My Growth – You are the Product of Your Environment – Dean Kenny, Senior Product Manager

I’m currently the Senior Product Manager of the Email Marketing Automations team at Tidio. I have been working in Product for about four years now. I started in Zendesk in Dublin, working first in customer support, where I fell in love with the customer problem. The only issue was I wanted to help solve those customer problems. This is where I discovered my passion for Product by joining the Zendesk Chat product team and eventually moving back to Europe to join Typeform prior to Tidio. 

What does "Grow with Tidio" mean to you? 

I truly believe that you are the product of your environment on some level. That’s why it’s so important to be surrounded by those that lift you up. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. At Tidio, for me, growth comes from being surrounded by talent that you can constantly learn from. Not only that, I believe growth comes from being challenged and making sure your assumptions are air-tight. This feedback-based culture that Tidio instills is key for consistent growth. 

How has your manager and colleagues at Tidio helped you develop and improve your skills?

Goal-setting via OKRs is something I have experienced in other companies, but seeing it being deployed at Tidio all the way down to the team level keeps you humble. Both my manager and my team are constantly thinking about how we achieve our goals while driving the best customer experience possible. This really helped me refine my thinking toward outcomes rather than outputs.

What are your career goals, and how is Tidio helping you achieve them?

I want to work for product-first companies that aren’t debating about how they can make the most money or keep the sales team happy. These things are important for sure, but I believe in product-led growth and Tidio is at the forefront of this culture. It feels like I’m already at the right party and ready to start having a good time :) 

What attracted you to Tidio in the first place?

Two years ago, my wife and I had to leave my job in Singapore to return to Spain to be with our family as my son was just about to be born. It was a bit of an impulse decision, but if we didn’t take it, our family wouldn’t meet our son for quite a while due to covid restrictions. In that 7-month period of unemployment, I managed to come up with a set of criteria that could help me assess how aligned a company could be with my core values. It’s a jungle out there, and many failed interviews really help you refine where you want to work. 

Anyway, I landed on some key factors to consider when choosing a company to work for: 

  1. Glassdoor reviews
  2. Product ratings and customer reviews
  3. Whether it’s product-led or not
  4. It’s a paid, B2B product

What 3 words would you use to describe Tidio to someone?

Transparent, focused, humble.

Any tips for someone looking to get into a career like yours?

When I was in customer support, I was obsessed with getting into product. My strategy worked and I don’t see it written about much online for this scenario — so I will share it here. If you are in a customer experience role (support, sales, success etc), find a part of the product you like and become the absolute expert in that area of the product. Become the go-to person outside of product teams to answer questions about the product. Jump on customer calls to learn more and channel that feedback back to the head of product or other product managers. This helps create relationships and start learning. Meet with the current PM and help them collect additional feedback and express the desire for a mentor as you read and observe more about the product. When an opportunity arises, you’ll have the credibility to put your name in the hat, despite the lack of direct experience. 

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