John Kuo, Product Manager in Oakland, CA, United States
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John Kuo

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Location
Oakland, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 3, 2020

John is a full-stack product and user experience leader with decades of experience and collaboration with engineers and business stakeholders. His expertise includes advertising and martech; big data, data analytics, and data visualization; and orchestration of complex workflows. John has worked for many startups and larger enterprises, and he was the 25th employee at Workday. He was also a primary contributor and author of IAB standards, receiving the IAB Service Excellence Award in 2017.

Project Highlights

RevJet Ad Optimization Platform
Led the design and implementation of an entire ad serving and optimization platform that, at its height, managed 90% of Facebook in-app advertising with over $100,000 in revenue flowing through the system per day.
IAB Dynamic Content Ad Standard
Served as the principal author for this IAB standard, which has been adopted by many advertising platforms, including Google. Received a 2017 Service Excellence Award from IAB for this contribution.
Harbr Data Exchange
Transformed an advanced prototype that was missing key features and successfully launched it with two Fortune 500 companies as their primary data exchange platform within 10 months.

Expertise

Work Experience

Technical Product Manager

2023 - PRESENT
Choreograph / SteppeChange
  • Organized development effort project and documentation for effective reporting and delivery to the client (Choreograph/WPP).
  • Managed roadmap and feature delivery of a novel spatial-temporal audience platform piloted successfully with Coca-Cola.
  • Led a multifaceted team of project managers, UI designers, front-end, back-end, and data engineers, as well as data scientists, to develop and deliver an integrated end-to-end targeting and campaign delivery application.

Product Manager

2020 - 2023
Pocket Initiative at ASU (via Toptal)
  • Worked with the executive director to create a roadmap of releases and prioritized features and collaborations.
  • Educated the business team on blockchain technology, digital ledgers, self-sovereign identity, and verifiable credentials.
  • Released a successful Android mobile app demo for the ASU Digital Trust Summit in June 2020.

Head of Product

2020 - 2020
Harbr
  • Introduced a modern, agile product management culture and practices that resulted in accelerated and predictable feature scope and delivery.
  • Mentored and managed junior product managers and UX designers and filled tech communications and project management positions, improving product department deliverables' productivity and quality.
  • Led the redesign of the basic application, both back and front end, setting the platform up for future feature support. Replaced a poorly designed, hard-to-use prototype UX with a modern web app navigation and workflow.
  • Contributed as a thought leader in the data exchange and data ecosystem market, authoring articles on LinkedIn and the company website and positioning Harbr as the leader in this space.

Senior Product Manager | Product Designer | Product Owner

2018 - 2020
Syndigo
  • Designed and developed, from concept to completion, the ReTargeter application, a platform that integrated with the AppNexus API to simplify targeted advertising for many eCommerce platforms.
  • Managed a distributed team of four in-house and eight remote engineers, using Jira and Agile sprints to create a fully fleshed-out release from concept to finish in 15 months.
  • Created the integration roadmap and redesign of legacy martech systems after the Syndigo acquisition. Merged two competitive and disparate martech platforms into a single, cohesive system.

Director of Product, Analytics, and Back-end Tech Stack

2014 - 2018
Flashtalking
  • Served on the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Dynamic Content and OpenData specs working group, co-authored the IAB Dynamic Content Ad Standard, and received the IAB Service Excellence Award in 2017.
  • Executed the design and development of a release of key features that enabled the company to take a commanding competitive technology lead. These features included all integrations, dynamic content targeting, a data pipeline, and a reporting stack.
  • Led the adoption and acted as the administrator of Jira and other Agile development processes and roadmapping techniques, replacing Asana and other methods with modern, more predictable techniques, resulting in more on-time deliveries.
  • Mentored and managed junior product managers and oversaw their assigned work. This led to project managers owning and successfully delivering critical, competitive features on time and fully functional.

Director of Product

2007 - 2014
RevJet
  • Architected and designed the RevJet platform from conception to production. This included creative creation, variation, optimization, targeting, and tracking, as well as campaign, advertiser, publisher advertisers, and publishers.
  • Developed reporting and analytics capable of handling terabytes of data daily.
  • Hired and managed a team of 15 offshore, front-end developers and project managers.
  • Established all front-end coding standards, guidelines, and best practices.

