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Product Manager – Smart Contracts and DApps

By Sonia Chopra  |   04 Jan, 2019  |  Published in

Are you passionate about solving complex business problems and real world challenges? Do you thrive in a dynamic startup work environment that constantly pushes you to be the best you can be? Are you ready to work with motivated colleagues and veteran entrepreneurs who strive for excellence in everything they do?

Define the future of Financial Systems by innovating at the juncture of technologies of Blockchain and Big Data. Blockchain is the core of the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. This “new” financial revolution is changing how any financial instrument like securities, derivatives, etc. are traded and settled in Wall Street and around the world. Blockchain’s mathematical verification of underlying data simplifies audit and regulatory compliance and reduces billions of dollars spent in these functions. Financial institutions are looking to leverage big data solutions as systems of record for risk analysis and decision-making more now than ever before. Come, join this revolution!

 

Job Description

Join our fast-paced energetic Product Management team as we build the next generation enterprise blockchain platform. Product Managers at PeerNova are not just Managers, they are Product Owners. You are not just a cog in the wheel as you would be in a larger company. Here at PeerNova, you are entrusted with complete and independent ownership of one or more capabilities – capabilities like Analytics, Workbench, Lineage, Smart Contract framework, DLT network governance, etc. Your responsibilities encompass the entire gamut of product management activities ranging from customer research and roadmap planning through iteratively building out full-fledged features and capabilities to delivering them to our customers. You will be extremely busy, but at the end of every day you will have a sense of accomplishment. Every day will be different. You may be driving feature prioritization meetings, working on a value prop deck the CEO asked you to put together, create user stories for an upcoming release, perform acceptance testing for the current release, review UX prototypes with a UX designer, create marketing collateral, all on the same day. You will interact with Product, Operations and IT leaders of Global Financial Institutions around the world. On a needed basis, you will be traveling to meet with clients in New York, London, Zurich, Singapore and other major financial hubs to discuss feature sets and priorities. As you probably have realized already, your job will be anything but boring. You will work with some of the smartest engineers on the planet who have previously worked at Google, Apple, Yahoo and other leading companies. The company has a flat organizational structure and you will interact daily with the CEO and the Executive team. Your contribution will be visible across the organization immediately, without relying on the typical end of year evaluations at larger organizations, though we have them too. Decision-making is fast, without any of the bureaucratic overhead that larger companies face.

 

Job Responsibilities

Given the high degree of responsibilities that you will be entrusted with alongwith the broad scope of activities you will be managing, certain traits are critical success factors for a PeerNova Product Manager. Some of the key ones are below:

Demonstrate critical thinking: Product ownership implies that you are the “go to” person for your area and is recognized as such by everybody – the CEO, your peers in the Product and Engineering teams, sales teams, and customers. This requires you to not only be knowledgeable in all aspects of your job, but also be thoroughly abreast of market needs, competitive offerings and industry trends. Synthesizing information from various sources requires you to be an expert in critical thinking.

Deep Empathy: Product Managers represent the voice of the customer. This requires PMs to possess deep empathy to understand customer motivations, pain-points and operating environments. PMs also require empathy to understand constraints that Engineering teams may have and be able to balance the interests of multiple stakeholders. Empathy is a critical trait for PMs.

Self-starter attitude: At PeerNova, you will not be micromanaged. This means you are expected to be a self-starter at every task, big or small, that you are entrusted with, without waiting for your manager to tell you what the next steps are. You should be able to get started with minimal guidance and use your ingenuity and critical thinking skills to chart a way forward at each step. You need to have a bias for action and not only be comfortable but thrive in an environment where decisions have to be made with limited or ambiguous information.

Excellent interpersonal skills: You are expected to possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills to effectively converse with customers as well as Engineering teams, Sales, peer PMs and the Executive team to set and manage expectations, discuss dependencies and tradeoffs, communicate customer needs, position your product features, etc.

Be hands-on: You are expected to roll up your sleeves and be hands-on in all aspects of your job. Creating wireframes, testing, installing local builds are all tasks that our PMs excel at.

