Great participants shape the experience at ProductCamp Amsterdam. The meet the participant series explores the product and ProductCamp story of some of our participants.
First up: Mustafa El Maghrabi, who made the switch from Sales to Product.
Hey Mustafa! Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you ended up in Product?
Mustafa: I’m Mustafa El Maghrabi, 29 years old and I’m originally from Egypt. I currently work as a Technical Product Owner at Payconiq, a Mobile payments company in the Fintech sector here in Amsterdam.
Before working in Product Management, I was working in Sales and Business Development at Bynder. My manager offered me the opportunity to lead a new business development team. After some internal interviews, I also had the opportunity to start as a Product Manager at the same company. The Sales position was financially much more appealing. I had to step down financially to start working in product. I would also miss out on the opportunity to manage my own team.
In the end, I decided it was more important to follow my heart. It was a choice between staying in my comfort zone or stretching myself to learn something new. I took the risk of starting my first job in product. It was a difficult decision to make, but I’m loving working as a Product Manager!
Do you think your sales background benefits you in your role as a Product Owner?
Being a good salesman is all about understanding the problem of your customer, communication, building a relationship and presenting how your solution would help solve their problem. All of these skills are very essential when you work in Product. So much of Product Management is the politics of influencing people and understanding customers and their problems.
“Being a good salesman is all about understanding the problem of your customer, communication, building a relationship and presenting how your solution would help solve their problem.”
In Product Management, you do not manage any people but you need to inspire, motivate and influence your team so they move in the direction of your vision. A large part of the role revolves around communication and in Sales, it’s all about communication. So that part came very naturally to me.
This is the second time you will be attending right? What made you come back?
Mustafa: actually, it’s the third time. And it will definitely not be my last time!
When I came to the conference for the first time, I was a rookie in product and I learned so much from others sharing their own experiences and struggles. It opened a whole new world for me and I saw how a lot of things we were doing could be improved.
When I came the first time, I was a rookie in product and I learned so much from others sharing their own experiences and struggles.
I go to many conferences, but what I love about ProductCamp is that I can learn stuff from my peers that I can apply to my day-to-day job, network, and gain a fresh perspective.
What are you hoping to learn by attending ProductCamp?
Mustafa: Best-practices in product lifecycle management, the tools other Product Managers work with and the flow from idea to feature that goes live.
Final question: are you going to propose a session, if so what session and format will you propose?
Mustafa: An informal group discussion about Prioritization for Product Managers. I recently introduced a prioritization framework and I am curious what other approaches people use so maybe I can make mine even better.
Thanks for your time Mustafa, hope to see you at ProductCamp in a few months!