What does a Product Team do at a Fintech Startup?

"We listen and respond to client feedback, reflect them to the product ASAP."

Meet the Product Team @ QuotaBook: LIAM

Using a product, we fail to recognize clicking a simple button is a result of hours spent debugging and infinite (almost saintlike) patience of engineers. We met the product team, working tirelessly behind the closed doors carefully manufacturing their precious baby — named QuotaBook. We spoke to Liam, our software engineer to find out more about how the product team makes QuotaBook walk and talk.

Product Team at Quotabook
Product Team at QuotaBook
Mars : Hey Liam! First, walk us through your day at QuotaBook.

Liam : Hello! Great to be a part of this. My typical day starts with a short conference call at 10AM. We call it a “stand-up meeting”. We talk about what we did the day before, if there was any issue and our plans for the day. We have a collaborative culture, so we are not afraid to ask for help from each other. We discuss the unresolved problems together.

There isn’t really a set lunch hour. We work on a flexible schedule, so you can manage your time however you want. I love this flexibility.

In the afternoon, I work on my own coding tasks and conduct some code review for my colleagues. We also respond to customer requests and fix bugs in real time.

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Liam, Backend Software Engineer
M: Is there a cycle or a framework you use?

L : We work in sprints. A sprint is a time unit for a repeatable cycle where you plan, review, and release work. Big companies have sprints ranging from one to three months, but we work in fast sprints with each taking about two weeks.

Our sprint is relatively short, so not all our plans and projects are perfect from the get-go. However, we are able to operate smoothly thanks to our neat teamwork. We discuss 24/7 while every software engineer works hard to learn the domain knowledge in finance. Now we are at a point where we just, “get” each other. That’s how we’re making things work very quickly even though we’re a small team.

M : What was your most memorable moment?

L : There were two projects we finished based on a client’s requests — one was to improve the stakeholders’ meeting feature and second to create a digital contracts feature.

Once we were done with developing, the client tested them out immediately and handed us their feedback that was notably positive. I was surprised at just how quickly we received feedback since we released the features. I was also grateful for our client for putting trust and patience in us while there was a delay.

M : Why do you think the client was able to trust QuotaBook like you said?

L : We listen and respond to clients’ feedback then reflect them to the product ASAP. That I assume is why they are also quick to respond to our updates and provide great feedback. Of course our Product team works hard for this, but I also believe the Sales team greatly contributes when processing and delivering clients’ needs.

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Product Team @ QuotaBook
M: What is the Product team’s first priority?

L : We always ask ourselves whether we are creating what our clients need and spend a lot of time thinking about this.

The hard part is that equity management is not a day-to-day experience you can easily get like shopping or food delivery. It’s hard to gauge the types of problems experienced by users. To solve this issue, we talk to our teammates who worked at VCs and conduct client research and interviews to understand them better.

M :  How do your discover and reflect various needs of the clients?

L : Every firm, every fund has taken a different manual approach to equity management. We saw that it is often a product of outdated customs and habits that passed on for years. Because everyone in the industry is so used to it, it is hard to realize there are much more efficient ways to get things done. When a client requests something within the old framework, we think hard to propose a more efficient, innovative solution.

To be able to innovate, we must absolutely be able to understand the fundamental problems of the old system. So we put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, but it is not an easy process. We cannot always hold back until we find the perfect answer — so we make swift decisions, develop, get feedback, fix, then get more feedback. This is how we try to reach the perfect answer.

M : I heard the team holds a monthly session called “Eat your own dog food” to better understand the clients. What it is about?

L : We test the service ourselves as if we are the customers in real-life situations. The people who build service often get used to the what they made, so it’s not easy to ask ourselves the important questions.

To be more specific, I create a hypothetical scenario from the POV of a user who doesn’t know anything about QuotaBook. For example, I would act as a CEO of some company, and my colleague would be an employee. And we would try to grant stocks to our hypothetical employees through QuotaBook. We end up spotting inconveniences we never spotted before. We discuss and address them on the spot.

Example)
A Request from Liam, CEO of no.1 Fintech company “Rabbithood” :

“We have a tricky shareholder list since we had quite a few secondary transactions. On top of that we recently went through stock splits. Can we upload and manage all of this data on QuotaBook? Attached is the requested csv file. We also don’t know all the contact information of our stakeholders so putting that as empty as well.”

- Leam, CEO of Rabbithood

M : How would you describe the culture at Quotabook?

L : We’re a close-knit community. The company as a whole is professional, and the product team is like a professional group of friends. We share our thoughts and opinions freely, all stemming from thoughtful reflections about the product. We have a lot of respect to each other, which I think is how we created a proactive and prompt culture without having any rules set.

We also have a culture where you can make a suggestion and take ownership of a problem. With the capabilities and willingness, you can read what the client wants and how the market is, then lead the product the right away. When we get feedback on a point of inconvenience, often times an engineer or designer would come up with a solution and add it to the upcoming sprint.

In big corporations, engineers and designers do not have a lot of opportunities to get direct feedback on the work they did. You can make visible contributions to the product at QuotaBook and receive tangible feedback. Making a better product based on immediate feedback is a great experience, too.

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M : What are the next steps for the product team?

L :  We are constantly working to acquire new clients, develop features for retention, improve speed and so on. We are also working on a new service apart from QuotaBook, so we are actively hiring and upgrading our systems. We hope to recruit great people to make a great service.

M : What makes a great software engineer at QuotaBook?

L : Someone who likes to challenge themselves, cooperate and immerse themselves for growth and accomplishments in a proactive attitude.

Someone who feels pride in pioneering a market in the making, and likes to receive direct feedback from customers to create a better product.

QuotaBook is a part of Y Combinator, and you have all the access to their amazing network and support system. If you are looking for tremendous growth, I believe QuotaBook is the right place for you.

We are Hiring!

https://careers.quotabook.com/


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