Hum-an Stories: Q&A with Director of Product Marketing Tony Ouk
This interview is part of Hum-an Stories, a Q&A series with Hum Capital leadership and employees providing a look under the hood at what drives Hum and its funding platform, the Intelligent Capital Market.
Tony Ouk has been at Hum a little over a year leading product marketing. He serves as the bridge between Product, Marketing, and Sales to ensure we have alignment among these groups for product launches, marketing collateral, etc. In essence, he’s the lead storyteller of our product, the Intelligent Capital Market.
In this Q&A Tony shares why he decided to join Hum, what goes into a successful product launch, and what he hopes to see as Hum’s biggest accomplishment at the end of this year.
Q: Why did you decide to join Hum and what excites you most about what Hum is building?
I believe in Hum’s mission of democratizing the fundraising process. The world has so many brilliant, creative people trying to build innovative companies and ideas that have not been thought of before. Funding should not be an obstacle for people to create something that a lot of people can benefit from.
Q: Prior to joining Hum, you led product marketing at other high-growth companies. What lessons did you take from those roles and experiences that you’ve brought to Hum?
Product marketing is both an art and a science. The art is being a storyteller. The science is being able to have a methodology to convey the story. Having that disciplined approach to product marketing allows me to be that bridge between the more technical side of the business such as the Product and Engineering team, with more of the storytelling side like Marketing and Sales.
Q: As the Director of Product Marketing, can you share all that goes into a successful product launch?
It starts with having solid product positioning and messaging. If you have that, you can get agreement with everyone else on the team from the technical side of the business to the storytellers. But at the end of the day, having a clear voice is the foundation of any product launch. From there, it’s being very detailed and disciplined in having a product launch strategy and executing on that successfully. With that launch strategy the key is to be transparent on what you’re promising to deliver and how close you are to executing those deliverables.
Q: We are nearing the start of Q4. What would you like to see as Hum’s biggest accomplishment at the end of this year?
I want Hum to show how much we’ve grown in the past year since I’ve joined. People who aren’t part of Hum don’t realize how hard we’ve worked in the past year to really lay the foundation internally for the amazing things Hum can achieve going forward. I hope if not in Q4 but soon after, we can show everyone the great accomplishments that we are now set up for.
Q: Now for a fun question. What’s your favorite activity to do outside of work?
My parents owned restaurants growing up so I’ve always been in the kitchen. My favorite part of the day is just preparing a meal. I’m a savory chef and not a pastry chef. Pastry chefs tend to be exact in their measurements; it’s almost like chemistry. For me, I like to “wing it.” I enjoy trying to fix the taste or the texture of a dish. I like to know when to add a bit more salt, a bit more pepper, a pinch of sugar, or a splash of lemon. It’s my way of being as creative as I am a Marketer even outside of work.