports and much more.
One of my first focuses was a new ProductBoard setup where we could track and triage incoming user and internal feedback; and score and prioritize potential new features. The internal feedback part specifically was interesting — I'm a big believer that people should be allowed to work in their own tools. There’s no one tool to rule them all and it can be disruptive to make them use yours. So, I built a set of automations for apps we use like Pipedrive, HubSpot and Intercom so they can all seamlessly send user feedback directly from conversions, contacts, leads and deals into ProductBoard without leaving the app.
I've also tried to empower our Customer Support team where I could — migrating us from Zendesk to Intercom, setting up the new Knowledge Base and Messenger and improving user identification within our products.
Over the coming months, I’ll be working to create a larger Product team, establishing a creative and product vision for the future based on a combination of data and insight; and, through a stronger, more coherent brand and product, create a tighter relationship with our users, partners and investors. Stay tuned for more!