Principal Technical Product Manager, Fast Futures (Remote)
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, January 6, 2024
Mattermost provides secure, workflow-centric collaboration for technical and operational teams that need to meet nation-state-level security and trust requirements. We serve technology, public sector, national defense, and financial services industries with customers ranging from tech giants to the world’s largest banks, to the U.S. Department of Defense and governmental agencies around the world.
Our self-hosted and cloud offerings provide integrated workflow automation, AI-acceleration, ChatOps with team messaging, audio calling and screen share on an open core platform vetted and deployed by the world’s most secure and mission critical organizations.
We co-build the future of collaboration with over 4,000 open source project contributors who’ve provided over 30,000 code improvements towards our shared product vision, which is translated into 20 languages.
To learn more, visit www.mattermost.com
This is a senior individual contributor role ideally for a former startup founder or early employee who will report directly to Mattermost’s CEO to lead a small “Fast Futures” team prototyping new offerings. The charter of the group is to work with key customers and prospects developing and pre-selling new adjacent offerings ten times (10x) faster than via our mainstream engineering operations. The Fast Futures group takes a new offering through its experimental and alpha stages owning delivery to a small set of initial customers and works during the beta stage to transition ownership to mainstream product and engineering, who will be accountable to bringing the work to General Availability for the broader customer base.
Over the last two years Mattermost has seen an acceleration of adoption by cybersecurity professionals in national security centers and security organizations around the world for the ability to operate in air-gapped environments, to deeply integrate with both legacy and modern cloud native tooling and to provide end users a reliable and easy-to-use ChatOps experience across web, desktop and mobile.
We are eager to accelerate our product vision for supporting collaborative workflows and automation for security professionals in a dedicated offering with extended capabilities built on the Mattermost platform.
For this objective, we are seeking a hands-on and collaborative Principal Product Manager to “operate at all levels” on a) running discovery and sales of new product concepts in mission critical organizations (among defense, government and enterprise customers and prospects), b) leading the definition and prototyping of new Mattermost collaboration offerings for cybersecurity stakeholders (security operations, product security, IT security as well as engineering, legal, public relations and senior leadership) identifying, defending and recovering from cyberthreats (out-of-band communications, Red Team operations, breach response/digital forensics and incident response, product security, security operations among other use cases), c) working with our sales, marketing and partner organizations to announce, demonstrate, and prove the early prototype, alpha and beta versions of our release in market running “closed loop” operation incorporating customer feedback and rapid delivery of product adjustments in a fast-cycle framework, d) collaborating with mainstream product engineering organization to extend our mainline product.
This role reports to the CEO and co-founder of Mattermost and works with a “Fast Futures” team tasked to define, develop, prototype and secure sales commitments from current and potential customers for new offerings prior to operationalization in the core product engineering organization.
The most important requirement for this role is the ability to rapidly iterate on new product concepts by connecting with security professionals, both from Mattermost users and customers as well as from broader communities, and developing, prototyping and validating new capabilities to the point where we have customer purchase commitments that will “green light” full production of concepts.
An ideal candidate can “operate at all levels” and has either previously founded, or joined as an early employee, of a B2B, GovTech or DefenseTech company or worked in fast-moving organizations on zero-to-one product extensions and has hands-on technical success as a developer, cybersecurity professional, and/or pre-sales or post-sales engineer with exceptionally strong abilities in communication, developing product vision, storytelling, influence and sales.
1. Development of New Revenue Streams - Lead definition, development and validation for “zero-to-one” new offerings with funded by pre-commitments from customers and/or government agencies.
- Discovery of unmet market needs - Engage with existing and prospective budget owners and the organizations they support using Mattermost for cyber operations and mobile security use cases to understand their unmet needs and opportunities for new offerings. Have a clear sense of buyer alternatives as well as current and potential competitors.
- Pre-selling innovation - Develop concepts for new offerings budget owners would gladly buy and adopt as add-ons or upgrades to existing subscriptions. Secure commitments on new offerings to fully fund their development and delivery as a prerequisite to build out, working with design and engineering to scope investment and timelines. Prospective offerings include use cases our existing customers are running in Mattermost with specialized support: out-of-band communications, Red Team workflows, product security, security operations, and secure, mobile only user SKU among other opportunities.
- Shipping prototypes - Work strategically with CEO, senior leadership team, and our “Fast Futures” development team (design and engineering staff dedicated to prototyping and validating new offerings at 10x the speed of our mainstream product engineering organizations) to deliver pre-sold prototypes. Funding for prototypes could come from pre-committed buying agreements and/or funding from agencies, such as the SBIR program from U.S. Department of Defense.
2. Vision, Storytelling and Demos - Lead the landing of our internal and external vision for our new product line across customer, partners, analysts, industry press and internal teams, working closely with CEO, leadership team and Fast Futures organization.
- Lead vision, collateral, demos, collateral and validation sharing a clear picture of market needs, our solutions in development, answering questions, creating early presentations and demonstrations, and working hands-on with the Fast Futures team and early adopters to bring validated prototype designs to market.
- Enable our GTM - Work closely with Product Marketing and Sales Enablement to create the early collateral for our value proposition, intro deck, feature/benefit collateral, and website materials. Train and enable our sales, customer teams and channel partners to tell the story and sell our new solutions. Deliver input and analysis for pricing and packaging discussions led by product marketing, and engaging with cross-company stakeholders.
- Operationalizing new solutions - Work with mainstream engineering and design teams to transition successful prototypes with pre-committed revenue from Fast Futures into reliable, scaleable, high-quality capabilities of the Mattermost platform.
