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January 29, 2023
Why [me]: Nick's Story
As a young kid in Iowa, Nick DeLessio wanted to be an architect and was fascinated by the idea of creating something from scratch. We’re talking about digging into architecture books and plans at a young age, here. Some kids dream about super heroes. Nick dreamt about spires and fascia (ok, maybe not literally, but you get the picture.)
Later while attending Georgetown University with the intention of entering into finance or law, Nick landed on computer science after poking around a few other majors. Is it really college if you don’t change your mind a handful of times?
Fresh out of college, Nick joined a startup in the hospitality tech space where he was able to get his first taste of the working world and where he discovered a love for startups. Working as a product manager at a startup, Nick had a lot of ownership and was able to be creative when finding solutions (not to anyone's surprise but startups require a fair amount of creativity from everyone). Being able to experiment with new ideas in a fast paced environment allowed Nick to learn the ins and outs of the business, not unlike the restaurant industry. When his employer was acquired by a much larger company, Nick moved on, looking for another startup in the tech space. Enter MarginEdge.
As director of product management here, he spends his days managing his team, building product roadmaps, and generally planning for the future of the software. The hardest job for product managers like Nick is deciphering what to build next. When thinking about new enhancements, the possibilities are endless so he has to prioritize.
“It’s not all that dissimilar from a restaurant,” says Nick. “You only have so many seats, so many servers, and so many cooks in the kitchen. If you seat more than you can handle, service will be slow and the customer will have a bad experience. It’s the same with building software. We have a finite number of designers and engineers, so there’s a limit to the number of releases we can do. And if we take on too much at once, we risk executing poorly and providing a poor user experience.”
He and his team gain insight into what our customers want by talking with them directly, listening to customer success stories, and asking lots of questions. His team is in a unique position to really be effective listeners, as there are layers to potential new features that anyone outside of his department wouldn’t know existed. You can think of them like product soothsayers or psychics.
And while it may feel like just shouting feedback into an endless void, we’re extremely lucky to have people like Nick who dive into each idea (no, really, each and every idea) presented by customers and weigh out the options, resources, and overall impact.
Nick always says that he would like to work at a large company again one day, but he wants to get in early and help the organization grow from the bottom up. Lucky for him, we think his plan is going pretty well so far.