RevJet Ad Optimization Platform

https://www.revjet.com/

Led the design and implementation of an entire ad serving and optimization platform that, at its height, managed 90% of Facebook in-app advertising with over $100,000 in revenue flowing through the system per day.

RevJet is the branded name of the platform and company for which I led product development. I led and participated in the product design of both the back end and front end, including ad creation, campaign creation and management, creative optimization, reporting, and accounting. This required a very broad and deep understanding of adtech, tracking, targeting, mobile and browser limitations and requirements, and big data and cloud technology.

I also led the UX design and implementation of the front end and hired and managed the front-end development team of 15 developers and project managers based out of Odesa and Kyiv in Ukraine.

At its height, the system managed hundreds of ad campaigns (each with hundreds of creatives) that were tracked and optimized in rotations daily. The system could be managed effectively by a small team of fewer than five account managers and a team of three creative developers.

Data that was logged and tracked in the system consisted of terabytes per day, which were extracted, transformed, and loaded (ETL) and managed into a consolidated reporting platform covering all advertisers and publishers across the entire ecosystem.

IAB Dynamic Content Ad Standard

https://www.iab.com/guidelines/dynamic-content-ad-standards/

Served as the principal author for this IAB standard, which has been adopted by many advertising platforms, including Google. Received a 2017 Service Excellence Award from IAB for this contribution.

The IAB Dynamic Content Ad Standard is a structured system of metadata for defining creative components and their asset variations in an ad unit. This standard is designed to help creative developers, ad content management systems, and ad servers to build and serve real-time dynamic content in advertisements. The standard was developed to be programming language agnostic with a standard JSON schema for implementation.

Harbr Data Exchange

https://www.harbrdata.com/

Transformed an advanced prototype that was missing key features and successfully launched it with two Fortune 500 companies as their primary data exchange platform within 10 months.

When I joined Harbr, there was a distinct lack of product leadership at the tactical level. They knew where they wanted to go but lacked the details on execution. I was able to rally the nascent product team and create an accurate functionality roadmap that would transform their functional prototype's potential into a world-class enterprise platform.

This required a total review of the current feature set and what required re-architecting, prioritization of key missing functionality that any enterprise-class SaaS platform required, and then gaining the backing and support of clients, business stakeholders, and other key company leaders.

No part of the platform remained untouched. The UX needed a complete overhaul, the core API and services needed revision and updates, and the main tech stacks were not architected for future functionality and had to be redesigned and rewritten. I worked closely with the core architects of the platform on this complete redesign and worked with clients to manage realistic timelines and expectations for different deliveries.

The on-time release of the functional and secure enterprise platform to key customers significantly contributed to a vast Series A investment.
1989 - 1989

Coursework Toward PhD in Evolutionary Biology

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ, USA

1982 - 1986

Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley, CA, USA

Tools

Asana, Confluence, Jira

Paradigms

Agile Product Management, Agile Project Management, Data Product Management, Microservices

Industry Expertise

Chemistry, Healthcare, Health

Platforms

Blockchain

Other

Basalmiq, Microsoft Office, Creative Advertising, Optimization, Data Reporting, Ad Campaigns, Workflow, Reporting, Creative Strategy, Product Design, Analytics, Social Media Marketing (SMM), User Experience (UX), Enterprise SaaS, Data Market, Project Planning, Dynamic Ads, Catalogs, Agile Sprints, Agile Delivery, Product Management, A/B Testing, Data Analysis, Product Research, Product Launch, SaaS Product Management, SaaS, B2B, Technical Product Management, Social Media, User Interface (UI), Product Strategy, Product Roadmaps, Advertising Campaigns, Agile Product Delivery, Team Management, Backlog Management, Backlog Grooming, Feature Backlog Prioritization, B2B Product Management, App Product Management, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Project Timelines, Feature Roadmaps, Jira Administrator, Lucidchart, Miro, Google, Information Architecture (IA), Statistics, Big Data, Big Data Architecture, Cloud, Project Management, CRM Systems, APIs, Engineering, Mathematical Modeling, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Statistical Modeling, JSON, SaaS Product Marketing, Credentialing, Edtech Design, Self-sovereign Identity (SSI)

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