From the desk of Kunal Mittal, Chief Product Officer of FrontM
Over the last decade, the rise of the role I love here at FrontM has become one of the most sought after in business and technology leadership for small and medium enterprises, as well as the largest corporations on the planet.
My past role at MINDBODY was Chief Technology Officer, and had the CPO role reporting into me – and ran overall Product Strategy for 2+ years. Now, at FrontM, as Chief Product Officer at a much smaller startup – I wear many hats – sometimes simultaneously. Being successful in this demanding role means constantly developing and applying a multidisciplinary skill set. I am involved with Strategy, Fund Raising, Product Vision/Conceptualization, Go-To-Market – all the way to being the requirements jockey and first line of testing the application many times.
There’s however a lot of confusion in some circles about the difference between Chief Product Officers (CPOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs). This is how I see it – please feel free to comment too! This is all about sharing and conquering the same goal – building, bringing to market the absolutely best experiences for our customers – and returning value back to FrontM as a direct result.
But, and it’s a big but – the approach of CPO and CTO are different; at the highest level, I focus on why a product exists, tuning it to our markets and figuring out how it makes the company $$. My colleague, Guillermo, our CTO is focussed on the how & when – how the product will be developed, when can we implement it and ultimately deliver into our customer base.
Now, for us here at FrontM – working with our just brilliant sales, business development team and our own industry experts – this means my overlaid team focuses on the collection, dissemination and understanding of critical customer insights which drive our product decisions. Our CTO and his team rely on my team’s customer knowledge to deliver incredible value through technology.
As CPO, I measure, evaluate multiple levels of data directly related to the product experience. I also measure market data with partners, our sales and business development teams. Directly aligned to this, our CTO will clinically hone in on the product performance ,metrics and KPIs which are the cornerstone of our development teams’ workload.
At FrontM, the leadership works seamlessly and vibrantly together. As CPO and my colleague – our CTO, Guillermo, we regularly align on our overall vision – together ensuring we build the best products and solutions for our customers in aviation and maritime, the world over.