Jon Stribling is a product marketing specialist and technology evangelist with deep experience in developing and marketing digital products. With experience cutting code as well as managing creative, product, and marketing teams, Jon has a deep understanding of international Internet business and the transformative opportunities offered by digital technologies to drive insights into customer needs, improve customer experience, and deliver success. Jon currently heads product management for Melbourne IT’s SMB Solutions division where he has delivered a new product strategy to meet the online needs of small to medium business.
What was your first job?
Unofficially, my first job was on the farm doing the dirtiest work imaginable; working the hose in a dairy. My first “real” job was in marketing for a mid-sized engineering business focusing on lead generation.
Tell us about your journey. How did you get to where you are today?
I started a second degree in web development in the mid 1990’s after meeting some blokes in a bar who had started an online business. It sounded like the birth of something amazing! Anyone could be a publisher and I wanted to be part of it. I soon left left my marketing job and spent a few years as a contractor before running the web development team and then ecommerce at Melbourne IT. I was asked to take over Product Management a few years ago and haven’t looked back. I started in marketing, moved to technology and am now at the intersection of technology and marketing in product management in one of the most fast changing spaces in global business.
What does a typical day look like?
Each day is different. I have a relatively long commute and use this time to consume tech-blogs, clear my inbox, and draft blog posts. At the office, each day starts with a team stand-up to make sure our product development and marketing plans are on track and to learn if there is anything urgent I need to help the team address. I am very data focused so I spend a lot of time making sure everyone in the organisation is focussed on the right numbers to achieve success rather than emotion. This means I spend a lot of time with sales and service teams, and our analysts working out how we can improve our products, make customers happier, and grow the business. I make sure all decisions are based on analysis and facts rather than guesses. Strategy is a vital part of my job, so I make sure that everyone is clear about what the strategy is and that each day we’re executing on that strategy. As a result a typical day will see me meeting with many people across the business in Australia and overseas. I try and finish each day with some exercise or a walk through some nature.
The best part about your job is…
It sounds trite, but helping SMB’s around the world leverage the opportunities offered by digital technologies to grow their businesses, and reduce costs is the best part of my job.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
Launching the first new hosting product into the partner channel in 5 years was pretty cool. The new gTLD project also promises to fundamentally transform how the world understands domain names.
What major changes do you see happening in your industry over the next 3-5 years?
The release of 1,500 new domain spaces in the next 2 years will fundamentally change the branding choices available for businesses and people from .com to .anything. Cloud computing is changing how businesses do their accounts, go to market, and connect wih their staff and customers. As Internet connectivity improves, this trend will accelerate providing business with better scale, improved insights, and the ability to reach more customers. Security and privacy will also be major trends for the next 5 years with businesses electing to pay more for increased security, and starting to pay more attention to managing the risks of cloud computing. In the last 20 years Internet technologies have changed economies, businesses, and almost every sector of society but we’re only at the start of the digital era. I believe the changes in the next 10 – 15 years will dwarf the changes we’ve seen in the past 20 years.
When you’re not working, you’re…
Using power tools in the garden, writing, reading, and looking after children. Never at the same time!
Your advice to others who are starting out.
Be interested in everything. Read and listen to everything. Soak up all the information you can find about your industry and your interests. Use social media to follow and engage with thought leaders in your industry. Always be open to new ideas and change, and above all, work hard.