PODCAST #7. Exposing the Unrevealed Product Success: What Connections Are Key?

Today our guest is Estee Goldschmidt, VP of Product Management at Parsley Health. Her experience varies from launching a startup and fundraising and understanding everything about that culture to managing multi-international product development teams. Estee came to the US at 17 and immediately got involved in the student community, holding responsible positions.


Interestingly, Estee’s first job was a position in the marketing department of a cosmetics company… Estee Lauder. Such concurrencies sometimes happen! One of her most important decisions involved a strategy for distributing free product samples. Instead of making everyone go through the headache of planning samples twice a year, Estee offered to match this with an actual sales pipeline, and it resulted in huge savings for the company.


Even if you’re sort of one person out of thousands, there’s still a way to have an impact and improve things.

Not all of Estee’s decisions were winnable. But she was not discouraged; on the contrary, she made more effort. In particular, she was fired up by the idea of creating a startup. Estee spent a summer in Israel at a startup gas pedal, watching other founders do it. Instead of writing business plans, founding companies, assembling teams, pitching contests, and trying to find funding, they just started creating a product and offering it to customers. And when they got customers, they started saying, how do I make something official out of this? How do I get funding to launch this idea?

Getting people to pay for a product that’s essentially free is brilliant.

Esti then went back to the US and got 4,000 active users within two months-that was the result of creating a sales map, where people open it and see what events are happening near you. Esty shares the experience of reaching goals, “We didn’t have millions of meetings where we were trying to make a lot of different parts of the group happy, it was like whether or not we were doing it, and if we were, we all agreed, and we were working on it.”

The ability to move fast is something that has to be maintained.

In a fast-moving company, there’s a powerful alignment of mission and what needs to be done. In big companies, most of the work that needs to be done is already completed, everything is stable, the processes work, you know it’s a well-oiled machine, so if you bring in a new person or someone comes in, first of all, there are a lot of cases where there’s no work to justify team X, so many teams start working to understand what their purpose is, and that kind of white space can provide opportunities to discover new areas or what can be done better, but it can also lead to places where another big.

You could have the smartest people in the room, the most educated people, the most experienced people, but if everyone’s focused on their own thing or rowing against each other, it’s very hard to accomplish anything.

About the experience at Cerebral: I was working on what needed to be fixed, so in the beginning, I just made sure that our offering was relevant and that everything worked as it was meant to, and that was the first step and the second step was to strategize the following steps, what we offer, how to make what we offer better and stronger by listening to our customers and understanding where their pain points are, what we can fix, what we can take away, so the customer experience is better. The product manager doesn’t have to tell team members how to work, the developers and designers are professionals in their field, and they know better.

When it comes to making product decisions, it seems to me that the answer should always be: what’s best for the customer?

If you follow that path and use that as a guiding star, you’ll have a good strategy. There’s a precise balance in management between “get away from me with your micromanagement” and “I care about feeling your support”-the key is establishing trust.

The last thing you want as a manager is for your team to be afraid of you.

And if something goes wrong and you don’t know about it and then things blow up in your face, you want them to feel safe and be able to say, hey, this is going wrong, and then I’ll help them solve it, because I end up hiring people for work that I don’t want to do for them.

You have the financiers, you have the marketers, you have the doctors, but who represents the customer, and everything is done for the customer, so the job of products is to sit at the table and be that customer, be that voice of the customer.

Three examples of these qualities the most talented professional product managers have been. The most important is an obsession with customers as a guiding star. Another quality is the ability to execute. A third is an ability to step back when necessary and let your associates do their job.

I have a work style and an idea of how to impact things, and ultimately, I want to be in a place that “wants” those skills and recognition instead of hiding and trying to conform to something I am not. You can be great at one place and wrong at another.







The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.

Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?

Please find out about all this and more in our podcast. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe to channels:

Listen to our podcast to get some useful tips on your next startup.
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Helping Startups Grow at the WebSummit

Our team recently got back from the WebSummit. Considering that this year the attendance was over 60,000 people, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s the largest concentration of people who are passionate about innovations, digital transformation for their business, and new ideas of how to make this world a better place.

It’s the third year the APP Solutions is a partner for the WebSummit conferences. This year, we’ve also decided to help a rising e-commerce startup in finding investments and one of our Business Development Managers, Mariia, became their representative at the event.

Here are their experience and our lifehacks that might be helpful to you or fellow startuppers.


Among the startups that come to the WebSummit, there are ALPHAs, BETAs, and START levels. Bizitome is currently developing their web solution, therefore they are at the ALPHA stage.

There are three main reasons for an ALPHA startup to come to the WebSummit:

  1. Get a proof of concept (in case there is no ready product to show yet).
  2. Talk to people to find out what kind of improvements can be made to the product in the future (since WebSummit, in a way, is a large focus group for innovations. Granted, this depends on the type of product you’re working on, but still.)
  3. Get investments.

You can never be overprepared for events like this (especially if you want to get investments), so it’s better to start a few months prior to the date of the conference.

Study the attendee list and set up meetings with people you think might be interested in your idea. The list shouldn’t be limited to attendees with a badge “Investor.” You don’t know who might want to invest in your business, so don’t disregard people based on the badges.

A word about attendees: the majority assigns their tickets right before the event. Below is the graph we’ve got based on registrations in the weeks leading to the WebSummit, so keep updating your data.

How many tickets were assigned each week leading up to the WebSummit

At the WebSummit

You’ve made it to the WebSummit. Congratulations. Now the hard (and/or fun) part begins 🙂

This year the conference lasted for three days and each day a new set of startups would have a stand day. Allocate your energy accordingly, so that you won’t die before the last day of the event.

In case you’ve got a stand, the day when you present your idea to the WebSummit visitors is the most important day. Show up early, don’t forget to smile, and get ready to talk all day long.

If you don’t have a stand at all (or in the days when you don’t have a stand), networking can get you where you need to be as well. Talk to people, learn about their product, tell them a bit about yours.

There are also very useful WebSummit Mentor Hours for startups. The idea of these meetings is to connect high-level attendees with startup representatives to gain knowledge on how to start, grow, and scale a successful business. While our Mariia was representing Bizitome at the stand, the co-founders met with the mentor in order to learn valuable insights on how best to proceed with implementation of the project.

Get ready to walk a few miles each day. Below is one of the team member’s activity track (considering that she was mainly stationed at the stand.)

Walking around the WebSummit

Following Up

The conference itself might’ve ended for this year, but the work doesn’t stop here.

If you haven’t had a chance to meet with someone during the event, don’t give up. We’ve met one of the potential leads in the airport in the wee hours of the morning. He didn’t have a chance to meet during the conference, but here was the perfect opportunity to chat. Chances are that people to and from Lisbon around the time of the WebSummit are among attendees list, so don’t be shy and talk to them.

At the conference, our client’s team talked to hundreds of people, collected over 200 interesting contacts, and captured the attention of three investors.

The APP Solutions team is happy that we got a chance to help our startup client this year and we’re looking forward to helping more startups in the future – with web & mobile development as well as representing the companies at the events like WebSummit.

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