- Client: Esper
- When: 2015-2017
- Team: 6 team members responsible for Product, Engineering, Business, Operations, and Design
- My Roles: Product Manager, Lead Product Designer, Lead User Experience Researcher
Summer of 2015, I joined Esper, a small startup working on improving time management and productivity, as a consulting Product and Design Strategist. In collaboration with the founders, I guided the company through several key strategic pivots, including shifting us from providing services to focusing on building great products. I also led the team’s Product Design by conducting user research interviews and creating interaction flows, wireframes, and mockups. The journey of working in a small, roughly six person startup environment, where my voice has a significant impact on our direction, has been extremely fun and fulfilling.
Over the course of my two years working with Esper, I have been fortunate to influence several iterations of company direction. When I joined, the team had built a productivity product for Executive Assistants. To better improve their product, they dogfooded it on themselves by creating essentially an Uber for Executive Assistants, where Executives would be matched with Esper Executive Assistants 24/7, and the EAs hired by Esper would then use the Esper product to perform quality and efficient work.
Soon after I joined, I realized that we had learned what we needed from our service. As a team, we decided to close the service and shift our focus back to building an amazing product for EAs and Executives. We also discovered some unique insights into how the best of the best EAs worked. For instance, these EAs not only handled tactical scheduling for their Executives, they also strategically managed their Executive’s time.
I took findings like these and proposed several strategic directions beyond our scheduling and calendaring assistant product. One of these, in particular, stuck with the team, and we dove into building our next product, Esper Charts. With Charts, anyone can strategically manage their time by quickly analyzing how they are currently using it. We essentially built a Mint for time. Our users were more than just individuals interested in upping their productivity, but also entire groups that wanted to manage their time as a team.
As we focused more energy on Charts, we decided we needed some more tactical products that our users could use daily. Hence, we opened up our suite of products beyond longer-term time management and created short-term hooks with Esper Ratings and Esper Agenda Check.