Stephen Joos, Product Manager in Denver, CO, United States
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Stephen Joos

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Denver, CO, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 27, 2019

Stephen has 12 years of experience in all aspects of the product development lifecycle—launching products in the telecom, research, payments, social networking, media, and advertising, and NGO/nonprofit sectors. He led the efforts to launch the mobile-giving industry in the US, the first mobile social networks in Pakistan and Cuba, and a new wireless carrier in the US. Stephen’s passion is building intuitive user experiences to drive impact.

Project Highlights

Mobile Giving
Led product design, development, and operations to launch a cross-carrier mobile donation solution that raised $75 million.
ZunZuneo and Humari Awaz | The First Mobile Social Networks
Led product development efforts to bring the 1st mobile social networks in Cuba & Pakistan to market with significant usage.


Work Experience

Lead Product Manager of Growth and New Products

2017 - PRESENT
  • Made core contributions to the launch of a new wireless carrier, in the first six months, for a Fortune 20 company.
  • Drove product-growth initiatives leveraging innovative acquisition strategies to meet eight-figure revenue goals.
  • Established and led a research function supporting product concept testing, customer feedback, usability assessment, and category-leading NPS measurement.
  • Spearheaded the marketing technology product functions, including procurement and implementation of CMS, CRM, analytics, mobile communication (in-app/push), A/B testing, and reporting platforms.
  • Owned and developed relationships with key industry partners in the music and finance space to drive product direction to grow post-subscription engagement and retention.
  • Established, as a critical member, a corporate social responsibility program resulting in the creation of a nonprofit seed incubator and advisor to participant organizations.

Director of Product

2013 - 2017
  • Built and led global product, operations, and development teams supporting a 24-hour development cycle.
  • Oversaw all aspects of the core GeoPoll product including development, quality assurance, marketing, end-user support, operational execution, and the go-to-market process from concept to delivery for SMS, mobile application, and web-based platform supporting 200 million users and 175 million surveys sent in 44 countries.
  • Led cross-functional collaboration with all levels of the organization from C suite to director level to expand product portfolio to include media measurement/ratings, survey administration, micro-tasking, retail auditing, out-of-home monitoring, mobile advertising, and data visualization.
  • Supported business development efforts to secure key accounts with leading multinational FMCG, telecommunication, and media firms including Coca-Cola, WPP, Colgate, P&G, and Vodafone.
  • Deployed to build and lead Nairobi, Kenya office as the second headquarters.
  • Led product marketing efforts resulting in 15% growth in mobile application installs week-on-week and 20% growth in commercial conversions per month.

Director of Product

2011 - 2013
  • Oversaw the end-to-end product development, SLA adherence, and administration of SMS, PSMS, mobile web, IVR, credit card, and client administration system in US, Canada, Haiti, Pakistan, and Cuba.
  • Conceived and executed on the go-to-market strategy for all products focusing on cross-functional coordination stakeholders throughout the product lifecycle in an Agile environment.
  • Scaled product to support over 15 million users, 2+ billion SMS messages, and $62 million in microtransactions and 1,700 nonprofit clients.
  • Oversaw additional product lines, including the launch of the first mobile social network in Pakistan (Humari Awaz) and Cuba (ZunZuneo) with material market penetration.
  • Developed a mobile money platform in collaboration with mobile network operators, banks, and the American Red Cross for a cash-transfer pilot in Haiti, post-earthquake.

Director of Operations

2008 - 2011
  • Collaborated with stakeholders to create industry standards for mobile messaging, transactions, and network provisioning processes for the mobile-giving channel.
  • Drove the end-to-end implementation of leading US and global direct messaging and billing carrier integrations with SLA creation and adherence.
  • Successfully managed multiple disaster response initiatives including the "text HAITI to 90999" initiative where $40 million was raised through PSMS micro-donations for Haitian disaster response.
  • Formed and maintained strategic partnerships within the telecommunication and payment space.

Director of Product Marketing

2007 - 2008
  • Oversaw all marketing efforts from digital and traditional advertising to events and PR.
  • Launched the industry’s first mobile application with GPS enabled real estate search on BREW handsets.
  • Produced standard communications and public relations strategies and procedures resulting in nationally syndicated articles in leading newspapers.
  • Conducted strategic business development activities with real estate associations and maintained relationships with leading members of the real estate tech industry.

Mobile Giving

Led product design, development, and operations to launch a cross-carrier mobile donation solution that raised $75 million.

mGive was a cross-carrier platform that supported rapid donations through carrier-billing with 100% passthrough to participating charities. With my efforts, we launched a cross-carrier solution with 100% charity pass-through to support immediate SMS donations.

I enhanced the product to drive SMS engagement, donation diversification to support 1,700 nonprofit clients.

I led product development efforts to launch and grow the platform resulting in the following:
• Reduced client onboarding time by 10x.
• Reduced the donation transaction completion time to four seconds.
• Expanded the billing system capacity to support 75,000 transactions in one hour for an NFL promotion.
• The disaster response effort—text HAITI to 90999—led to a watershed moment raising $41 million for Haiti Earthquake relief.

ZunZuneo and Humari Awaz | The First Mobile Social Networks

Led product development efforts to bring the 1st mobile social networks in Cuba & Pakistan to market with significant usage.

In non-internet-connected areas, it is difficult to access information, engage outside a small circle, and voice your opinion to the world.

I led efforts to launch a free SMS-based social network to allow information sharing between people facilitated by the social networking platform.

My efforts resulted in the following:
• Grew 800,000 subscribers, 1 billion messages in Pakistan.
• Expanded to 50% mobile penetration in Cuba.
• Changed behavior: the incidents were reported on the network as they happened in Pakistan, and the government increased internet accessibility in Cuba.
2019 - 2020

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Business Administration

Warwick Business School | WBS | The University of Warwick - Coventry, UK

2002 - 2007

Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Management Information Systems)

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, CO, USA



Pragmatic Institute