How to improve Productivity during a Pandemic crisis

27 min readDec 16, 2020


Although Outsystems is an example of Low Code, the focus of the company is not on code but on PRODUCTIVITY. Creating platforms that have an impact on teams, Low code is one way to achieve this goal but during the interview, Gonçalo showed us other strategies from AI to software automation.

Welcome to the Productized Podcast! My name is Andre Marquet and I will be your co-host today along with special co-host: Arnaud Breton. Let me tell you about Arnaud, he is from Paris, and he is a Principal Product Manager at the company called Screen. He’s ensuring product strategy aligns with the company, providing guidance to other product managers and designers in different product squads. He is very passionate about the impact of new technologies on the world with a passion for software development, since his childhood. And he is now capitalizing on building products that are solving fundamental problems.

Our guest today is Gonçalo Gaiolas, the VP of product of OutSystems. Gonçalo thank you for being with us today. Gonçalo has made customer experience digital strategy and software development.

He creates digital experiences for customers that speed up their success, using technologies and processing, improving to create cleaner internal operations, and reimagining the role of the digital in the modern company.

In his own words, Gonçalo is part gig part digital guy, part leader who likes to work where technology pushes business over the edge and where digital is no longer a service department. But the true leader in the company. He joined OutSystems in 2005, has been a software engineer, and has since worked in or with almost every team inside the company. And I’ve seen your LinkedIn, it’s quite active because it’s been all around the company. And for those that don’t know about OutSystems, is a low-code platform, which provides the tools for companies to develop and manage omnichannel enterprise applications. The OutSystems platform is designed to dramatically accelerate the deployment of Central applications while also delivering unprecedented levels of flexibility, enabling customers to develop continuously and evolve their applications as business needs that technology trends evolve.

Arnaud Breton: Thanks for having me. Let me just talk about Product Stories: So I’d say we were we’re smaller equivalence of Productized. We are a meetup gathering, product lovers in Paris with a strong focus on stories and experiences. So our goal is not to teach you about something but invite the best people on the theme. Thanks again for having me.

André Marquet: Everybody that I spoke about you, Gonçalo, and I did some research. Gonçalo you are very excited, really loves what he does. So what does it drive you? What is the most thrilling thing about your job? And why do you have this energy?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Oh, that’s a great question. And I’m glad that’s the thing they shared with you about me. What makes me take into account what makes me go forward? I do feel I am a naturally enthusiastic person about the world, in general. I like to think of myself as sort of intellectually curious about what makes the world go around, and what impact do things have and my mind is always an overdrive trying to absorb everything that I can. I would highlight the constant flow of impact that we have in the company and in the space and the reach that we have in terms of touching millions of people in their lives. Many examples from people that changed career because they encountered Outsystem, they were able to increase their livelihood, because now they are, you know, there are digital makers, they are new programmers. Those are my favorite stories: really just impacting somebody’s life, really makes me wake up in the morning and just go for it.

The second thing is impacting organizations, we go into customer advisory councils and customer tellers before we used to suck. And now we can go into meetings, and we can say yeah, we can actually do that thing you’re asking. And you know, we came into the work and we are happy now. And a few weeks, a few months ago, I had a customer tell us, “I used to be Calimero”: it’s an old cartoon, where there’s a duck. And the duck is always complaining and whining. And we used to be Calimero. And now we are the Road Runner.

Source: Giphy

And when somebody tells you that about the work you’re putting out there like what essentially transforms their lives for the better, and they’re happier, as human beings as professional, it’s very hard to be excited.

I think in the context of where we exist as a company and as OutSystems we were able to establish a really fantastic culture and the people we attract the people we work with a lot of us doing this for the first time like a common theme is a lot of us are doing are trying to solve a problem or are doing a job for the first time or are really going where nobody else is going or very few people have gone. You know, how can you not be excited? I have new challenges and new things I’d like to learn. And that’s also a breeze right because every few years, I get to be a beginner again. And that’s really cool, right? Instead of just being extremely good at one thing, I get to be a beginner at a new thing. Right now, I am a complete beginner in product management. And I’m learning as fast as I can and that’s exciting.

