For a special blog series, we’re going back to the beginning of Questions, Wings, and Things and interviewing some of our industry guests (who out of their own full volition participated in our spicy hot sauce challenge) to see where they are now and if they’ve recovered from their appearance on QWT, many years, and deathly hot sauces later.
Our first guest of this new instalment is none other than Roelof Steyn from season one.
Q&A with Roelof Steyn:
1. Is there anything exciting that has happened in your career or achievements you’ve made since you were last on the show?
“Oh yes! To start, I transitioned from the role I had back then to become the General Manager of Product at a start-up. This was a very exciting couple of years filled with plenty of learning opportunities as well as some notable successes.
Fast forward to just a few months ago, and I’ve recently moved on from that position and am now looking for the next big step in my career and searching for something similar to the roles of CPO, GM, or CTO, which I think would be nice to further my professional journey!”.
2. How has your perspective on your industry or field evolved since we interviewed you on QWT season 1 a few years ago?
“Quite a lot. I’ve learned so much in the last two years moving from a product manager mindset to a product leadership mindset. I was suddenly not just responsible for the best solution but also for things like determining market fit, crafting the strategy, defining the ideal customer, and setting the price and pricing strategy.
I also learned that playing politics is really important in advancing your career.”
3. What current trends or developments in your industry have caught your attention since our conversation?
“Two important things happened this year.
1. Airbnb killed product management. Well, they didn’t really, but they merged it with product marketing management with an emphasis on marketing. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in the next couple of years across the industry.
2. A lot of us were caught sleeping behind the wheel when ChatGPT happened. We were told that AI will replace us, but we know the truth is that people who can work with AI will replace those who can’t. Bottom line: learn to use AI if you want to stay relevant in whatever career you have (including product management).”
4. Have you since tried any other spicy challenges, or in all honesty, did the experience put you off spicy foods and sauces altogether?
“Nah. No challenges. You know, once you become known as that guy who won the chilli challenge, everyone just keeps giving you chilli food!
I’m not complaining…”
5. How did your friends, family, or colleagues react to watching you take on the QWT challenge?
“As I said above, everyone just keeps giving me spicy food!”
Doesn’t sound like a bad deal to us!
Stay tuned for more Q&As featuring some of our industry guests from the past few seasons of Questions, Wings, and Things.
Want us to interview someone in particular from our series or have a question you want answered from one of our guests? Let us know in the comments below! Who do you want to see next?