Kareem Mayan, Product Manager in Halifax, NS, Canada
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Kareem Mayan

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Location
Halifax, NS, Canada
Toptal Member Since
December 30, 2019

Kareem is a highly technical product executive who's been building software since 2001. He's worked with brands like ESPN.com, MySpace, FOXSports.com, and Predictable Revenue. His sweet spot is partnering with non-technical executives to build an MVP (he took one client from napkin to $130 million). Kareem is comfortable managing all aspects of the product development process. He's founded and sold three companies and worked remotely since 2007.

Project Highlights

Consultant + Head of Product
Took product from napkin to $130 million while sourcing and leading an 8-person product and engineering team.
Consultant + Product Advisor
Helped a leading SaaS company formulate product strategy, scale their product dev process, and up-skill their product team.
Co-Founder + Head of Product
Started, grew, and sold a B2B2C SaaS app in the fitness space.

Expertise

Work Experience

Co-founder + Head of Product

2019 - PRESENT
Savio
  • Validated problem and solution with 50+ product managers before writing code (Savio helps software teams use customer feedback to drive product prioritization).
  • Interviewed customers, set up automated tooling to gather feedback, and used it to inform product direction.
  • Created wireframes, maintained backlog, and wrote product requirements documents.
  • Built features in Django, Python, and jQuery. I also built a Slack app and Chrome Extension.
  • Built and executed the marketing plan. Did sales demos and closed new sales. Did customer success.
  • Formed technical and marketing partnerships with Intercom and Help Scout platform teams. Wrote product marketing emails and changelog updates.

Technical and Product Co-Founder

2009 - PRESENT
Belmondo Skincare
  • Implemented technical aspects of store #2500 on Shopify and ran marketing to grow it for a decade.
  • Set up automated drip emails to generate revenue.
  • Hired and oversee team and partners to manufacture products, fulfill orders, deal with returns, drive down shipping while keeping service quality high, do bookkeeping and accounting, etc.
  • Scaled marketing programs to grow revenue YoY for a decade.
  • Automated outreach emails to customers to ensure satisfaction is high.
  • Did UX review to increase purchase funnel conversion.

Technical Advisor

2019 - 2020
Common Wealth Retirement
  • Advised non-technical founders on how to cost-effectively and pragmatically build first software application as they transitioned from non-tech services firm to tech product firm.
  • Advised on tech stack to use to implement first software product.
  • Advised founders on implementing a lean and pragmatic product development process.
  • Advised on budget, team roles and size, and job descriptions to hire initial dev team.
  • Gathered requirements, researched, and recommended analytics and email marketing solutions.

Partner + Head of Product

2016 - 2019
Codetree
  • Acquired, grew, and ran the business with two partners. We exited in 2019.
  • Interviewed customers, set up automated processes to collect feedback, used it to inform product direction, and maintained backlog.
  • Wireframed and wrote requirements for new features.
  • Instrumented, measured, and reported on feature usage and business success.
  • Wrote and sent product marketing emails and changelog content.
  • Built new features in Ruby on Rails, flightJS, and jQuery.

Technical Product Consultant

2017 - 2018
Rock Bottom Bottles
  • Gathered client requirements, researched ecommerce vendors, and wrote detailed report to recommend moving site to Shopify.
  • Oversaw technology while moving store from WooCommerce to Shopify.
  • Advised CEO and implemented technology to turn complex shipping challenges from cost-center to revenue generator.
  • Set up email marketing channel. Added automations to generate 18x ROI in 6 months.
  • Advised CEO and implemented technology to scale backoffice systems.

Consultant + Product Coach and Advisor

2015 - 2016
Predictable Revenue
  • Advised the CEO on product strategy.
  • Improved product development processes to include customer interviews, solution validation, requirements documents, and incorporation of customer feedback to inform prioritization.
  • Coached junior product manager and junior developer to up-skill.
  • Improved product development and engineering processes to increase throughput and improve quality.
  • Helped CEO think through team composition to ensure people were in the "right seats" on the bus.