André Marquet: And that’s great! I think people always underestimate the beginners’ eyes. How has COVID-19 impacted OutSystem's business? How OutSystems leveraged digital transformation to help companies that are being impacted by COVID? And do you guys have any specific work?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: I’m first to say that as a digital business, we have been, fortunately, not nearly as impacted as other industries. We see two things in certain areas: a tremendous acceleration of demand because people think of it this way that competitive differentiator is productivity and speed. If you don’t have speed, you’re done, right, you’re not gonna let live for the next quarter. So we saw a lot of acceleration in a lot of customers that we used to take, you know, let’s take the procurement processes and the buying process of enterprise B2B software will take a while and they’re just like accelerating.

On the other hand, OutSystems does business with 23 different industries. We did see industries where some projects and expansions were canceled. And we ended up having to work with those customers to make sure that they continued, but we didn’t expand there. So overall, we continue to grow significantly, I would say we were positively impacted because it just made low-code, more normal, more interesting to the world at large. And just in terms of what we’re doing to help. I mean, a couple of things. I am incredibly proud of the work that our people and the team have done internally with our internal community and our external community. We were so professional in handling people it was really a hallmark of a very well executed transition. We did that in March, with no issues. We had a model that is “whatever works for you, works for Outsystems”. And people were completely blown away by the response of the company, and everyone was having mental time to be able to help. So in the course of a weekend, we put together what we call the “COVID-19 Response Program for our community”, where we created a sort of a site where people could give ideas to use our technology, we would sponsor programs that would use our network of partners to participate. There were many things we launched cultural programs, we did Applications for finding what was open at the time, we had a really cool project that’s still ongoing for mental health.

All of them were done not by us, it was essentially because our mind was free from concerns with ourselves and our family from the way the company treated us, that we immediately pivoted to help our community.

And we have a fantastic community of partners and developers that took their own time on top of our software, and really made an impact. We also shared every single tool we built internally, things like to control how you go into the office, and whether you can go into the office to book a table, we made that available and as an open-source project, and a lot of customers are now taking that and using it on their own sort of workforces.

André Marquet: And what ore the power users of OutSystems are asking for now? Do you see a shift there? Do you see any seismic changes?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: This is a very good question. A bit of background history, OutSystems and low code in general, before a low code was a thing, we were always traditionally very good at what we call sort of workflow applications, internal applications, complex and very custom. And for the first 14 to 15 years of the company, 90% of what we did was that those core systems. Now two very cool things are happening: we’re getting used to more and more mission-critical systems, mission-critical and customer experience mobile apps. These things, five years ago, if I was to tell you “we’re going to be building the home banking system for one of the top 10 banks in the world you would be “ that’s never possible”. And that is happening now. So we’re on one hand getting pushed to what we call serious applications. That’s perfect, right? It really aligns with our vision of maximum productivity for those applications. On the other hand, because of the no-code explosion, and all of that, like everybody, wants to participate, we’re also getting pulled to a dramatic simplification of the product. So we can get like 10 million people to use the product with two hours of training. So it’s very interesting to be at the center at the epicenter of this movement, where you’re trying, on one hand, to really compete with enterprise-grade mission-critical stuff, but at the same time, make your products accessible for all of us. And we’re getting asked these two things equally vehemently from customers, right. So it’s an interesting product management challenge to have for sure.

André Marquet: Yeah, in terms of challenge, what I guess one of the big challenges right now is that you have 1200 employees or something like that. So how does a company your size continue being innovative?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: That’s a great question. I mean, a lot of it comes from being diligent around what are the things that you want to innovate around. What we tried to do is to be very diligent about setting the right vision around which people should innovate for meaning, here’s our goal, here’s what we want the world to look like, in about three years. The art of setting these goals is super interesting because if you set a small enough goal, people will do incremental stuff, which is fine. If you have too far off goal people will freeze but setting the right ambition like you know “ we’re going to go to the moon in this decade”. It really sets people on fire. That’s incumbent on leadership to never let go of this idea of vision. The second thing that is more tactical is what OutSystems do you have in place to remove waste. Have programs to monitor to remove company legacy as a whole, not just in technology, but remove company legacy, diligently working towards thinking of the product of the company as a product. And sometimes thinking down the different types of debt that you accumulate over time is critical.

