Product Management is knowing your users, identifying their needs, and developing a solution that satisfies those needs. Our Product Management team helps guide and shape our development roadmap using principles of product development, segment knowledge, and in-depth understanding of our client’s and teams’ needs.
We’d like to introduce you to Nathaniel Minto, our Vice President of Product Management. Nathaniel has over 10 years of experience implementing strategies to support our product portfolio, while directing activity that positions ShowClix’s competitiveness for the future.
Nathaniel graduated from Miami University in Ohio with a degree in Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies. Following college, he moved to Pittsburgh after he found a job working behind the scenes of The Magic Woods, a children’s television show. From there, Nathaniel worked at a small consulting firm doing project management and business analysis on software development projects for clients like PNC, Visa, and US Steel.
In 2011, Nathaniel attended a music festival with a friend, and was introduced to one of our clients at ShowClix. They went to dinner and discussed that ShowClix was hiring a Project Manager. As it turns out, he landed the job! Nathaniel started as our Project Manager and Business Analyst, then after a few years was promoted to Director, and today he is our Vice President of Product Management.
How do you define product management at ShowClix?
We approach product management very collaboratively here at ShowClix. We try to utilize every piece of the organization to inform our product decisions. That means we lean on our Sales team to keep us apprised of the opportunities and market shifts they are seeing. We trust our Client Services team to keep us up to date with what is working well and what we can improve on at the thousands of events our clients are organizing. Then, we marry those insights to our strategic goals, development best practices, and market research in order to determine what projects we will undertake. Product management at ShowClix is about navigating all of those potential inputs and translating them into meaningful outputs from our engineering team, and doing so in a way that allows each step in this process, each team and stakeholder, to be as successful as possible.
Your team has supported the launch of several features such as Agent and Timelines, what was your biggest takeaway from those experiences?
Every release is its own unique little experience with different challenges and obstacles. I think one of the most interesting things about big announcements and releases is the anticipation right before this thing that you’ve spent all of this time and energy on goes out into the world. There is still a nervous thrill waiting to see what people are going to think. Now, we try to take as much of the mystery out of that as we can, by incorporating multiple feedback cycles into the development process so that we are getting clients and prospects eyes on it and ensuring that what we are developing is valuable and is going to make our clients lives easier and events better. But even with all of that, it’s exciting to put something into the world and see how people use it in ways you never considered.
What’s your advice for future product managers who want to get into the technology industry?
There are a lot of ways into product management. Now there are a lot of more formal paths, but the one that I walked and what I would subsequently recommend, is to work at small companies where you can be involved in a lot of different aspects of the business. Having a breadth of experience coupled with technological know-how, gives you really valuable empathy and perspective from which to approach problem solving collaboratively. Ultimately, as a product manager you are a facilitator for other people’s success. It helps to be able to put yourself in their shoes throughout the process and having broad experience to draw from is the best path to that.
You recently celebrated your 5th anniversary, can you tell us about one of your favorite memories?
We just did our fourth New York Comic Con, and I’ve been on the onsite team for all of those. That is a great collection of exhausted memories each year. The first year that we did it, we introduced RFID access control to the event for the first time. That first morning I was pacing nervously back and forth behind the main entrance gate. I still remember how amazing all of those scanner beeps sounded when the first rush of attendees stormed through.
We know you are a devoted backpacker. What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you while on the trail?
Most of the best things about backpacking are exactly the opposite of exciting. For me, there is nothing like being out in the open air and only really being responsible for getting to the next place to sleep and making your food over the fire. It’s a great decompression for me. The most (scare quotes) “exciting” thing that ever happened was when my dog Riley tried to sniff after an escaping porcupine and got a mouth full of quills that I had to carefully remove. That was an interesting afternoon.