“I make a conscious effort to trading places with my customers. They invite me to learn about the way they work and how they desire to use our products. I listen and see things from their perspectives to make their lives easy.” – Edie Kirkman (@ediekirkman1)
Over the past 20 years, Edie Kirkman’s worn many hats—saleswoman, recruiter, business analyst, programmer, UX manager, marketer, and strategist. Serving the likes of UPS, List Partners LLC, Metro Atlanta Chamber, IHG, and InfoTycoon, Edie brings value to every company she touches with a unique ability to prioritize customers’ needs first.
When we spoke to Edie at BuiltTech Week back in 2018, she was working as the Chief Product Officer at InfoTycoon. Today, she’s the VP of Product Development at Fiserv and continues to help companies reach their potential by bringing ideas to life.
Last time we spoke, you’d been on the job for six weeks. Now that you have been there a little longer how are things going?
Things are going fast right now. This is what happens in the startup world. You go in, you assess, and you validate your plans, and then sometimes you have to figure out how to change and adjust your game plan. For us, we are actually replacing an existing system. The order of things that we want to do it in and what our customers’ needs are weren’t matching up as far as the most critical pieces to move over from a performance standpoint for our customer and also making certain functionalities more robust.
At the end of the day, I think this is what every company goes through. It is really prioritization, and then going through your trade-offs. We are trying to figure out from our customer perspective—what is the most important thing they need? We actually accelerated our development and brought on additional help as well, because we want to get new product experiences out the door as fast as possible. It’s a big, exciting, and fun project!
What are you most excited about here at BuiltTech Week?
What I really like about it is how real the speakers are. It’s not just a conference with talking heads. People are really digging deep and sharing why they are doing this, the pains that they are going through, what the businesses need, and why they came across the path that they are currently on. Real estate developers, franchisees, and franchisors are discussing the situations they’re encountering, how the market is changing, and what they know they have to do—even though it is extremely difficult.
Some of the speakers are wicked smart and light-years ahead. As they are going through their presentation, you are thinking, “thank goodness this is being recorded.” They are four slides ahead, and I am still thinking about what they are talking about five minutes ago. There is a lot of processing that needs to simmer. It’s a wealth of information for sure.
What’s next for you on the horizon?
My goal is to launch a really good baseline product that is better than our current product. We are going to evolve and grow with our customers. We want to constantly validate what their needs are, and then make sure we are meeting that challenge to deliver it. We hope to have the best of class product in the marketplace.
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