André Marquet: It seems that the low-code, has finally arrived. So you are in the right momentum. The momentum is really cool now. And how do you see the future? And in retrospect, for the last 15 years, What is the most surprising development you’ve seen in the industry since you started?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Very good questions. The first part of my answer might be a little shocking, or we don’t care about low-code. Low-code does not define who we are, we don’t define ourselves in the context of the category. We obviously from a messaging and conversational perspective. We use it to our advantage when needed. But internally, when we’re thinking about where we want to go next, where we think is:

How do we make our customers 100 times more productive than they are today?

Low-code is one way, again, back to the innovation topic, Low-code is one way of how we help customers do that. But applying AI to software automation is another way, fixing the problem of ideation of what do I need is another way, into fixing the problem of the connection between business people and designers and product owners and developers is another way. So we think of all of those, as pertaining to our mission of making customers 100 times more productive. And, you know, we’ve, it would be stupid for us to not ride the wave we started, which is this idea of low-code. We think 100 to 100 times more productive for things that matter: for really complex, high-value applications for your customers. And we’re going to use whatever tools we can to do that. We’re going to use cloud-native architectures, we’re going to use low code, no code, we’re going to use all of those tools to help customers be 100 times more productive than with any alternative that they have. That’s the vision process and is quite ambitious, I guess.

André Marquet: We’ll have a question for that. But where do you expect to see the next big areas of value creation for OutSystems and which areas, which sectors, which industry?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: We are seeing a tremendous impact, or a tremendous pool, from what you would traditionally consider lagged industries. I think we’re sort of in the Crossing the Chasm model, we’re getting to the majority and late majority, where a lot of the companies that are traditionally or industries like financial services, for example, which is being completely disrupted. They’re waking up and they’re becoming software companies. So that’s certainly speeding up healthcare companies as well. Everybody’s literally going zero percent analog. We heard from a customer the other day “we want to go zero percent analog, we want to do it fast”, and just helping these companies become 100 times more productive is fantastically difficult. A lot of it is because it’s not just a technology problem: Culture, legacy, entrenched, other interests that are not necessarily related to the best interests of the company. But you know, it's resistance to change. Now it from an applicability and opportunity perspective, I would say and we’ve touched on this. We started about three years ago, we started on this, what we call the “OutSystems AI journey”. And the original vision was how do we disrupt ourselves, so AI is going to come in, and you’re not going to be building software anymore. That’s the future. So how do we make that future happen instead of being disrupted ourselves by it? So we are the team, they did a lot of underlying research. And now we have two years of research, where we were essentially doing really best in class stuff, in terms of how do we take AI applied to the problem of 100 x productivity by either guiding, automating, or validating every single piece of work you do on the platform so that you don’t have to do any boring work and everything accelerates. And I think this is going to be the most important thing we’re going to do inapplicability in terms of the product. And it’s really going to help all of these previous companies I’ve talked about adopting and expand the usage of technology such as Outsystems in a very, very fast way.

