For our third employee spotlight from our trip to Milan, we’re featuring Cuebiq’s own Head of Product Development, Ivan Parenti. We had the chance to interview Ivan about his experience at Cuebiq, where he has served in many roles and eventually grew to become Head of Product Development. Ivan constantly works with many different departments, so much so that he is the most active member of our company on Slack — in fact, he won an award for this at our Cuebiq Academy Awards ceremony during our recent company retreat in the Bahamas! Read on to learn what it’s like to be Head of Product Development at Cuebiq, from Ivan’s perspective.
What does a day in the life of Head of Product Development look like?
To start off, I have at least four meetings per day. Usually I need to prepare for those, send a couple of emails to top managers asking for updates and giving new ideas for projects, and then set up more meetings with Engineering and Data Science to coordinate and size projects. I also meet with the product managers themselves, though they are pretty independent — we have a weekly sync. After I handle all that in Milan, the US team wakes up and starts working (we have a 6 hour time difference), so then I start coordinating with Operations and Product people there. Fun fact: I’m the top one in Slack rankings because I’m always talking with people to coordinate projects!
What made you want to work in product, and how did you wind up in the position you’re in now?
I studied marketing and then came to Beintoo, where I entered a job rotation program. I started in operations for adtech and then moved into sales, yet while I’m interested in working with people, sales was not my thing. So, I moved into tech ops and worked on the competitive analysis. I was good at that, and I was eventually noticed by Willy and Antonio, the product people there at the time. They needed to manage audiences and build taxonomies; I then went with them as they formed their new company, Cuebiq. I was the first person in product at Cuebiq after Willy (one of Cuebiq’s founders), which was awesome.
What has been the most rewarding product you’ve worked on so far at Cuebiq?
Analytics, because I’ve seen it through from beginning to end. Our Analytics product enables brands to unlock insights about their consumers’ offline behaviors as well as gain competitive intelligence. I wasn’t involved in the design of our Attribution product from the very beginning, because that product was developed earlier, and I was more junior at the time.
What is the team culture like at Cuebiq? Do you think it’s different between the Milan and New York offices?
It’s definitely different between the offices. We only have tech people here in Milan, who typically work in a different way than client-facing employees — they often have headphones in for a long period of time and then take a break. And as a result of not hosting meetings with clients in the Italian office, our space feels more casual than the New York one.
In terms of similarities, people like to have fun in both the Italian and New York offices and not take things too seriously. Everyone is very motivated, and we’re hiring a lot of talented people who want the company to succeed. However, that doesn’t necessarily entail working overtime. For engineers in particular, working overtime can be problematic — it causes them to make more mistakes, and then that results in a negative feedback loop.
In Milan, we also have a variety of social events, such as aperitivo (happy hour) in the office and beach volleyball nearby. We go out for lunch more than the US team, which is a good way to break up the day!
If you’d like to work at Cuebiq, be sure to check out our current job openings in both New York and Milan.