Dec. 20, 2020

Episode 48: Jeff Gothelf - Helping organizations build better products and executives build the cultures that build better products

Episode 48: Jeff Gothelf - Helping organizations build better products and executives build the cultures that build better products

Today’s guest is Jeff Gothelf. Jeff works as a coach, speaker, author & consultant to help organizations build better products and executives build the cultures that build better products. After his rock band prospects and ambitions faded away, Jef...


Today’s guest is Jeff Gothelf. Jeff works as a coach, speaker, author & consultant to help organizations build better products and executives build the cultures that build better products. After his rock band prospects and ambitions faded away, Jeff’s first job out of college was in the circus. That’s right, clowns, the human cannonball, trapeze artists, the whole bit. Jeff worked as an audio engineer for the circus but soon realized a life in the circus wasn’t the life for him. After leaving the circus, he transitioned to working as a designer for some of the first companies to use the internet as a new communication, sales and service channel. Having worked at early internet firms like America Online (AOL) and iXL he saw first-hand the potential this new way of communicating had to transform how we lived, worked and transacted. However, much of the work he was doing was focused on getting software shipped to market with little concern for how well these products and services met the needs of our customers and users. He knew there had to be a better way. So, Jeff decided to go out on his own and become an independent consultant to large organizations struggling with their digital transformation, increasing their agility and integrating good product management and User Experience practices into their ways of working. In this interview, he get into how Jeff has adjusted to the pandemic living in Barcelona, his time in the circus, the importance of quality product development and user experience in today’s digital age, and his new book Forever Employable.

Timestamps

00:03:05 Adjusting to the pandemic living in Barcelona

00:11:50 Growing up in Israel

00:18:15 College days & Mass Communication

00:24:55 Working in the circus

00:31:31 Biggest takeaways from working in the circus

00:33:09 Transitioning to the corporate world during the dot com bubble

00:37:36 Passion for product development and user experience

00:43:07 Starting his own venture

00:44:18 His book "Forever Employable"

00:48:08 Why learning and humility are in short supply

00:52:20 His driving force

00:53:12 Parting advice on career development