Arnaud Breton: I can set up for all the energy. I can feel the real passion and the enthusiasm in everything you say. As André mentioned in the intro, as a former software developer, that it’s a fascinating project for me because I’ve been struggling to build all those apps that you can click and point to build with Outsystem. And I’d love to dig deeper with you into what it means to build a product like that. Maybe to start? Do you mind walking us through it? What is the product organization? Where? How is it organized? How many people does it have?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Sure, we firmly believe that there is no perfect or chart or no perfect organization, and we aren’t. We try to organize around the more critical outcomes for where we are. From our product perspective, we have an engineering organization and the product management organization. The product management organization works as the key proxy for the market and the customer. And we’re responsible for design decisions, and to really be the representative of the customer, in terms of what gets built. And we work very, very close in tandem with our engineering organization. We have about 20 product managers. And they are organized around what we call value areas or product areas that are valuable for our customers. So we have, for example, Product Management around how our customers' data and integrations, just that problem. We have all of these different product areas that are really interesting. And they’re designed to be really subject matter experts and customer proxies in terms of where we are, where we want to go in the next few years. And then on the other side, we have our good friends in engineering, a great team, and what they organize, they typically organize around either outcomes or assets. It depends on what we’re doing, meaning you either owns a part of the product or you own a specific customer outcome. A customer outcome would be we want to do integration in less than 10 minutes, and they self organize around that idea. And we have about 200 plus engineers at this point in time, with a product with a UX group and an AI group. All in all, totaling around 300 people in engineering. And mostly, we used to be a very Lisbon centered organization, now we have a team in the United States, we have people in India, we have people all over Europe. And then, and so yeah, so that’s sort of at the high level of how we are organized to deliver on this product.

Arnaud Breton: In the end, you’re helping people put together a great application. How do you make sure you stay together as one team and build a great product, but your customer loves at the end of the day?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Great question. I mean, we have numerous techniques and tools to do that from a customer feedback perspective. We have channels, like an advisory council, we have a community online where people post ideas and suggestions every single day, we constantly review what people are doing from a support ticket perspective, we look at online reviews, we aggregate all of that data, we parse that out, and we process it into themes that allows product managers to really sort of understanding where the issues or the typical issues are, at the same time. From a delivery perspective, we try to do not only dogfooding. But we have a great community of people that have signed up for Early Access Programs that give us feedback very early on. And we have built-in sort of closed-loop mechanisms within the product. And also telemetry allows us to get really good data around what’s getting used, where are people struggling and, and where we could do better. Our UX team is great. And they do a lot of research and interviews, both with current and prospective developers, or actually the entire personas, right? Because you mentioned like we’re not, we are for professional developers as well. But we are also for enterprise architects, and application managers and CIOs, and CEOs and all of those personas, the product, which is ours, we need to understand how they perceive and value the products they utilize and interact with our product. So it’s a relatively complex sort of stakeholder map on the customer side.

Arnaud Breton: After this meetup, I definitely want to be a PM at the OutSystems. What makes me a great PM for Outsystems. Who is the first person to join your team tomorrow?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: So we are actively hiring. I mean, the key strategic thing that OutSystems, for product managers, is that you fully understand the problem space in which you’re trying to operate more so than being a phenomenal Product Manager. I will talk about that in a second. But you really understand the problem space, you’re passionate about the problem space. So to give an example, the person that is our product manager for data integrations, he used to have a company literally, he was the CEO of a company on data integrations. So you know, we got him and you. He’s essentially running a company that competes with other companies that do data integration. So the same thing. So you have to be very, very good at understanding the market, understanding the needs and the problem space, and to be able to then articulate some of that product vision and the outcomes that we desire, in a competitive fashion. Articulate that we put a lot of emphasis on good writing, good communication, good internal, and external evangelism. So you do need to be a good communicator. You don’t have to be an extrovert. You don’t have to, you know, go like to be in front of crowds. But you need to be passionate about communicating clearly and effectively, to multiple audiences external or internal, that is absolutely critical. So I’d say two things. It’s this idea of being really, really good at, at the problem you’re trying to solve, and at being with customers and understanding that, but then translating that in clear communication. One more thing before I forget. There are many, many things that a good product manager needs to do from a technical perspective, technical as in how, how do you actually do product management, prioritization, aspect, negotiation, all of those different things. And we came to the conclusion that it’s hard. I mean, it’s really hard. It’s a new discipline, a lot of us are figuring out you, we have organizers such as you guys really trying to get to the next level, you know, you write I read, I tried to read as many books as possible as I was ramping up on the job. People do that all the time. But it’s still an I, it still feels like, especially for b2b software. It’s really a discipline that’s in its infancy, right, we’re creating it from scratch. So for 2021, a key initiative we have at Outsystems and we have at the product management team is we are going to create a product management Academy. And the product management Academy is designed to really teach at scale, what it means to be a B2B platform Product Manager, we were not happy with any training, we’ve found, you know, end to end. So we’re going to build that we obviously want to use that as an attraction mechanism, but as a discipline mechanism for our teams, and we want to share that with the community as much as possible.

