This week, I am interviewing Mimi Salcedo, a product expert and early employee at one of the first neobanks, Simple (acquired by BBVA). Mimi is now COO & Co-Founder of WinWin, a gamified savings app using the powerful psychology of the lottery to help people save money.
How/why did you get into tech?
I got into tech because I wanted to have a large-scale impact. The idea of being able to build solutions to problems that could reach millions of people was and remains the most inspirational element of my work.
What role do you play in the tech ecosystem?
I define “what” to build and “why” we’re building it then I lead teams of designers and engineers to figure out “how”. My role is to understand and weigh the needs of the customer, the technology and the business to craft software and strategies that solve customer’s problems and drive key business objectives.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2019?
Convergence! I think tech has gotten pretty disparate with a lot of products and apps solving niche problems. It’ll be slow, but in 2019 you’ll start to see a lot of these niche products get rolled up into larger, more powerful ones. I’m definitely into this trend because I’m a believer in “less is more” and I think the combination of tools is where the problem-solving gets really powerful.
Who is a person in tech that inspires you? Why?
A few years ago I attended my first Product Management conference and I was and remain really inspired by Tom Chi, specifically his talk on Rapid Prototyping. He talks a lot about the culture of teams and the culture of software development, placing a strong emphasis on learning in those environments. I think sometimes we forget that technology is built by humans and that by harnessing their strengths and encouraging learning, we can vastly improve the way we build things and the quality of what we’re building.
What advice would you give for someone who wants to get into tech?
Be curious and open-minded and don’t worry about fitting into any boxes. People in tech come from everywhere and I believe there’s a place for everyone, it’s just a matter of taking the time to find your angle. Ask yourself, what skills have you picked up in your career that you can reframe to be applicable to a new medium (tech)?