Barron Caster leads the growth efforts at Rev.com as a Senior Product Manager. He is extremely passionate about his work and enjoys sharing insights with the product/mobile app community. For example, on Medium’s popular Hacker Noon publication, he recently tackled the insightful topic: Growth Tools 101 (with 6 conversion examples and real numbers).
Barron hails from the high tech hub of San Francisco and describes himself as “relentlessly curious”. We loved sitting down with Barron and picking his brain about product and the mobile app world. Let’s take a look at what he had to say:
In short, describe your role/responsibilities as a Senior Product Manager for the Rev.com Growth Team
At Rev, my job consists of putting our engineering and design resources to work in the highest-impact areas of the business in terms of revenue.
The Growth Team is different than other product teams at Rev in two key ways. The first is that we are 100% focused on acquisition and revenue. The second is that we work across Rev’s 6 business verticals whereas other teams focus on improving the individual services themselves.
What is your background as a product manager? How did you get into the field?
My route to being a PM is a bit all over the place. I started out in tech working as a venture capitalist. In looking at interesting fields, I identified digital health as a booming industry and joined Zenefits, the coolest and fastest growing company in the space. While working there in operations, I got my first taste of product by taking on side projects before transitioning to my first full product role at Rev. I’ve been at Rev for over 2 years and have grown with the company.
In your eyes, what defines a “good” freelance/transcribing app?
Reliable, fast, easy to use, and affordable. It is hard to get all of those things right. Rev has two mobile apps that check those boxes: Rev Voice Recorder and Rev Call Recorder.
What would you say are some key points that differentiate Rev.com from competitors?
Our focus on customers and always seeking to improve. We are never satisfied and work hard to provide more value to our customers for the same low cost, such as free software to view and edit their transcripts on our platform.
Do you have a favorite feature?
Yes! My first project at Rev is called “faster delivery” — it is a way to get customers their transcripts faster. We split up the audio files, freelancers work on them in parallel, and deliver them back in one piece. It’s fast!
What type of user tests do you conduct?
We love user testing. Our head designer leads a design conference and multiple workshops on user testing. We test before we launch, during launch, and after launch. We try to test with the product’s target demographic, but sometimes we have to settle for random craigslist people who will have a fresh perspective.
What are some of your biggest pain points/challenges in the realm of product?
Prioritization is key. No one has unlimited resources. Figuring out what will have the highest ROI is a constant battle.
What do you see as some of the biggest hurdles in the mobile app industry?
Mobile app users are fickle. If you do one thing wrong, you will be deleted or forgotten. It is crucial to provide real utility with your app and become part of their workflow.
What are some of your favorite tools to use? Why?
Appsee to learn from real user behavior. Intercom because you can speak with your customers in real-time. Mixpanel allows you track what your users are doing. Evernote and my purple Moleskine journal so that I don’t forget anything.
What are your top five apps that you would never delete from your phone?
Slack, Twitter, Evernote, Audible, Overcast
What are your favorite blogs, communities, influencers to follow?
The Reforge team consistently puts out high-quality material on Growth. I also love the Startup Chat podcast with Hiten Shah and Steli Efti, and Seeking Wisdom with David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt.
Top item on your bucket list, 3,2, 1….go!
Walking handstand — I’m working on it!
Thanks again for chatting with us Barron!