Interview with Patrick Tsao – VP Product at Getsafe and Speaker at PMF Europe 2019

Written by Published in Beyond Product Management, Conference, Interviews
Patrick Tsao is currently the VP of Products at Getsafe. Previously, he worked in product at Uber and Redfin, a technology-powered real estate brokerage. He grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, and studied Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of Washington in Seattle. In his spare time, he enjoys music, tennis, traveling, and also dabbles in scuba diving. At PMF Europe 2019 he will be speaking about How to Think About AI as a PM. 
In this interview learn more about Patrick’s career journey, what he loves about PM and how being present and listening actively helps him get inspired.

Can you tell us a bit about your professional journey and how did you become VP Product at Getsafe?

I think I may be the luckiest person in the world because two major life opportunities aligned for me. While I was at Uber, I had always imagined my next career step would be the head of product for an early stage start-up. Back then, my girlfriend and I were long-distance, with me living in Seattle and her living in Heidelberg. We were growing tired of being so far apart, so she started looking around and found Getsafe. I was very lucky that Getsafe needed a head of product, and I am also very grateful that our founders decided to take a chance on a misfit who was looking for a new home.

Can you pinpoint one moment or person that was instrumental in your decision to pick this career path?

Ever since I was little, my parents have always emphasized the importance of pursuing an interdisciplinary education. They wanted me to gain a broad perspective across different subjects, and they believed that doing so would enable me to solve problems in more creative ways. This guidance led me to pursue a dual university degree in business and computer science with a minor in music.

Throughout that journey I explored careers that could afford the opportunity to work at the intersection between people, technology, and business – that’s how I discovered my passion for product management.

What’s the most challenging situation you’ve encountered as a Product Manager so far? And what do you love about Product Management?

I love being a PM because everything I do is meant to help other people.

We want to build great products to deliver the best experience to our customers. We want to build great teams to empower people to do their best work and grow in their careers.

However, PM also can be challenging because people are complex, and it can be extremely difficult to align a large group of people with different backgrounds toward a common cause.

Where do you draw inspiration (personal and /or professional) from?

Inspiration is everywhere! I think the most important thing for me is paying attention to my surroundings and being an active listener to everyone I talk to. I’ve often found that profound ideas can come from the most unexpected places. For example, on my recent trip to Madagascar, some of my biggest learnings came from talking to the owner of one of the bungalows we stayed at.
In my opinion, inspiration is more about collecting dots and connecting them rather than pure intellectual brilliance.


Meet Patrick and other Product Leaders and Speakers from the exciting line up we have for this edition of PMF Europe in Zurich on the 13-14th of  November at the Arena Cinemas. 

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