Q: What do you do at DocuSign?
I work as Head of Product at DocuSign and am responsible for all things product in Brazil, France, Israel, San Francisco and Seattle. This team’s responsibilities include setting the strategy, determining requirements, and working with our partners in sales, account management, customer support, marketing, engineering and design.
Q: What do your friends and family think you do?
Actually, my friends and family have all used DocuSign. At previous companies, it was sort of a mystery for them, but here they use the product and get to see the output of our team’s work. In fact, they give me great feedback. It’s one of the reasons I love working here: I get direct feedback from customers that happen to be my friends and family.
Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?
There’s no one best thing. What I love about working at DocuSign is a list of things that all contribute to an amazing experience: The people, the hard problems you have to solve, and the delight you bring to customers who use our product.
Q: How is that team different than other teams at Docusign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?
I’ve been doing this for twenty years, and this is the best product management team I’ve ever worked with. Their dynamic is what makes them special. They’re all unique individuals. There isn’t one mold — they all bring something different to the table. They’re all interesting in their own right, and incredibly smart. They work diligently and deliver, and we have a lot of trust in one other.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?
My best advice is to try and meet with as many different folks from different departments as you can. They will help inform you of the direction you should take your product and features.
Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?
Passion. Curiosity. Intellectual horsepower. A great sense of humor.
The first thing I noticed when I started working here, was how often in meetings people laughed. It’s a really good sign to enjoy working with each other, joking around, and still providing a velocity of output.
Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?
I am very transparent and collaborative. Everything from my calendar to how I make decisions is always open and I try to build bridges across the different groups involved in building product. I communicate frequently and directly. I don’t pull punches, and I’m really honest about problems and opportunities.
Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?
I’ve swum from Alcatraz five times, and completed two of the swims in 36 minutes. I have sailed on seven oceans. I’ve surfed in twelve countries. I’ve bungee-jumped off the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa, known to be the highest bungee-jump in the world. In fact, I was born in South Africa. I’m also done few gigs as a standup comic and have performed at a couple comedy clubs on amateur nights.
Q: What is your favorite snack from the DocuSign kitchen?
The chocolate covered almonds.
Q: Where is your favorite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?
I like the Executive Briefing Center because of it’s stunning view, openness, and big whiteboards. It feels like you’ve left the office to an off-site, and this leads to great brainstorms and strategy sessions.
Q: What is the best project you ever worked on at DocuSign and why?
Standards-based signatures because it involved teams from every office we have — from Seattle to San Francisco to France to Brazil. Everyone came together to meet a deadline and deliver on a great experience, while still being legally compliant with this new set of regulations in the EU. It was great to see our colleagues standing up on stage and bringing to life an end-to-end experience with software that was built in four or five different places.
Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?
Directing movies. I’ve made two short movies while at DocuSign..
Q: What is the secret for you to happiness?
Solving challenging, meaningful problems with a team of friends, or co-workers. It’s times like these that I feel most alive, and don’t realize that time is racing by, because I’m doing what I love. The famous psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this “Flow.” I feel this at work, volunteering, or working on our non-profit, Alcatraz Swim for Sight.