For the last year and a half, Ken Washington has been the product manager for the Grid (our shared hosting solution) and is responsible for the recent improvements to the Grid’s file manager and file installer. We asked Ken about his journey as a product manager and his life outside of Media Temple.
1: What do you like the most in what you do? Why?
Being a product manager at Media Temple is like being a toolmaker. I have to look at the Grid from a variety of angles in order to figure out how to make the best improvements. Interacting with current and potential customers is just as crucial (and fun) as gathering their feedback to help inform our decisions to develop new features and create the right toolset for them.
I also really enjoy collaborating with our creative, development, and UX teams. Each team is composed of people who are passionate about building innovative solutions that our customers will enjoy using and that will truly simplify their lives.
It’s easy to be a toolmaker when you have such a motivated and ambitious group of talented people by your side.
2: Of which project you are the proudest?
Working on the Grid is by far the largest and most ambitious project I’ve worked on since I joined Media Temple a few years ago. When I became the Grid product manager, it was fascinating for me to learn about our passionate user base and how our customers use it to not only host their own websites but also their clients’. We’ve improved the Grid quite a lot in the past year, and we are far from being done!
3: How different is Media Temple compared to any previous companies you worked at?
I’ve spent most of my career (almost ten years!) in various jobs in local government, where I was stuck in its slow methodical pace. At Media Temple, not only is our work environment highly dynamic and exciting, but we also get to build the next-generation of hosting solutions that help creatives and enterprises run successful businesses. How cool is that?
4: Before working here, what was the most interesting job you had?
My previous job. As a System Administrator for a department of about 150 employees, I learned all about gathering and analyzing user feedback, setting user requirements, and guiding projects to full completion. It gave me a great first taste of what the product management role encompasses – including the challenges to overcome.
5: What do you do in your free time?
I moved to Los Angeles from the Inland Empire when I joined Media Temple. Los Angeles is an amazing blend of different cultures, all of which have their own fantastic culinary traditions. From trying the latest Korean restaurant to finding the best hole-in-the-wall Mexican place, traveling all over this city to find great restaurants has been one of my hobbies.
6: Which one of the five company values resonates the most with you?
Be extraordinary. The culture here is truly inspirational. My coworkers aren’t here to do average or merely passable work. Trying to build or create something exceptional is infectious and makes each day here even better.