Employee Spotlight: Sjoerd Huisman, Product Manager
Get to know the faces and spaces that make up Usabilla in our Spotlight series. Next up is a man who needs no introduction. Meet Sjoerd Huisman, Product Manager at Usabilla.
Name: Sjoerd Huisman
Role at Usabilla: Product Manager
Office location: Amsterdam
Name one thing that’s on your bucket list
Become a helicopter pilot: feels like freedom, and something with a child’s dream.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
“A life worth living”
What are you known for? (Inside and/or outside Usabilla)
Within Usabilla I’m generally known for four things:
- Sports. I do a lot of them, multiple times per week I try to quiet the mind and re-energize my body. With multiple triathlons per year, I test my own limits.
- Meditation. Each day I raffle up people, from their desks, from the lunch table, from boring meetings to join a 10 min meditation session.
Do you want to be Mind full or Mindful?
- Data. When working in a SaaS scale-up it is sometimes difficult to see what impact you create. Not everyone talks to customers, hears a “thank you” or sees a smile. However, when we look at the (feedback) data, we see how many people and why people use our product. It’s energizing to realize I build the internal tools to make this data visible.
- Roadmap. As a Product Manager, it’s my job to think through: What will be our next big thing? How is what we are working on right now relevant for our customers? I research, and collect all inputs and validate my assumptions. But it’s not a one-man shop, together with the other Product Teams we build the roadmap that steers Usabilla’s future innovations.
How do you feel about fruit on pizza?
With the patriotic Italians we have working here, I will definitely poke the snake, but Pizza Hawaii – LOVE IT ?
Best or most memorable adventure with Usabilla so far?
Over the past three years, so much has happened, but to mention one thing: the team outings. The place when you get to leave work behind, be crazy and have a lot of fun! Just to mention one: in the Ardenne, we raced on mountain bikes through river and mud.
If you would describe Usabilla to your grandma, what would you say?
Grandma, in your early years your family had a water and fire store. You remember how the whole town came to your store to get warm water and fire? It was a social place where everybody talked and got the latest gossip of the town. While people where at your store you would also talk to them, ask them about the water, ask them about the fire. How could you help them even better? Was a different bag more helpful? Do they prefer to come by or it delivered at home? Because it was so simple to ask questions, you listened to the voice of your customers and gained a lot of valuable feedback to improve your shops and help your customers.
Today, people go less and less to real stores, they buy things on the Internet. It is all digital and sometimes even impersonal, there is not enough human interaction. Because it is all digital, there is no real person you can talk to and share your thoughts with. But the owner of the website still tries to make his shop better. My company helps those owners. Usabilla aims to make that digital experience better. We provide digital solutions that enable you to listen to your customer. We open up channels of communication where people can leave feedback and provide solutions where you can ask specific questions to everyone.
What are you really proud of here at Usabilla?
When I’m at home trying to find things on the Internet, I often bump into Usabilla on websites.
One good thing and one bad thing about Usabilla?
The good – growth. From the moment I started three years ago at Usabilla, we were with 30 people. All the work was done by these 30 people. Now I have more than 110 colleagues! With more people, we can do more and we can do better. There is more room to specialize, now we have departments covering pretty much all the disciplines from Partner Managers to Recruiters. It also gives more room for people to follow their true passion.
The bad – growth. Since Usabilla is growing so fast, it comes with a lot of change. Although change itself is not bad, it must be seen as a given constant. There is not always enough time to reflect and improve, as circumstances already might have changed by then. Also, with time people leave the company… and you spent so much time with them and made jokes together throughout the day. Fortunately, it’s also a chance the make new friends!