Welcome to Meet HqO: a series on our blog where we get to know the team that's building our tenant experience platform for commercial real estate. I'm sitting down with our whole crew to understand and share: what gets them up in the morning, why they're jazzed about CRE technology, and what they bring to the table (and also learn) at HqO. Oh yeah, and we're hiring! Learn more about joining the team.
Katie: Alright, Dan O, let's get right to it. What is your role here at HqO and what are you focused on most days?
Dan O: I'm the VP of Product here at HqO. Most days, I am working with our engineering team, customer teams, and customers themselves working to define and shape our products to meet our CRE customers' needs. Depending on the day, this can include white-boarding new solutions with engineering based on customer input, spending time with CRE property teams to learn more about their goals and feedback, and learning from sales and customer success about what they are hearing in the market and from direct feedback from our users.
Now that we are growing, I also spend a lot of my time finding awesome new teammates to help us do all of the above even better on the product team.
Katie: We are growing, aren't we? Love that. Alright, I'm curious – what were you doing prior to HqO?
Dan O: Before HqO I spent about 7 years working at EnerNOC (now Enel X), an energy efficiency software company with many commercial real estate customers. There I had a few roles: operations, technical support, and then mostly product management. I gained a good amount of experience there with enterprise scale software for customers like HqO's. It also gave me the opportunity to work on and support mobile, web, and hardware products.
Katie: What is the biggest lesson you learned that you brought to HqO?
Dan O: The biggest lesson I've brought with me to HqO is two-fold: Product focus and ability to bring product to market. I've learned a lot about finding focus for end-customer products and then enabling the teams that onboard, support, delight customers. This means ensuring that everyone who impacts a customer's experience with HqO has input into our product, how we bring it to customers, and how we ensure we can support it so that our customers have an excellent experience when partnering with us.
Katie: So very important. OK, now for the good stuff. What are you most excited about at HqO and commercial real estate technology space in general?
Dan O: We have a great team at HqO that makes every day fun, engaging and challenging. The CRE tech space is really interesting because there are so many facets to it; there are a lot of real-world experiences and spaces that can improve tremendously through complementary software. For HqO within that space, I find what we are doing really interesting because it's so relatable for our customers and users: everyone can find ways that technology can make their day-to-day more engaging, convenient, or simpler. There is no shortage of ways that we can impact tenant experience through technology and we continue to find new and interesting ways to do it as we talk to more and more customers with unique spaces and CRE portfolios.
Katie: You mentioned our team. What do you like about the team specifically and our culture?
Dan O: We have a team that is really passionate about creating an incredible customer experience and everyone keeps that front and center in their thinking in discussions and decision making. Having a group that is fully bought in to what HqO is doing and empowered makes working and collaborating with everyone really enjoyable day-to-day.
Katie: OK, bonus question. Where can we find Dan O when he's not running product at HqO?
Dan O: When I'm not at HqO, I can usually be found planning a trip or at an outdoor destination for hiking and camping. In 2016 my fiance and I took a road trip around the US to the tune of 11,000 miles and 13 US National Parks to do just that. We have been to 16 of the US parks, plus a few more in Canada, and we're always figuring out which one to go to next.