Welcome to the team, Andrew!
15 April 2021
Last week, Andrew Samtoy joined us here at Legado. He has an extensive background in technology start-ups and building successful products. We asked him to tell you a little bit about himself:
What excites you about working for Legado?
First, the most exciting thing is that Legado is working to address real problems that exist for a technologically underserved population, which will make an incredibly difficult process a lot easier for a lot of people. We have the opportunity to help people in a real and substantial way, and I think that now is the right time to do it.
Second, I am really grateful for the opportunity to join a new team, and serve them as we grow. This is definitely the smallest company I have ever joined, and I feel like the team really works well together. It will be a fun challenge to maintain that sense of camaraderie as we get bigger.
Last but not least, there is a huge opportunity to learn and build that does not often come around! I am really looking forward to seeing what this role demands, and how everyone on the team develops and changes over time as we get more users (and more demands). Product is fundamentally about service to the creators in the company, and I am excited to have the opportunity to help move the business forward.
What will be the biggest challenges?
For me, the first challenge will be getting to know the product and the market as thoroughly as possible. Joe has been really supportive by inviting me to lots of calls and making the right introductions, and using them to really get to know the market will be the first hurdle. The second challenge will be to help shape and create a product that people want and use so that we can scale quickly and effectively. As we do that, we all have to help grow the various teams, and I will need to be able to adjust my own role and learn new skills as necessary, adapting to the changes in the company as we get bigger. In a very real sense, I feel like I have been thrust into Startup School, and I am excited to be able to apply the various educations that I have had over the years!
What will you be working on?
In the short term, my work will focus on learning about the product and market. However, we are a small startup - in my first week, I have done the nuts-and-bolts product work in fleshing out tickets and raising bugs, crafted an updated roadmap, reviewed the roadmap and backlog, and talked through new features. I have also reviewed contracts, edited the website, researched competitors, reached out to contacts as potential hires, sat in on sales calls, and, if we were in an office, I expect I would also have made coffee for the team; soon, I will be testing ahead of release. Basically, we all have to pitch in wherever we can - but that is part of the fun of it!
Long term, growing the product team and stepping back from the details of product implementation will be a massive - and massively rewarding - challenge that I am excited to take on.
What do you do to relax?
If I am not working, I am probably cooking, spending time with my wife and our unfathomably complicated two-year-old son, reading, writing letters, posting monthly updates to my blog, and, when legally possible, either swimming at the gym or trying not to be broken by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
Here are three!
For several years, I was the chief American correspondent for the London Review of Breakfasts.
My wife and I eloped on our third date, and our wedding was almost stopped by riots (unrelated).
I am a product person: when it came to choosing a name for our son, my wife had a list of names she liked, and I had a list of requirements for a name. We took her list, and my requirements, and filtered the list to find something we both liked; as long as the name matched the requirements, I was agnostic as to what it actually was. (His name is Daniel.)
Welcome to the team, Andrew!