CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 12

hiring application developers with little tennis
experience and getting them to work alongside product
developers with domain knowledge. "My role is to get
those with different skill sets and backgrounds to work
together as smoothly as possible," says Zimmermann.
Similarly at GE Lighting, talented data scientists work
alongside professionals who've been in the power
supply business for decades. "If you can get all that
knowledge in one human being, you're lucky. If not,
you've got to get two people to collaborate,"
Freeman says.
At Keen Home, small diverse teams work on
developing intelligent products. "Collaboration is a
requirement because the ground is shifting while we're
running on it," says McLeod. "We've got designers and

"Collaboration is a requirement
because the ground is shifting
while we're running on it.
We've got designers and coders
and engineers not just having
conversations but also versing
each other in their practices.
It's the only way to keep things
going in the right direction."

coders and engineers not just having conversations but
also versing each other in their practices. It's the only
way to keep things going in the right direction."

Building a Better Product
At Big Ass Solutions, product intelligence from the
company's smart fans is being used to fine-tune its
applications and develop new products. "We're focused
on making this a meaningful experience for our
customers and also using that data to learn that there
may be another product that would meet customers'
needs better than what we offer today," says Borders.
And that product intelligence is coming in all the time.
"When you move into the connected space, where you
can push firmware and app updates in real time, things
get a lot faster," Borders says. "We're learning to drink
from the firehose. Adjusting to the speed at which we
can develop products has been the biggest challenge.
I think you can go too fast. We're cautious not to do so
many things at once that we haven't learned from what
we've done initially." The company caches information
from the field for future enhancements and then puts
new features through rigorous testing.
GE Lighting's leaders are looking to product
intelligence for better information about long-term
failure rates for its streetlights. "We design very

CTO Straight Talk | 12

Will McLeod, Cofounder
and Chief Product Officer,
Keen Home



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2

Contents

CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2

http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/cto/issue2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/cto/issue2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/cto/issue1
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