Arnaud Breton: I love the fact you are taking this precisely because I think days, so I have been running a few meetings for a past week, and a lot of people are coming to me with a lot of junior PM challenges and there is a real challenge for us as you exactly said to train next generation of PM and gained discipline so nobody has a formal training into PM, we all got there by luck lets say, but yeah, it’s fantastic to say, you are taking this seriously. Have you seen a good success story maybe with some engineering becoming a product manager at the end?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Yes, yes, we have I would say about 50% of our product managers, they do come from engineering backgrounds, but they are very obsessed about that customer outcome, they obsessed about their problem, not so much about specific solutions. But we do see that profile as a key profile, I would say that we are not as far as I would like to be in terms of our diversity of journey, actually bringing a diverse set of people to work on this problem and this is an essential aspect for us. So why not do that by ourselves, try to create people that not necessarily come from engineering backgrounds, so it’s not a requirement but yeah we see engineering as a technical B2B product, a specific part of a product becoming really good product managers.

Arnaud Breton: You started to touch a bit of that, who is an ideal customer, is it early-stage, late-stage, mid-stage, prototyping, like I want you to run a new VP and I should go to Outsystem. What is a switch spot for you these days?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: I will tell you what is not a good customer for Outsystem. 2 things, 1 is, if you can get access to as many engineers as you want, top talent in the valley and you don’t have a problem hiring, you don’t have any legacy system, you are starting from a scratch, you are not a good customer for Outsystem, right? You feel facebook or if you google in the early days that’s not a good customer for Outsystem. They don’t have any problems, they are 99% of the other companies, right? The other characteristic is if you think that you are moving just fine, we don’t need to go any faster, we can keep saying this to our business and we can keep saying this to our customers, so you are also not a good customer for us. We see as a great customer for Outsystem are people, companies, actually fundamentally all different, one of the interesting thing about Outsystem that is very brought in terms of the industry but also on the company side, but if you are going to significant transformation process where part of that transformation requires that you move faster, require that you deliver with quality, that you bring your business close to your technology team, even mashed them and fused them together and if you have an ongoing transformation initiative, if you have an impressive event, you are a fantastic customer for Outsystem because that’s you know a lot of companies are in this position. They have hired CPO and they hired a new CEO, the business is going digital, they have a digital transformation program which is sort of it a keyword but it’s really useful because if the company is starting to think into this its a good starting point that they are willing to do change into look at reality how they deliver and fundamentally change.

Arnaud Breton: Yeah, I think it’s good to remember it because we live in a bubble where we are surrounded by Tech all they long and we attend to forget but I think COVID was a good reminder that there are still a lot of businesses out there which are non-digital. Do you have a mission in Outsystem in having more citizen developers or just improving efficiency developers by magnitude? Do you have that great mission to empower any citizen around the world to create applications quickly?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: So, our mission is: women made the entire organization of our customers 100 times more productive than they are today. We started examining that the key portion of achieving this mission is to be able to bring in people that are either sitting in the business or close to the business, closer to the process of creating technology, creating something from scratch, becoming makers. Now I will say, I don’t personally enjoy the term “citizen developer”. Do you know anybody that self identifies as a citizen developer? Like yeah, I am a citizen developer. That’s not what people want to do. The reason you call yourselves or the reason why IT calls it a citizen developer, this is actually what analyst call it, it’s an analyst contract, people don’t think about themselves as a citizen developer, they think “I have a problem, I have to fix my problem, I wanna be autonomist, let me do that.” For example, we launched a tool called experience builder. Experience builder is designed for developers and the business person to sit side by side and to ideate in 30 minutes or one hour what the app is going to look like. And the developer takes that, gets an OutSystems application, and runs with it. Is this a citizen developer? Well, Not in the typical reception. The citizen developer is doing all the work by himself, but its citizen developer in the context that they are participating, they are actively participating in the app of creating digital systems with very short feedback loops, in that sense, we are doing both, not for one or for the other.

