Get to Know Our Head of Product: DK

Get to Know Our Head of Product: DK

November 16, 2021

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I started as a software developer and developed enterprise applications for U.S. banks for over six years, playing different roles as a hands-on developer and technical lead. The digital transformation era made me focus more on the customer journey and client-centric products, and then I transitioned into a product manager.

As a product manager, I continuously built end-to-end digital transformation, high business-focused, customer-centric products for Traditional stock Exchanges, Investment Banks, Asset Management, and Digital Asset Exchanges during this last decade.

I’m a core believer that learning never stops, so I recently learned Python to write scripts for trading assets with technical indicators and comparing products from a user journey perspective. I see myself as a core developer at heart and a product evangelist from the brain.

2. What initially got you interested in the digital assets ecosystem?

It all started back in 2017 over a couple of drinks and discussions with friends from investment banking around Bitcoin, Ethereum, proof of stake, proof of work concepts, and how this can revolutionize traditional finance. Since then, four of us have joined a few blockchain communities, tried hands-on development of small-scale applications for fun, learning, and also jumped into full-time roles within the digital asset ecosystem.

This got me interested in joining Diginex and building a digital exchange which later got NASDAQ listed. The exciting journey proudly continues with leading digital asset custodian Hex Trust.

3. What was it about Hex Trust which made you want to join the team?

Hex Trust is a fully licensed and insured market-leading provider of bank-grade custody for digital assets. I was impressed with their proprietary technology, Hex Safe, a complete custody solution for various clients (banks, financial institutions, asset managers, and exchanges) to operate in the digital asset ecosystem.

Interaction with the executive leaders in Hex Trust (Alessio, Rafal, and Marty), convinced me that the organization has a strong base and is gearing up for a fantastic future ahead.

4. You’re our ‘Head of Product’, what does building a good product mean to you?

Building a good product is very similar to running your own company. Product managers are like CEOs of the product. This brings in essentials to have the intrapreneurial mindset. Keys steps that every product lifecycle needs to include are:

  1. Determine your target audience: determining the right target audience will support your overall efforts.
  2. Defining product: the why and what questions are critical as this gives the strategic thinking around “the problem you are trying to resolve” and “the benefits your product will bring in”.
  3. Market research: It cannot start without deep market research. Knowing your competitors and differentiating yourself is a big key. Study how they’ve built their brand and what obstacles and shortcuts they’ve had and experienced along the way. When doing that, try to answer these fundamental questions:
  • What is the quality of the competitor’s products or services?
  • Are they consistent with visual identity and messaging across channels?
  • Do they have customer reviews or social mentions?
  • Conduct research of the rational needs and concerns of your customers.
  • What are the ways they market their business, online and offline?

4. Mission statement: Be innovative, bold, and daring

  • Review the product or service your business offers.
  • Pinpoint the space in the market it occupies.
  • Think about your customer base and try to differentiate yourself in the market.
  • Make everything from the logo to tagline, voice, message, and personality reflect your mission.

5. Personalize your brand voice: The brand voice depends on many external factors, such as your customers and the industry you’re in. But it also reflects a lot about your internal processes, your company’s vision, and your mission

6. User experience: Before the big launch, as the product development continues, it’s essential to get early feedback to ensure the product will still stand on all quality checks from customers’ perspectives.

“At the heart of every product person, there’s a desire to make someone’s life easier or simpler. If we listen to the customer and give them what they need, they’ll reciprocate with love and loyalty to your brand.” – Francis Brown, Product Development Manager at Alaska Airlines

5. What tips do you have for companies looking to build the perfect product?

Be ready to learn, evolve, and grow. There are a few key principles for companies that are building products.

  1. Understand why products failed in the past.
  2. Intuition is essential, but it is not enough.
  3. Be passionate, but stay detached.
  4. Be an avid user of your product.
  5. Build-Ship-Iterate-Improve and Repeat.
  6. Learn the art of saying “No.”
  7. Focus on vision over a long term plan.

6. Tell us about some previous products you’ve built?

I’ve been in the space for almost 15+ years now, so I can talk about a few of them;

  1. Award-winning product within wealth management for an investment bank, which aligns end-clients, portfolio managers, and wealth management under one umbrella.
  2. Digitalization and business process improvement for a traditional stock exchange. This reduced cost and improved process efficiency by 10x.
  3. Digital transformation product for a top asset management firm.
  4. Institutional focused & retail-friendly digital/crypto asset exchange (NASDAQ listed company).

7. Finally, tell us something interesting which you do outside of work, and which not many people know about you.

I endeavour constantly to take it easy and keep trying to do my best outside of work, like helping people, and working with NGOs. I enjoy learning different technical languages and trying to get my hands dirty to build cool stuff. I love playing chess with my son, who is on the path and has the vision to become a “Grand Master”, coding with him at times which is his second-best pastime, as he tries to get his hands on cool tools like https://scratch.mit.edu/.

I enjoy playing badminton, hitting the gym, and practicing yoga to balance body and mind. I love to cook food for the family on Sundays; the kitchen will be a mess, but that’s where you get the best home-cooked cuisines!

Other in-progress activities are writing blogs on the product, project management, building a podcast, and writing a book that focuses on mental building blocks to turn any idea into success. Let me know if you have any ideas to include in my book or references for me to look at — always ready to learn and listen!

Sam Ameen
Sam Ameen
Marketing
More from Hex Trust
Review of the Month: May 2022
June 1, 2022
Review of the Month: May 2022
In May 2022, Hex Trust was featured on Forkast.news, attended numerous panels, events and webinars, and welcomed new joiners to the team!
Read More ⟩
Get to Know Our Head of Human Resources: Stan Choi
May 27, 2022
Get to Know Our Head of Human Resources: Stan Choi
It’s a pleasure to introduce Stan Choi to the Hex Trust community. Here’s a recent Q&A interview to get to know him.
Read More ⟩
Liquid Staking: Unlocking Accessibility to Digital Assets
May 27, 2022
Liquid Staking: Unlocking Accessibility to Digital Assets
The rise in popularity of PoS networks and DeFi has birthed liquid staking, a game-changing staking mechanism unlocking liquidity & accessibility to digital assets.
Read More ⟩