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  • Elsie Russell

FinTech Female Fridays: Charlotte Guy, Product Manager, Lukka, Inc.

What were the most positive and most negative adjustments to transitioning from large global institutions to a smaller privately held institution like Lukka, Inc.?

My first big adjustment was in terms of scope. I had to shift from the 10,000 foot view--where I was looking at the broad tech SaaS landscape--to the 1 inch product manager’s view, where I had to understand and dissect the detailed and intricate web between the product’s tech stack, back end architecture, and user experience.

The second adjustment was to pick up new skills and concepts really quickly. When the team is trying to get a product out the door, time is a precious commodity, so I had to tackle the steep learning curve while simultaneously leading the team and making product decisions.

What is the mission of your company Lukka, Inc. and what attracted you to join their team? What is unique about Lukka, Inc.’s value proposition as a company?

Lukka serves at the intersection of the complex crypto ecosystem and traditional financial, accounting, and tax use cases. It takes blockchain data and transforms it into easy-to-use information that is required for business and financial operations. Lukka has given me the opportunity to work at the epicenter of a dynamic and quickly-evolving industry where I could leverage my traditional financial background.

As a Product Manager, what do you think are the most important skills enabling you to coordinate work in order to make a product successful?

First, it is nearly impossible to build a product alone, so it is critical to build a strong team with complementary skills who are invested in the product goals. Continually refining soft skills like good communication and consensus building also help to foster the team’s success.

Second, product development is always constrained by limited resources such as time, budget, and engineering resources; therefore, there is always an opportunity cost when prioritizing one feature over another. A PM’s ability to effectively evaluate and prioritize these trade offs is crucial to delivering the most valuable impact to users.

As a product manager, how do you ensure the voice of the customer remains central to the product development life cycle?

I constantly ask myself, “how would I use this if I were a new user sitting down to do this?” That is really important to always have in the back of my mind. However, as a PM, no matter how much I try to consciously place myself in the shoes of the customer, there will always be some natural bias I can’t completely extract. So it’s critical to find ways to get feedback from a fresh pair of eyes--this is why reviewing customer metrics, collecting and analyzing customer feedback is imperative to the product life cycle process. A great way to get this unfiltered information is to monitor customer support and feedback to see what customers are saying and what their pain points are.

What do you think are some of the unique complexities introduced by digital and crypto assets into traditional fields like accounting and audit, valuation and pricing?

Digital and crypto assets are new and evolving very quickly, and every day you hear about changes in the ecosystem. Conversely, regulation, accounting standards, tax law can sometimes take longer to evolve. This gap means some grey areas remain on how crypto assets should be treated within the existing financial and regulatory framework.

My belief is that this gap will decrease overtime, but in the interim there is less guidance available on how to treat these new assets. This is why Lukka started LukkaLibrary--to help business leaders learn more about these nuances-and why Lukka has positioned itself, not only as a trusted software and data provider, but as a thought leader that helps to solve the issues that remain about using blockchain data.

With the evolution of digital and crypto assets, what are the most exiting trends to watch in 2020?

I’m interested to see how digital payments will continue to trend in the U.S., and any impact from COVID-19. I’m also fascinated by the proliferation of digital sovereign currencies.  I think governments are noticing the rise of global digital currencies that transcend sovereign borders and figuring out how to adapt.  I’ll be really curious to see what this landscape looks like in a year from now.

Reach out to Charlotte on LinkedIn.

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