Arnaud Breton: Awesome! Thank you. Who is your best competitor today, I think we can think of a company like UI path that is helping companies automate a workflow or very existing ups, but how do you see yourself in positioning here?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: How you choose and how you define your competitive set dramatically is going to change your view of the world, right? And if you look into this vision that I’ve been sort of on my solve box here trying to say, we are about a hundred x productivity, that means, we are essentially up against a lot of different forces. We are essentially against local space, we have a bunch of companies, we were one of the originals, I would guess but we weren’t alone. Those companies still exist, those companies are still thriving and they have a similar value proposition to us. So we also encountered them a lot of the time in what you would call, pure local place. The other thing that is interesting is that we have significant sort of players and platform players that are launching new local offers and what they are doing is when you get this local thing to try on top of my existing platform (Self-force is an example) so that people can use my existing platform and do things on my platform faster and that’s another example. If you think about this hundred x productivity then RPA robots are critical competitors, right? What we see in reality is that RPA’s not so much a competitor but a really good strong compliment, because what RPA does is fantastic if you don’t want to change the underline systems. If you have like two or three systems I can’t touch this, this is completeness. In RPA’s case a lot of times we see us we are coming to customers, they already have RPA practice because RPA is awesome at showing the first value very quickly and what we end up doing with RPA is we use RPA as an extension point either to get data or to give data back so we pull it very good together. If you think through the customer lens what it is we are trying to solve, they can actually deploy technologies to maximize the outcomes, and slowly but surely we are moving the pieces of those RPA’s and moving them to our moral best local platform. That will always be robots for other things in this 4 or 500 companies can have 1000 robots for small things and it’s still gonna be not enough. We are competing against people that are building enterprise great mission-critical systems, so if you are doing that, we are already in that competition, we’ve been brought in as a viable alternative to be an odd home banking system or building systems or it’s crazy. But this idea that you gave to the entire company, operating one platform to solve all of these cases is both fascinating and frightening from the product manager perspective because there are so many avenues for value to customers but it’s a hard problem to grasp from a product management perspective. So that’s how we define the competition these days. Not just local, not just no code or RPA, it’s a combination of how companies are digitizing and automating their work.

Arnaud Breton: Do you see a plan where Outsystem is the white level platform pairing Salesforce?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: So I can’t comment on that directly, but I will say that it is, it is a natural go-to-market strategy to say “hey, we are core competence is to build fantastic low code experiences if you will”, more competence is to understand the problem spaces CRM or customer record. You don’t wanna go here, we don’t wanna go there, maybe there is a great way for us to do it together, right? And for sure, a lot of our customers already do that on their own. I think we learned a lot from our customers, right. A lot of our customers buy Outsystem to not have customized or modified their system record. If you have a core EIP, just leave it as it is, do very small parameterization, and then use a platform such as Outsystem to build anything that is unique and customized. So do that, otherwise, you are gonna be hell in a few years, right. So that’s already happening organically.

André Marquet: Good luck with that. Maybe on more personal notes Goncalo, how do you take a break from all this responsibility.

Gonçalo Gaiolas: I will be radically honest, I mean, at the stage where we are as a company I don’t get a lot of free time but that’s okay, that is a choice I made I am responsible for it I have a lot of fun, I spend most of my free time not in Outsystem, is typically around my close family, around my friend, my daughter, my really close family, I am trying to spend the time as much as possible time and because I am always switching jobs, my free time is also educating me on whatever is next. So my evenings today and nowadays are spending reading about product management, and you know, I don’t need to be the best product manager in the house, right, I have those already, we need to be the best leaders, make the best team, influence the right way, communicate the right way and the rest is gonna happen. You know I wanna learn as much as possible, but I don’t see myself as becoming like the fantastic product manager that knows how to do all things in product management.