3. Core Product Management - Own product management of new offerings with a focus on leading cross-functional organizations to buyer-centric adoption and revenue outcomes, driven by the delivery of quality, resilience, security, and capabilities improvements from our mainstream engineering and design organizations.
- Instill a relentless focus on buyer needs in value proposition development by building personal relationships with budget owners and champions and earning their trust on addressing their most important priorities. Coach engineering, design and organizational peers on how to develop strong buyer relationships. Ensure we’re building towards high-impact value that buyers are eager to purchase based on input from their champions and end users, while steering our organizations away from low-impact, niche requests.
- Integrate long-term vision and near term priorities in product planning and roadmapping - Support engineering, design and peers in sequencing and prioritizing our long-term and medium-term milestones into clear near term priorities and target state outcomes.
- Drive execution of results in product delivery - Lead engineering, design and leadership to align and deliver on monthly and quarterly objectives including customer adoption and engagement outcomes, quality, security and reliability outcomes and shipping of improvements. This includes supporting customer success and product marketing in identifying and securing case study and reference commitments.
- Accelerate closed loop feedback in product iteration. Work across our customer organizations to ensure input from buyers, champions and end users is flowing into our CRM, support and product issue tracking systems so that priority issues are promptly and smoothly addressed, with continuous improvement in efficiency, automation and issue obviation.
- Facilitates technical problem solving and solutioning. Ideal candidates should be skilled at facilitating and contributing to strong technical solutions and trade-offs using first-principles thinking to address customer needs with skilled software engineers, SRE, security and technical professionals internally and externally. Prior experience and/or education in engineering, software development, sales/support engineering, or technical product management is required for this role.
- Leads cross-functional teams across engineering, support, customer success and internal organizations around customer priorities. Ideal candidates can effectively work with cross-functional leaders to analyze, triage and prioritize work streams to deliver on the right customer-centric outcomes in the right order, at the right quality. Lead external and internal communications on new product lines. Deliver input on new product lines to product marketing for announcements via press releases, blog announcements, and online channels. Contribute to engagement and Q&A with our support organizations on open source, technical and community forums, including GitHub issues.
- Serves as an excellent peer and partner to engineering. Collaborate towards a shared vision with engineering, ever raising the bar on value delivery. Don’t be a tyrant issuing orders, nor a dumping ground for accountability.
- Dedication to solving hard problems for defense, government and mission critical organizations. Ideal candidates are committed to forwarding the national security interests of the United States, allied nations, and critical infrastructure organizations (including defense, cyber resiliency, communications, space systems, utilities, energy, financial services, and manufacturing) through modernization and digital transformation. They would be proud of their legacy at Mattermost to be a safer, more resilient world. Prior experience in defense, public sector or critical infrastructure organization is highly preferred.
- Prior experience as a founder/early employee of a software startup, or working in a growth stage company (<500 people) developing new product lines. Should have exposure or experience developing and iterating on packaging, positioning, and/or new SKUs to deliver differentiated value for enterprise or government customers.
- At least 5 years technical design experience. Prior experience and/or education in engineering, software development, professional services, sales/support engineering, technical design or technical product management is required for this role.
- First-principles approach to developing new enterprise and public sector offerings. Experience developing a product vision from first principles by talking directly to customers, building product, and iterating on feedback is required. A “first-principles” approach means understanding underlying needs from buyers, champions and end users versus operating as an order-taking software consultancy, overweighting parity with competitors, or other approaches that reason at the surface-level.
- Strong ability to operate at all levels. Ideal candidates are comfortable adapting to multiple roles: Communicating with and influencing decision makers and executives in target accounts, problem solving technical issues with highly skilled engineers, helping manage critical support escalations from our largest customers, delivering an on-stage demo at a Microsoft conference, and other priorities that may come up. Outstanding writing, communication and influence skills with the ability to influence and flip executive decision makers though careful listening, cogent frames and compelling facts. The ideal candidate is adept at simplifying complex technical concepts into simple and impactful statements.
- High impact leadership style working with peers across the organization to integrate source data and first-principles thinking, ensuring input from the right people is heard and addressed, and high impact decisions are made expediently and correctly, with appropriate cross-departmental buy-in.
- Strong sense of self-awareness, ownership of outcomes, and continuous improvement. Articulates what’s going well and not going well and takes next actions with clarity, precision and confidence.
- Works in a highly independent and pragmatic style.
- Strong bias for action and iteration.
- Passion for design and usability.
- Exhibits a growth mindset.
- Sees setbacks as opportunities to learn and uplevel thinking and next actions.
- Doesn’t sleepwalk through initiatives.
- Earns trust and empowers peers. When trust is broken, takes steps to rebuild trust by taking accountability and holding others accountable, including management chain, when appropriate.
- Travels to meet customers in-person. During peak seasons, expected to travel up to 20-30% for in-person meetings with enterprise and public sector customers, conferences and partner meetings.
- Past success in critical infrastructure industry including defense, cybersecurity, communications, manufacturing, or other vital functions.
Mattermost is an EEO Employer. We are a remote-first, open source company.
We are constantly working towards adding more countries/regions to this list, but first we need to make sure we are compliant with local laws and regulations, which takes time.
Mattermost is made up of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and lifestyles. We embrace diversity and invite applications from people from all walks of life. We don't discriminate against staff or applicants based on gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, national origin, citizenship, disability, pregnancy status, veteran status, or any other differences. Also, if you have a disability, please let us know if there's any way we can make the interview process better for you; we're happy to accommodate!