Meet Darren Palmer, Product Manager at BVNK
In this edition of Life at BVNK, Darren Palmer, Group Product Manager for DLT Payments, talks about trust, integrity and getting close to customers.
Tell us what you do.
My day always starts with short standups – these are a great opportunity to check in with the team. That's the only ‘typical’ part of the day! The rest varies wildly between customer workshops, reviewing metrics, designing launch strategies and more.
It’s this variety that draws a lot of people to product management – no chance of getting bored.
Why did you decide to join BVNK?
The people. We’re all fully behind the company’s mission and we don’t let egos get in the way of results, or having a laugh along the way. It’s exciting to be solving some long-standing problems with moving money globally, and doing so with new technology.
Describe the culture in one word.
Integrity. We act with honesty and transparency and we stick to our word. It’s powerful when hundreds of people ooze this trait. It creates a culture of trust and accountability which helps us achieve results and grow. We assess integrity when hiring new team members to make sure we don’t lose this at BVNK.
How did you end up at BVNK?
This career chose me. After completing a degree in music, I took a series of small but logical hops from arts event management to sport event management to project management and finally to product.
The common themes are organising, thinking creatively, managing risk and working with people.
As for honing my craft in software and fintech, this happened gradually and organically by surrounding myself with incredibly smart people and absorbing as much as I could along the way.
What’s different about working here?
The genuine obsession for doing what's best for our customers. The level of transparency across the business regardless of role, seniority, or team is also unique.
What’s the most challenging thing about your role and how do you unwind?
Prioritising my time is a challenge given the fast pace of growth here. I need to focus on short, medium, and long term things at the same time all while keeping the team, stakeholders and customers informed about the future of the product. This can feel intense at times.
Being a father to my one year old daughter allows me to switch off from work in the evenings and weekend, although this doesn’t always feel like ‘unwinding’!
What advice would you give someone starting out?
The quickest way to learn is by getting stuck in. Start with small problems, get very close with customers and spend a lot of time with different teams, from commercial to finance to customer support and engineering.
The beauty of product management is there is no defined entry point and many companies view this role differently. In my experience, starting out often just takes a curious, analytical, outcome-focussed mindset.
Any books, blogs, films or podcasts you recommend?
Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres. Teresa provides great theory and practical advice on uncovering insights and increasing product value. Discovery is critical to building the right thing, given most companies’ and individuals’ natural instinct is to focus on shipping features.
Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking by Matthew Syed is also a great read on how to build successful teams and encourage diverse thinking to achieve incredible outcomes.