About Tech Talks
In this Tech Talks series, we will directly share with you the attitude and vibe of the PayPay Tech team through the voices of the unique product members from over 35 countries! This time, Teppei Furuki from the Product Marketing Team will share his story.
*The Japanese version of the article is also available.
Teppei joined PayPay in July 2018 as a Day 1 member and is now a product marketing manager. He tries to deliberately put himself in uncomfortable situations, after getting advised by the CTO that in order to grow, he needs to push his comfort zone instead of staying in a cozy environment. Since then, he has constantly been upskilling.
What I’m working on currently:
I’m working in product marketing. My main task is to grow the features rolled out by the product manager. Specifically, I use differing icons according to the user status, and also use banners and text balloons above these icons to promote features other than payment. Plus, I analyze data on the users’ feature usage and try to come up with hypotheses to figure out better ways.
The Product Marketing Team:
I am a member of the Product Management Department, which consists of about 30 members. Although we call ourselves the Product Marketing Team, the Product Management Department does not have separate teams within. We are more like a virtual organization within the department. Because of that structure, I sometimes work as a product manager alongside being a product marketer.
A Technical Challenge I Experienced Recently:
We’ve rolled out several mini apps as PayPay, but it’s difficult to coordinate what features to show to what kind of users. As a person in charge of services, it’s only natural to want to put the service I was involved in in the best light possible, so I was considering how to reconcile that with other services. Also, I didn’t simply change the position of the icons, but also tried to personalize them so that only active users of a particular feature would see the relevant ones, and those who don’t use it would see icons for other services. With the help of our designer, Aoyagi-san, we envisioned what PayPay would ideally look like in two to three years, then explained it to stakeholders and agreed on a short-term plan based on our vision. I always try to consider the big picture, keeping in mind what kind of UI/UX would be good for PayPay users in the long-run, rather than just looking at the most recent developments or focusing on a specific service.
What I like to Challenge at PayPay:
I want to create a product that is easy and comfortable to use for users. To achieve this, I want to focus on personalization. We are already doing this to some extent, but it would be great if we could develop further to provide the necessary features when needed. I would like to be involved in that kind of work and gain experience in user growth.
My Typical Daily & Weekly Schedules:
I usually start work a little before 10 a.m. Since it’s fully remote, I have plenty of time to get to work after dropping my kids off at kindergarten. After checking emails and unread messages on Slack, I organize and prioritize my tasks for the day. There are times when I get a sudden request, so I review my priorities every time that happens and postpone things that can be done the next day. I then meet with the marketing and business teams to discuss how to promote the features using the app, and then execute. Sometimes I create PRDs and run projects like a product manager, but most of the time I use internal tools to find ways to increase service usage by displaying banners and icons to specific users. I then analyze the data and use it to discuss the next round of improvements with business reps.
My career before joining PayPay
Before coming here, I worked for Yahoo! JAPAN for about 10 years. I was involved in planning the tools used by advertising agencies and management strategies for the advertising business.
The reason that I decided to join PayPay
Back then, I was starting to think that it was about time for me to switch industries from advertising. My colleagues and I were talking about the future growth of mobile payments, so I applied for a position in the payment and finance business at Yahoo! JAPAN. I thought I would be transferred to another department, but I was tossed into a project for starting up a new company. I didn’t know what I was in for, but I certainly had no idea that I would be working with people from other companies like Paytm and SoftBank, speaking different languages.Eventually, I moved from Yahoo! JAPAN to PayPay for two big reasons. One was that the people around me were extremely talented and I respected them. I was convinced that I could grow if I worked with them. There were people coming up with approaches and solutions that I couldn’t imagine myself, and I could see myself creating the optimal product based on the market and trends not only in Japan but also overseas. I also thought that I’d be able to see things from a more multifaceted perspective. The other reason was speed. In the early days of the company, our priority was to release products as fast as possible and make immediate improvements based on user feedback. This was the complete opposite to what I was used to, so it was initially unnerving, but now it’s become the norm and I think also the strength of the product.
A Message to Aspiring PayPay Employees:
The appeal of PayPay is twofold. First, it’s a global environment where diversity is respected. I don’t think you can experience an environment like this in many other Japanese companies, with employees of various nationalities around you. We all have different values and thought processes, so at the beginning you may not understand or like the way your colleagues are doing something. That being said, we all share the same desire to improve the product, so I think it’s great that we can communicate squarely with each other to eliminate any misunderstandings. Secondly, there are many highly talented people here. When working alongside them, I cannot but feel respect for them and want to follow their example. They motivate me to do my best. I think PayPay is a very exciting place to work at, and most likely your preconceptions will be broken down for the better. It can be tough at times, but it’s an exceptional opportunity to be able to work in an environment that’s supported by numerous users and merchants, to whom you can offer products that you’ve worked on. There are still many things we want to and need to do. Why don’t you join our thrilling environment for the experience of a lifetime?
Currently available positions
*The recruitment status is current at the time of the interview.
Author: Teppei Furuki / Editorial Supervisor: Mune / Managing Editor: Az
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.