Product managers at Fonoa are builders at heart. They are building a complex product to make taxes simple, automated, borderless, and accessible for internet businesses around the world. Meet Etienne Le Blan, Product Manager at Fonoa, who joined the company in the spring of 2021.
One of the best parts of being a product manager at Fonoa is that I get to solve real problems, historically ignored by the tech world. I get confirmation of this every day from conversations with customers, both prospects and existing ones: tax compliance is hard, and businesses are desperate for tools that simplify it.
The Product team
Today, our product team consists of five Product managers and a CPO (Chief Product Officer). Product managers are distributed across our product lineup and have full ownership of their verticals. There is a flat hierarchical structure, empowering the product team to make their own decisions.
Working within the product team at Fonoa is an enjoyable experience as there are no politics.
Selflessness and humility are two key values being evaluated as a part of our hiring process
Doing product development at Fonoa is an interesting challenge, for a few reasons: we are a high-growth startup, working mostly with large enterprise customers, solving problems that require deep domain knowledge (tax).
This results in the product group not consisting of the usual trio of Engineering, Design, and Product. Here, the Tax team is also an essential part of the product development process, and they have a particularly important role during the ideation & research phases.
How is Fonoa building an efficient remote product team?
The most important part is finding what works for the team, which comes down to discovering the right balance between synchronous and asynchronous interactions.
Ideally, synchronous interactions are limited to minimize context switching and allow for long, uninterrupted work sessions. However, it is also important to get some face time (formal or not) to build relationships.
Asynchronous activities need a bit of organization to provide value.
They require a strong writing culture - which centers around writing meaningful & short content, as well as collecting fast feedback from relevant stakeholders. Having access to and leveraging collaborative tooling is also essential. At Fonoa,we rely on G Suite, Miro, Loom, Mibo, Notion, Linear & a few other tools to help.