André Marquet: Is there any story you wanna tell us before you go?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Hm, one of the things I was couching myself over the last few years is how do you make things that you know are right choices but are very very difficult to execute on because they are emotionally difficult early on or as fast as possible, so you recognize the signals but you are not rationals why you should do this now and you know and whatever. So, I have a recent situation where you mention firing me, this is always a hard thing where the signs were there for somebody that just wasn’t a good fit culturally and I let it go for too long, it wasn’t a critical situation but if you let it go for a too long and if you couch the person and the person doesn’t respond then and if you let it go, this person is so difficult and you have to let it go, it’s very hard. And I took too long to move sizeable and you know just remove this person from business, it was good for a person, it was good for a company, it was good for a team, but I took too long because I didn’t wanna go too deep conversation back then and I’ve done firing people before in more natural situation, but this specific it took me 6 more months than it should have where the team suffered and I think back to that day, you know you failed your responsibility as a leader if you did not act on something when you really knew that was not working right, just because you didn’t wanna go to that difficult situation. That’s my most recent example.

André Marquet: You also manage a distributed team in Portugal and in the US and I guess for other locations, right. How is that unfolding right now because the culture is, you know, as you said at the beginning of this conversation, culture is you know, eating strategy for breakfast as they say and it’s really one of the hardest points anywhere, so? How does it deal with those cultures, specifically with those in America which is I guess more confrontational, more direct, and quite different from Europe, specifically the Portuguese one?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: So we before the COVID, we were starting with something basic, which was sort of two hubs, people in the US and people in Portugal, and a natural tendency was for the office in Lisbon to have sort of a viewpoint and the people and dynamics would play out and it would be hard here for the Americans colleagues. With the COVID and going remote and investing ongoing remote, written communication, fewer meetings as much as possible, use starting hearing more and understanding more and connecting more with our American colleagues and it really becomes a fantastic capability to saw that mix that American engineering and courage and ability just to get things done and not to, sort of seething at scale. Americans see things at scale naturally and that is all of us have to learn more. It’s like you have to scale, you can’t be, you have to be courageous about how to scale. We are seeing a great interplace, so I’ll give you another example, its personal example, we have new CTO, our new CTO is an American and he is my peer and I love the guys and he comes in and he is courageous, wants to get things done, wants to move fast, but then also get thoughtful sort of approach from the Europeans to respect that has to manage to cross time zones and I think that combination of thoughtfulness, family, there are sports team’s connections that we don’t have and then you know, gun goal attitude that American has, it is absolutely fantastic. For us, it works quite nicely and the feedback I get from them is the same, I mean a lot of times making colleagues say, look I’ve never worked in a company where people are so collaborative and just open and frankly smart. And it’s about, I guess, how we European work, so it’s a really good experience, I should say.

André Marquet: Do you remember the Pepsi challenge?

Gonçalo Gaiolas: Is it the one where they were, you know, you do like a blind test. We actually did that already like, I don’t know, 15 years ago, right? Maybe we will do that, that’s a good idea, I’m gonna go back to our CMO and tell him — let’s do one among the next. That’s a good idea, André, thank you. You are sort of, I can see, your marketing chapter is showing here. I will do that.

André Marquet: Thank you again for taking the time to be here with us today, Gonçalo.

About Productized Masterclasses

The Productized Masterclasses are 2 days of hands-on masterclasses and insightful keynote speakers. On 27 & 28 May you’ll enjoy 4 masterclasses of your choice, get practical tips, and network with your peers. Come and meet Dan Olsen, Kandis O’Brien, Radhika Dutt, Ken Sandy, or Daniel Zacarias, among many others and get ready to be inspired to learn more about Enterprise Product and Consumer Product! SAVE THE DATE — MAY 27–28 2021

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