Consultant + Head of Product

2008 - 2015
Charitable Impact
  • Took client from napkin to $130 million as first person on board after CEO.
  • Sourced and led 8 person product + development team.
  • Interviewed customers, built and validated v1 before counseling CEO to invest in a full-featured build.
  • Created wireframes and high-fi mocks with designers, wrote requirements docs, maintained backlog, worked with devs to ship features regularly, and measured and reported on success to rest of executive team.
  • Incorporated customer feedback from support, sales, and marketing to improve the product.
  • Coached and mentored junior product managers.
  • Wrote SQL and did extensive product usage and funnel analysis using Excel, Mixpanel, and Heap.

Co-Founder + Head of Product

2011 - 2014
SocialWOD
  • Built, grew, and sold SocialWOD from napkin to exit in three years.
  • Validated problem and solution before building MVP. Got customers to pre-commit to buying software based on MVP wireframes.
  • Built wireframes, wrote product requirements docs, made product trade-offs, and roadmapped upcoming features.
  • Interviewed customers, created automated emails to gather customer feedback at key points in customer journey, and used feedback to inform prioritization.
  • Designed and built new features in Ruby on Rails, jQuery, and CSS.
  • Created and executed on marketing plans. Did sales demos and closed customers.
  • Hired and managed team of 10.

Co-Founder + Head of Product

2007 - 2008
eduFire
  • Built two-sided marketplace of 80,000 students and teachers.
  • Raised an angel round of $500,000, and helped set the company up to raise a Series A round of $1.3 million.
  • Recruited and hired a technical team of three, including our CTO.
  • Owned the product: did customer interviews, wireframes, product specifications, prototypes, and product roadmaps.
  • Did front-end design and development in Rails, CSS, and jQuery.

Director of Product Management (R&D)

2005 - 2007
FOX Interactive Media
  • Build world's first sports social network for FOXSports.com.
  • Built business cases for new products for media properties including MySpace, AskMen, IGN, and Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Managed small design and development team to build high fidelity product prototypes.
  • Build internal tooling to gather new product ideas from thousands of FOX employees.
  • Advised corp dev group on product strategy for both potential and actual acquired companies.

Technical Producer

2002 - 2005
ESPN.com
  • Played a major role in rebuilding ESPN's Fantasy Football system (a 7-figure revenue product) from scratch.
  • Product managed and grew ESPN Insider (now ESPN Plus) by 25% in 6 months to $10 million in revenue.
  • Gathered and integrated customer feedback into product development process.
  • Created wireframes for new product features.
  • Did customer interviews and usability testing to determine product gaps.
  • Wrote code to build new features.

Consultant + Head of Product

Took product from napkin to $130 million while sourcing and leading an 8-person product and engineering team.

Charitable Impact lets Canadians give to any Canadian charity through a single app. They can give as an individual, as a group, or corporately.

I was hired by Charitable Impact's CEO as the first person on board to validate and then help grow his idea. Over the following seven years, we grew it to 50 employees and $130 million in donations (as of Dec 2019 they're at $530 million).

Along the way, I was sourced and led a dev team of eight. We built and iterated rapidly from a bare-bones MVP to a mature and scalable product.

I worked closely with the CEO on product strategy. I implemented a pragmatic process to ship high-quality software (and iterate along the way). I interviewed customers, built wireframes, worked with designers to translate those into hi-fi mocks, wrote requirements docs, made trade-offs when building features, tested software, triaged bugs, wrote some code, measured and reported on success, and kept stakeholders across the organization up to date on the state of the product.

It was a fruitful and enjoyable engagement for everybody involved.

Consultant + Product Advisor

http://www.predictablerevenue.com

Helped a leading SaaS company formulate product strategy, scale their product dev process, and up-skill their product team.

Predictable Revenue is a leading brand in the SaaS sales enablement space. They help the sales development reps scale prospecting by automating their cold outreach efforts.

I was hired by their CEO to help scale the product and engineering organizations.

He and I worked together to formalize his product strategy and ensure the right product and dev people were in the "right seats on the bus."

On the process side, I worked with the team to ensure they validated wireframes and mockups, incorporated customer feedback to inform product direction, wrote and broke specs down into implementable chunks, and made good trade-offs to build cost-effective solutions.

