Meet the DeepStream team! In this series of blog posts, we’ll be featuring the team that makes DeepStream happen. First up is Product Manager Niall Pay!
When did you join DeepStream?
I joined in September 2018, so I’ve been here for a year and 3 months.
I came from a music tech startup, so Oil & Gas procurement made for quite a change! Thankfully best practice for building software is pretty universal and I think every industry benefits from a fresh perspective and the challenge that can bring.
Learning the workings of the industry through our users and the problems they face is non-stop and has been fascinating.
What was your first impression of the company?
A close-knit team handling a boatload of complexity around some huge challenges in the procurement space.
I saw a lot of productivity and output but less focus than I’d like on solving real pain points for our users, which is what I try to bring to the table relentlessly! I was (and still am!) excited by the massive potential for growth in our space.
It was amazing to start my first few months at DeepStream taking part in an accelerator programme for top energy startups, based out of Equinor’s offices in Oslo. It was super intense but rewarding and I learnt so much – what an incredible introduction to the company and the industry!
In one sentence, what’s your job right now?
I influence and prioritise what we build next to give the most benefit to our users and our business, then I work with our developers to deliver it. Easy! (Not really.)
What does your typical day look like?
Given my role is quite broad my day can be pretty varied depending on what is happening and who needs what!
In one moment I might be checking a new feature our developers have built to ensure it passes our threshold for quality. Later, I might talk to customers directly around issues they’re having to get feedback on new opportunities and how we can improve.
I also lead regular retrospective and planning sessions with our development team to reflect on how we’re working and to agree on what we’ll deliver next. I’m regularly involved in sales and training meetings too, making demos and championing our product process.
There isn’t really a limit on how or where you need to lend a hand to keep things moving forward as a good Product Manager, particularly in a startup. Even when this means taking responsibility for something dull but necessary (which it often does!) you won’t survive unless you’re willing to roll your sleeves up and do whatever it takes.
What music do you listen to when you work?
I don’t listen to anything at my desk. I like to be dialled in to what’s happening in the office but I also find it easier to focus without music. This is particularly necessary when there’s anything complex to think through, which can be a daily occurrence in procurement!
Luckily I’m not bad at filtering out the inevitable background hustle and bustle that comes with working in a busy office, though it’s impossible to resist being distracted by the occasional dog that wanders in for a visit!
What’s the best thing about working at DeepStream?
I love that DeepStream is at a stage where anyone can influence our direction and make things happen fast – I think that’s an incredible opportunity.
As companies grow and age they tend to suffer from internal politics and excessively complex structures which promote aversion to change and ultimately stifle innovation.
Everyone at DeepStream is empowered to move quickly, iterate, break things, learn and improve – we embrace uncertainty and, ultimately, build a better product as a result.
What are you currently reading or watching?
I just finished watching the Sky / HBO miniseries about the Chernobyl disaster, a powerful look at the implications of lying and censorship – amazingly well-produced and acted.
The extent of the human cost was incredible and heartbreaking – it really hammers home the importance of transparency and accountability in that context.
What’s your favourite place in London?
I don’t really have favourite places! I’ll go anywhere but am happiest with good food and drink and a relaxed vibe.
Follow Niall Pay on LinkedIn now.