Authenticity in Product Management with Rares

Rares Podani
Rares Podani
Published: 20.09.2022

The soul of Pangea.ai’s brand is making human connections. Our tech partners continue to build and strengthen our community’s DNA. We are very proud to have Tapptitude as part of our circle, whose unique individuals now inspire and empower all of our team members.

Time to meet the Product Manager at Tapptitude, Rares!


Why did you join Tapptitude, in the first place?

I came back to Romania after University abroad and started working in a corporate environment which appealed to my needs back then. One of the recurring challenges was caused by the fact that I didn't have much input into the final decisions and had to spend time in current realities of legacy products.

As my previous background was in finance, I invested a lot of time in this direction, but at the same time, I went through a reality check and figured out that I probably wasn't the right person at that time, in that setup. My goal was to thoroughly invest in solving real user needs and not get tangled up too much in external factors out of my control. Of course, your users buy into where are you heading in your roadmap, not only where you are sitting right now.

And this is where Tapptitude came into play, more than 3 years ago. To allow me to become part of something bigger and to hopefully bring in a positive impact in the users' lives. To think on my feet. To guide a team to build winning products.

Some proof you need to have fun with what you're doing

What do you find to be the most exciting aspect of Tapptitude?

The most satisfying thing about being a Product Manager, at least at Tapptitude, is that you never know what's going to happen the next day. There is a lot of diversity, falling in love with challenges, which combines with elements of creativity and storytelling.

The Product Management area and the fact that you have a certain responsibility allows you to get very involved in the final product that you will have the opportunity to use. Many people from the outside think that a Product Manager coordinates a technical team and just gives tasks and supports the work flow. But it's not like that. It is very important to be able to talk with the client, to anticipate business needs, to be able to infiltrate their strategy.

In the short term, you can live without a Product Manager. But the role makes the long-term difference, when you talk about areas of strategy, of experience. It's a job that combines different aspects - team coordination, technical skill, product understanding, scalability, user experience, strategy. It's a job similar to that of an architect. The tools and ways you get to design a house are similar, but the result, the impact and the personal and external satisfactions are always different.

What drew you to software development? Have you always worked in project management roles?

I actually started as a Product Consultant and Tapptitude helped and supported me to move up to Product Manager.

Many have the perception that this transition is an upgrade, but in fact, the Product Manager does not exist without the Product Consultant. It's complementary work. I made the transition because in the role of Product Consultant I was living with the impression that I was raising a child until 3 months, after which I could not be an active part of it. Being the first point of contact for our partners, I wanted to be able to take those discussions even further, to do product management.

What is your proudest moment at Tapptitude?

I believe the proudest moment is actually not a moment, but the current reality where I sit in. It's the state of mind which has fueled and fuels me to keep grinding, invovle myself in uncomfortably exciting areas and genuinely connect to products and people around products.

It's a stage in which, as a Product Manager, you start getting that product sense, which is a mere result of experience, having a design-thinking approach to building great features and always be capable to learn more and more, whether it's how to tackle a simple but crucial text field in a form or put your sweat and tears into supporting your development team be their best and foster room for a growth mindset.

But also be a zen warrior when needed ahead of plannings ;)

How do you define success in life?

Probably going out there and having fun with whatever you do - whether it's doodling a prototype together with the design team, having insightful chats with the business owners or learning how pipelines work.

Looking back at any goals you had set with a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment, knowing that you did your best to carry out something, but also had fun in doing so. Welcoming authenticity in your life is clearly a big bonus, and probably one that will make your journey worthwhile.

What advice do you have for prospective Tapptitude candidates?

Stay hungry, be bothered by limitations and always keep in mind what's important for the user, not for you as a Product Manager. Eventually that importance given to the user will drive up your product, your craftsmanship and very likely the grow company as well. We all need to be aware of priorities, nail those crucial features best and embrace dedication.


Get to know Rares and the rest of the Tapptitude team!

We’re delighted that Rares decided to join Tapptitude – it’s been great having them on board! If you have any questions or want to get to know Rares or one of their colleagues from the Tapptitude team, we can put you in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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