And I coached a junior product manager and junior dev to help them upskill and grow into their roles.

Here's what their CEO says about our engagement: "Kareem was instrumental in helping us build out our product management organization. He had great insights about our customers after a very short time and was able to show us how to turn those insights into features. He's one of a kind in his ability to see both the product management and the engineering side of the equation. He was an exceptionally valuable member of our team and I hope to work with him again."

Co-Founder + Head of Product

Started, grew, and sold a B2B2C SaaS app in the fitness space.

SocialWOD helped a CrossFit gym track its members' workouts (a WOD is short for "Workout of the Day" in the CrossFit community).

A gym owner would snap a photo of the whiteboard (where the day's workout and member results were recorded), send it to SocialWOD, and we'd database the data. Gym members would be able to track their workout progress. Gym owners liked it because it both helped retain members (because members could see visible and serious progress) and acquire new customers (because members would share workout progress with their non-member friends via social channels).

Before writing code, we spoke to 30-40 gym owners to validate our understanding of the problem. We showed interviewees wireframes of a potential solution and got eight gym owners to commit to paying. At that point, we built the two-screen MVP.

Over the following three years we scaled SocialWOD to ten employees and contractors across the world and hundreds of customers.

Since it was an early-stage company, I ran product, wrote software, did support, sales, marketing, and customer success.

We sold SocialWOD to a NYC-based company in 2016.

Technical and Business Operations - eCommerce

http://www.belmondoskincare.com

Partnered with a domain expert to start Shopify store #2500. Ran business and technical ops and grown company YoY since 2010.

Belmondo Skincare sells natural and organic skincare online and in retail. It's grown revenue year over year since 2010.

It's been carried in places like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and ABC Carpet and Home in NYC. It's been covered in places like Vogue, Elle, Monocle, Wallpaper, ABC, and NBC.

I head up technical and business operations. I built the initial Shopify store. I make all the decisions about what the business needs as it grows and the apps that will support that growth. And I do all the technical implementation to integrate the apps we need. I've also done custom technical work to integrate using Shopify's API when no apps were available.

I've implemented all kinds of marketing apps to grow: reviews, automated emails, SEO, Amazon integration, shipping integrations, product bundling, advanced discounting, reporting, etc.

If you're looking for someone to help implement and grow a Shopify business, I've pretty much seen and done it all over the last decade.

Technical Product Consultant - eCommerce

http://www.rockbottombottles.com

Smoothly re-platformed multi-million dollar from WooCommerce to Shopify with no technical, operational, or revenue problems.

Rock Bottom Bottles sells e-liquid bottles. They approached me because they were experiencing new operational challenges due to growth, and wanted advice and implementation expertise to solve their problems.

I determined their requirements, researched the eCommerce market, and wrote a report outlining possible solutions. The report outlined what their operational future would likely look like if they stayed on WooCommerce as their eCommerce platform vs. moving to Shopify. Specifically, the report covered implementation cost and timeline, potential risks and mitigation strategies, opportunities of using either platform and on-going costs for each platform.

The client decided to re-platform to Shopify. I headed up the project from the product and technical side. I did some of the implementations myself and hired and managed a team to do the rest.

We successfully launched the new site with no technical or revenue bumps in the road. Additionally, I trained up the sales and operational staff so they were familiar with any necessary operational changes.

Replatforming eliminated their operational challenges and positioned them to accelerate their revenue growth after the move to Shopify.
1995 - 2001

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Computer Science

McGill University - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

DECEMBER 2005 - PRESENT

Fellows Program

Creative Good

Tools

Trello, GitHub

Paradigms

Requirements Analysis, Agile

Industry Expertise

Exercise & Fitness, Education Technology (Edtech)

Other

Software as a Service (SaaS), Product Roadmaps, Stakeholder Management, Customer Discovery, Product Requirements Documentation (PRD), Customer Interviews, Technical Product Management, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Analytics, Requirements & Specifications, Business Analysis, Business Requirements, Digital Transformation, Digital, Technology Solutions, Business Consulting, Digital Product Management, Delivery, UX Design, Digital Solutions, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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