[Buzzvil People] Eric Choi, Product Manager
[Buzzvil People] Rumi Nakanishi, Marketing Manager
November 10, 2017
[Buzzvil People] Cindy Yoo, Business Development Manager
December 22, 2017

[Buzzvil People] Eric Choi, Product Manager


Buzzvil Buzzvil People took the opportunity to introduce each Buzzvillians with a variety of backgrounds, personality, and thoughts. If you are wondering how best colleagues in Buzzvil are gathering to create the best team, if you are curious about each of the colorful Buzzvillians, please pay attention to Buzzvil People.

 

1. Please give us a quick introduction of yourself.

Hello. My name is Eric, the Product Manager at Buzzvil. I work mainly on establishing product strategy and project management. When I was young, I was interested in computer software, thus created a club during my school years and founded my own startup IT company. After the foundation of the company, I realized like Agile Software Development and Lean Startup, there were many aspects to supplement, and I was deep into finding a company that could meet the standards of a better method of teambuilding. It has been a little under two years since I’ve joined Buzzvil and had interest in the Agile framework as well as development thus am working hard to create a synergistic effect.

 

2. What brings you to Buzzvil?

Before Buzzvil, I previously worked for a startup incubating company for a short time and learned during that time about three big needs for me in order to find a new company.

The first need was that instead of assisting a startup, I wanted to be a key player in the company and work in the field. The second need was wanting to work at a successfully developing company that received a series A or B of investments. This was because I wanted to get the feel of a company that had just overcome Death Valley and sense the overall human composition and company’s working methods. Thirdly was working or seeking an organization that had a horizontal organizational structure and culture, meaning I wanted to work autonomously in an environment that could share its valuable information.

During the time when I applied to Buzzvil, it had just received a series B investment, and I had read all the content in the blogs that were open to the public and found confidence in applying after checking the reputation it upheld culturally as a company. It was a time where I was particularly interested in mobile service in the IT realm, and this company satisfied all my needs thus was able to apply and join.  

 

3. What is your role at Buzzvil?

I am currently working as the Product Manager in the development team. Although it is a startup, there exists a significant diversity in the product family. In particular, I am in charge as the Product Manager in the advertising platform, BuzzAd. My primary job is to develop the efficiency as well as organize the newly optimized advertisements of the lockscreen services in the inventories of BuzzScreen, HoneyScreen, and Slidejoy. In addition, I am responsible for the reflecting off of the feedback and diverse opinions of team members from different departments that are directly and indirectly connected to improving technologies in my field.

A Product Manager is a fundamental position that overlaps UX with business and technological skills. Therefore, based on one’s preferences the focus can be leaned towards a particular section, but I believe it is a role that must include all three in order to perform smoothly. I also believe it is a role that includes the importance of Servant leadership. In the case of model examples of PMs, they include all the members from the development team as well as those members of connected departments and encourage them so they may be able to show their full capabilities. I too agree that this is a crucial role PMs must achieve. Currently in place at Buzzvil, the Agile framework SCRUM* is a concept that allows to form trust from developer groups in order to carry out their tasks in a challenged and fun way. (*SCRUM not only separates the traditional PM role into a Product owner and Scrum Master, but also takes off and divides the workload.)

As a result, the basic roles of a PM such as establishing product strategy, prioritization of development functions, project planning, and not to mention encouraging and listening to the development groups ideations and feedback, can change the outcome in the long run. Buzzvil as well is applying the Agile Process and is learning through trial and error.

It is not too difficult to encourage the changes or supplementing the proposals that are brought up which create a virtuous circle of feedback. It is a factor that would help enable in deducing the prompt improvements that are needed through several attempts.

 

4. How does it feel to work at a startup? or advertising industry?

When working at a startup, one may expect special things to happen, but personally I do not have such expectations. Instead, I see a startup in two different categories when compared to other companies.

First, it is that the best technology is being used. This refers to the capabilities IT brings. The speed at which it can process real life tasks are astounding which make it disruptive to other areas, thus can have an influence in connecting businesses domestically, but globally as well. Therefore, I think it has a characteristic to introduce things that are faster and better when looked at aspects of technology, culture, organizational structure, or business models.

Secondly, the organization consists of only a few people. A startup is only in its rudimentary stages to be seen as an organization. It is only natural that it is comprised of only a few people. Because of this basic but natural fact, each member carries an autonomous responsibility which enables a harmony that is able to react and figure out issues that arise quicker.

I believe it is important to realize as a startup that these two characteristics are extremely important and play a crucial role in how it shapes the identity of the company.

5. Is there something that you can say “this is the best part being Buzzvillians”?

A strength of Buzzvil is that regardless of the experience or track record, everyone knows what is expected of them and they all work hard to improve and reach their goals. I believe that this was possible through the original founders experiencing and creating their own sense of a new business model despite their lack of experience in advertisement. Through this mindset, they were able to pick people with different perspectives and knowledge that allowed them to understand quicker their roles through their own views, thus allowing the business model to grow without selectively picking their members which is a good contrast to the majority of systems in other companies.

 

6. Do you have a personal goal or dream? If so, how does your experience at Buzzvil help you?

I long dreamt of naturally starting my own company, but in the last couple of years, my view has changed a bit. Instead of achieving my dream to start my company, I wanted to do something that was meaningful and could help others. By finding something that would help people, it would naturally create an organization and ultimately a company that would help project my idea. I believe there will come a day that I will continue to self-reflect in order to create things that would help people or confront problems and come up with a systematic resolution.

Whether that dream is found within the autonomous Buzzvil or not, or with whatever digital advertising company it may be, I believe it would be with a company that would change the culture and organizational structure in a positive way.