Laurens Feenstra, Product Manager in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Laurens Feenstra

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Location
San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
June 21, 2019

Laurens has six years of product experience, from product sprint workshops (product design, road mapping) to defining product strategy with management teams and feature definition and Agile development with engineering. He primarily works with companies that build complex technical systems, including Waymo and Google. The fields he’s been involved in include self-driving, aerospace, mobility, climate, data science, and eCommerce.

Project Highlights

Waymo Fleet Management for Driverless Operations
Launched the first fully driverless vehicles; scaled self-driving R&D operations from 10 cars to a 24/7 500+ car service.
Speed Product Management for Chromebook and ChromeOS
Responsible for keeping Chromebooks speedy—improved startup by 30%, and page loading by ~2x amongst other improvements.
Waymo One Self-driving Car Ride-hailing Service
Launched our public paid program using self-driving cars.

Expertise

Work Experience

Director of the Board

2018 - PRESENT
Namaste Technology
  • Navigated a public company through a CEO transition.
  • Acted as the chairman for the governance of a public company.
  • Established a product and engineering organization.
  • Acted as the chairman for executive compensation.
  • Advised on machine learning, M&A, product, and technology strategy.

Product Manager

2016 - 2019
Waymo
  • Spearheaded product for Waymo's self-driving ride-hailing service, driverless fleet management and.
  • operations, rider support, and ridehailing partnerships.
  • Contributed to mapping.
  • Scaled the operations and testing.
  • Developed a self-driving ride-hailing service.
  • Worked on partner integrations and the API.

Product Manager

2013 - 2016
Google
  • Launched Google Assistant/Now on iOS.
  • Developed a performance framework for ChromeOS/Chromebook hardware which ensured that Chromebooks remained the fastest laptop on the market.
  • Launched beta program Google Assistant for partner devices.
  • Led and launched beta program Android Things IoT platform—leading the product for developer features, managing device updates, and handling reporting and developer onboarding; ultimately taking the project to beta.

Consultant

2011 - 2013
McKinsey & Company
  • Consulted with a large European bank on a big data analysis for finance, mobility, media, risk management, and sales.
  • Implemented Lean IT for banking.
  • Built a national IT platform between energy utilities.
  • Developed the home energy and solar strategy for a European utility.

Waymo Fleet Management for Driverless Operations

Launched the first fully driverless vehicles; scaled self-driving R&D operations from 10 cars to a 24/7 500+ car service.

• Oversaw teams of 15-20 engineers and 50 operators to launch Driverless Operations.
• Launched systems and internal tools that ensure operators can safety and security launch driverless vehicles on public roads
• Led the effort to collect better testing miles while saving more than $5 million yearly in testing cots
Launched automated health monitoring and escalation procedures that allowed Waymo to scale to 100s of vehicles
• Launched systems that improve routing and staging vehicles in-field, bringing down rider wait times by 40% on average
• Led initiative to predict hardware failure, improving robot uptime by 20-30%

Speed Product Management for Chromebook and ChromeOS

Responsible for keeping Chromebooks speedy—improved startup by 30%, and page loading by ~2x amongst other improvements.

• Led product for the systems team responsible for ensuring that Chromebooks stay laser fast.
• Launched a testing framework that guards more than 50 million Chromebooks against performance regressions on user critical performance.
• Designed changes to the OS kernel that improved startup times by 30%, and changes to memory management that reduced stalling browsers by 12x.
• Launched changes to UI drawing and JavaScript that improved page loading by 2x.
• Launched version 2 of the hardware testing lab that has ~100 Chromebooks.

Waymo One Self-driving Car Ride-hailing Service

Launched our public paid program using self-driving cars.

• Led a team of 15 engineers that launched Waymo One self-driving rail-hailing service.
• Launched Waymo's infrastructure for the Waymo self-driving car ride-hailing service in Phoenix, now running with thousands of users and hundreds of daily rides.
• Set up the rider support teams and tools for dealing with issues with humans in robots.
• Launched Waymo's partner program with Lyft, now actively serving rides.
• Launched systems that improve routing and staging vehicles in-field, bringing down rider wait times by 40% on average.

Product Management of Google Now/Google Assistant iOS

Launched Google Now/Google Assistant on iOS to more than 500 million users.

• Launched Google Now on the iOS Google Search app
• Improved app loading speeds by 60% to keep Search on iOS fast
• Led the design, implementation, and launch of new onboarding and sign-in experience.
• Grew the number of active iOS Google Search users from ~50% to more than 500 million.
2009 - 2011

Visiting Researcher in Human-computer Interaction

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2008 - 2011

Master's Degree in Human-computer Interaction

University of Groningen - Groningen, Netherlands

2008 - 2011

Master's Degree in Artificial Intelligence

University of Groningen - Groningen, Netherlands

2004 - 2008

Bachelor's Degree in Artificial Intelligence

University of Groningen - Groningen, Netherlands

Tools

Google Docs, BigQuery

Platforms

Chrome OS

Industry Expertise

Automotive, Healthcare, Cannabis, Aerospace & Defense

Paradigms

Scrum, Kanban, Rapid Prototyping

Other

Roadmaps, Product Launch, Data Analysis, Mobility, Business Strategy, Product Strategy, Strategy, Data Analytics, Product Management, Business Analysis, Product Roadmaps, Go-to-market Plans, User Research, Business Models, Product Design, Product Marketing, Product Frameworks, Innovation, Product Ownership, Product Discovery, Cloud, SQL, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Finance, iOS, Android, Requirements, Python, Java, Climate Risk Mitigation, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), IT Governance, Sprint Planning

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