Expert at agile multitasking:  You should be fully comfortable at working simultaneously on multiple high-priority tasks, and at a fast pace. At the same time, you need to be able to adapt to any change in direction that can happen due to any number of factors like new customer requests, strategic repositioning, technological shifts, etc.

Bias for shipping quality product: You should be an expert in driving towards MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) for each of the features/capabilities you own. All activities you plan should be geared towards the end goal of shipping product, of the highest quality, as quickly as possible.

The Product Manager – Smart Contracts and DLT applications will own and manage the roadmap for the Smart Contracts Framework capability. Our Smart Contracts Framework provides the tools and technology foundation for customers to define, test and deploy smart contracts on the Cuneiform platform. Cuneiform smart contracts are written in a Domain Specific Language (DSL) which can be compiled to Ethereum bytecode and executed by an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Cuneiform smart contract definitions include not only business logic, but associated state changes and protocols – who can participate in a transaction, what conditions constitute transaction finality, what consensus model is applicable, the set of states associated with specific transactions, etc. You will be responsible for designing value-added smart contract features: create tools that enable business users to create financial assets in Cuneiform, define financial transactions involving assets on the blockchain, specify states and state transitions, define consensus policies, etc.  via a self-serve templatized, intuitive user interface. How will users write distributed applications (DApps) and invoke smart contract functions? How will the smart contracts and DApps be deployed to the network? What are the critical non-functional factors to consider: Identity management, security, scalability, maintainability, reliability? What do we optimize for in our Smart Contract framework? What client libraries are users required to install? What sample applications do we need to build to help drive adoption? These are some of the varied topics you will be tackling.

 

Responsibilities

  • Develop deep understanding of customer business drivers and pain-points so you can identify and prioritize product features that deliver maximum value to customers
  • Create and own the product roadmap for Cuneiform’s Smart Contracts Framework and DApp capabilities.
  • Drive design strategy for Smart Contracts framework capability: Templatized tools, Pluggable consensus policies,non-functional  factors to consider (Identity management, security, scalability, maintainability, reliability), DApp Lifecycle Management
  • Constantly communicate with customers via appropriate channels (face-to-face, video, audio, email) to ensure customers are actively engaged in product development – from problem analysis through solution hypothesis to pre-release beta testing and beyond.
  • Drive feature prioritization of backlog items and shepherd them through the product development pipeline
  • Create detailed customer problem analysis to clearly articulate benefits that feature delivers customers in a measurable way
  • Define MVP scope for your features and have a clear vision of what benefits the MVP delivers to customers
  • Partner with Engineering teams to create solution hypothesis, mockups and interactive workflows and iterate them using customer reviews/feedback
  • Create detailed user stories, mockups and wireframes (where needed), and acceptance criteria to effectively communicate requirements to Engineering teams
  • Stay on top of progress of all deliverables for your features: you are the “go to” person for your feature to all stakeholders – CEO, customers, engineers, sales teams, peer PMs
  • Test upcoming features and conduct customer beta tests to ensure deliverables meet high quality standards
  • Develop sample applications, demos and detailed “How To” and “Getting Started” guides to drive user education and adoption of Cuneiform Smart Contracts and DApps
  • Create marketing collateral for your features as well as broader product and positioning collateral as directed by management
  • Support all post-release activities related to your features.

 

Minimum Requirements

  • You possess all the traits in the Required Traits section above.
  • You have a firm understanding of critical technology factors in designing permissioned enterprise blockchain networks
  • You have direct hands-on experience building DApps and smart contracts on leading blockchain platforms like Ethereum or Hyperledger Fabric (both would be a bonus) using languages like GoLang, Java, Solidity, etc.
  • You are familiar with Big Data, Cloud, blockchain technologies, applications and use-cases
  • You are ready to travel both domestically and internationally to meet with clients and partners on an as-needed basis
  • Undergraduate Degree in technical discipline (Engineering/Computer Science).
  • Bonus: Top-tier MBA
  • Bonus: building blockchain apps for permissioned networks like those applicable to Financial services/Capital Markets vertical
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